A commissioning influence is no more
Michael Kustow was the first commissioning editor for arts on Britain’s Channel 4. Restless, eclectic, endlessly innovative, he broke the mould of top-down arts broadcasting on British television and replaced it with programming that was at once challenging and viewer-friendly. The 1980s on Channel 4 were a golden age of arts broadcasting the like of […]
Last concert before the next war?
A group of artists from the Baltic and former Soviet states have gathered in Helsinki this afternoon to play out their differences. Here’s their manifesto: We have decided to get together to remind each other that the only sustainable way to solve our conflicts is by working together. This is a statement on behalf of […]
Finding the moral foundations of Leonard Cohen
The great troubadour will turn 80 next month. In the new issue of Standpoint magazine, I write: No musician has maintained a more assured equilibrium through good times and bad, riding the swings and roundabouts of outrageous fortune and misfortune without falling prey to the temptation of an easy fix. And: At 80, Leonard Cohen […]
Simon Rattle: ‘Conductors make too much fuss about conductors’
Fascinating phone interview with Fiona Maddocks in today’s Observer here. Rattle repeats that, come what may, he’s staying in Berlin after the job’s up in 2018.
Winners (and losers) at Domingo’s Operalia
Sad to report that neither of the countertenors got a sniff at the top prizes. The two high guys shared a $10,000 consolation slot. The winners are: Rachel Willis-Sørensen (US), 30, soprano and Mario Chang (Guatemala), 28, tenor. Rachel has already sung major roles in big houses – Mimi in Bohème at Semperoper Dresden […]
A Sondheim star has died, aged 64
Victoria Mallory, the original Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music, has died of pancreatic cancer. She was married to Mark Lambert, who played Henrik Egerman in the same production. Their daughter, Ramona Mallory Lambert, played Anne in the 2009 Broadway revival. Another sad loss to the Sondheim family, so soon after the irreplaceable Elaine […]
Conductor asks his orchestra to sing at BBC Proms
Message from Ivan Fischer: Dear Friends, on this present tour I asked the Budapest Festival Orchestra to start a new life – to sing regularly. At the end of the Proms and elsewhere on tour we performed Abendständchen by Brahms as an encore only after three days of practice. Why? Because people should sing! […]
Soft job lined up for exiting Edinburgh director
Jonathan Mills, outgoing director of the ever-less-relevant Edinburgh Festival, is (we hear) front-runner to be head of the Australian National Gallery in Canberra. Nobody goes to Canberra.
Lars Vogt takes the ice for Hans Vonk
I did it! Help ALS research and also other good causes and in memory of wonderful friends of the past, still present today in our hearts, like Hans Vonk, who died 10 years ago of ALS and Boris Pergamenschikow, who also died much too early 10 years ago. Click here to watch.
Just in: Beethoven Festival is cancelled
George Lepauw, who failed to pay many of his Chicago performers last year, has ‘with a heavy heart’ announced the cancellation of next month’s festival. He is under a boycott warning from the musicians’ unions. Cancellation here. Apology nowhere. Love? Doesn’t know what it means.