Yakima Symphony conductor Golan’s optimism grows over copyright case

Posted on: September 28, 2011

In Tuesday’s (9/27) San Francisco Classical Voice, Mark MacNamara writes, “Next month the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in the case of Golan v. Holder. The case was originally filed in 2001 as Golan v. Ashcroft. … This particular case is about whether the U.S. Constitution allows for copyright protection of foreign works to be restored to works that previously had been in the public domain. The lead plaintiff is Dr. Lawrence Golan, who was at the University of Denver when he first got drawn into the case in 2001, and who now heads the Yakima Symphony in Washington. He says he has become optimistic. ‘A couple of months ago I was thinking the odds were 50–50, because it depends on what the court decides to rule upon. If it were simply a matter of right and wrong, and common sense, then we would win, but if the court looks solely at constitutional technicalities then we may not. … At this point,’ in mid-September, ‘I would say the odds are about 70 percent in our favor.’ … At risk, for musicians, are first and foremost the works of composers in the former Soviet Union, such as Prokofiev and Shostakovich, whose music was composed during the Cold War when the U.S. did not recognize Soviet copyrights.” MacNamara speaks with orchestra administrators about how this would affect them, including the Association of California Symphony Orchestras’ Kris Sinclair, Florida Orchestra’s Michael Pastreich, Arkansas Symphony’s Christina Littlejohn, and Vermont Symphony’s Alan Jordan.

Posted September 28, 2011