Is this a good time to abuse Jews?
In the new issue of Standpoint magazine, I have written a short essay on the aftermath and implications of the John Galliano imbroglio at Christian Dior. Much ink has been spilled on the subject. I have tried to provide cultural context. It is my view, expressed elsewhere, that a floodgate has been opened. Anti-semitism has […]
Brazil – latest on the musician sackings
I have received an email from Deborah Cheyne, a viola player in the OSB and president of the Sindicato dos Músicos Profissionais do Rio de Janeiro, clarifying the latest situation. She was writing also on behalf of Luzer Machtyngier, president of the OSB musicians. Here’s what Deborah has to say: On Monday, we had a final round […]
Seriously, isn't it time we lightened up?
In the current issue of The Strad, I give encouragement to young recitalists who face half-empty halls, scattered with the elderly and disinterested (and that’s just their families). Music has never shirked engagement with popular culture and, since stand-up is now one of the busiest draws at the box office, why shouldn’t a good string […]
Breaking: Police arrest major violin dealer
Read all about it in The Strad. Right here. And more here in German. Rumours have been swirling for months and we have been unable to report them without hard evidence. here’s some background from Der Spiegel (in English) The charges are fraud and misappropriation.
The Arts Council – an orchestral condemnation
Late yesterday, I received the following analysis of funding cuts from a distinguished and successful orchestral manager who has asked to remain anonymous. His statistics are deadly accurate and mortally revealing. The question he puts is simple: if the ACE, contrary to its assertions, has merely spread equal misery across all orchestras – who needs […]
A vote of confidence?
One of the most irritating responses to the Arts Council’s grant allocations has come from company chiefs like the South Bank’s Jude Kelly (in the Guardian today) who describe their diminished cut or slight increase as ‘a vote of confidence’ in the work they are doing. A vote for what, and by whom? Jude ought […]
Very good news from Chicago
Riccardo Muti’s back – well ahead of schedule and on top of his game. He tells Andrew Patner in the Sun-Times that seven weeks was quite long enough to get over heart surgery and a broken jaw. He has been left with a pronounced sibilance in his speech, but has been assured that it will fade […]
News just in: 44 musicians sacked in Rio
The Brazilian Symphony Orchestra has dismissed 44 players for ‘insubordination’, according to representatives of the musicians who have contacted me by email. See here for details. The orchestra is now officially a war zone. Foreigners might be well advised to stay away.
More tales from Arts Council's cutting floor
– London Review of Books did not apply for renewed funding after being warned it would not get. – Fellow-publishers were amazed at £40,000 for ‘not-for-profit’ Faber and Faber. – Poetry Book Society, which manages the T S Eliot prize, was scrapped altogether. ‘I’ve not idea what they’re trying to tell us,’ said PBS chief […]
First film by Covent Garden's new opera boss
Ummentioned in his acclamation last week as the new head of London’s Royal Opera, Kasper Holten’s first film opens next week in Copenhagen. Titled ‘Juan’ and based on Mozart’s Don Giovanni, it opens with a rather fetching man in a hot shower (rear view) and seems to treat the subject with serious intent. Here are […]
Stupidest comment so far on Arts Council cuts
Not all of my analysis during this hectic day has been pinpoint accurate, and I have had to adjust some of the earlier posts according to information that has rushed in later. Such are the risk one takes when reporting at the speed of light. The overall picture, however, is as I described it: the […]