Outrage: UK immigration bans Korean pianist from London festival
After a week in which the Home Secretary Teresa May and the immigration authorities have stood accused of every kind of airport incompetence, here’s a piece of petty bureaucracy to make the blood boil. The pianist Sunwook Kim, youngest winner of the Leeds International Piano Competition, was booked a year ago to play at the […]
Just in: London Philharmonic disrupter comes out to face the music
The following letter has been received at Slipped Disc from the apparent perpetrator of the LPO Bruckner disturbance. I could not possibly comment. But you can. * From Alex Verney-Elliott The ‘man’ was me and I think it was a polite response in response to an impolite performance: I walked out in protest against the self-indulgent […]
The best French orchestras – and the very worst
It starts out as a newspaper celebration of orchestral life, but lists are the lifeblood of journalists and Le Figaro cannot resist splitting 26 national orchestras into four merit leagues: premier three, up-and-coming, must try harder and still disappointing. There are obvious flaws in the method, as well as many points of contention. The orchestra […]
Mariss goes back to Hell's Kitchen
I once accompanied Mariss Jansons into the boondocks of Pittsburgh, a deprived area where the police only went in armoured personnel carriers. We entered a public school where a bunch of kids were scratching and puffing on instruments. In two words and a gesture, he changed the sound of the band and the atmosphere in […]
The violin doctor is dead
Isaac Stern called him a doctor for violins and Yo Yo Ma said there was no-one he would trust more if he needed surgery. All of Ivan Galamian’s best pupils at Juilliard went to him with their instrumental aches and pains. Others came from as far off as Peabody. René Morel had time for them […]
No more "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini"
Its composer, Lee Pockriss, has died. He also wrote ‘Catch a Falling Star’. More here.
Sibelius: what his copyist knew
Amid the excitement surrounding the discovery of fragments of Sibelius’s missing eighth symphony, a mystery figure emerges from the woods. Paul Voigt, a German violinist and sometime player in the Helsinki Philharmonic was Sibelius’s trusted copyist – that is to say he received scores in composer scrawl and transcribed them in a neat hand that […]
Disruption at London Philharmonic concert: what really happened (late extra)
An eyewitness, Maria Etzel, has sent me this account of the disturbance, by a single audience member, during a Bruckner concert at the South Bank: Last night at the RFH, halfway through Bruckner 4 when the music was really quiet I heard sounds of male voices coming from the choir section. Was very intrigued and […]
Once you can sell music on Google, will you ever need a label again?
I have a feeling that Google Music, launching soon, will change the landscape more than iTunes or amazon has done. And that means classical, too. Google has announced partnerships with Universal/EMI and Sony, leaving Warner temporarily out in the cold. But it is also offering artists a page of their own for $25 and 70 […]
La Scala greets Barenboim with a strike
It was business as usual in the chorus room. The first of three concerts by the new music director Daniel Barenboim was cancelled due to a wildcat strike. Er, why? Apparently something to do with overtime payments during the company’s weekend visit to the Bolshoi in Moscow. ‘It’s part of routine negotiations,’ said a union […]
Orchestra gets loaned a second Stradivarius
A Fort Worth donor gave the city’s concertmaster his 1710 Strad to play. Thirty years on, another Fort Worth resident has loaned the orchestra another – this time a 1685 model, less prestigious but still pretty rich. Here’s concertmaster Michael Shih and associate concertmaster Swang Lin with their tropies. Must listen out for that orch.