Happy holidays! EMI is sued over Justin Bieber Christmas song
Lawyers for the estate of J. Fred Coots, who wrote ‘Santa Claus is Coming to Town’ back in 1934, have filed a lawsuit against EMI to claw back publishing rights in the ditty. It’s one of a sheaf of recent actions arising from legislative changes to copyright terms – a phenomenon known as ‘Termaggedon’ among […]
How Beethoven compensated for his deafness in the music he wrote
A study in the British Medical Journal isolates three phases of hearing loss in Beethoven, each reflected in the music he wrote. It includes video demonstrations by the Isolo string quartet and offers compelling reading for the holiday period. Bookmark here and discuss among yourselves. (picture (c) Lebrecht Music & Arts)
What the record industry thinks of Google (contains some adult language)
The International Federation of Phonographic Industries, IFPI, has delivered a report on how Google is performing in its pledge to stop illegal file-sharing. Not very well, is the summary. Not very well at all. The main complaint: Google has persistently resisted requests by the music industry to prioritise sites with authorised content over unauthorised sites. Even more […]
Just in: Lucerne reviews its manager
And decides to renew him. Michael Haefliger’s contract as festival director has been extended until 2016. He is credited with an increase in foreign visitors since 1999 from seven to 19 percent of box-office – still much smaller than Salzburg’s, but heading in the right direction. Budgets have more than doubled over 12 years from 14 to […]
Can the arts emerge stronger from the cuts?
In the January issue of wonderfully readable Standpoint magazine, out today, I offer a summary of some of the regeneration ideas I presented at the Dutch Classical Music Meeting in October. Holland has the worst record of any civilised country in using the recession for an attack on the arts. But are the artists despondent? […]
Opera singer hits back at chauvinist web critic
Following my riposte yesterday to a chauvinist critic who attacked her French diction, the international mezzo soprano Rinat Shaham has sent me her reaction to my piece, which I publish below: If there was ever a time to STOP criticizing *international* *opera* *singers* for their ACCENT, it is now. We travel around the world and “dare” […]
Breaking: Top Gergiev aide charged with $8 million fraud
One of the businessmen closest to Valery Gergiev has been arrested in Russia and charged with embezzlement and fraud. Some 300 million rubles are said to be missing from the Gergiev Foundation, which funds many of the foreign activities of the Mariinsky Theatre, as well as the White Nights Festival and the newly announced Moscow […]
Exclusive: 'classical' music magazine to shut down
A competitor has tipped up off that Classic FM magazine is to shut down after its April issue. Apparently, a difference of opinion between the station owners and Haymarket (who also publish Gramophone). There has been no official announcement, but the trade has been informed.
First picture: how an opera house handles the terror issue
There have been deep discussions at English National Opera over how to present The Death of Klinghoffer, the John Adams opera in which Palestinian terrorists murder a wheelchair invalid on a Mediterranean cruise. Previous productions and recordings have gone totally neutral on their visual presentation, trying not to inflame an already overheated issue. Many commercial […]
Reports: Gergiev aide arrested for embezzlement
I am hearing from Russia that a top member of Valery Gergiev’s team, has been arrested on suspicion of robbing the Gergiev Foundation. I had a tip-off from a member of the maestro’s entourage. More information as it comes in. Fuller report here.