Breaking: major label is sold
Warner Music has been flogged off to the Russian-American investor, Len Blavatnik for $3.3 billion in what is being described as ‘a friendly deal’. Edgar Bronfman is expected to remain in charge. It is supposed to clear the way for Warner to refinance sufficiently so that it can but EMI from its temporary owner, Citibank. […]
Minczuk watch: unease at Canada competition
The embattled conductor is down to appear at an important piano competition. Not all the locals are happy. From: Kathryn Ananda-Owens [email protected] Message: Esther Honens International Piano Competition has announced that Minczuk will conduct the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra of which he is music director) in the competition’s finals. I have not heard anything about a […]
Death of a Broadway Lion
The playwright Arthur Laurents, who wrote West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein and three musicals with Stephen Sondheim, has died at the age of 93. I had a long conversation with him some years back about why Anyone Can Whistle was such a flop. You can read it here. Arthur was full of life and […]
Bankrupt nation opens new concert hall
Iceland’s creditors will be warmed to learn that the nation opened its grand new concert hall on Wednesday. Planning in an age of euphoria, it took four years to build, by which time the country was in hock to the rest of the world and refusing, by referendum, to cough up. Vladimir Ashkenazy conducted the […]
Fly me, I love classical music
The May issue of Das Orchester magazine, obligatory reading for musos with a smatch of German, contains an uplifting interview with a chap from Lufthansa who set up a five-year spnsorship deal with the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne, for no better reason than the declaration that he’s a Musikliebhaber (he likes the stuff) and so […]
Is this the most expensive concert yet?
A friend has sent me details of an upcoming event at the Philharmonie in Cologne, a date that has me quivering with excitement, among other emotions. The concert is scheduled for July 2 and the cheapest tickets to be had will be charged to your credit card at… wait for it … 163 Euros. That’s […]
Was Mahler the harbinger of today's celebrity cult?
In the May issue of Standpoint, out now, I examine the public way that Gustav Mahler died, 100 years ago on May 18. There had never been a death like this before, the details of what he ate, what he said and how he slept being pored over in newspapers, becoming the subject of middle-class […]
BP heads for Olympic bid
British Petroleum, Barack Obama’s favourite bogeyman now that Osama’s under water, is due to announce ‘a major Olympic project’ in partnership with the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and the triple-jump record-holder, Jonathan Edwards. Full details due on Monday. Watch this space.
Brazil – orchestra responds to international boycott
Here’s a letter sent by the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra to the International Federation of Musicians, which has called a boycott on auditions for new players to be held in London (May 16-18) and New York (May 20-23) by its chief conductor Roberto Minczuk. The OSB has sacked half its players for refusing to reaudition for […]
Those Minczuk UK concerts and auditions
In addition to his May 12 concert in Liverpool, the embattled Brazilian conductor Roberto Minczuk is scheduled to conduct the BBC National Orchestra of Wales four days earlier in Cardiff. The soloist is BBC New Generation Artist, baritone Hank Neven. The International Federation of Musicians and several unions in the US have called on players […]
11 worst-hit US orchestras
And while we’re compiling charts, here’s one from 247wallst.com on the American orchestras that are deepest in trouble. Three in the list are already out of business and a fourth has filed for bankruptcy protection. Here’s the link to the whole article. And here’s the doom chart. Try not to choke: 1. Philadelphia Orchestra Founded: […]