Budget Cuts Hurt Symphony and Opera in Europe – The Association of British Orchestras addressed their survival at a recent annual conference. They are being hit three ways: The Arts Council England has had millions of pounds slashed, local arts councils have suffered a raid by the central government, and due to the recession, getting help from sponsors has become more difficult. It would be thought a miracle if no orchestra ends up dissolved. Meanwhile, the crisis in Spain’s economy has forced Barcelona’s Liceu opera house to delay the opening of its new season to October.
New York Philharmonic Broadcasts Start Next Month – The two-hour weekly national radio broadcasts of concerts by the New York Philharmonic begin in April with Alec Baldwin as host. The first program is the last in the Hungarian Echoes series, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen. The final April broadcast will feature Kurt Masur conducting Gubaidulina’s Two Paths, and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1. More than 300 outlets internationally carry the weekly broadcasts via the WFMT Radio Network, and concerts are available on the Philharmonic’s website, nyphil.org, for two weeks after each broadcast. The first live national radio broadcast by the New York Philharmonic took place over CBS Radio in October 1930. In 2004 the orchestra was the first major American orchestra to offer live downloadable concerts, and in 2009 they inaugurated the first subscription download series – available exclusively on iTunes. Since 1917 the Philharmonic has made nearly 2000 recordings, with more than 500 currently available.
Growth of Mobile Music – A report by Juniper Research forecasts that music consumed on mobile hadsets will generate $5.5 billion in 2015, a rise from $3.1 billion last year. P2P file sharing caused the music industry’s sales to plummet, but legal digital distribution like Apple’s iTunes has turned the fortune of mobile music around, and handsets have become the key platform for digital downloaded music. The author of the report said that mobile devices now match the technical specs of dedicated MP3 players. “Add in connectivity – just one click to buy and download – along with all the other smart phone features, and there is no competition between the two.” Piracy, however, still remains a significant threat to both online and mobile.
WiFi2HiFi Streams PC Audio to iPhone-Compatible Sound Systems – A new 99-cent app for the iPhone allows streaming one’s computer-stored music to your home music system or audio dock connected to the iPhone. WiFi2HiFi turns the iPhone into a wireless audio receiver for audio systems and is compatible with Mac OS 10.6 or Windows Vista or 7. It’s design is minimal, with only a large volume knob and two status inficators. You can use to feed the thousands of netcasting stations to your sound dock, play your computer’s music on your main system, or stream music from the computer to your iPhone.
Competitive Positions of LG and Samsung re: 3D – LG’s new 3D TVs all use the simple and inexpensive (and recyclable) polarized glasses as used in most theatrical 3D showings; this helps appeal to more budget-conscious consumers. But Samsung says that’s dated technology and the wrong direction. Their 3D uses the expensive active shutter glasses which cost upwards of $200 a pair. They claim it gives an eye-popping 3D effect in the home that leaps over anything seen in a movie theater. Samsung says the cheaper “film” 3D technology is limited to smaller digital devices, and are thinking of redefining their 3D strategy after its 3D sales were far below expectations in 2010. They also plan to strengthen relationships with content partners to make more 3D material available in the coming months.