Max Hole is right about the Royal Festival Hall: Tear it down
For twenty-five years, in all forms of media, I have argued that London’s Royal Festival Hall is not fit for purpose as a classical venue. Over that period some £200 million of public money have been pumped into futile upgrades. The hall operators are presently asking for more. Sometimes I felt like a voice in […]
What’s wrong with this classical audience?
It’s Paris, 1968, and they are lots of young women in the audience. Whatever became of the girls in the orchestra stalls? Click the word ‘Post’ if video does not pop up. Post by Meloclassic.
Austrian Cross for Welsh opera boss
A richly deserved award for David Pountney, marking ten years as adventurous director of the Bregenz Festival. Press release: Welsh National Opera’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director, David Pountney, has been awarded the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, First Class. He was presented the award by the President of the Republic […]
Breaking: US chamber orchestra shuts down
Lawrence Johnson has news of the closure of Boston’s Discovery Ensemble. Founded in 2008 by the young British conductor Courtney Lewis and a musicologist, David St George, it aimed to draw high school and university students into playing in a classical orchestra. Unfortunately, there weren’t enough donors around to sustain it. And Courtney’s gone on […]
Sick list: Hilary Hahn is out for the summer
The violinist joins an ever-lengthening line of stress and fracture victims. Her issue? An inflamed muscle. Her agents have told festivals it will keep her out for six weeks.
Where’s Gustavo? Chinese go Caracas as President Xi faces mangled anthem
A state visit by the Chinese president is something that brings out the best in most countries. Not Venezuela, apparently. President Xi Jinping was greeted by a rendering of the Chinese national anthem that, by the look on his face, made him want to turn back ad fly home. Just watch. As millions are doing […]
Dutch cellist wins festival prize
This might not normally make the news but on a national day of mourning in the Netherlands it is warming to report that Harriet Krijgh has been awarded the soloists prize at the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival. Previous winners include Daniel Hope and Julia Fischer. Go, Harriet!
Supreme Lieder accompanist wins Hugo Wolf Medal
It comes with a cheque for 30,000 Euros and it’s being awarded to Graham Johnson, the most dedicated follower of singers in Lieder – and sometimes leader of singers in Wolf. Graham., 62, came to London at 17 from the former Rhodesia, accompanied Peter Pears’s masterclasses at Aldeburgh and founded The Songmakers Almanac. He has […]
Placido Domingo mourns Lorin Maazel
The singer has just issued this statement: I am deeply saddened by the death of Lorin Maazel, one of the most significant conductors of his generation. His brilliant mind, which allowed him to conduct a vast repertoire, was known to everyone in the world of classical music, and he was as much […]
Bad label news: Warner relaunch with wealthy agent’s wife
We are following with considerable sympathy the attempt by Warner Classics to replace EMI Classics – which it took over – at the heart of a diminished recording industry. That sympathy has been slightly dented by the arrival of the first batch of midsummer releases. It contains a set of Bach cello suites, always cause […]
Frankfurt Oper boss gets renewed for the decade
Frankfurt is so pleased with its intendant Bernd Loebe it has extended his contract to summer 2023. He has been in the job since 2002. Season subscriptions are up by 12,000 and the average ticket sales are running at 85 percent. Funny, he never looks all that happy.