Allan Kozinn has a thoughtful little piece musing about the names of classical ensembles.
Would They Sound as Sweet by Other Names?
(Allan Kozinn, New York Times, 5/11/2010)
Julliard, you see, has a new period instrument group called Julliard415. Kozinn explains:
...recognized 415 as an allusion to Baroque pitch. (The note A is believed to have been tuned, on average, to something closer to 415 cycles per second than to today’s standard, 440 cycles; the letter A is highlighted in the Juilliard415 logo as a clue.)
Ah, yes. The old typographical/stylistic-design element ploy. So it's really
eh? Or something like that. A little forced, but not bad.
Indeed, Kozinn likes it (as a name) far better than that of another Julliard ensemble:
Ensemble ACJW, on the other hand, is a terrible name. When the riddle of its initials is solved, it is about the corporate sponsorship of an educational program: a worthy cause, but something concertgoers find mildly interesting at best. I am all for arts education, and the support of it, but even having heard and written about several ACJW programs, I cannot remember those initials or what they stand for without looking them up.
Yeah, I'd have to agree with that, too; this is a pretty good assessment.
The article then goes into a mildly lengthy exploration of other music entities' names, including this helpful tidbit:
Pop musicians have always had a healthy regard for names. They understand that a name is an opportunity to create an image and that it makes sense for that image to convey something about their intentions.
Fair enough, I suppose, although Beethoven did a pretty good job at establishing himself as a brand.
Gosh! But that's not how you spell "beetles"!
with a spelling tweak to make a pun on beat.
Ladies and Gentlemen:
The New York Times.