The Met HD Player is ready for you ....but are you ready for it?continued from page 60The ,000 question is whether today’s rela-tively high speed cable and DSL lines are fastenough. There’s little question they will, inthe not too distant future. But, with respect tothe operability of the Met Player now...?After test runs of the Met Player in HDmode, I’m very pleased to report that we are— provided one has a newer computer withcapabilities that would have cost a bundle nottoo long ago, but are modestly priced today.The price for the Met Player subscriptionitself is certainly right, and the service isavailable in Canada, or anywhere else in theworld where government policy or privatemonopolies don’t interfere: US .99 permonth, or 9.99 yearly (and you thoughtit wasn’t possible to buy anything from NewYork for $15).With New York street prices for Blu-Rayopera disks ranging from US to , andhigher yet in Canada, it doesn’t take manyviewings to make the Met subscription payfor itself. One can also rent access to HDbroadcasts for .99, or standard broadcastsfor .99 (must be accessed within 30 days,with a 6 hours maximum viewing time). Amonthly subscription is clearly a better deal,and a free 7-day trial, offered at www.me-topera.org. A potential glitch, not the Met’sdoing, in this happy pricing situation: greedyInternet service providers tacking on extracharges, and not small charges at that, whenMet Player screenshotthe combined volume of monthly download-ing and uploading les exceeds an imposedthreshold. Check your provider’s policy inorder to avoid a nasty surprise at the end ofthe month. And look for another provider ifyour present supplier is countering the logicof information technology via price gouging.The audiovisual riches arrive via the MoveMedia Player plugin for one of three brows-ers: recent versions of Internet Explorer, theopen source Firefox, or Apple’s Safari. Formaximal performance of the Met Player, Irecommend Safari with Windows or Mac. Incivilian life, I use Firefox because the hun-dreds of software plugins written for it makeit the Swiss Army Knife of browsers. Butwhen it’s a question of streaming video, Iswitch to Safari: it’s faster.Accessing the Met videos in HDperformance requires a relatively new andsprightly computer. That means Intel DualCore chip, minimum speed of 2 Ghz, andrunning on updated versions of Windows XP,or Vista, or Mac OS X 10.4 or 10.5. Mostnew desktop or notebook computers soldthese days, even at modest prices, t the bill.Second, the computer needs a graphics pro-cessor that uses at least 128 Mb of memory.Preferably this should be a “discrete” stand-alone graphics card with its own memorychip, not a graphics chip on the motherboard. In Windows this means desktops start-ing around 0 and laptops around 00.For Macs, you’re talking about an iMac orMacbook Pro, starting about 0 higherthan minimal Windows congurations, butworth the money if audiovisual performanceis the name of the game.I tested the Met Player in HD mode us-ing a Macbook Pro, with sound fed throughHeadRoom’s modestly priced Total Bitheadcombination DAC (digital-to-analog con-verter ) and headphone amplier ($CA 175).I listened via Grado SR125 headphones, anaudiophile bargain running less than $CA200.The HD video owed with barely the odd,brief splutter --- and that’s at the end of arural DSL line that’s more than four milesaway from the relay station.Net result? I had to tear myself away towrite the piece! Sign me up!Great Classes.TREAT YOUR SELF.TAKE PART IN A ROYAL CONSERVATORY MUSIC AND ARTSPROGRAM, WHETHER YOU’RE INTERESTED IN LEARNING(OR RETURNING TO) AN INSTRUMENT OR ANY NUMBER OFOTHER EXCITING FORMS OF PERSONAL EXPRESSION.The Conservatory’s dynamic programs offerstudents of all agesunparalleled intellectual, social and emotional benefits.Classes start in September.Find out more online orbyvisitingour exciting newhomeon Bloor Street, or our Mississauga campusat Cawthra and Lakeshore.REGISTER TODAYVisit us at rcmusic.ca,orcall416.408.2825PROGRAMS BEGIN THISSEPTEMBERGuitar &Violin from ScratchBrush up your PianoSkillsAdultChoirs &Introto Choral SingingSamba & TaikoDrummingCreating a PersonalVision BookWriting Lab &Video Makingand much more...WE ALSO HAVEA WIDE VARIETY OFCHILDREN’S CLASSES!JOIN OUR ONLINE MAILING LIST AT RCMUSIC.CAand stay up to date about everything that’s newat the RCM.GO BEYOND THE CONCERT EXPERIENCE withAnton Kuerti’sLecture Series, Master Classes with Leon Fleischer and many more,plus our exclusive Postlude performances.
