Audio Pioneer Ray Dolby Dies – at age 80, having suffered from Alzheimer’s for some time. The inventor founded Dolby Laboratories, first in the U.K. and then in San Francisco, and became a billionaire as a result. The Portland, OR native started his company in 1965 and it became an industry leader, reducing hiss on professional recordings, then on cassettes, and later helping to bring Star Wars and other hi-fidelity surround soundtracks to life. His inventions in noise reduction and surround sound are still being used in the music and movie industries. He has held more than 50 U.S. patents and several Emmys, two Oscars and a Grammy plus the National Medal of Technology.
Sound & Vision and Home Theater Merged – Source Interlink Media, owner of Stereophile magazine, has acquired Sound & Vision magazine from Bonnier Corp. and will combine it with Interlink’s publication formerly titled Home Theater, starting with the October 2013 issue. S&V was originally formed in 2000 when Hachette Filipacchi merged Audio, Stereo Review and Video magazines. The new Sound & Vision will publish ten times a year and will be “a single powerhouse consumer brand dedicated to electronic entertainment.”
Another 45rpm Vinyl Entry – The increasing number of double-disc 45rpm 12-inch vinyl releases for audio connoisseurs shows the attractions of this ultimate disc format. A new recording by singer Lyn Stanley with 13 jazz musicians titled Lost In Romance will be released next week on a double-disc 45rpm vinyl set of 180 gram pressings mastered by Bernie Grundman and engineered at Hollywood’s Capitol Studios, as well as on a normal CD. Grundman himself suggested the 45rpm vinyl pressings which were done by Pallas in Germany. We expect to review the vinyl release soon.
Kickstarter Project Aims to “Set Chopin Free” – San Francisco-based nonprofit Musopen.org wants to set free Chopin’s music from its copyright-shaped shackles. Yes, his sheet music is in public domain, but not the recordings of Chopin’s music made since 1962. Having the classical music copyrighted means you can’t download, share, remix or use Chopin’s music without paying for the previlege. If their Kickstarter campaign raises $75,000 by Oct. 20, Musopen will hire professional musicians to record absolutely all of Chopin’s works and thenb make them freely available to the public for legal downloading. It already did a similar thing in 2010 which raised six times more than they were asking for and made lots of free classical music available on its website.
Classical Music News – Simon Rattle will succeed Valery Gergiev as principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra after he leaves the Berlin Philharmonic in 2017. This will be the first time the British conductor will have a permanent position with one of his own since he was with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1998. Stephane Lissner of La Scala will take charge of the Opera National de Paris in August of next year, a year earlier than first scheduled. The Intendant of the Salzburg Festival, Alexander Pereira, will take over La Scala also earlier than originally planned. The Italian government had to make severe budget cuts to La Scala and Lissner’s leadership was able to stabilize and restore that Italian cultural monument.