Tchaikovsky Competition? It’s all about pianists
The competition goes into its final concerto stages today, for cello, violin and piano. The qualifying stages on the previous two instruments have been subdued. Decent performances, safe list of finalists, nothing to set the heart racing. It was much the same last time, and the time before. You have to go back to 1982 […]
Oh no, they’re tearing down Karajan’s home-from-home
In 33 years as music director of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, Herbert von Karajan never lived in the city. He stayed at the Kempinski hotel on the Ku’damm, turning it into an elite hangout for Berlin Phil soloists and guests. You could catch him before breakfast in the pool. Today there’s a huge painting of […]
UK concert pianist survives 50-foot cliff fall
On a caravan holiday with friends in the northeast of England, James Hockey rose at 4.30 to watch the sun rise over the North Sea. He strayed too close to the edge of a cliff and plunged more than 15 metres, shattering a leg and an arm. He is being treated at the university hospital […]
London horn player is held in Chile
Alexander Harrild, 29, was arrested for drug trafficking in Santiago and is reported to have pleaded guilty. He faces a possible five-year sentence. Alexander, a graduate of the National Youth Orchestra, plays in the Santiago Philharmonic. His father, LSO principal tuba and ex-chairman Patrick Harrild, few out to Chile after his arrest and has since […]
Breaking: Petrenko’s ‘partner’ pulls out of Bayreuth
Anja Kampe has cancelled this summer’s appearances as Isolde after a reported row with Christian Thielemann. She is to be replaced by Evelyn Herlitzius. Kampe will, however, sing Sieglinde in the Ring, conducted by Kirill Petrenko. Bayreuth press statement: The direction of the Bayreuther Festspiele notes with great regret that Anja Kampe returned the part of […]
Omg, my pianist is playing the wrong intro!
Krzysztof Kaczka was on stage in Moscow, taking a deep breath before his next piece, when the pianist decided to rearrange the programme without telling him. Watch the page-turner. She’s struggling to hold it together.
Video: A Polish orchestra trashes down
The excellent Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra of Katowice has been reduced to playing hip-hop classics in a concert hall in the city of Katowice. The conductor is a composer and producer, Radzimir Dębski, whose online moniker is JIMEK. The video has earned nearly two million hits, but the concert leaves a bad taste.
When Furtwängler conducted Walton in Vienna
The Vienna Phil have upgraded their website with features about ‘social responsibility’ and other diversions. What’s really interesting is an archive feature that enables you to search every concert the orch has given, all the way back to 1842. The strangest things turn up. On Saturday December 2, 1948, Furtwängler programmed the William Walton symphony […]
The long weekend read: Sinatra, at the end of days
A no-punches-pulled piece by Ian Penman in the London Review of Books: As with Elvis Presley and Charlie Parker, you feel Destiny’s real leg-up was provided by the ferocious will of Sinatra’s mother. Most people seem to have regarded Dolly as the real man about the house: Sinatra’s father, Marty, an easy-going ghost, barely registers […]
Breaking: Tchaikovsky Competition is now completely sold out
This sign has just gone up. It says: ‘There are no more tickets for Tchaikovsky Competition. None at all”
Revealed: The wealthiest music directors in America
Drew McManus has come out with his annual lost of US music director earnings, drawn from IRS Form 90s. There is always a delay in the system, so the wages below apply to the 2012/13 season. Three music directors made more than $2 million. You may well wonder why. Two maestros took a significant pay […]