Unhappy British baritone cancels Met
The troubles of Simon Keenlyside continue. Ordered last December to observe ‘complete vocal rest’, he had hoped to return in the new season. Today, however, he pulled out of Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in October and November. George Gagnidze and Željko Lučić will share the title role. We wish Simon a […]
Disgraceful airline loses a double-bass
Robert Black, a member of the Bang on a Can All-Stars, loaded his double-bass onto a flight from Fortaleza, Brazil, to New York. That was a week ago. Since then there has been no sign of the instrument and no help from the airline, TAM, which is the largest in Brazil. Here’s the story in Robert’s […]
Disaster: Ex-Met chief quits English National Opera
We hear that Sarah Billinghurst, former artistic manager of the Metropolitan Opera, has resigned from the board of disintegrating English National Opera. Sarah was brought in by John Berry to support his vision of international co-productions and superior casting. She has a Rolodex of contacts unequalled in the opera world. She also has a very […]
Swiss conductor has died
Jean-Jacques Rapin, former conductor of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and head ot the town conservatoire, has died at 82. He founded the Ernest Ansermet Society and wrote books about music and, surprisingly, national defence.
John Williams cancels Tanglewood
The film composer and conductor has pulled out of the festival with back pain. JW is 83. We wish him better. Keith Lockhart takes over the evening. Last year, Williams pulled a crowd of 18,000.
Jonas Kaufmann declares war on Decca
The tenor, annoyed about a spoiler remix put out by his former label, is telling fans on his Facebook page to wait for the new one on Sony. Summer storm in a hair-dryer? No, he feels caught between forces beyond his power. Here’s the message: Dear Friends, Please do not let yourselves be deceived […]
Can you mix Tchaikovsky into a Brahms quintet?
It’s one of the biggest no-nos in classical music. Brahms represents form at its purest, Tchaikovsky represents raw emotion. They are polar opposites. To mix one into the other is anathema, right? Last night at the Bristol Proms, Daniel Hope and friends played alterante movements of Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir de Florence and Brahms’ String Quintet No. 2 […]
Exclusive: Cleveland looks to Seattle for next clarinet
The Cleveland Orchestra has to fill the principal clarinet seat, left vacant by Franklin Cohen’s retirement. From the auditions, Ben Lulich of the Seattle Symphony emerged in first place. Ben will play next season as Acting Principal, while on leave from Seattle. He can be heard in Europe when the Cleveland comes on tour in October.
The toughest interview of my life
A couple of years ago, as a favour to a friend, I attempted to conduct a rare interview with the Greek composer Vangelis, famed for the Chariots of Fire score. I should have known better. Everyone in the music biz has a Vangelis story and none of them is filled with sweetness and light. Early success can […]
Do you listen with eyes shut?
The music audience is divided between those who do and those who don’t. Myself, I’m an eyes-wide-open man, fascinated by body language as much as by musical expression. Last night at the Bristol Proms, we heard Beethoven Opus 131 played in the dark. Not totally dark. There were some clever shafts of occasional light from […]