Soundcloud ‘may close’ after heavy losses
The streaming service lost €39.14m ($44.19m) in 2014, according to auditors, on revenues of €17.35m. Over three years, the service has lost almost €75m. The black crows are gathering around the Berlin-based venture. Soundcloud says: ‘Over 18 million creators are using the platform, sharing well over 110 million tracks, and reaching 175 million monthly active listeners.’
France gets ‘complete unknown’ as culture minister
‘She doesn’t even have a wiki page,’ wailed Paris hacks when President Hollande today named Audrey Azoulay as the new minister of culture, replacing Fleur Pellerin. Azoulay, 43, is a backroom Elysee official, daughter of a close advisor to the King of Morocco. She has a degree in business studies from the University of Lancaster. […]
Burnt-out violinist: Don’t worry about me
We’ve had a message from David Wright, the former Minnesota Orchestra violinist who lost all his possessions last month in a car fire in Portland, Oregon. David would like to be left alone. Here’s what he writes: I am David Wright, the retired violinist and the “info-taint-meat” of the Jan 20 story about my car […]
German orchestra changes name
The celebrated NDR Symphony Orchestra – founded by the British occupying force and formerly conducted by Hans Schmidt-Isserstedt, Klaus Tennstedt and John Eliot Gardiner – is to be rebranded with it moves into Hamburg’s new concert hall next January. The new name is the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra (just trips off the tongue). The music director is Thomas Hengelbrock. […]
Tragedy: Principal bassoon is killed by train
Richard Chandler, associate principal bassoon of the Christchurch Symphony Orchestra in New Zealand was knocked off his bike and killed by a passing train as he rode along a footpath at a railway crosssing. Richard, 52, studied at the Guildhall in London and was an accomplished pianist with a busy teaching practice. Our thoughts are […]
What’s Yundi playing at now?
The former Chopin winner has been strutting his stuff on Chinese New Year – dressed in a Napoleonic gown and disappearing into disco heaven. Must be seen to be believed. (FF to 1:21:48 if the video does not start there of its own accord). Anyone recognise the cellist?
MPs: BBC’s Tony Hall ‘is accountable to no-one’
A brutal report by the House of Commons Culture, Media and Sport Committee describes the BBC’s director general Tony Hall as ‘effectively accountable to no-one’. ‘The director-general has a high level of power and a low level of accountability,’ said committee chair Jesse Norman. The report went on to attack ‘Orwellian’ over-management in an ‘arrogant and introspective’ culture. […]
How one budget airline makes you fly
Norwegian recently agreed to allow stringed instruments on board their aicraft. But they won’t let you store them in overhead lockers. This is how viola player Asbjørn Nørgaard of the Danish String Quartet was forced to accommodate his instrument during takeoff and landing. The Quartet’s caption: Asbjørn struggling to find space for his viola case between […]
Anna Netrebko in Paris hospital
The Russian soprano has confided on social media that she picked up a virus and checked herself overnight into hospital. She estimates several days of treatment and recovery. The Paris Opéra, describing her condition as an acute bronchitis, have replaced Anna for two or three performances of Trovatore with the Chinese soprano, Hui He, who is […]
Opera is teamwork. The Arts Council don’t get that.
ENO Music director Mark Wigglesworth has written a powerful piece in the Guardian today, explaining that innovation and collaboration are the twin keys to high performance in opera, something outsiders simply don’t get. He also shares some thoughts on the next artistic director (who will be his boss). As the search for a new artistic […]
Teen jumps in for injured concertmaster
Rising Seattle soloist Simone Porter will play the Barber Concerto in Cincinnati next week in place of concertmaster Timothy Lees, who’s suffering a stress injury, Janelle Gelfand reports. Simone, now 19, spent her teens commuting by air twice weekly to Los Angeles in order to study at the Colburn School. When I heard her there […]