The festival always begins and ends with his compositions. Some of the tickets sold out in hours. Concerts were even offered as part of the itinerary for a classical music- themed cruise on the Danube that also included concerts in Salzburg and Budapest for a pricey 7,000 euros ($9,450). “I was struck by how prominent (the festival) is in Romanian cultural life,” said Noah Bendix Balgley, concertmaster of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, which played on Sept. 2 and 3. He called the “audience energy and response … incredible,” noting that the hall was standing-room only. Other orchestras in the festival’s lineup were the Orchestre de Paris, the National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia, The Munich Philharmonic, the Staatskapelle Berlin and the London Philharmonic Orchestra, which played Brahms and Enescu in a concert conducted by Vladimir Jurowsky. Romanian math teacher Elena Ungureanu went to eight concerts. “There was a very high standard of music and the soloists and orchestras were special,” she said. “There were lots of young people and many people were standing. I wouldn’t have had the chance to see such great orchestras if they hadn’t come here.” One morning during the festival, violin and flute music floated across Revolution Square, a tranquil historic spot in the otherwise traffic-snarled capital, as tourists and passers-by crossed. It was a fitting musical footnote to the Wagner, Beethoven and Mozart concerts that rung out from concerts at the nearby 19th century Atheneum and the Palace Hall, where late dictator Nicolae Ceausescu presided over the Communist Party’s final congress weeks before his downfall and execution in December 1989. “The concerts are very good value for money,” said Fareed Curmally, an Indian pianist and conductor who traveled to Bucharest for two weeks of concerts and purchased a CD to bring home. “And the standard of music is very high; I’m enjoying it.” The festival, which started in 1958 and is held every other year, has grown larger and more attractive in recent years as the country has opened to tourism and foreign investment.
Muve Music’s 2M subscribers: Music to Cricket’s ears The carrier’s unique service plan, which offers unlimited music downloads for prepaid devices, has led to renewed growth for Cricket. Muve Music offers unlimited downloads. (Credit: Cricket) Over two million subscribers tune into Cricket Wireless’ unlimited Muve Music download service, the company said Thursday, claiming that this makes Muve the country’s most popular on-demand subscription service. Related stories: Hands on with Muve Music Muve (pronounced “move”), which is automatically bundled into the carrier’s rate plan for Android phones , lets customers download as many songs and ringtones as they can store, provided they keep paying their monthly phone bill. In addition to doubling its user base from 1.1 million at the end of 2012, Cricket also says active listeners play music longer than they did last year, to the tune of about 30 hours per month. A Cricket spokesperson told CNET that since its launch in 2011, the Muve Music service has accounted for Cricket’s growth, particularly in converting customers from users of simple phones to owners of pricier Android phones and data plans. With a library of 15 million browsable and searchable songs, Muve Music makes a wide range of popular tracks available, in addition to more niche genres. This is important to Cricket’s core user base, which skews toward the youth demographic. So is the addition of popular, high-end smartphones to Cricket’s prepaid lineup, like the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Apple iPhone 5 . Tags: