Two music giants pass: Pierre Boulez and Robert Stigwood; Boston Globe brings in former distribution partner
Morning Brief: French composer and conductor Boulez was a dedicated supporter of 20th century classical music including the works of Stravinsky, Bartók, Schoenberg and Varèse
Two giants of the music industry died in the past 24 hours: Classical composer and conductor Pierre Boulez, and rock music producer Robert Stigwood. Boulez was 90, Stigwood 81.
Boulez is probably best remembered in the US as the conductor of the New York Philharmonic, but it was his recording of Stravinsky’s Le Sacre du Printemps with The Cleveland Orchestra for Columbia that made him a star in the US. Released in 1969, the recording was not the first time Boulez had recorded the work – his version recorded in 1963 with the Orchestra National de France was criticized by the composer himself for taking too many liberties.
Boulez campaigned 20th century composers such as Béla Bartók, Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg, Igor Stravinsky, Anton Webern and Edgard Varèse. His recording with the New York Philharmonic of Bartók’s Concerto For Orchestra in 1972 for Columbia was another milestone for the composer.
But Boulez was also an important avant grade composer, his Le martial sans maître being his most famous composition.
The New York Times has marked the composer/conductor’s passing with an obituary in its main feature hole on its website home page.
Robert Stigwood was a producer, best known early on for managing Cream and the Bee Gees. Born in South Australia, Stigwood had his ups and down in rock music, before becoming very successful in stage and film production. Jesus Christ Superstar and Evita are just two of the many productions Stigwood was involved with.
The Boston Globe recently changed its newspaper delivery vendor… and then all hell broke loose, with editors and reporters turning into delivery men in order to make sure subscribers received their papers. The new vendor, which recently changed its name to ACI Last Mile Network (who thought of that name?), has been a bust, so the Globe today announced that they have contracted with their former vendor Publishers Circulation Fulfillment Inc. to help return things to normal.
Of course, the issue really is one caused by outsourcing, but at most metro papers it is far too late to return to internal crews, let alone paperboys.
“Before I arrived, the Globe had moved away from operating its own delivery service. That was a mistake,” Globe owner and publisher John Henry wrote to readers yesterday.
“Instead, the Globe instituted a somewhat expensive plan to try to remedy the reported problems. By the beginning of my second year it was apparent the service was not improving. So we began to look for an alternative delivery service.”
“We settled on ACI Media Group, generally recognized as the best in the business. The firm’s first bid not only contained the service improvements we were looking for but was substantially cheaper — more in line with other regions in the United States. We thought we’d found what we were looking for, but this overnight transition was much harder than anyone anticipated,” Henry admitted.
Now, the paper will split its home delivery geography between the two firms to try and improve home delivery service before too many readers simply give up on the paper and drop their subscriptions.
Jeremy Corbyn has a bit of a rebellion going on in his shadow cabinet. Kevan Jones, Stephen Doughty and Jonathan Reynolds have resigned.
The main issue appears to be Corbyn’s stance concerning Trident, the UK’s nuclear missile program. Corbyn is not in favor of continued spending on the program, while many Labour Party veterans, especially those tied to Tony Blair, are supporters. The appointment of anti-Trident MP Emily Thornberry to the shadow defense secretary post may have been the final straw for those who now will not be part of Corbyn’s team.
This UK kerfuffle comes on the same day North Korea claims to have exploded a hydrogen bomb (though there are increasing doubts about the claim).
Microsoft is having difficulties in China over an issue consumers worldwide are very familiar with: the tendency of tech companies to end support for one version of its software in order to force users to upgrade. In this case, Microsoft ended support for Windows XP, its operating system first introduced in 2001.
Most western consumers would not expect to still be running such an old system, but the situation is obviously different in China, where making such moves to make software incompatible is considered anti-competitive behavior. China is also pushing to have companies move to the Neoukylin OS, a homegrown platform.