Simon Rattle: Ich bin ein Berliner
The outgoing Philharmonic conductor has told Richard Morrison in a Times paywalled video that, come what may, when his time is up with the orchestra he will remain in Berlin. ‘Our plan is that we would remain living in Berlin,’ he says. ‘I’ve been doing an opera every year in the Staatsoper in Berlin. I’ve […]
Gergiev’s rival secures his Moscow base
Alexander Sokolov, a Putinist former minister of culture (2004-08), has been given a third term as head of the Moscow Conservatoire after an internal election that he won by a 261-4 margin. Insiders say Sokolov, 65, is trying to wrest the Tchaikovsky Competition back from Valery Gergiev into the hands of a professorial clique. […]
Chaos at Rotterdam Phil as boss extends his sick leave
We’ve been hearing rumblings of discontent for months, but our informants refused to be specific. Now, the rupture is now in the open. The Rotterdam Philharmonic has a scattering of empty seats in the ensemble and some very discontented musicians. In the face of player complaints the chief executive, Hans Waege, has been – even […]
Sir Maestro comes first at the Wigmore Hall
A quiz question: which music director of the Royal Opera House has played a recital at the Wigmore Hall? Think back. Not Bernard Haitink; never seen at a keyboard. Not Colin Davis; he played clarinet. Not Solti (we think)…. though he did revert to the piano late in life, playing four-hand Mozart with Murray Perahia. […]
Fighting cellist wins cancer round with heartless US insurer
Zoe Keating, who took on Anthem Blue Cross in a media campaign after it refused to provide hospital treatment for her desperately sick husband, has won a stay of execution. ‘I also got a call from a women named Patricia at Anthem, who told me not to worry, my husbands hospital stay would be covered. I spoke to […]
Now it’s trains: String quartet are hassled for travelling with cello
Dreadful tale from Mike Vincent on Musical Toronto. The Bozzini Quartet, heading for the city by rail, faced demands from a train conductor to pay for an extra seat for the cello. We are unaware of any such precedent. Let’s stop this before Richard Branson hears of it.
LA’s much-loved oboe star died while surfing
David Weiss, principal oboe and photographer of the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 30 years, died last weekend at the age of 67. The LA Times reports, after talking to the Weiss family, that David collapsed while surfing off the Pacific Palisades. The cause of death has not been ascertained. Far too soon, and deeply mourned.
Hitler’s birthplace plans week of ‘decadent’ dancing
The town of Linz is planning a September focus on some of the art that was banned by its most notorious son. There will be an opera, Ulenspiegel, by Walter Braunfels, a concert of once-forbidden music, a reading from Ernst Krenek’s travel diaries and, most appealing, an exhibition of the dance music banned by the […]
Russia ups its bid for Rachmaninov’s Swiss villa
The Russian Culture Minister Vladimir Medinski has told Izvestia that a bid of 17 million Swiss francs (US$19m) has gone in for the composer’s summer retreat on Lake Lucerne, known as Senar. Medinski added that the purchase was being carried out by a group of anonymous wealthy men, following an instruction by President Putin to […]
Spanish National Ballet suspends performances in cash shortage
It’s to do with the state treasury refusing to pay overtime. Performances have been called off in Kuopio (Finland), Granada and Badajoz. Click here for story (in Spanish).
Is the AFM bullying Canadian musicians?
This just in from Ed Henderson in Vancouver. AFM in NYC fines the entire Vancouver Executive Board 50K each A letter from the New York based head office of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM) arrived today. The postmark said it was sent two weeks ago. The International Executive Board (IEB) of the AFM […]