Asterix composer is no more
Gérard Calvi, who won the Prix de Rome in 1945 (where was Boulez?) and his greatest fame as composer of the French TV cartoon Asterix, has died at 93. He also wrote Le prisonnier de la tour for Édith Piaf and an opera on a Ionesco play but his greatest service was as resident or 20 years […]
Maestro move: Successor named to Dennis Russell Davies
The Bruckner Orchester Linz today ended a six month search for a new chief conductor. From September, Markus Poschner will take over. Poschner, 44, is general music director in Bremen and, as of last month, also chief of Orchestra della Svizzera italiana in Lugano. His agent’s phone must have turned white-hot.
Jonas Kaufmann: ‘I have never known stage fright’
‘I’m just one of those stage monsters, not afraid of anything,’ the great tenor tells BBCs’s Desert Island Discs. Listen here. He has much to say about saving Wagner from his excesses: ‘why would a composer destroy his own tunes by his texts?’ In other comments, Kaufmann mentions that he refuses to sign contracts five […]
Berlin’s best-known bass
Reiner Süß,a star of the Deutsche Staatsoper from 1959 and a fixture on East German television with Da liegt Musike drin, has died just short of his 85th birthday. He featured on numerous recordings.
A great Italian director has died
The immaculate director Luca Ronconi, responsible for opera productions at La Scala, Vienna, Salzburg and elsewhere, has died at the age of 81. Like his French colleague Patrice Chéreau, he divided his life between theatre and opera, not bothering much with film or American fame and seldom putting a foot wrong. He worked with Abbado, […]
Berlin names conductor election date
It’s May 11, according to Berliner Morgenpost. All 120+ members of the orchestra are obliged to turn up and vote for a new chief conductor. If you’re looking for straws in the wind, Mariss Jansons conducts the orchestra the previous two nights.
Poland mourns a music director
The death has been announced of Antoni Wicherek, aged 86. Wicherek, who joined the Communist Party in 1961, was artistic director of Warsaw Opera from 1973 to 1981 before leaving to work in Egypt, Switzerland and Germany. Returning in 1991, he led the Lodz Opera for four years, presiding over the premiere of Penderecki’s Roi […]
Russia slashes arts grants by 10 percent
Culture minister Vladimir Medinskiy has announced the cut in person to several institutions, including Mikhail Pletnev and his Russian National Orchestra. Among other losers listed today by Izvestia are the Symphonic Capella of Russia (115 million rubles), Goskapella St. Petersburg (100m), Ekaterinburg Opera and Ballet Theatre (141m), the Moscow Children’s Musical Theatre (114m) Novosibirsk Theatre […]
What the internet wants to know about your orchestra
Why are trombonists hot? Are cello players good in bed? What do oboe players earn? Ricky O’Bannon of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra has collated Google’s most-asked questions about orchestras and created an infographic, published below and (larger) here.
Much-loved Berlin Philharmonic principal has died
We have received sad news of the death of Hanns-Joachim (Hajo) Westphal, principal second violin of the Berlin Philharmonic through the Karajan years. He was 85. Hajo features on numerous chamber music recordings with friends in the orchestra. On retiring from Berlin, he gave valuable help to Claudio Abbado in forming the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, […]
Have English music schools learned a lesson?
A Telegraph commentary by anti-abuse campaigner Ian Pace in response to the rape conviction of Philip Pickett ought to provoke a bout of soul-searching at England’s ‘elite’ music schools and conservatories. Ought to, but probably won’t. The response to past crimes at Chetham’s and the RNCM in Manchester, resulting in the conviction of Mike […]