Virtual Verdi; Miami's New World Symphony Is Pioneering the Use of Internet2 for Performances across Continents
Campo-Flores, Arian, Newsweek
Byline: Arian Campo-Flores
As he prepared for a high-stakes audition, bass player Matthew Way yearned for some guidance. But his old teacher Timothy Cobb, of the Metropolitan Opera, was in New York. And Way was 1,300 miles south, at the New World Symphony (NWS) in Miami Beach. Luckily for him, technology came to the rescue. One day in February, NWS brought Way and Cobb together with a next-generation videoconference, using Internet2--an advanced research network 1,000 times faster than regular broadband. With that speed and bandwidth, Way and Cobb could interact in real time, with DVD-quality video and sound that allowed them to pick up the subtlest musical nuances. Before an array of tech gear, Way performed a solo from Verdi's "Otello." Cobb, who was at Columbia University in Manhattan, appeared on a plasma TV on the wall. "Make it a little sadder," said Cobb, who demonstrated by playing a snippet on his own bass. Way tried again. "Much better," said Cobb.
So it goes at NWS, where high-tech wizardry meets classical music. An orchestral academy that's home to about 90 postgraduate fellows like Way, NWS has pioneered the use of Internet2 for musical learning and performance across continents. In 2000, NWS became the first orchestral institution to join the Internet2 consortium--a group of more than 300 universities, government agencies and corporations. …