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 News Classical 27/09/2006

Free Classical Music Downloads of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony Launch Philadelphia Orchestra Online Music Store

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Philadelphia, PA (www.nugs.net) - Free classical music downloads of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony launch The Philadelphia Orchestra's Online Music Store, created in partnership with nugs.net enterprises LLC, at www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com and toll free at 1.888.747.6847.

The Philadelphia Orchestra is the first major American orchestra to offer consumers the opportunity to download recent and archival music directly through its own website. Operating its own online retail site allows the Orchestra greater flexibility in determining what is released and when, how long the product stays in the catalogue, and price scale. The Philadelphia Orchestra will realize greater revenues by going directly to its customers, thus eliminating a third party distributor. The Philadelphia Orchestra retains rights and ownership of the musical content in the Online Music Store.

The Philadelphia Orchestra's Online Music Store opens with free classical music downloads of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony for a limited time. Also available for purchase in the store are the other Beethoven symphonies recorded under Christoph Eschenbach during the 2005-06 season, selections from the Orchestra's highly acclaimed Centennial Collection with works conducted by the great maestros of Philadelphia – Stokowski, Ormandy, Muti, and Sawallisch – and pieces recorded during the past six years under Mr. Eschenbach, Mr. Sawallisch, and Philadelphia Orchestra Associate Conductor Rossen Milanov. (See full list at end of release.) Initial prices range from $.99 for works under 10 minutes to $4.99 for a major work, and in the future full concerts for $9.99. Special projects will be priced separately. These recordings will initially be released as high-quality 256 kbps MP3s – a better-sounding audio format than similarly-priced offerings available through Apple's iTunes Music Store – and in a true CD-quality format known as FLAC. Future plans include downloads available in even higher-resolution 24-bit formats to further attract audiophiles who seek better than CD-quality audio recordings.

Visitors to The Philadelphia Orchestra's Online Music Store may also purchase a select number of commercially released CDs in their traditional format including recordings made under the Orchestra's recently signed contract with Ondine Records, the Centennial Collection, and the three-disc Schumann CD set.

The agreement between The Philadelphia Orchestra and nugs.net calls for at least 12 new classical music downloads to be added to the catalogue per season. These major works can be purchased as part of a full concert download, and/or individually. Plans are also being developed to offer at least an additional 12 major works from The Philadelphia Orchestra's rich archive of historic recordings, available within the next year. Material available for download will be determined through a collaborative process among Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, management, and Music Director Christoph Eschenbach. All future material will be taken from live concert recordings, which will be edited in the same fashion as material edited for radio broadcast.

"I am deeply pleased to announce that audiences around the world now have this opportunity to download the music of The Philadelphia Orchestra directly through the Orchestra's website," said Philadelphia Orchestra Association President and CEO James Undercofler. "The Philadelphia Orchestra has a rich history of leadership in the area of technology and we are proud to add the Online Music Store to this list. This is also an example of the collaborative teamwork that Philadelphia Orchestra musicians, Board, and staff are undertaking to develop new and creative ways of distributing the sound of The Philadelphia Orchestra."

Nugs.net founder and CEO Brad Serling adds, "Nugs.net pioneered live music downloads as a viable business for rock artists like Phish, Metallica, and the Dave Matthews Band, so extending our platform to classical music with The Philadelphia Orchestra is a natural next step. Not only are we promoting The Philadelphia Orchestra to active classical music download communities worldwide, but we will promote this music to a new generation discovering classical music downloads. Most importantly, we offer audiophiles a true high fidelity download source for the demanding dynamics of these recordings."

Within the past 18 months The Philadelphia Orchestra has also announced the return of national radio broadcasts through an agreement with National Public Radio and its first recording contract in nearly 10 years with Ondine Records. Two CDs have been released under the new contract with a third release slated for October. Discussions are underway with Ondine to offer Philadelphia Orchestra recordings with that label available for download in the Online Music Store.

The musicians of The Philadelphia Orchestra voiced approval for this new partnership through the Philadelphia Orchestra Media Institute (POMI), which was formed in 1998 to develop and implement strategies to increase the electronic media activities of The Philadelphia Orchestra.

The Philadelphia Orchestra boasts an extraordinary record of media firsts. Among these, it was the first symphonic orchestra to make electrical recordings (1925), the first to perform its own commercially sponsored radio broadcast (1929), the first to perform on the soundŽtrack of a feature film (Paramount's The Big Broadcast of 1937), the first to appear on a national television broadcast (1948), the first American orchestra to record the complete Beethoven symŽphonies on compact disc (1988), and the first major orchestra to give a live cybercast on the internet (1997).

Music service provider nugs.net enterprises, LLC, offers a turn-key solution for online music distribution. The nugs.network currently delivers music downloads for over 100 artists including Dave Matthews Band, Metallica, Phish, the Grateful Dead, Barenaked Ladies, Gov't Mule, Widespread Panic, the String Cheese Incident, and major festivals like Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza. Private label websites within the nugs.network include LivePhish.com, LiveMetallica.com, LiveWidespreadPanic.com, LiveDownloads.com, LiveCheese.com, and the free music channel at stash.nugs.net. The nugs.network delivers over 2.5 million downloads per month to nearly 1 million users. More than 50,000 users each month listen to nugs.net radio and download monthly podcasts from the nugs.net live music archives. For more information visit https://nugs.net.

Founded in 1900, The Philadelphia Orchestra has distinguished itself as one of the leading orchestras in the world through a century of acclaimed performances, historic international tours, best-selling recordings, and its unprecedented record of innovation in recording technologies and outreach. The Orchestra has maintained an unparalleled unity in artistic leadership with only six music directors piloting its first century: Fritz Scheel (1900-07), Carl Pohlig (1907-12), Leopold Stokowski (1912-41), Eugene Ormandy (1936-80), Riccardo Muti (1980-92), and Wolfgang Sawallisch (1993-2003).

This rich tradition is carried on by Christoph Eschenbach, who became music director in 2003. The 2006-07 season, Mr. Eschenbach's fourth, highlights the music of Mozart and Shostakovich. In January 2007, Mr. Eschenbach leads the Orchestra in the Academy of Music 150th Anniversary Concert. During his tenure, Mr. Eschenbach has conducted Beethoven's nine symphonies paired with music of our time; led a four-week Late Great Works Festival; launched the Orchestra's first-ever multi-year cycle of Mahler's complete symphonies; and led tours of Europe, Asia, and Florida and Puerto Rico.

The Orchestra began a three-year partnership with Ondine Records in 2005, and has released two recordings taken from live concerts with a third scheduled for October 2006. As of April 2006, the Orchestra is broadcast regularly on NPR. Other recent highlights include a five-year, $125 million endowment campaign launched in 2003; the Orchestra's move to The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in 2001; and the Orchestra's 100th anniversary in 2000.

The Philadelphia Orchestra annually touches the lives of more than one million music lovers worldwide through its performances, publications, recordings, and broadcasts. The Orchestra presents a subscription season in PhilaŽdelphia each year from September to May, in addition to education and community partnership programs, and appears annually at Carnegie Hall. Its summer schedule includes an outdoor series at PhilaŽdelŽphia's Mann Center for the Performing Arts, free Neighborhood Concerts, a three-week residency at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in upstate New York, and an annual week-long residency at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival beginning July 2007.
Philadelphia Orchestra Online Music Store
Classical Music Downloads available at www.thephiladelphiaorchestra.com






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