2007-02-15

Brahms in the Limelight, 100 years (and a bit more) after his death

(Original post: 8/2/07)

On the cover of the Limelight magazine (a music|arts|entertainment monthly from ABC, Australia's public broadcaster) was printed:

BRAHMS
Nearly 100 years after his death
Why he remains so relevant to
modern audiences

Johannes Brahms died on 3 April 1897, so this issue of Limelight must have been published before April 1997. Right?

Wrong, if you look harder, you will see that this is the current (February 2007) issue!

A general magazine could be forgiven for this gaffe, though it is still hugely embarrassing, given that this is front cover material. For a specialist publication to f-up like this, I honestly can only say that it is hopeless. And to think that I, as a taxpayer, help fund its publication!

I noticed this error yesterday having a quick glance at the magazine at the local Borders bookstore. I was not sure which exact year Brahms died, but I was 100% sure that it couldn't be in the 20th century.

Here's the description of its contents on the ABS Online shop:

In the February issue of limelight, we look at Brahms and why, even 100 years after his death, his music is still relevant and loved today.

Someone must have noticed this horrible mistake after the magazine was printed, since on the magazine's website, the description has been changed to:

In the February issue of limelight, we look at Brahms and why, even more than 100 years after his death, his music is still relevant and loved today.

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(Updated: 15/2/07)

Just had the chance to have a quick look at the article. It started with something like this: On 3 April this year, Johannes Brahms would have been dead for 100 years ...

This article was written by a James McCarthy who, from my web search, have an impressive CV in the Australian film and music industry. Hard to understand why he would make such a silly mistake.

Even harder to understand was how come no one from Limelight noticed this error and corrected it, considering the long process from editing the article to writing tag lines for the cover, and the number of supposedly professionals involved.

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(Further update: 15/2/07)

Just noticed that this mistake was finally picked up by the Australian media. In the 15/2/07 "The Diary" column by Amanda Meade (who moniters what's happening in the print media), she wrote "Ten per cent free: The ABC's Limelight magazine is marking the centenary of the composer Brahms's death. He actually died 110 years ago."