Seattle Symphony Chooses Microsoft Windows Media to Bring Symphonic Music To New Audiences

At Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center, Visitors Can Explore

Symphonic Music Through Hands-On Interactive Digital Media Exhibits



Apr 11, 2001, 01:00 ET from Microsoft Corp.

    SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Seattle Symphony and
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced the opening day of an
 interactive learning center that uses Microsoft(R) Windows Media(TM)
 Technologies to help visitors explore and learn about symphonic music through
 a broad range of hands-on exhibits. Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music
 Discovery Center, which opens to the public on April 17, will serve as a hub
 for the Symphony's education and community programs. Soundbridge combines the
 Symphony's music and educational resources with Microsoft's technology and
 corporate support to create a unique educational experience. Its mission is to
 inspire and nurture a love of symphonic music through active participation,
 exploration and creation.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     Designed for people of all ages and levels of musical experience,
 Soundbridge uses Microsoft technologies to bring the orchestra and symphonic
 music to life through playful, yet powerful, hands-on kiosks and interactive
 exhibits. The discovery center is located on the street level of Benaroya Hall
 at Second Avenue and Union Street in downtown Seattle.
     "This is a thrilling day for Seattle Symphony as we embark on a new and
 innovative outreach for symphonic music," said Deborah R. Card, executive
 director of Seattle Symphony. "We are grateful to Microsoft and our technology
 and exhibit partners for enabling us to extend the depth and reach necessary
 to make this a truly interactive educational experience."
     Soundbridge represents the final build-out of Benaroya Hall and the
 Symphony's first efforts to reach audiences with digital media technology in
 this unique way. Microsoft's involvement began with individual employees
 donating their personal time to help plan and oversee the project and included
 software contributions from Microsoft Community Affairs.
     "Soundbridge shows what can happen when talented people put technology to
 work in the service of great music," said Bob Herbold, executive vice
 president of Microsoft and a Seattle Symphony board member. "These interactive
 exhibits, with their crystal-clear audio and video displays, will bring new
 fans to symphonic music and give current fans a deeper understanding of the
 music-making process."
     The 2,000-square-foot Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center
 consists of a workshop and performance space and an exhibit space that uses
 technology to encourage individual inquiry. Soundbridge visitors, either
 independently or as a group, can explore exhibits to increase music
 skill-building techniques and expand their understanding of the symphonic
 repertoire and musical terms. The workshop and performance space will be used
 for music classes, including Musikgarten(R) Early Childhood Music Education
 classes, workshops, musical storytelling sessions, lectures, demonstrations
 and informal student group recitals. Because all content aligns with the
 Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Arts Education,
 Soundbridge will also serve as a resource center for classroom teachers.
     The exhibit space offers a variety of kiosks and listening posts.
 Interactive exhibits use touch-screen displays and high-quality streaming
 media to make hundreds of hours of symphonic music and videos available to
 visitors. Attendees can experience the thrill of conducting Seattle Symphony
 in front of a wraparound screen, delve into the histories and characteristics
 of the various orchestral instruments, and hear conductors and musicians talk
 about their work. A five-station listening bar features more than
 500 symphonic recordings, including music from Seattle Symphony's current and
 upcoming seasons.
     The interactive exhibits are built entirely on Microsoft technologies,
 including Windows Media streaming technology, Internet Explorer and Windows(R)
 2000 Server. Streaming media makes it possible for Soundbridge to deliver
 high-quality audio on demand from a central server to the kiosks and listening
 posts. Because of the advanced compression Windows Media provides, the
 Symphony can store thousands of hours of CD-quality music and deliver it
 easily over its internal network.
     The technology behind the Soundbridge experience also was designed with an
 eye toward possible expansion onto the Internet. Plans about this phase of the
 project will be announced as they develop. The same infrastructure that powers
 the on-site exhibits can accommodate a variety of Internet distribution
 options, including members-only services, free public content and digital
 commerce. Other technology-related companies involved in the project include
 Accenture, Corbis Corp., Electric Lightwave Inc., Elumens Corp., Loudeye
 Technologies, MagicHour Films Inc. and Rolling Orange Inc. Soundbridge was
 designed by Lehrman Cameron Studio, Seattle. Exhibit partners include Mills
 Music, Yamaha Corp. and Selmer Corp., which are providing Soundbridge with
 musical equipment for the Learning Center, Sherman Clay and The Good Guys
 Inc!.
     Soundbridge will be open six days a week, Tuesday through
 Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Daily admission for
 individual visitors will be $7 for adults and $5 for children
 (children 3 years of age and under will be admitted free). Annual memberships,
 entitling the cardholder to unlimited visits, are available at $20 for
 individuals, $40 for families (all members of one household), $50 for schools
 (classes within a member school) and $100 for corporations.
     Currently, Seattle Symphony has raised over $4 million of its
 $6.4 million goal for Soundbridge construction and for the creation of an
 endowment fund that will provide continued support for its operation.
 
