Eight years ago tales of doom and gloom about American orchestras were rampant. “Despite the troubling statistics – in 1992 three-quarters of American orchestras were posting debts – the business of making music has improved markedly over the past eight years. Today, three-quarters of American orchestras are balancing their books each season, accumulated debt has decreased, and some prominent and once-troubled groups have enjoyed unprecedented philanthropic favor and are on the road to stability.” – Washington Post


“What is the relationship of America’s classical music to its popular music? Should singers be allowed to go back and forth between the opera house and popular radio? Are Broadway musicals the real American opera? Should symphonic composers use jazz and popular music in their works? There was a very good reason – cultural self-definition – to have these discussions, but at some point it should have become obvious that these were mostly hollow questions about the status of different types of music, rather than real issues of substance.” – Washington Post


Authors and publishers are protesting that Amazon has begun selling used books. “Authors earn royalties from new book sales but get nothing when used copies of the same books are resold. Used book sales are also not counted in creating the bestsellers lists or the publishers’ sales records. The crux of the complaint is that Amazon is making used books available within weeks of a new release.” – Wired


It’s quite possible with the dissolution of the Martha Graham Company, that her works will fall into oblivion. “Whatever its quirks, though, the Graham case is part of a widespread phenomenon: the disappearance, real or potential, of choreography. Even in this era of satellite imaging and fingertip access to unfathomable resources, much of the world’s dance catalogue has been erased.” – Washington Post


After 20 years of work and expanding to 29 volumes, the New Grove Dictionary of Music – the world’s standard music reference work – hits this shelves next week. Editor Stanley Sadie expounds on how it was put together. – The Independent (UK)

DEFINITIVE UPDATE: With 25 million words, with more than 29,000 articles from 6,000 contributors in 98 countries, the New Grove is changing fast. – Sunday Times (UK)


Lottery money has led to massive building of theatres in Britain. But “theatre isn’t about bricks and mortar – or, these, days, concrete and glass. It’s about what happens on that stage inside. It’s about imagination, about content and about ideas. The heresy that a new building was more important than a new idea began about a generation ago. The glamorous, if sometimes tacky, Edwardian music halls were pulled down. Lottery money made this obsession with rebuilding even worse.” – London Evening Standard