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Jul 19, 2024


Founded by John C. Freund in 1898 as a weekly newspaper covering drama, music and the arts, Musical America today (Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts and www.musicalamerica.com) is the meeting place for the entire performing arts industry.

From October 8, 1898 to June 24, 1899, Freund published 36 issues of Musical America. A hiatus of six years followed during which he martialed financial support. On November 18, 1905, the newspaper returned, this time devoted exclusively to music. Musical America was subsequently published as a weekly newspaper for nearly a quarter of a century.

In 1921, Freund published the first edition of the Guide, the forebear of the current International Directory of the Performing Arts. The Guide was organized by state, listing cities and their local newspapers, managers, hotels, and railroads, as well as music schools and festivals. But the Guide really grew out of the annual Special Fall Issue, which first appeared in October 1907 and included predictions from various managers on the coming season and upcoming musical activities in cities such as Boston, Chicago, Baltimore, and Philadelphia, features that still exist in the Directory today. When John Freund died in 1924, his business associate of many years, Milton Weil, carried on until 1926, when Musical America was sold to the Trade Publications Corporation. With new management, articles began to appear on dance, jazz, radio, and records; but the company went bankrupt in 1929, and John Majeski, former assistant treasurer to Milton Weil, bought Musical America. The Majeski era lasted about 30 years, until the magazine was sold to Theodate Johnson, a member of the advertising staff. Musical America has since changed hands several times (High Fidelity, Billboard, ABC, Primedia Information Inc. and Commonwealth Business Media) and existed in various incarnations (an insert, a stand-alone bimonthly magazine, incorporating Opus magazine). Its current format was begun in 1960, and the tradition of choosing a musician of the year was instituted at that time. Awards for Instrumentalist, Conductor, Composer, and Vocalist of the Year were first given in 1992; Ensemble of the Year in 1995.

Musical America International Directory of the Performing Arts

Musical America has been an industry standard for over a century. And, as a respected presence in the industry, the Directory has facilitated lasting and important relationships with leading performing arts professionals.

The annual print publication features over 14,000 detailed listings of worldwide arts organizations, which include key contact information such as name, address, phone, fax, Web site and E-mail addresses, budget category, type of event and seating capacity. In addition, through advertising, over 10,000 artists are indexed in the alphabetical and categorical indices. Categories include artist managers, orchestras, opera companies, concert series, festivals, competitions, music schools and departments, record companies, facilities, services and products and more.

The Directory also contains editorial material that includes reports on their artists and their accomplishments from a number of artist managers. Also included are feature articles that focus on issues facing the international performing arts industry, some of which have been Career-building in a Post-recording World, Presenting in the New Millennium, and Music in the 21st Century. Additional articles highlight the Year in Music, North America and International, and Jazz Now.

The Musician of the Year award was begun in 1960, with awards for Composer, Conductor, Instrumentalist, and Vocalist of the Year added in 1992; Ensemble of the Year in 1995. Our Musician of the Year award has become an eagerly anticipated industry event, culminating in a December awards ceremony.

"As soon as the Directory comes out, I immediately get bookings from symphonies."
-Robert Bonfiglio, harmonica virtuoso
Click here for a list of past Musical America awardees.


Now, with the launch of www.musicalamerica.com in December 1998, Musical America has returned to its newspaper roots. The site is divided into three sections, Industry News, Directory Articles, and Listings, and includes both subscriber-based and free areas. (see below for a list of subscriber and free areas.) The Industry News portion of the site, which is subscriber-access only, consists of breaking news stories, posted daily, Monday through Friday, by Editor Susan Elliott. There's no better way to keep your finger on the pulse of the international music industry, with articles on the latest breaking news, people in the news, competitions and awards, reviews and more. Among the major news stories that first appeared on MusicalAmerica.com, and were later picked up by such outlets as The New York Times and Billboard: the news that Simon Rattle-not Daniel Barenboim-would succeed Claudio Abbado as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic; Tower Records' "freeze-out" of the three major independent classical-label distributors; Stewart Warkow's departure from ICM; and more.

Some of the industry's best-known and admired correspondents contribute to the site. They are:

In Berlin: Paul Moor, contributor to Time magazine, The New York Times and High Fidelity.
In London: Keith Clarke, editor of Classical Music; former editor of Music & Musicians.
In Paris: David Stevens, longtime contributor to the International Herald Tribune.
In Moscow: George Loomis, musicologist and critic for the International Herald Tribune.
In Los Angeles: Alan Rich, music critic for LA Weekly; former critic for New York Magazine and Newsweek.
In Chicago: John von Rhein, music critic for The Chicago Tribune.

Editor Susan Elliott is a former critic for the New York Post and onetime managing editor of High Fidelity. She is a contributor to The New York Times and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, as well as editor of newmusicnow.org.

The Directory Articles section of the site is comprised of articles from the current annual issue, as well as previous issues. A great historical reference resource for articles on some of your favorite artists and musicians. This portion of the site is free to all visitors.

The Listings section of the site is comprised of the over 14,000 contacts and addresses listed in the print publication and includes hot links for all Web site and E-mail addresses. In addition, these 30+ databases may be easily searched in a multitude of ways: budget category, type of event, state, country, etc. The listings section of the site is updated on a quarterly basis. A non-subscriber may search the listings, but see only the first three listings. Anyone may purchase the listings as a downloadable ASCII file.

Named one of the 50 best Web sites by Chamber Music magazine. Called a "gem"…with regular reports covering classical music beats by Symphony magazine.

Free Areas on the Site

Calendar of Events
Career Center
Directory Articles
Industry Links
Press Releases
Limited Search in Listings area (artist search, artist manager search, listings search)

Subscriber-access Areas on the Site

Industry News (people in the news, reviews, competitions and awards)
Reader Comments
Full Search in Listings area (artist search, artist manager search, listings search)


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