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News & Information

Music Industry: July 2008 Archives

Making a Decent Living

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Dollarnote

Classical music: A fair wage – but those in bigger cities make more

By Kyle MacMillan
Denver Post

With bachelor and master of music performance degrees under her belt, Tamara Meredith envisioned a life as a college professor, focusing on her specialization in early music. But things didn't quite work out that way.

Instead, she is the full-time director of the Eaton Public Library, and the flutist and violist performs on the side with the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado and the Dallas Bach Society, and substitutes as needed in a few area modern orchestras. She couldn't be happier. "I have a day job in a place that I really enjoy," Meredith said. "I get to help a lot of people with the work that I do, so that's very fulfulling. And my evenings and weekends, I'm free to perform whenever and wherever I want."

Read more about this at the Denver Post website:

   http://www.denverpost.com/ci_9843953

Challenging Steinway

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Estonia Piano

Estonian factory major player in piano production

By Shelley Emling for Cox News Service
Columbus Dispatch

Tallinn, Estonia – Buying a grand piano from Estonia might seem as absurd as looking for fine champagne at McDonald's. But what were once Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's favorite pianos are now in hot demand at dealerships across the United States.

Last year the Estonia Piano Factory exported 300 pianos, both grands and baby grands, with 90 percent headed to the United States. In quality and reputation, Estonia pianos are giving Steinway & Sons a serious challenge. And many discerning musicians say that owning an Estonia piano – almost completely made by hand – is akin to owning a Stradivarius, the iconic violin famous for the high quality of its sound.

Read more about this at the Columbus Dispatch website:

   http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/arts/stories/2008/07/13/2_ESTONIA_PIANOS.ART_ART_07-13-08_E7_IKAMMNE.html

Taking Criticism Seriously

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Keith Burstein

Panned by reviewer, then told to go bankrupt

By Amol Rajan
Independent

A British composer was told to go bankrupt yesterday after he unsuccessfully tried to sue the London Evening Standard for libel. Keith Burstein ran up legal costs of £67,000 defending a test-case libel action against Associated Newspapers, publishers of the Standard, over a critical review of one of his operas.

He told Chief Registrar Stephen Baister in the Royal Courts of Justice that he was taking the case to the European Court of Human Rights. The registrar said Mr Burstein was entitled to take the case in Europe but he was required to pay the legal costs already run up. This would entail complying with a court order against him by paying the £67,000.

When Mr Burstein told the registrar he could not pay, Mr Baister replied: "Then you go bankrupt." He added that, in balancing the rights of Associated Newspapers against the speculative nature of what Mr Burstein was hoping to do, it was proper to rule on the side of the newspaper group, which also publishes the Daily Mail, in forcing him to pay legal costs.

Mr Burstein, 51, confirmed that he would not be able to pay. He is working on a new symphony for the South Bank Symphonia and on an opera with Ben Okri, the Booker Prize winner. "I lead a rather simple life and don't have many material possessions," he said later.

Read more about this at the Independent website:

   http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/panned-by-reviewer-then-bankrupted-by-libel-action-867640.html

Not All Bad News, Journalistically

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Anne Midgette

Washington Post Hires Full-time Music Critic

By Susan Elliott
Musical America

Amid the current trend to the contrary among newspapers, The Washington Post last week hired a permanent staff music critic to succeed Tim Page. Anne Midgette, who has been in the job on an interim basis since January, when Page took a leave of absence, has been hired officially as The Post's classical music critic.

"In light of all the lay-offs around the country, they're really bucking the trend in committing to serious arts journalism," said a delighted Midgette in a brief telephone conversation.

Read more about this at the Musical America website:

   http://www.musicalamerica.com/news/newsstory.cfm?archived=0&storyid=18457

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