Takacs Quartet Steals SF Violist

The Takacs Quartet has named a replacement for departing violist Roger Tapping, and the San Francisco Symphony can’t have been terribly happy to hear about it. The SFS’s beloved principal violist, Geraldine Walther, was tapped by the Takacs, and will leave the Bay Area later this year. Walther is widely considered to be one of the top orchestral and solo violists in the U.S., and will be joining a quartet which has had a great run of success in recent years.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle - 01/04/05

B(allet)=MC Squared

The Rambert Dance Company is producing a new work based on Einstein’s theory of relativity. “The work is the inaugural choreographic piece from Rambert artistic director Mark Baldwin and was commissioned by the Institute of Physics. A professor of physics is working with Baldwin to advise on the technical aspects of the work.”

Source: BBC - 01/04/05

The Sad Story Of Tacoma Actors Guild

Last month, after 26 years in business, Tacoma Actors Guild suddenly closed its doors. “By December, TAG had only $30,000 in the bank, enough to cover a single two-week payroll. But when the bank heard about the indefinite closure and layoffs in the newspaper, it froze the $30,000 against the $165,000 note. Staffers refused to work without pay, and the Christmas play ended abruptly, its set left standing onstage.”

Source: Tacoma News-Tribune - 01/04/05

A Venue As Big As NYC

“The announcement that former Dublin Fringe director Vallejo Gantner has been named P.S.122’s artistic director has quieted fears about the East Village institution’s future. But what will Russell—one of the city’s most visionary performing arts curators, the man who fostered the careers of John Leguizamo, Eric Bogosian, Spalding Gray, and Danny Hoch—do without a venue to program? Why, program the city, of course…”

Source: Village Voice - 01/04/05

The Music Stops In St. Louis

“Management called it a strike; the union called it a lockout. But whatever the terminology, for the moment, the music has stopped. Management’s last offer was for around $72,000 this season – less than the $73,900 the players are making now.” At a meeting of musicians “there was no pontification (from the floor); people just got up and said, ‘I’m really sad, but I can’t accept it.’ We need to maintain our position of parity (with comparable orchestras), and we can’t be bankrupt. We need to be able to afford things we’ve invested in, like instruments and houses and education and all of that.”

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch - 01/04/05

Blockbuster News – No More Late Fees

There were shortages of some popular movies at Blockbuster Video this past weekend, as the company eliminated late fees. That means renters can be more leisurely about returning movies. “The Texas-based megafirm eliminated all late fees for rentals, effective Saturday, despite the estimated $250 million to $300 million in revenues they would have generated for Blockbuster in 2005.”

Source: Boston Herald - 01/04/05

The Satellite Jukebox

“A handful of new and soon-to-be-released devices enable music listeners to automatically record tracks from satellite radio broadcasts onto hard drives or portable music players such as the iPod. While the recording industry has publicly decried such activities for terrestrial radio, analysts say it has a financial reason for remaining silent about satellite radio recording.”

Source: Wired - 01/04/05

Art For Your TV

Flat screen high-definition TVs are becoming popular. But there still isn’t a lot of programming to take advantage of the screens. So one company is introducing the GalleryPlayer. “It will allow subscribers to purchase and display high-resolution digital images of “museum-quality” art and photos on their high-definition digital TV displays.”

Source: ABCNews.com - 01/04/05