Very sad news: international soprano dies at 69
An email from Spain informs me of the death of Montserrat Figueras, wife of Jordi Savall and voice of their influential early music ensemble, Hespèrion XXI, which they founded in Switzerland in 1974. She and the group were pioneers in exploring the multicultural foundations of medieval and renaissance music in Europe. Of late, they issued lavish […]
King of Satire has died
Georg Kreisler, an Austrian emgré who worked in Hollywood with Charlie Chaplin before returning to castigate post-War Vienna in his cabaret songs, has died in Salzburg, aged 89. He was often compared to Tom Lehrer. Here’s a youtube clip of kreisler.
Violin veteran returns to a waiting record contract
After five years’ rest which many thought was retirement, Kyung-wha Chung has given a comeback recital in her home town, Seoul. Kyung-wha, who is 63, told the Korea Herald that she had been suffering from a finger injury and mourning the loss of her mother and sister. In addition to a solo recital, she is […]
Now Mao joins Ai Weiwei naked protests
I can’t resist sharing a new entry on the twitter site where Chinese people go naked to protest the prosecution of the artist Ai Weiwei for doing the same. Back in fashion, the Little Red Book is covering up China’s fundamental issues.
Just in: US conductor steps into Karajan's shoes
The town of Aachen has announced a new general music director. He’s American, 32, and about to step into the post which, in 1935, catapulted Herbert von Karajan to mass adulation and notoriety. Kazem Abdullah was previously an assistant at the Metropolitan Opera from 2006-09; he has since conducted in Sao Paolo, Brazil. More about […]
The numbers are sombre in Cleveland
I have been reading the Cleveland Orchestra’s financial results with deepening dismay. Cleveland is an orchestra that does most things right. It has a highly committed chief conductor, Franz Welser-Möst, and a highly capable president, Gary Hanson. Faced with a shrinking and aging middle-class audience in a rustbelt city, it has established prestigious and profitable […]
Baffled by the Bruckner row? Hear the concert, decide for yourselves (update)
Argument has been raging on this site for almost a week as to whether it is legitimate for a listener to walk out in mid-symphony, shouting abuse, because he or she disagrees with the interpretation or is otherwise disappointed with the performance. Well, a kind soul has n0w offered us the opportunity to hear the […]
Mahler 10: new version goes on tour
The young Israeli conductor Yoel Gamzou has made a good attempt to freshen up the performing version of Mahler’s last score. He takes it on tour across Germany this week. Gustav Mahler Symphony Nr.10 (Gamzou Version) International Mahler Orchestra Yoel Gamzou, conductor General rehearsal for the public. »Große Halle« University Witten-Herdecke. 20.11.2011 Tickets available at […]
Church honours holy Mutter
The celebrated violinist has been awarded the Gustav-Adolf Prize, one of the oldest honours of the Protestant Church in Germany, dating back to 1832. It is named after the Swedish King Gustav II and recognises Anne Sophie’s work among needy children in Eastern Europe. More here. photo: brigitte.de
Who tunes your Steinway? Not Steinway any more. They've sacked the tuners.
I’ve just received the following shock letter from the proud owner of a Steinway grand. Note the well-tuned use of the 2011 term ‘moving forward’. It means someone has been laid off or something shut down. Steinway ‘moved forward’ from its chief executive a couple of weeks back. I wonder if these ‘flexibility’ cutbacks are […]
My demo choirmaster wins… an International Emmy
Last month in Amsterdam I showed a clip of Gareth Goes to Glyndebourne to demonstrate how, with a little ingenuity, classical music can change both its image and its audience without sacrificing standards or principles. In that series Gareth Malone, former chorusmaster of the LSO, rounds up some rough kids from country estates and cajoles […]