Panasonic to Shoot Sochi in 4K – It appears that the industry has settled on calling UHD TV 4K even though it is not; that is only projected in some commercial movie theaters. The home consumer system has to be dumbed down from that, and even with that there are yet no regular UHD telecasts nor a disc format that could hold that much data. However (aha!), the news release does not state that Panasonic is telecasting the Olympic Winter Games in 4K—it only says they are shooting the opening ceremonies in 4K.
Sony’s Investment Credit Downgraded to Junk – Moody’s Investor Services has downgraded Sony Corp.’s credit rating to junk status as the entertainment technologies conglomerate continues to struggle in capturing a significant share of the smartphone and tablet markets. The Consumer Electronics Association reports that as of December, 44% of online U.S. consumers owned tablets of some sort.
Classical Music Improves Children’s Listening Skills – This area has been both promoted and attacked before, but a study from the Institute of Education at the University of London shows that youngsters improved their general listening and social skills by hearing composers including Ravel, Shostakovich and Mendelssohn. They are also then likely to appreciate a wider range of music in their later years. Apollo Music Projects in the UK introduces children aged seven to ten to classical music. A whole school assembly is followed by six lessons at class level, with children experiencing different instruments and musical concepts as well as a formal concert. One teacher said that for some children the program was inspirational. Their positive reactions suggested they were ‘open-eared’ and had not developed prejudices against classical music. She said “Opportunities to listen extensively to classical music in the early years of primary school are therefore likely to lead to children appreciating a wider range of music than might otherwise be the case.”
Year’s Busiest Musicians, Conductors, Composers – Stats assembled by classical-events-lister bachtrack.com show right away an appalling dearth of female conductors and composers on the lists. Marin Alsop is the only woman conductor who made the list of the 100 busiest conductors, and you have to get up to 182 on the list of composers to locate Clara Schumann. The most-performed composer in the UK during 2013 was Benjamin Britten and his most-performed piece was the War Requiem. Mozart ousted Beethoven as the world’s most-performed composer, Valery Gergiev was the busiest conductor, La Traviata was the most-staged opera and Messiah was the single most-performed concert work. (The UK is very far ahead of the U.S. as a classical music market.)