Exclusive: record studio for sale – this time for real
When EMI floated the idea of selling Abbey Road last year, it was an attempt to test the market for state preservation. Still, there’s no denying that work has dried up in sound-proofed rooms – especially those large enough to hold a symphony orchestra – and today one of Britain’s most productive classical venues has […]
Sad news: Robert Tear is dead
The international Welsh tenor, infinitely agreeable and versatile, has died at 72. Robert Tear was an integral member of the London scene and in high demand at the musical summits, working with most major conductors and appearing on no fewer than 250 records. He was Simon Rattle’s tenor of choice for Mahler and everyone’s for […]
From the Arts Council's rubbish bin
Arts Council England has responded with its usual dismissals to a highly critical report, published today, by the House of Commons select committee on Culture, Media and Sport. The Committee attached ACE for spending too much on itself, lacking a clear purpose for the works of art it owns, favouring big organisations over small ones, […]
Would you buy a used Monet from this man?
Christie’s have just announced the sale of works from the collection of Jeffrey Archer. For those unfamiliar with shlock fiction, Archer is a phenomenally successful producer of works in that genre. He was previously a Member of Parliament who went to prison for perjury. Never mind the whiffs of impropriety that trail his reputation like […]
Wanted: someone to play violin on the Titanic
An article in the tabloid Sunday Mirror reports the possible rediscovery of an instrument that may have been played on the Titanic as it went down. I have inserted several disclaimers into that sentence. You may wish to add more. The instrument is the subject of a new book by pop biographer Steve Turner. He […]
Brian Cox turns irrational
For those who live on another landmass, Professor Brian Cox is presently magnetising British attention with his expositions of science on television and his columns in the tabloid Sun. Cox, once a boyband member but now an advocate for ruthless empiricism, gave a revealing interview to the Guardian today in which he quoted Carl Sagan’s […]
Viv gives again – a cool £8.2 million to the arts
Just as Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt preens himself on establishing the ‘most generous tax regime in the world for arts giving, philanthropist Dame Vivien Duffield has stepped into the breach to address urgent needs in the arts in a year of government clawbacks. She has given £8.2 million to 11 institutions ranging from the Royal […]
What Wim Wenders may be planning for Bayreuth
Not having seen his work for six years – the last release was Don’t Come Knocking (2005) – I clocked in for a preview of Wim Wenders’ new film Pina in the hope of finding possible clues to his thinking on Wagner’s Ring. Pina, in UK cinemas next month, is a multi-sensational tribute to the […]
Breaking: Domingo refuses to sing until Buenos Aires settles musicians strike
Placido Domingo has postponed a concert in Buenos Aires and told the city he will not sing there again until it settles a musicians strike at the Teatro Colon. The city had apparently tried to recruit musicians out of town to form a pick-up orchestra for the tenor, but Domingo declared solidarity with the strikers […]
Elizabeth Taylor – the music in her life – now with video
Eddie Fisher (husband) John Barry, Alex North (composer) Michael Jackson (don’t go there) Barry Manilow (her arm candy at Jackson’s funeral. Stephen Sondheim. Who’d have guessed? And here’s the video. The thing is, our Liz didn’t sing. This may be her only melodic attempt on fulm – her X-factor moment.
Swiss, Balts and brass bands – so this is Easter at Kings?
The seasonal Cambridge centrepiece, widely broadcast, has been given a makeover this year by music director Stephen Cleobury. The big event is Golgoatha by the Swiss composer Frank Martin. Petris Vasks, the Latvian, gets a big look-in and Prime Brass will bow out the festival with anticipations of the royal wedding. Press release below. Now […]