Mervon Mehta, executive director,RCM performing arts.Continued from page 8Mehta’s eclectic musical experiences seem tohave rubbed off on the programme he’s puttogether for Koerner Hall. In the 2009/10season, performers range from classical no-tables such as pianist András Schiff, violinistJames Ehnes and the Emerson Quartet, tojazz pianist Chick Corea, sitar virtuoso RaviShankar and the Gypsy ddler Roby Laka-tose.“We wanted to show that the Conservatory’sopen to all kinds of music,” says Mehta.“Thirty to forty percent of what we’re doingis classical, but we also have jazz and worldmusic. I hope that when people see the total-ity of the season, they’ll give themselves achance to hear many different things. Myfeeling is that people are more open thesedays. It used to be that if people loved clas-sical music – or jazz, or rock – they hatedeverything else. There’s great music in everygenre, and there’s mediocrity in every genre.We certainly won’t book an artist who is ba-nal, or has nothing to say.”He also points out that he’s trying not to of-fend or harm any of Toronto’s establishedconcert presenters. On the contrary, he’sanxious to avoid the impression that the RCMis taking a hard-edged competitive stance –reminiscent of Garth Drabinsky’s Livent,which aggressively promoted its concertsin the George Weston Recital Hall until thecompany collapsed in 1998.“I’m in constant contact with Roy ThomsonHall,” Mehta says, “and with other groups,like Luminato and the Toronto Jazz Festival.We’ve talked about the things we could dotogether.”As Mehta explains, some of the concerts inKoerner Hall will be entirely presentationsof the RCM, some will be co-presentationswith other organizations, and sometimes thehall will simply be rented out for a variety ofpurposes (weddings and bar mitzvahs includ-ed). But whatever the nancial arrangements,all concerts will be single-ticket events: it’snot possible to subscribe to a series in KoernerHall. As a result, attendance will uctu-ate from one concert to another in ways thatMehta can’t predict. “If I knew for sure whatwould happen, I’d be a genius! But with ahall this size, we don’t have to hit a home runevery time.”Simon and Mehta speak condently andreassuringly about the RCM’s new hall andconcert series. Yet these are risky times forambitious enterprises, and Koerner Hall isnothing if not ambitious. So why, exactly, isthe Conservatory – which is rst and fore-most an educational institution – getting intothe concert business, on a scale not seen inToronto since Livent crashed and burned?Simon has a ready answer. “If Canada isto have a great music school, then we haveto offer what other great institutions haveto offer. The Juilliard School in New Yorkis part of Lincoln Center, and the studentsbenet from that association. With this hall,we’re able to provide students with that kindof experience. You can’t divorce educationfrom performance. Any artists we engage aregoing to give a masterclass – and anythingelse we can get them to do for our students.Koerner Hall is a terric tool: it makes theConservatory a focal point of the musi-cal community in a way that a smaller hallcouldn’t.”Great Concerts.09.10 KOERNER HALLINAUGURAL CONCERT SEASONMore than 70 concerts now on sale!Highlights include:SEPT 25 Grand Opening of Koerner Hall withthe Royal Conservatory Orchestra& special guests, conductedbyJean-Philippe TremblayOCT 1 Emerson String Quartet withpianist Menahem PresslerOCT 10 Frederica von Stade &Friends Farewell TourFOR THE COMPLETE09.10 SEASONLINEUP VISIT RCMUSIC.CAORDER TICKETS NOW!Purchase at rcmusic.ca, call 416.408.0208,or visit our Box Office at 273 Bloor St. W.OCT 22OCT 29OCT 30JAN 16APR 25APR 29MAY 9rcmusIc.caThe Royal Conservatory is located at 273 Bloor Street West,just west ofthe ROMArt of Time Ensemble:The Songbookwith Sarah SleanNico’s ChoiceMidori with Robert McDonaldQuartetto Gelato & EthelChristian TetzlaffSteve Reich Live!Gerald FinleyTICKETS FORGRAND OPENINGFESTIVALCONCERTSSTILLAVAILABLE09.10 Season Sponsor:09.10SeasonMedia Partner:THE FINEST INSTRUMENTIS THE MIND ṬMClockwise, topleft:QuartettoGelato,Midori, Frederica von Stade,Christian Tetzlaff.
CONCERT LISTINGSTHESEPT 1 ~ OCT 7 2
Joshua Bell Plays BrahmsSeptember 2
for openersTen BumpsMost calendars
Making Koerner Hall WorkAt last, it