It looks like 2012 is going to be a great year for free culture. Possibly my favorite development is that MusOpen has organized its planned symphony recordings for this January. In September, 2010, the free culture organization raised over $68,000 (several times their $11,000 goal) through a Kickstarter campaign, with the intent of commissioning a "internationally renowned orchestra" to perform the Beethoven, Brahms, Sibelius, and Tchaikovsky symphonies.
Now, of course, it's not too surprising that this took awhile to organize -- they shopped around to find an orchestra with the schedule and the will to do the performance, and they got a lot of input from users of the MusOpen site, but in the end, they've gotten the Prague Symphony Orchestra scheduled for several days this January (2012).
I think this is a terrific start to a year that shows a lot of promise for free culture projects!
The MusOpen site is a terrific resource for free culture music and a source you should consider for free software projects that need classic music performances that can be bundled with your software. In addition to indexing and storing recordings, the site also maintains a library of free PDF sheet music which could be use for other purposes such as creating MIDI track music in games. It's one of my top go-to sites for finding free-licensed music for projects.
Photo Credit: Jason Hollinger / CC By 3.0