Beyond belief: Italian party leader cracks jokes about Germanwings crash
Beppo Grillo, the 5* movement leader has crossed all bounds of bad taste by repeatedly comparing his prime minister to the co-pilot on the crashed plane. This insensate comedian makes Berlusconi look decent. Poor Italy. Report here.
Death of a Swedish legend who played piano every day
Tomas Tranströmer, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Literature, died today at the age of 83. His poems, translated into 60 languages, have been set to music by some of Sweden’s foremost composers. A passionate pianist, Tomas Tranströmer had to relearn how to play after a stroke in 1990 left him paralysed down his right […]
Reports: Putin gives Gergiev a Pacific opera house
Russian media are reporting that the Primorsky Opera and Ballet Theatre, opened in October 2013, is to be merged with the Mariinsky Theatre. The decision is said to have been taken personally by President Vladimir Putin. The Mariinsky director, Valery Gergiev, intends to use the Primorsky as his company’s showcase in Asia and the Pacific.
Opera conductor admits making indecent images of children
The music director of an opera company in the west of England has pleaded guilty in Torquay to nine charges of making indecent images of children and a tenth of breaching the terms of his Sexual Offences Prevention Order, imposed for previous offences in 2006. Jonathan Watts, 56, was music director of Devon Opera. A chorusmaster and […]
Vienna bug: Elektra and Parsifal are hit
Anne Schwanewilms has pulled out of Sunday’s Elektra premiere. She is replaced as Chrysothemis by Ricarda Merbeth. Peter Schneider is sick and cannot conduct Parsifal next week. Adam Fischer jumps in.
Crooked violin dealer escapes jail
A Connecticut instrument specialist has talked himself out of eight years behind bars by agreeing to repay $379,000 to customers he had robbed. Charles Magby pleaded guilty to five counts of first-degree larceny. Musicians would leave their instruments with Magby for repair, restoration, assessment and, sometimes, sale. When elderly people came back for their violin or cello, […]
Shock result: Carbon-fibre violin wins 2015 German instruments prize
Eat your heart out, Antonio. This little beauty from Westphalia has won the Deutscher Musikinstrumentenpreis 2015. It’s the first time a non-wood stringed instrument has been entered. The ‘Design Line’ carbon violin is made by Werther, of Nordrhein-Westfalen.
Music world unites in timeless grief
A Philadelphia reader has shared this comment on a New York Times report on the Germanwings disaster: Submitted by E.Dougherty Philadelphia, PA Attended a remarkable recital here in Philadelphia on Tuesday evening by the bass-baritone Eric Owens that featured Schubert’s Fahrt zum Hades, and Gruppe aus dem Tartarus, and the almost awkward sight (until explained) […]
Naxos attacks ‘reckless and irresponsible’ US union
In a swift response to AFM leader Ray Hair’s concerns about the classical label’s streaming deal with Pandora, the Naxos founder Klaus Heymann has circulated the following rebuttal: Since its foundation more than 25 years ago the mission of Naxos has been to make classical music accessible and affordable. More than any other record company, […]
Maestro stays: Dude renews in LA, ruling out Berlin
Gustavo Dudamel has committed himself to the Los Angeles Philharmonic for a further three years, taking him to 2022 and sending a clear signal to Berlin (as Yannick Nézet-Seguin has done) that he’s not interested in the once-glittering prize. Dude has a difficult divorce on his hands and may need to stay put for personal […]
US union warns Naxos over streaming
Ray Hair, president of the American Federation of Musicians, argues in a Billboard bulletin that the licensing deal between record label Naxos and the streaming service Pandora is unfair to artists. ‘This is just the latest example of exploitation toward artists and musicians that Congress and AFM seek to prevent,’ he writes. Read his full argument below. […]