Why Mozart’s hair is worth four times Beethoven’s
A lock of Wolfi’s fetched £35,000 this week at Sotheby’s. A snipping of Ludwig’s made just £8k. Scarcity value, presumably. What would people be prepared to pay for baldie Bruckner?
Munich orchestra manager is convicted of drug peddling
A former orchestra manager of the Bavarian State Opera has been found guilty of selling marijuana and ecstasy pills. He pleaded guilty and admitted to smoking up to 15 joints a day ‘but never at work’. He claimed to have bought the drugs from stagehands. The manager was dismissed from his job in November last year. […]
Pavarotti remembered, fondly after all these years
In 2002, the great tenor came to the town of Correggio, near his home in Modena, to reopen its Teatro Comunale Bonifacio Asioli. Luciano died five years later. Every year since, Corregio has awarded a Pavarotti d’Oro prize to perpetuate his memory. Among the laureates are Leo Nucci, José Carreras, Andrea Bocelli, Mirella Freni, Raina Kabaivanska, […]
Who’s running our classical social media?
The pianist Peter Donohoe has stepped in at very short notice for Louis Schwizgebel to play the Ravel G major concerto this weekend in Leeds. The marketing people got swiftly into gear. Here’s what happened next, in Peter’s own words: After a tweet by my management company, retweeted by orchestra, chorus, and venue, in which Ravel’s […]
Conductor cancels season to have baby
We’re delighted to report that the Mexican conductor Alondra de la Parra is cancelling her winter 2015/16 global engagements in order to have her first baby. Perfectly natural and unworthy of further comment except to wish Alondra all the best. Well, just one comment: Ever since Andris Nelsons broke the mould and took paternity leave around the […]
A serious place in the American dream
At last year’s League of American Orchestras conference in Seattle, they put on a sexist rapper to entertain the delegates, many of whom declared that this was just what they’d always wanted from a symphony orchestra. At this year’s gathering, the Cleveland Orchestra with Franz Welser-Most performed the following programs: 1 Strauss: Daphne 2 Beethoven: […]
Grammy-winning soloist cancels tour due to breast cancer
The classical guitarist Berta Rojas, vastly popular on Youtube and a Latin Grammy winner, has called off a European tour after receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. She writes: ‘Dear people, for health reasons I’ve had to cancel this week’s European tour. A few days ago I was diagnosed with breast cancer in an early stage, […]
American Idol finalist trials for US orchestras
The annual general meeting and ,lunch of the League of American Orchestras was sponsored by an artists agency. As part of the deal, one of the agency’s artists got to sing to us after the AGM business was done. The artist was Melinda Doolitle, who came third in 2007 American Idol. Simon Cowell said she […]
‘Let’s flood DC with orchestras’
A plan was announced today at the League of American Orchestras convention to saturate the nation’s capital for a week with orchestral activity. Organisers of the ‘immersive’ festival, known as Shift, have made a surprise selection of four ensembles to spearhead the assault. This is one fine day for North Carolina. Press release below. […]
I’m not that Milstein….
Message from the French pianist Nathalia Milstein: Dear M.Lebrecht, I have just seen your post about my prize at the Dublin International Piano Competition…. I have to let you know that there has been a huge misunderstanding; I have unfortunately no relationship of any kind with the great violinist, except the surname. I didn’t realize […]
A Daphne to die for
The one-act opera that Richard Strauss wrote after losing his Nazi state position and his exiled librettist in 1935 is more than a bit of a problem child. Based on classical myth and legend, it has two guys fancying a goddess who would rather be a tree. Or some such. Not much to engage heart […]