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September 12, 2008

Former BSO president launches online classical site

He's back.

James Glicker, who nearly sunk the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra during his messy tenure as president, but gets credit for seeking Marin Alsop as music director and rescurer of the institution, has returned to his former cyber milieu. The BBC reports that Glicker is the founder of Passionato, an online company being launched in the UK to provide what is billed as the world's largest stockpile of high-quality classical downloads (prices are currently only in British pounds). You may recall that Glicker, who had never worked for an orchestra before, came to the BSO with a resume heavy on work; he also had worked for BMG/RCA records. When he departed in early 2006, after 18 months on the job, his track record in Baltimore included plummeting morale and sky-rocketing debt ($18 million or so).

It's obvious that downloading is the present and immediate future for recorded music. It will be insteresting to see how successfully Passionato capitalizes on that.  I took a quick look and found it to be a handsome site with lots to choose from, and even a daily special.    

Posted by Tim Smith at 11:06 AM | | Comments (0)

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About Tim Smith
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., I couldn't help but develop a keen interest in politics, but music, theater and visual art also proved great attractions. Music became my main focus after high school. I thought about being a cocktail pianist, but I hated taking requests, so I studied music history instead, earning a B.A. in that field from Eisenhower College (Seneca Falls, N.Y.) and an M.A. from Occidental College (Los Angeles). I then landed in journalism. After freelancing for the Washington Post and others, I was classical music critic for the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida, where I also contributed to NPR. I've written for the New York Times, BBC Music Magazine and other publications, and I'm a longtime contributor to Opera News. My book, The NPR Curious Listener's Guide to Classical Music (Perigee, 2002), can be found on the most discerning remainder racks.

I joined the Baltimore Sun as classical music critic in 2000 and, in 2009, also became theater critic, giving me the opportunity to annoy a whole new audience. In 2010, my original Clef Notes blog expanded to encompass a theatrical component -- how could I resist calling it Drama Queens? I hope you'll find both sides of this blog coin worth exploring and reacting to; your own comments are always welcome and valued (well, most of them, at least).

Think of this as your open-all-hours, cyber green room, where there's always a performer or performance to discuss, some news to digest, or maybe just a little good gossip to share.
Note: Tim Smith now writes about the fine arts at This blog will be kept in place as an archive for an indefinite period. Please visit the new location to get the latest Mid-Atlantic arts coverage.
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