Grappelli’s fiddle partner turned 99 today
From violin-maker Jens Stenz: Danish jazz fiddler, entertainer, composer, singer, “elegantier” Svend Asmussen (born Copenhagen February 28th 1916 ) is 99 years old today. Asmussens professional career spans 83 years and encompasses music making with Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodmann, Stephane Grappelli, Jango Reinhardt, The Mills Brothers, Edith Piaf, Toots Thielemanns, Herbie Hancock, Jacob Fischer, Jan […]
Chicago remembers Andrew Patner
A public celebration of the life of Chicago journalist Andrew Patner will be held in Orchestra Hall at Symphony Center on March 18. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required. Seating is general admission and on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. Andrew Patner, who passed […]
Vienna flu knocks out Werther
The latest victim is Ramon Vargas, who was due to open in the title role of Massenet’s Werther in March 5th. His substitute is Jean-Francois Borras. Angela Gheorghiu makes her role debut as Charlotte.
Gidon Kremer: On the murder of Boris Nemtsov
‘No one can remain indifferent at this tragic hour. No one can stay silent. The conscience of every decent person who loves both Russia and freedom must raise their voice in response to this blatant crime. ‘The tragedy has unfolded as we knew it might. This death is neither ‘accidental’, nor is it a […]
New entrant to the piano 90s elite
The formidable Argentine pianist Pia Sebastiani turned 90 this week. Catch this unmatched rendition of Ginastera’s first sonata.
What gives Juilliard the right to examine your parents’ finances?
A young man who is funding himself through college has applied to the elite New York school’s post-graduate program. He and his parents were shocked and outraged to receive a questionnaire demanding to know the value of their home and the mortgage paid on it; their total gross income for 2014 and the amount of […]
What if Berlin doesn’t get its man?
In my monthly Standpoint essay, I assess the likely outcome of the May 11 vote for the next conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic. For the first time in the orchestra’s history, the choice is not clear-cut or binary. In the past, it was Furtwängler or Walter, Maazel or Abbado, Barenboim or Rattle. This time, there […]
The concertmaster will see you later in the bar
Great piece here on the difference a vibrant concertmaster can make to a clued-in city like Chattanooga. ‘I like to invite the audience to join me after the concert and bring a friend,’ says Holly Mulcahy. ‘Recently after a show, I used Twitter and Facebook to invite fans to join me at a downtown restaurant […]
German star, stripped of Strad, plays New York on a loan violin
Frank-Peter Zimmermann, his manager says, is ‘playing a Guarnerius del Gesù violin, which he has on loan for a few weeks from a kind benefactor,’ after the Stradivarius he had played since 2002 was repossessed. Well, that’s nice. But all is not as clear as previously presented. The owners of the Strad said they offered to leave […]
Christian soul-saver sells his song to 50 Shades of Grey
Music scoop of the week comes from (click) Mother Jones. It appears that a hard-core Christian revivalist from Alabama licensed one of his songs to the 50 Shades of Grey sado-maso film, thinking it was a rom-com. Paul Janeway, lead singer of Birmingham soul band St Paul and the Broken Bones explained: ‘I knew it was […]