New video: Osmo Vänskä bravely joins the wet-wipes set
The Finnish conductor submits to the ticklish Nick Cannelakis spoof interview site. Sample questions: – Is Osmo short for anything? – You don’t want a job? – In America, the unemployment is very high right now. Osmo: I resigned because… Great fun.
Netrebko’s Rome curtain rises ten minutes late
There was tension up to the moment the overture began in Rome last night, after unions threatened to black out the opera and the mayor said he would shut it down for good. In the event, a strike was averted and Riccardo Muti conducted a triumphant Manon Lescaut. It went on until 11.35pm, triggering possible […]
Paris Opéra is hit by strike
A stoppage was averted in Rome, hours before Anna Netrebko’s debut. Paris was not so lucky. Madama Butterfly was shut down last night and there were demonstrations in front of the Bastille over dwindling pension funds for theatre workers. The following notice went up on the website: Due to the national day […]
Atlanta Symphony loses bass player to cancer, aged 54
Douglas Sommer, an Atlanta player for 25 years, has died. Tribute here. Our sympathies to his family, colleagues and community.
Just in: Pianist is nominated, conductor shamed, in LA human rights ‘Oscars’
The pianist Gabriela Montero is one of ten celebrities named for outstanding work by the Human Rights Foundation, in recognition of her appeals for the restoration of justice and civil law in her home country, Venezuela. Gustavo Dudamel is named on the HRF@s shame list for his proximity to the Madura regime in Venezuela. Report […]
Breaking: Rome Opera unions call off strike
Tonight’s premiere of Manon Lescaut will go ahead, conducted by Riccardo Muti in the presence of President Napolitano. Anna Netrebko makes her house debut in white rabbit fur. Muti’s daughter, Chiara, directs. More here.
British baton wins key post at New York Philharmonic
Courtney Lewis, 29, has been named New York Philharmonic Assistant Conductor, starting September 2014. Belfast born, Courtney studied composition with Robin Holloway at Cambridge and conducting at the Royal Northern College of Music, where his teachers included Sir Mark Elder and Clark Rundell. He has served as a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and as assistant conductor with the […]
Music biz invests in music school. Now, that’s new.
Two power players in Miami have got together to link the university’s school of music to the talent-development faculties of Universal Classics. The idea is to give students access to career-building knowhow, and the labels a glimpse of what’s coming up. Looks like a win-win. Press release below. UNIVERSAL MUSIC CLASSICS PARTNERS […]
Just in: Coroner’s verdict on the tragic death of classical agent
A coroner’s court in Lowestoft, Suffolk, has ruled that Matt Fretton, former agent of the violinist Alina Ibragimova and others, died last October at his home by suicide. The inquest heard that he had become depressed after the accidental death by drowning of his partner, the photographer, Sussie Ahlburg. Matt, who was 49, left a […]
Ex-Universal boss to be Berlin’s culture minister
Die Welt reports that the Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit plans to appoint the iconoclastic Tim Renner as Kultur-Staatssekretär. Renner, 49, an SPD loyalist, is former chief of Universal Music Deutschland. Probably not too much of a socialist. His predecessor stepped down from the political post after owning up to having a Swiss bank account.
Warner signs London orchestra
The first sign of life from Warner Classics since it absorbed EMI is outlined below. What is not clear is whether it’s an old-style Warner deal, which involves taking royalties from live as well as recorded events, or a more orthodox, mainstream record deal. Here’s the release: Aurora Orchestra and Warner Classics announce a […]