How maestros kiss
This is not a scientific survey of conducting technique. Nor is it something you should try at home with the lights on. But I am sure some academic will follow up with funding for a five-year study. 1 The hand job… classically executed by Riccardo Muti. 2 Brotherly love Paavo Järvi, with sister Maarika 3 Just […]
Soprano tells of ordeal on burning Greek ferry
The Greek soprano, Dimitra Theodossiou, was discharged today from hospital in Lecce where she was taken by helicopter from the burning ferry, Norman Atlantic. At least 10 people died in the disaster. Dimitra describes scenes of total horror: ‘I had a berth in the first class, I was asleep and woke up to the smell of […]
Oscar winner of 1936 has died
Luise Rainer, German born and in latter years London based, has died aged 104. She won best actress Oscars in 1936 and 1937. Arnold Schoenberg refused to write the score for her second winning film (below). Life story here.
Record year for Berlin opera
The Deutsche Oper – the one in west Berlin with Donald Runnicles as music director – has returned from a period of refurbishment with a series of record returns. During its wanderings around town, tickets sales hit 98 percent. For the full year of 2014, the average was 82 percent. There may be troubles elsewhere […]
A rare interview with the hermit of Russian music
The composer Galina Ustvolskaya was possibly the closest to Dmitri Shostakovich: he asked, at one point to marry her. But Galina had her own voice and retreated progressively into religious contemplation. According to her website, he gave only three interviews in her life, one of them to the Dutch journalist, Thea Derks. She flares up […]
On minorities and orchestras: A view from Carnegie Hall
Clive Gillinson, executive and artistic director of Carnegie Hall, was asked on the BBC’s Today programme about equality in orchestras. Here’s what he said: My view is that the objective is to get the best player and to be fair, and so that’s what you’ve got to address. So the way we used to do […]
You’re a soloist who needs to rehearse with an orchestra…
This app could be a life-saver. Harvard startup Sonation has taken over the Music Minus One catalogue. They created an app, called it Cadenza, and made it available a few weeks ago in the App Store with 180 movements and pieces to play. Full details here.
More trouble in Paris: Chorus expects to be paid
Members of the chorus of the Orchestre de Paris, which is moving into a 380 million-Euro new hall next month, have discovered a painful anomaly. The conductor gets paid, the musicians likewise, so too the head of the chorus. However, not a cent goes to the 220 singers. Can that be right? Here’s their open […]
Can one bad review kill off a career?
The fine Irish pianist John O’Conor tells a wonderful story about Claude Frank, who died this weekend. John remembers Harold Schonberg, the New York Times chief critic, approaching Claude at the Leeds piano competition and asking why he’d only played once with the Philharmonic. Claude never raised his voice but gently answered ‘Because of your […]
Seoul music: Philharmonic chief quits
As predicted, Park Hyun-jung has resigned as CEO of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, effective immediately. She made the announcement to a packed press conference after weeks of tension arising from leaked memos that she had bullied and abused staff. ‘I am to blame for a large part (of the allegations) and I sincerely apologize for that,’ […]