     About Seattle Symphony
     Seattle Symphony was founded in 1903 and is the oldest and largest
 cultural institution in the Pacific Northwest. Recognized for its daring
 programming and its tradition of performing music by 20th-century composers
 under the leadership of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the Symphony is one of the
 world's most-recorded orchestras, represented on more than 75 compact discs.
 More information about Seattle Symphony can be found at
 http://www.seattlesymphony.org/ .
     Benaroya Hall, home of Seattle Symphony, is located in downtown Seattle
 between Second and Third avenues and Union and University streets. The
 2,500-seat S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and the 540-seat Illsley Ball
 Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall are easily accessible by public
 transportation. A 430-space parking garage, accessible from Second Avenue, is
 housed within Benaroya Hall.
 
     About Windows Media
     Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched
 audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers,
 software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry's only
 integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable
 streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies
 includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for
 servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media
 Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player,
 available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More
 information about Windows Media can be found at
 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services
 and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company
 offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people
 through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
 
     NOTE:  Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered
 trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other
 countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
 
 

SOURCE Microsoft Corp.
    SEATTLE and REDMOND, Wash., April 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Seattle Symphony and
 Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) today announced the opening day of an
 interactive learning center that uses Microsoft(R) Windows Media(TM)
 Technologies to help visitors explore and learn about symphonic music through
 a broad range of hands-on exhibits. Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music
 Discovery Center, which opens to the public on April 17, will serve as a hub
 for the Symphony's education and community programs. Soundbridge combines the
 Symphony's music and educational resources with Microsoft's technology and
 corporate support to create a unique educational experience. Its mission is to
 inspire and nurture a love of symphonic music through active participation,
 exploration and creation.
     (Photo:  NewsCom:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000822/MSFTLOGO )
     Designed for people of all ages and levels of musical experience,
 Soundbridge uses Microsoft technologies to bring the orchestra and symphonic
 music to life through playful, yet powerful, hands-on kiosks and interactive
 exhibits. The discovery center is located on the street level of Benaroya Hall
 at Second Avenue and Union Street in downtown Seattle.
     "This is a thrilling day for Seattle Symphony as we embark on a new and
 innovative outreach for symphonic music," said Deborah R. Card, executive
 director of Seattle Symphony. "We are grateful to Microsoft and our technology
 and exhibit partners for enabling us to extend the depth and reach necessary
 to make this a truly interactive educational experience."
     Soundbridge represents the final build-out of Benaroya Hall and the
 Symphony's first efforts to reach audiences with digital media technology in
 this unique way. Microsoft's involvement began with individual employees
 donating their personal time to help plan and oversee the project and included
 software contributions from Microsoft Community Affairs.
     "Soundbridge shows what can happen when talented people put technology to
 work in the service of great music," said Bob Herbold, executive vice
 president of Microsoft and a Seattle Symphony board member. "These interactive
 exhibits, with their crystal-clear audio and video displays, will bring new
 fans to symphonic music and give current fans a deeper understanding of the
 music-making process."
     The 2,000-square-foot Soundbridge Seattle Symphony Music Discovery Center
 consists of a workshop and performance space and an exhibit space that uses
 technology to encourage individual inquiry. Soundbridge visitors, either
 independently or as a group, can explore exhibits to increase music
 skill-building techniques and expand their understanding of the symphonic
 repertoire and musical terms. The workshop and performance space will be used
 for music classes, including Musikgarten(R) Early Childhood Music Education
 classes, workshops, musical storytelling sessions, lectures, demonstrations
 and informal student group recitals. Because all content aligns with the
 Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Arts Education,
 Soundbridge will also serve as a resource center for classroom teachers.
     The exhibit space offers a variety of kiosks and listening posts.
 Interactive exhibits use touch-screen displays and high-quality streaming
 media to make hundreds of hours of symphonic music and videos available to
 visitors. Attendees can experience the thrill of conducting Seattle Symphony
 in front of a wraparound screen, delve into the histories and characteristics
 of the various orchestral instruments, and hear conductors and musicians talk
 about their work. A five-station listening bar features more than
 500 symphonic recordings, including music from Seattle Symphony's current and
 upcoming seasons.
     The interactive exhibits are built entirely on Microsoft technologies,
 including Windows Media streaming technology, Internet Explorer and Windows(R)
 2000 Server. Streaming media makes it possible for Soundbridge to deliver
 high-quality audio on demand from a central server to the kiosks and listening
 posts. Because of the advanced compression Windows Media provides, the
 Symphony can store thousands of hours of CD-quality music and deliver it
 easily over its internal network.
     The technology behind the Soundbridge experience also was designed with an
 eye toward possible expansion onto the Internet. Plans about this phase of the
 project will be announced as they develop. The same infrastructure that powers
 the on-site exhibits can accommodate a variety of Internet distribution
 options, including members-only services, free public content and digital
 commerce. Other technology-related companies involved in the project include
 Accenture, Corbis Corp., Electric Lightwave Inc., Elumens Corp., Loudeye
 Technologies, MagicHour Films Inc. and Rolling Orange Inc. Soundbridge was
 designed by Lehrman Cameron Studio, Seattle. Exhibit partners include Mills
 Music, Yamaha Corp. and Selmer Corp., which are providing Soundbridge with
 musical equipment for the Learning Center, Sherman Clay and The Good Guys
 Inc!.
     Soundbridge will be open six days a week, Tuesday through
 Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and closed on Mondays. Daily admission for
 individual visitors will be $7 for adults and $5 for children
 (children 3 years of age and under will be admitted free). Annual memberships,
 entitling the cardholder to unlimited visits, are available at $20 for
 individuals, $40 for families (all members of one household), $50 for schools
 (classes within a member school) and $100 for corporations.
     Currently, Seattle Symphony has raised over $4 million of its
 $6.4 million goal for Soundbridge construction and for the creation of an
 endowment fund that will provide continued support for its operation.
 
     About Seattle Symphony
     Seattle Symphony was founded in 1903 and is the oldest and largest
 cultural institution in the Pacific Northwest. Recognized for its daring
 programming and its tradition of performing music by 20th-century composers
 under the leadership of Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the Symphony is one of the
 world's most-recorded orchestras, represented on more than 75 compact discs.
 More information about Seattle Symphony can be found at
 http://www.seattlesymphony.org/ .
     Benaroya Hall, home of Seattle Symphony, is located in downtown Seattle
 between Second and Third avenues and Union and University streets. The
 2,500-seat S. Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium and the 540-seat Illsley Ball
 Nordstrom Recital Hall in Benaroya Hall are easily accessible by public
 transportation. A 430-space parking garage, accessible from Second Avenue, is
 housed within Benaroya Hall.
 
     About Windows Media
     Windows Media is the leading digital media platform, providing unmatched
 audio and video quality to consumers, content providers, solution providers,
 software developers and corporations. Windows Media offers the industry's only
 integrated rights-management solution and the most scalable and reliable
 streaming technology tested by independent labs. Windows Media Technologies
 includes Windows Media Player for consumers, Windows Media Services for
 servers, Windows Media Tools for content creation, and the Windows Media
 Software Development Kit (SDK) for software developers. Windows Media Player,
 available in 26 languages, is the fastest-growing media player. More
 information about Windows Media can be found at
 http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmedia/ .
 
     About Microsoft
     Founded in 1975, Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services
 and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company
 offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people
 through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.
 
     NOTE:  Microsoft, Windows Media and Windows are either registered
 trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other
 countries.
     The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the
 trademarks of their respective owners.
 
 SOURCE  Microsoft Corp.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.microsoft.com