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BeethovenIngrid Schwaegermann has developed a great web site about Ludwig Van Beethoven. It is quite comprehensive with a biography section, a picture gallery, musician’s comments and stories about Beethoven’s works. The site is available in English and German.

Speaking of Beethoven, my friend and maestro Sidney Rothstein told me about an interesting technology deployment involving the great composer. It has to do with handheld devices. The Samsung
has a browser built in but I rarely use it. Most people don’t want to "surf the web" on a handheld device. This will change as device displays continue to get better and content creators get more creative in how
to display their information, but in the meantime there are many other useful things that handhelds can do — including displaying program notes during a live concert.

In the July 17th version of the New York Times, Matthew Mirapaul reported on a test of the Concert Companion, a Sony handheld loaded with software that allows a concert goer to see program notes about the music and composer during a concert. During a recent performance of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony at the Aspen Music Festival, "a dozen concert goers will fire up hand-held computers to sharpen their focus on the work’s surging strings and titanic brass". From the back of the hall, a musically knowledgeable person with a WiFi-enabled laptop created screens of text at appropriate times during the performance. The Concert Companion was conceived by Roland Valliere, the former executive director of the Kansas City Symphony. I believe he got the idea from audio-tour players used at museum exhibitions. The Concert Companion was planned for a further test at a performance of Stravinsky‘s ‘Firebird’ Suite by the Philadelphia Orchestra on August 20 at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center.

I enjoy music almost every day. I wrote a short story a few years ago about my life with music.