Just in: Helga Schmidt is ousted in Valencia
First Zubin Mehta quit over budget cuts. Now the veteran Austrian artistic director of the Palau de les Arts de Valencia is on her way. The dream is over.
From Reiner to Maazel, 47 years in the Pittsburgh strings
Samuel Elkind spent his life in the Symphony. When he retired, he kept coming back to rehearsals and concerts. Sam has died, aged 95.
Breaking: Peter Gelb admits he caused the Met crisis
Musicians of the Metropolitan Opera orchestra are about to issue a further challenge to claims by the manager, Peter Gelb, that high labour costs have brought the Met to a point of economic crisis. The musicians argue that the crisis was caused by Gelb’s poor financial management. They could hardly believe their eyes when Gelb […]
Head of strings is charged with rape
Malcolm Layfield, who was forced to resign last year as head of strings at Royal Northern College of Music during police investigations of historic sex offences, has finally been charged with one count of rape. The charge relates to a woman of 18, allegedly assaulted in 1982 when Layfield was teaching at Chetham’s School of […]
Rome Opera is saved. Sort of.
The liquidation of Rome Opera – music director: Riccardo Muti – has been called off. For a month, at least. A peace deal has been put on the table for the unions to consider in a referendum. There will be cuts, but not as deep as feared. For the moment. Report here.
Opera Australia mourns popular Italian coach
Renato Fresia-Verdino, who coached singers at Opera Australia for 25 years, died suddenly on Sunday of a heart attack. He was 64. Renato had also taught singers in New Zealand and Wales. A a kid in Rome, he played crowd scenes in Ben Hur. Tribute here.
The first jazz teacher at Santa Cecilia
Giorgio Gaslini, the Italian jazz pianist who composed the soundtrack for Michelangelo Antonioni’s La notte (The Night, 1961), has died, aged 84. He was the first teacher of jazz at Rome’s Santa Cecilia Academy.
What to say when you’re asked, ‘Is classical music dying’?
I was asked the question yesterday by a Classic FM camera team at the opening of the Bristol Proms, an event that is trying to break the straitjacket formality of concertgoing. The answer that sprang to mind was: ‘if classical music is dying, then you’re doing it wrong’. If the audience wont’ come, choose another […]
Wagner diva asks singers to reduce their Met fees
We’ve had sight of a letter sent by an eminent American soprano to a number of her colleagues, asking them to join her in reducing their fees by 12.5 percent in order to help the Metropolitan Opera balance its books. Hers is an honourable, heartfelt suggestion and one which takes an admirable degree of personal […]
Just in: Lucerne boss rules himself out of top New York jobs
Michael Haefliger has made such a success of the Lucerne Festival that his name has been linked as a possible successor to Clive Gillinson at Carnegie Hall or Peter Gelb (after Götterdämmerung) at the Met. Today, however, Haefliger signed a new Lucerne contract, taking him up to 2020 and ruling himself out of US contention. […]