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Re: [ARSCLIST] Symphonic Digital Programs

My contact with the CSO Archives is tangential, through my work at WFMT and
involvement on the committee that chooses each year's CD sets for WFMT
"Symphonython" release and sale. However, I am reasonably sure that no work is being
done to covert the CSO Archives into digital form except for what is
nominated for audition each year by our committee. Those titles (only) are then
converted to CD.

Don Tait

I spent 3 1/2 years working as a part-time archive assistant making preservation transfers of the concert broadcast archive. Still the most enjoyable job I've had. A number of collections have been compiled from the broadcast archive for use as premiums for the yearly Radiothon (now Symphonython), and a number of these are available at the Symphony Store: http://tinyurl.com/s9vxs
The symphony lost the funding that paid for the broadcast series in 2001, and since the funding paid the recording fees for the orchestra, and the union wouldn't allow archival recording without compensation, the recordings were suspended in 2001. I believe they have since been resumed, but I'm not sure. At any rate, for a period of years, there were no recordings made. A searchable database can be found at: http://www.cso.org/main.taf?p=7,3,2,3
Around the same time, budget cuts eliminated half of the fulltime staff of the archive, and when the lease on an office extension from Orchestra Hall to the Santa Fe building was suspended, the archive had to relocate to much smaller quarters. Quite a shame, that was a beautiful reading room... When I left in April of 2002, they suspended preservation transfers. I believe about half of the broadcast collection remains undigitized, awaiting funding from somewhere.
I'll be seeing Frank Vilella, the archives manager, next week, and I'll ask him about the state of things.

-Matt Sohn

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