UK ballet chief quits, possibly for run on BBC
English National Ballet has announced that Caroline Thomson will step down next year as executive director after three highly successful years in the job. Caroline, a former deputy D-G of the BBC should have succeeded Mark Thompson in 2012 at the national broadcaster, but they’d never had a woman D-G and they weren’t about to […]
Whose birthday did we forget?
Yo Yo Ma is 60 today (warm brotherly greetings from Lang Lang). Vladimir Putin is 63 (warm greetings from V. Gergiev). Yundi Li is 34 (no tweets from Lang Lang). Yundi is presently judging the Chopin Competition in Warsaw.
Rare video: Leonard Bernstein presents Yo Yo Ma, aged 7, to President Kennedy
Those present on November 29, 1962 were, in addition to President and Mrs. Kennedy, former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, Leonard Bernstein, Marian Anderson, Van Cliburn, Robert Frost, Fredric March, Benny Goodman and Bob Newhart.
Vladimir Putin’s birthday picture
He’s 63 today. This is the image being circulated by musicians – and widely liked – on social media.
Philly heads for confusion as Kaiser climbs aboard
Just when everything seemed to be going so well. the Philadelphia Orchestra has hired Michael Kaiser as a consultant to help out with wage negotiations and future strategy. Kaiser’s record is mixed. He helped London’s Royal Opera House out of a deep pit of despond, leaving before the job was done, but the latter half […]
‘In the pantheon of composers, I stand nowhere’
The quote is from the admirably grounded Karl Jenkins in his new autobiography, Still with the Music (p. 223). This morning Karl, 71, became the first Welsh-born composer ever to receive a knighthood. Arise, Sir Karl.
Soprano announces double cast change at the Met
Angela Gheorghiu has announced she will be facing two different men from the ones she expected at the Met: Roberto Aronica is the new Mario for Angela’s Toscas at the Metropolitan Opera on October 29 and November 2, replacing Massimo Giordano. Also Zeljko Lucic will be Scarpia for both performances, replacing George Gagnidze, initially scheduled […]
It’s not cold yet in … Levoca
The 9th Unesco Indian summer festival opens this weekend in Slovakia. Details here.
Young educated Americans are ‘more likely’ than ever to dislike classical music
A study by two researchers at the University of Notre Dame has come up with some seriously bad findings. A sampling of 2,250 Americans were asked to rank 15 genres of music as liked, disliked, or ‘mixed feelings’. The replies were then compared to a similar survey from 1993. The key finding is this: Today’s highly […]
Riccardo Muti: ‘A conductor who moves more than is necessary … you have to boo’
From an interview with the Chicago Maroon, a student newspaper: Riccardo Muti: ‘In the last [several] years, we have become a visual society. So instead of listening to the music, we want to see conductors exercising on the podium, pianists that communicate with God while playing, violinists that try to impress the public with sexy […]
Maestro in agony dash to hospital 90 minutes before concert
It was a big Bruckner night in Linz on Sunday, but an hour and a half before the concert Dennis Russell Davies collapsed in pain and was rushed to hospital, where he underwent surgery that night. Davies, 70, had made an awkward turn in the podium and torn the patellar tendon behind his knee. He’s […]