Hot new interview: Christian Thielemann talks about Bayreuth and Berlin
He’s not happy with the media coverage. All things are bright and beautiful on the hill. As for the Berlin Philharmonic, ‘I am pleased when an orchestra finds someone that the majority can support.’ Watch here.
International quartet mourns death of viola, aged 53
Friedemann Weigle, viola player of the Artemis Quartet and professor at the Hanns Eisler School of Music, Berlin, died at the weekend after a long illness. A founder member of the Petersen Quartet, he joined the Artemis in 2007. Our condolences to family and colleagues. The Quartet have issued this statement: For 30 years, Friedemann Weigle […]
Tchaikovsky backlash: A judge explains
Peter Donohoe (2nd right), a member of the piano jury, has written the following analysis for Slipped Disc: With the greatest respect to and for Boris Berezovsky, both as a musician and as a generous and friendly personality, if any of the non-Russian jury members described Lucas Debargue as unprofessional, it most certainly was not me. How […]
Met ex-chairman dies
James Marcus, a Goldman Sachs banker who became managing director of the Metropolitan Opera in 1976 and chairman ten years later, has died at 85. A critic of Peter Gelb’s he called the 2009 Tosca ‘the worst production I’ve seen in my life.’ The following year he made a demonstrative $10 million gift to Juilliard, […]
The world’s oldest active harpsichord?
The Swiss-based Chilean virtuoso Catalina Vicens has run a successful crowdfunding campaign to enable her to release a recording on a 16th-harpsichord at the National Music Museum, in Vermillion, South Dakota. The instrument is claimed to be the oldest of its kind still in play. But is it? Harpsi-friends, help us out, please. Meantime, enjoy Catalina.
Hitler’s shadow falls again over Wagner’s Wahnfried
The composer’s mansion at Bayreuth was shut five years ago for refurbishment. It was due to reopen for the 2013 bicentennial festival but that date came and went, as costs mounted to 20 million Euros. The latest inauguration deadline is July 26 this month, but the town of Bayreuth has announced legal action against the museum […]
A piano solo by a Tunisia beach survivor
The Manchester pianist David Schofield was among the holidaymakers at Sousse when an Islamist gunman began his deadly assault on the resort. David writes: On Friday 26th June, I was in Tunisia staying at the Royal Kenz hotel with my girlfriend. We were sunbathing by the pool at our hotel (about 200 metres from the […]
A vital London cellist has died
He was principal cello with Pierre Boulez at the BBC Symphony Orchestra and with Neville Marriner at the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, flitting from one style to the other without turning a hair. He also played on the Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album. Denis Vigay, one of London’s most enterprising and influential cellists, […]
Lucas Debargue: An exclusive interview
Very few western journalists were invited to the 15th Tchaikovsky Competition, a symptom of troubled times. Among those who got in was the Spectator’s Russian-speaking ballet critic, Ismene Brown. Ismene, a terrific journalist, made a beeline for the brilliant Lucas Debargue and discovered that he spoke English – self-taught, of course, like playing the piano. He […]
Azerbaijan bans international opera singer
The Azerbaijan foreign ministry has declared the Russian soprano Ljuba Kazarnovskaya an ‘undesirable person’. Her offence, apparently, is that she teaches in the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. Ljuba, who has sung at the Met and recorded for DG, is the 300th in a list of personalities banned by the Azeris for territorial reasons. The most famous is […]