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July 19, 2005

Community Development [10:58 am]

Beethoven’s rarest works re-created online

In a little-trafficked corner of the Web, a pair of classical music enthusiasts has spent half a decade obsessively re-creating hundreds of obscure pieces by Ludwig van Beethoven.

[...] [Mark] Zimmer and [Willem] Holsbergen are part of a growing community of amateurs and semiprofessionals who are using the Net and other digital tools to bring classical music out of concert halls and academies, hoping to popularize it with the democratizing force of the Internet.

The evidence may not be visible yet in classical music sales, which, at about 3 percent of the market, are a sliver of pop music sales. Yet the energy is palpable, on interlocking blogs from ordinary music fans and from the New Yorker magazine’s music critic, in the classical stations programmed by home disc jockeys on services such as Live 365, and in the eager amateur criticism accompanying this spring’s Webcast of the Van Cliburn piano competitions.

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