The latest from Louisville: it's a no
Louisville Orchestra musicians have shot down the latest offer. The players have been out of contract since May and the orchestra is trying to hire replacements. The musicians have asked the rest of the world to boycott any such auditions. Read on here.
Is Pittsburgh the next orchestra to hit the skids?
Louisville… Philadelphia… Dallas… the list of US symphony orchestras that are gathering on the precipice of bankruptcy grows longer by the week. Could Pittsburgh be next? Its president and chief executive, Lawrence Tamburri, walked out of a trustees’ meeting on Monday, saying it was ‘a good time for me to leave’. Right now. Without delay or […]
There's more to the new Sibelius than meets the ear and eye
When musicians in the Helsinki Philharmonic played through the newly discovered sketches of what may be a draft of Sibelius’s destroyed eighth symphony, one or two of them can be seen suppressing a yawn. it was not until they had played the music that all of the musicians were told what it was – and […]
New painting, inspired by Why Mahler?
The London-based artist Katharina Lupnova has sent me a painting of Mahler that she made after reading my exegesis of the relation between Jacob wrestling and the angels and the composer’s core identity. I like the body language.
Meet the dentist from hell
Yesterday’s photograph from Ria-Novosti flashed around the world, showing the more human side of Vladimir Putin. He’s visiting a hospital in Belgorod and horsing around with the Governor, Yevgeny Savchenko. You don’t need to be a KGB analyst to read the unspoken subtext. ‘Keep on paying me the krysha,’ he’s saying, ‘or next time it’s without […]
New resolution for Mozart Requiem
Unhappy with performing the politically-correct unfinished version? Unhappy with the Süssmayr completion? Michael Finnissy has a score for you. He has finished the work as Mozart might have done had he lived in 2011. First performance this Sunday in Southampton. More here. The Finnissy edition will be published by OUP in 2012.
Discovered – first fragments of Sibelius's destroyed 8th symphony
My colleagues in Helsinki are torn between exultation and tears. A scholar has found what looks like a draft of the eighth symphony that Sibelius destroyed, and the music has been rushed down to the new concert hall for an impromptu performance. Read all about it here in the English edition of Helsingin Sanomat, by […]
Silent sale for famous Strad
The cello played by the late Bernard Greenhouse of the Beaux Arts Trio was a 1707 Stradivarius. Much rarer than the Master’s violins, it is one of about 60 surviving Strad cellos, and known as the “Paganini, Countess of Stainlein”. Of its particular ‘Forma B’ type Strad, there are exactly 20 in existence. They do not […]
Ten top tips for the travelling violinist
Dismayed by the latest airline assault on a peripatetic instrumentalist, the far-flung soloist Lara St John has pointed me to her essential travel tips. Read them here. They may not get you an automatic upgrade, but they’ll keep your instrument out of the hold and you out of jail. Do feel free to share further […]
EMI: 'We have created a new way of doing things, predicated on passion, humanity and integrity'
The chief executive has sent a memo to staff, telling them what happens next and trying to reassure them that all is not lost. Roger Faxon is no great stylist, but he manages to see the sunny side of the takeover, and he needs to prevent a talent drain until the last legal hurdles are […]
Princess Kate's ace composer reveals origin of her royal wedding song
A debut album by Paul Mealor, whose anthem Ubi Caritas was chosen for the Royal Wedding in April, gives an unexpected insight into the origins of what some felt was the finest musical moment of the occasion. Mealor, who has previously said that the invitation came completely out of the blue after the couple heard a […]