New Music News Wire

New Music News Wire

Erin Gee and Yotam Haber Win 2007-2008 Rome Prizes

Erin Gee

Erin Gee and Yotam Haber received the Rome Prize in musical composition from the American Academy in Rome. Both have won a residency, including a stipend, studio and room and board, at the Academy beginning in September 2007.

Gee won the Samuel Barber Rome Prize. She will devote her residency toward work on Sleep Towards Sound: An Opera in Four Acts.

Yotam Haber

Haber won the Frederic A. Juilliard/Walter Damrosch Rome Prize. He will research music in the Jewish community of Rome and work on composing a new work for mezzo-soprano and chamber orchestra.

Steven Stucky chaired the jury that selected the prize winners. Also on the jury were Arthur Levering, Zhou Long, Judith Shatin, and Yehudi Wyner.

Wind Band Recordings Are Grammy Eligible

In the first recognition of the genre by the Recording Academy, recordings by wind bands have been deemed eligible for submission to the Grammy awards.

According to Lisa Croster, project manager for classical music at the Recording Academy, wind band recordings of traditional symphonic repertoire played by an ensemble of 25 or more musicians are welcome for submission in the Orchestral Performance category, as well as in the Classical Album category. Some recordings in specialty genres, including movie music, Christmas music, and marches, may alternately be placed in the Classical Crossover category.

Those wishing to submit entries must first become members of the Recording Academy. The final deadline for submission for the 50th Grammy awards is September 5.

Federal Court Rules in Favor of Digital Music Services

A federal court has ruled that downloading digital music does not constitute a performance for the purposes of awarding royalties. AOL, RealNetworks and Yahoo! won a summary judgment declaring that the downloading of a music file is not a public performance.

In deciding a rate dispute between the American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (ASCAP) and the three digital services, Judge William Connor wrote that under the Copyright Act, to perform a work means to read, recite, or play the work, and that the work must be “transmitted in a manner designed for contemporaneous perception.” A download is more accurately described as a method of reproducing the file.

Shelton Berg Named Dean of Miami’s Frost School of Music

Shelton Berg
Photo courtesy of the University of Miami

Shelton Berg will be the new dean of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

Berg is a pianist, composer, and arranger and is currently the McCoy/Sample Endowed Professor of Jazz Studies in the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. On faculty at the Thornton School of Music since 1991, he is also past president of the International Association of Jazz Educators and has authored several books on jazz improvisation. He will assume his position as dean on June 1st and will replace William Hipp, who has served as dean since 1983.

Musicians Union Lifts Boycott Against Delta

In reaction to Delta Airlines’ decision to allow small instruments and guitars on board all flights, the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada, AFL-CIO (AFM) ended its boycott against the airline. Delta had kept its restrictions against carry-on instruments long after other airlines adopted more lenient policies.

After the AFM lobbied Congress for less restrictive rules that reflected the value of musical instruments and the importance of allowing them on board, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) issued a statement allowing passengers to carry one musical instrument through security screening checkpoints in addition to the standard allotment of one carry-on and one personal item. Most airlines eventually allowed musicians to carry on their instruments, but, until this week’s announcement, Delta had maintained tight restrictions.

Changes in Delta’s checked baggage policy will also benefit musicians traveling with large instruments. Checked items can now measure up to 120 linear inches and weigh up to 100 pounds. Previously, Delta only accepted checked baggage that measured 80 linear inches or less with a weight limit of 80 pounds.

400-Piece Orchestra to Perform for Jamestown Anniversary

A 400-member orchestra, combining the forces of both the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, will perform at the celebration of the 400th anniversary of the founding of the Jamestown colony in Virginia. JoAnn Falletta will lead this group on May 11th and 13th in a concert that will feature the world premiere of new works by John Corigliano, John Duffy, Adolphus Hailstork, and Jennifer Higdon written especially for the commemoration.

The grand finale on May 13th will also feature a 1607-member choir, with the number of voices assembled equaling the year of Jamestown’s founding.

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