New research: Cynics are more likely to get dementia
Scientists at the University of Eastern Finland have come up with an alarming hypothesis: those with the highest level of cynical distrust have higher risk of dementia than those who tend to accept things on trust. At least among elderly Finns (pictured). Musicians, beware. Research summary here.
Youngest ever player in an international orchestra?
Social media are abuzz with our news of the London Symphony Orchestra’s appointment of an 18 year-old co-principal trombone. He’s the youngest principal in LSO history, that’s for sure. But there must have been some younger players in the ranks. Neville Marriner, 90 last month, was playing in the LSO second violins at 15 in 1939 […]
Just in: Glyndebourne displays its Rosenkavalier costumes
The festival has just posted a short video, explaining the reasons behind its contentious costume decisions in an opera where a blameless young singer, Tara Erraught, was derided for her size. Octavian in a frumpy dressing-gown is not a pretty sight. That does not excuse the fat-fest, but clearly the outfit did not help. […]
South Bank fiddles while Boris fumes
London’s South Bank Centre has come up with a new £24 million scheme to ‘maintain’ the grotty parts of the site, after Mayor Boris Johnson shot down its £120 million Festival Wing. Two-thirds of the new money is coming from the Arts Council – without public debate, as usual. This is a patchwork solution, more […]
Hallelujah… for three fearless German child singers
Patrizia, Simon und Helen, aged 11 and 12, take on Leonard Cohen’s torch song in a German talent contest. Impeccable close harmony, unflappable with tricky lyrics. Simply irresistible.
Breaking: LSO appoints youngest-ever principal, just 18 years old
Always an orch with an eye to the future, the LondonSymphony Orchestra has just named Peter Moore, 18, as co-principal trombone. He is a former winner of BBC Musician of the Year. He’ll have plenty of wise heads around to chaperone him. (UPDATE: But is he the youngest player in any major orch? Click here […]
Did Isaac Stern wreck the lives of rival violinists?
The death of David Nadien, a revered performer and sometime concertmaster of the New York Philharmronic, has revived old rumours that his career, along with several others, was ruined by the machinations of America’s master-violinist Isaac Stern. Other supposed victims include Oscar Shumsky, Aaron Rosand, Eugene Fodor, Michael Rabin…. anyone, in short, who failed to […]
Amira’s no threat yet to heart-tugging Jackie Evancho
The week’s US sales are in on Nielsen Soundscan and all of Sony’s marketing men could not push Dutch child-star Amira Willighagen to number one. Amira’s release sold all of 410 copies, beaten to the top spot by a live recording of West Side Story from the San Francisco Symphony. Meanwhile, Jackie Evancho was making […]
How Silicon Valley’s #1 violinist went from busker to billionaire
Gabi Holzwarth, 24, dropped out of a dull job and went busking on the streets of Palo Alto, California. Today, she’s playing solo gigs for the moguls of hi-tech. She has played for BitTorrent, NetApp, Samsung, LinkedIn and Google, once even forming a duet with Snoop Dogg. She now has a mogul boyfriend. Word is, […]
Singers unite in bone-marrow appeal
The Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khouri and American tenor Michael Fabbiano have issued an urgent appeal on behalf of Jonathan Sataloff, 22 years old, who needs a bone-marrow transplant in Philadelphia. Please watch and help if you can. You can register, apparently, anywhere in the world.
New video: Playing Bach inside a live volcano
Ericf Silberger, a Tchaikovsky competition prizewinner and protégé of Lorin Maazel, always wanted to play his violin inside a volcano. Why? Because no-one had ever done it before and come out to tell the tale. So he flew to Iceland and got national television to track him into the maw of a monster. ‘It’s a […]