US music director dies, aged 77
Lawrence Leighton Smith, emeritus music director in Colorado Springs, has died, ten days after entering hospice care. His last performance, before the onset of a dementia-related condition, was Beethoven’s ninth symphony. Not a bad way to go out. Here’s a local obituary.
Peter Gelb’s new role at the Met
The Met manager is the subject of 60 Minutes this Sunday on CBS. He plays the little Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke. Sample: The man trying to reinvigorate opera at its American temple in New York, says it’s a battle he wages every day to keep the centuries-old art form from dying […]
The cello you’ve always desired… is here
It plays. It displays. It does everything but compose. Read here.
Shocking new video: Concerto is stopped by cellphone
At a concert in Gothenburg Concert Hall on October 23, 2013, Christian Zacharias stopped playing in the middle of Haydn’s Piano Concerto, after a phone went off in the audience. The faces of the orchestral players are a study in horror, affront and incomprehension. UPDATE: Want to know what happened next? Click here.
Anne-Sophie Mutter: Federer could have been a great violinist
It’s no secret that she’s a fan. She watches Roger Federer play whenever they’re in the same town. Now Anne-Sophie Mutter has been specific about her admiration for the tennis maestro. ‘He has a terrific bowing arm,’ she says. ‘I am fascinated by its lightness, its elegance. He is a great athlete and an admirable […]
Daniel Barenboim receives Freedom Prize
The Free University of Berlin has bestowed its highest honour on the Staatsoper conductor in recognition of his efforts to bridge the Middle East conflict with his West-East Diwan Orchestra.
Vandals attack grave of Nazi composer
Unknown vandals have desecrated the grave of the Austrian composer Cesar Bresgen in Großgmain, days before what would have been his 100th birthday. A headboard and flowers were removed. The police are investigating. Bresgen, who died in 1988, became a professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg after the War and a respected member of the Austrian […]
Can graphics make opera more accessible?
They think it can in Sweden, where this has been supplanted by this: To our eyes, the little dicky-bird infantilises the audience, but the experts think it w2orks. Read on here.
Policeman and musician fall to death off London building
Among the daily toll of human tragedies, this tale of two close friends on a night out in Camden is unusually poignant for its incongruities. The cause of death is undetermined. Read the full story here.
Dictator’s opera house announces deal with Covent Garden
Valery Gergiev presided, as arranged at the opening production of the $280 million opera house built by the Kazakh dictator, Nursultan Nazarbayev. So far, so unsurprising. Gergiev likes rich dictators. But what’s this in the press release? ‘Astana Opera has signed preliminary co-production agreements with the Rome Opera and one of the leading opera houses of […]