Detroit’s Jarvi Legacy

“Neeme Jarvi, who steps down from his post as music director next month after 15 seasons, has led the DSO through a golden age. The 68-year-old has raised the artistry and international standing of the orchestra to the highest points in its history. Jarvi’s tenure has not been without its missteps and missed opportunities, but after 15 years, he has earned a place in the pantheon of the most important musicians in Detroit history.”

Classical Music Finds Home On The Web

“Classical music has become a booming sub-culture on the World Wide Web. In this decade alone, hundreds of classical sites have surfaced, like green shoots after a warm spring rain. Encyclopedic, all-you-want-to-know sites cater to beginners and music professionals. Internet radio sites range from South Africa to South Florida (like Miami’s Sites offer everything from collections of viola jokes — the knock-knock jokes of the music world — to basic night-at-the-opera diary entries.”

How Computers Got Their Soul

According to a new book, scientists might have built the computer, but “longhairs liberated computers from I.B.M. and the military industrial complex and profoundly shaped the technology that is ubiquitous today. Formerly sequestered behind forbidding glass walls, computers went on to become accessible, usable and friendly. The industry had its consciousness raised – became a vehicle of togetherness.”

Upload Your Brain To A Supercomputer? (Scientist Says It’ll Happen)

‘If you draw the timelines, realistically by 2050 we would expect to be able to download your mind into a machine, so when you die it’s not a major career problem. If you’re rich enough then by 2050 it’s feasible. If you’re poor you’ll probably have to wait until 2075 or 2080 when it’s routine. We are very serious about it. That’s how fast this technology is moving: 45 years is a hell of a long time in IT.'”

Brit Library Borrowing Declines (Again)

Library use is in decline for British public libraries. “Book borrowing fell by a further 5% last year, maintaining a disturbing 20-year trend, official figures showed yesterday. But for the first time in their long decline there was hard evidence that libraries are winning back popularity with the public. An extra 4% of people walked through their doors in 2003-04, giving them a total of 337 million visits.”

Tabloids Beat Libraries For Brits

Where do Britons get their information? Not generally from libraries. It’s tabloids. Why? A new study says that “this is because the sources the public trusts most, notably public libraries, are closed when it most needs them. The study follows official figures showing that only a tiny number of libraries and other archives are open as long as shops.”

Our Changing Shakespeare

The performance of Shakespeare has changed enormously in the past few decades. “Olivier and Gielgud gave to their times a vital new sensibility and naturalness. The skill with which they adapted to changing styles, as well as creating them, was a remarkable feature of both actors. But both had finished with live Shakespeare by the mid-1970s, and so stood apart from the many revisions that followed. Who knows what either would have thought about the three very different Macbeths earlier this year; or what Gielgud would have made of an audience breathing down his neck from three sides, having parked their plastic tumblers on the edge of a tiny studio stage; or how eagerly Olivier would have welcomed the kind of rehearsal in which the Duke of Exeter’s opinion can be rated as highly as that of King Henry.”

Broadway’s Big Theatres Thinking Small

The big Broadway theatres usually stay dark between major productions. But “to keep the revenue streaming in during the summer, their owners are thinking small, as in the one- and two-month engagements commonly associated with smaller, Off Broadway theaters. This kind of microprogramming can be a smart financial hedge; it can also be risky business. You really have to do sell-out business before you open, because you can’t play catch up – there’s not enough time.”