Bare-chest Hvorostovsky issues challenge to Met chair Ann Ziff
The Russian bass-baritone faced the ice-bucket with his ‘good friend’ the Met’s chair in mind. Watch here. What price Ann Ziff?
Scientist: ‘It’s like we replaced the brain’s normal conductor with Muti’
Not the normal scientific metaphor. In a paper on the use of electric current to boost brain memory, researchers at Northwestern University show that it it necessary to stimulate several different regions of the brain in order to achieve the desired effect. They go on to say: The electrical stimulation is like giving the brain […]
Ex-Chetham’s teacher jailed for eight months for child abuse
Nicholas Smith, a former head of chorus at Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester who pleaded guilty on Friday to sexual abuse of a teenaged girl, has received an eight-month sentence. Smith, 66, a conductor with a modest career, took advantage of a homesick girl who (the court heard) was being maltreated by other teachers. […]
Maestro on the beach
He’s back in Chicago September 18. UPDATE: We understand that the shirt was a gift many years ago from the Federazione Molfettesi d’America and that the church on the shirt is 12-13th century.
The Fright of Spring (do not try this at home)
You have never seen anything like the terrifying Bäckström Brothers doing the Rite in the raw. And once you’ve watched, it will haunt your dreams.
Principal viola drowns while trying to save his partner
John Lynch, associate principal viola of Ireland’s RTE national symphony orchestra, has drowned off the coast of Crete. He was on holiday with his partner, Kevin Devine, who got into difficulties in the sea. John leaped in to save him. Tragically, both died. John, 45, was previously a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. […]
Dance me to the end of … war
We’ve come across a wonderful project by Jaffa-born ballroom dancing champion Pierre Dulaine and Israeli dancer Miri Shaaf-Levi to ease tensions in the Holy Land by teaching kids from both sides of the divide to dance together. They’ve made a film about it. Coming your way soon. Amid the region’s poisoned prejudices and filthy politics, […]
Breaking: Susanna becomes Philharmonic conductor
Terrific news from Helsinki. Susanna Mälkki, one of the most brilliant new-music interpreters, has been nominated as chief conductor of the Helsinki Philharmonic from 2016. The city council is meeting today to approve the appointment. (UPDATE: It’s approved.) Susanna was formerly head of the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris. She succeeds John Storgårds at the Helsinki Phil. […]
Foreign Minister takes podium in orchestra open day
Frank-Walter Steinmeier threw open his foreign ministry yesterday to the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchester Berlin and 400 amateur musicians, aged seven to 82. They played through sections of Beethoven’s ninth with the helpful pros. At one stage, mounting the podium, it looked like the Foreign Minister was about to grab the baton from conductor Manuel Nawri […]
Julian Lloyd Webber announces his last recording
The cellist announced his retirement in April, following a neck injury. This will be his final full-length recording.
Something Rotten in the state of Mahler
Ever since it surfaced in the 1980s, Hans Rott’s symphony in E has been a headache for Mahler scholars. Rott was a classmate and, briefly, a roommate of Gustav Mahler’s in Vienna in the late 1870s. In 1880, aged 22, he wrote a symphony. Months later he was confined to a mental asylum with various […]