Are you connected?
Online social networks are the new big thing. So it is great to see classical music social networking site Dilettante Music making a big splash in the mainstream media with support from BBC Radio 3 and names like Nico Muhly. As the Dilettante website says:
We’ve harnessed the latest web tools to break down the barriers to classical music ... so you can discover who’s who, what’s what, and what people are saying about it ...Regular readers will know I'm always keen to discover 'who’s who, what’s what, and what people are saying about it' in the classical music world. So I followed the social network to find out a little more about Dilettante Music.
My starting point was an article on the Guardian classical music blog in February 2008 enthusiastically headed 'Love classical music? Head for Dilettante'. Unfortunately this piece omits to explain that Dilettante's founder is Canadian entrepreneur Juliana Farha. Or that Ms Farha is a sometime Guardian contributor, although her profile elsewhere on the paper's website does identify the Dilettante connection.
My next source was a Times article in February 2008 headlined My Big Idea - Dilettante which identifies Juliana Farha as founder. But this article does not explain that Ms. Farha is married to Kit Malthouse who, as well as being a director of Dilettante Music is a contributor to the Times. Kit Malthouse is also deputy mayor for policing of Conservative controlled London with responsibility for the capital's law enforcement agency, the Metropolitan Police, and a director of several financial businesses including hedge fund Alpha Strategic PLC.
The Times article does explain that Dilettante 'is supported by All Media Guide (AMG), the musical archive that offers expert editorial content via articles and reviews'. But the piece does not give the background to AMG, who are owned by Rovi Corporation (formerly Macrovision Solutions) which has extensive interests in copy control software and media metadata, including owning the Muze database used in most music and video stores.
All the above information is quite correctly in the public domain and is available online in a few minutes to anyone who wants to know 'who's who and what's what'. Classical music desperately needs innovation and promotion. In a world where connections are everything Dilettante Music looks set to succeed.
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