Bitter Suite

A Denver conductor and music professor leads an ensemble fight to protect the classics.

In the meantime, Golan and his allies want the rest of the nation to know about the cost of these laws that they say "are preventing the majority of the audiences of the world from hearing all this great music."

"It's like saying people can't go see a Monet or a Picasso because you're charging people a thousand dollars to see it," Golan says. A composer himself, he's also not worried about the impact lost royalties might have on his peers. "Creative inspiration comes from somewhere else, and if you happen to get paid for it, great."

"The focus of the case," Lee says, "is to voice the public's right to works in the public domain. Some of these acts were enacted with very little, if any, voice expressed by the public to see how the public's being harmed. We have to think about what kind of society we want in terms of how freely information can flow."

"We want to have variety," CSO's Betancourt says. "If we have to rent 'Peter and the Wolf,' that will be a very big issue. The cost would be almost impossible. Only big orchestras will be able to afford it; it will fade away. And it's a staple of music education all over the world."

"As a conductor, one of my primary missions is audience development, to help revive an art that one can argue is graying these days," Golan says. "Anything that hinders that has to be fought."

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