Bench MARKS

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RLPO Launches into Cyberspace

The Internet virtual world Second Life offers gamers a chance to reinvent themselves, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra hopes to turn many into fans of classical music. In September, the RLPO performed live for a small audience of avatars in a virtual replica of Art Deco hall, establishing itself as the first major orchestra to do so.

Carter's 100th

To celebrate ELLIOTT CARTER'S 100th birthday this year, the PACIFICA QUARTET will perform the American composer's five string quartets presented by the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York on January 30. Events will include a pre-concert workshop by the quartet, a masterclass, a panel discussion with Carter, and more guest artists. The JUILLIARD STRING QUARTET will also pay homage to Carter by performing his String Quartet No. 2 during the 2007-08 season and celebrating his work at the Ravinia Festival.

KLR Plows Through Beethoven

In late September, the KALICHSTEINLAREDO-ROBINSON TRIO ran listeners in New York City through a daylong marathon of Beethoven's piano trios in three $10 concerts. The almost nine-hour event covered the bulk of Beethoven's creative life and concluded with "Archduke," which was written when the composer's deafness became severe. "To do this in the span of one day, following the trios chronologically is truly a unique experience KLR says in a statement.

Million-Dollar Promise

Violinist AARON ROSAND vowed to give the CURTIS INSTITUTE OF MUSIC $1.5 million to endow a violin-studies chair in his name. The large gift will come from the sale of Rosand's 1741 "Kochanski" Guarneri del Gesu violin. Rosand is a Curtis alumnus and has taught at the institution for 25 years.

Siphon a Symphony

Sentencing will be this month for Robert David Lee, 48, the ARKANSAS SYMPHONY'S former chief financial officer, who admittedly embezzled $160,000 by charging household items to the company credit card over four years. Prosecutors were pushing for 10 years in prison and $24,000 in restitution as of press time.

Not Poked

A jury found CARLA SHINNERS, a 63-year-old substitute teacher in Boulder, Colorado, innocent of child abuse after she allegedly poked a fifth-grader in the head with a violin bow for an improper bow hold.

Musical Chairs

Shortly after reading a poor review in a Prague newspaper, 71-year-old conductor ZDENEK MACAL quit the CZECH PHILHARMONIC. …