In the Sunday (7/18) edition of the St. Petersburg Times (Florida), John Fleming writes about Eleanor Morse, a benefactor of the Florida Orchestra who died earlier this month. “Morse played an especially important role in helping to build up the orchestra’s music library. In 1996, she and her husband established the Morse Family Foundation Music Collection, which allowed the orchestra to purchase music in advance of changes in copyright laws under the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs that would affect the use of many symphonic works that had previously been in the public domain…. Without its own music, an orchestra has to rent the parts of a work under copyright from a publisher. Essentially, that includes most music composed in the past 95 years. ‘The rental can be very expensive,’ said Ella Fredrickson, the orchestra’s principal librarian.… Whenever a piece from it is performed, there is a notation in the orchestra’s program book. In April, for example, the music used for performances of Prokofiev’s Cinderella suite was from the collection. ‘Eleanor really understood the value of having good parts in front of the musicians,’ Fredrickson said. ‘This collection is like gold in the attic.’”

Posted July 19, 2010