Leading UK cellist defends suspended LPO players with Monty Python analogy
My friend Steven Isserlis, vociferous in his condemnation of the recent attacks on the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, has published a letter in the Times expressing ‘dismay’ at the suspension of four London Philharmonic players who called publicly for the IPO to be banned. The two events are not linked, except inasmuch as the LPO players’ […]
Maazel's impresario goes to jail. Hope he got paid.
by our Crime Correspondent Garth Drabinsky, the dodgy organiser of this summer’s Black Creek festival in Toronto, began a jail sentence today after losing the last of a decade’s worth of appeals against a fraud conviction. We warned here last month that all was not well at Black Creek and some singers were going without […]
Tenor kicks conductor out of Paris – so what else is new? (update)
There was ‘a difference of artistic opinion’ during rehearsals of Gounod’s Faust and there was only one possible outcome. Roberto Alagna got his way, and conductor Alain Lombard is on his way. (His stand-in is Alain Altinoglu). As Roberto would say, ‘nobody ever came to Faust to hear the conductor’. Full Journal du Dimanche story here. And […]
Where is Lang Lang selling fastest?
In the UK, apparently. See press release, just in: Sony Music is delighted to announce that the UK is the fastest-selling market for superstar Chinese pianist Lang Lang’s new album ‘Liszt – My Piano Hero’. The new recording, featuring the renowned Vienna Philharmonic under acclaimed conductor Valery Gergiev, was released on 5th September (cat. no. 88697891402) […]
Breakthrough: maestro plans joint North-South Korea concerts
Myung Whun Chung, conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic who visited Pyongyang this week, has told a press conference in Paris that he has reached agreement to conduct an orchestra comprised of musicians from both sides of the tense border. Here’s a first report from France 24: A renowned South Korean conductor said Friday he […]
Polanski to collect Swiss award. Why?
The BBC reports that Roman Polanski is expected in Zurich next week to collect a lifetime award from the film festival. Why would he do that? Last time he went to the fest in Zurich, they arrested him and kept him indoors for ten months while the courts chewed over the pros and cons of […]
The whole of Wagner in half a day (video)
Times are tough in Portugal, so they’re putting on the whole Ring in half a day, with just 18 players. Graham Vick and Jonathan Dove of Birmingham Touring Opera, Remix Ensemble and conductor Peter Rundel are the driving forces. After opening in Porto, the show goes on tour to Strasbourg, Nimes, Luxembourg and Riems. Here are the […]
The centenary that everyone forgot
He is Sweden’s most important symphonist, its equivalent to Finland’s Sibelius, and he was born 100 years ago next Monday. Yet hardly any musicians outside his own country have remembered the occasion (his publisher excepted) and within Sweden itself the response is decidedly muted. Why is that? Because Allan Pettersson was ultimate outsider, a composer […]
Cage rage spreads to Germany
There’s another John Cage festival in the offing, this one in Germany. North German Radio (NDR) are putting on a three-day Cage fest with pianos (prepared and raw) and orchestra. It celebrates the great man’s 99th birthday this month and his past association with NDR (pic below). Details here. pictured: Carolyn Brown, Cage, David Tudor, […]
Why the LPO had to act against four players
In a commentary in today’s JC, I argue that the London Philharmonic had no choice. Four of its players had used its name in a political statement, calling for the Israel Philharmonic to be banned from the Proms. They had no authority to make a corporate statement of this kind and the company was put […]
Breaking: South Korean conductor makes icebreak mission to North
Reports are coming in that Myung Whun Chung, music director of the Seoul Philharmonic, is on his way home after a visit to Pyongyang, aimed at easing cultural relations between the two halves of the country. According to official North Korean sources, reported by AP, he conducted two orchestras and discussed music programes for children. […]