After the break…. Lang Lang faces an empty hall
At Carcassone on Thursday, the Chinese pianist had to leave the stage for a call of nature. He returned to find the arena empty, most of the audience thinking he was done. He made light of the incident in an interview afterwards.
Schoenberg’s Variations for Orchestra – now for solo piano
Is there any limit to musical ingenuity? Tonight in Tokyo: Message received from Dante S. Anzolini: Tomorrow July 12 at 7PM there will be the world premiere of the first version written in history for solo piano of the Schoenberg Variations for Orchestra. The performance by the pianist Hiroaki Ooi will take place in […]
A panel of enemies to review the BBC
This is alarming. The Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has named eight people who will ‘work closely with the government over the renewal of the BBC’s charter.’ They include former heads of ITN, Classic FM and Channel 5 – all vociferous commercial competitors of the BBC – the head of Ofcom, which wants to abolish the […]
Netrebko’s getting married in Vienna, says fiancé
The last we heard they were going to tie the knot in St Pete. But tenor Yusif Eyvazov, who has been Anna’s man since March 2014, has given an interview saying they are planning a wedding in Vienna (where they mostly live) and want to have a child together. Read all about it here.
A tenor unlike any other
The death of Jon Vickers, aged 88, takes us back to an age when giants walked the land. Built like a stevedore, Vickers filled the stage with an unchallengeable presence. I saw him late in his career, in a cheap Covent Garden staging of Handel’s late oratorio Samson, when his pathos as the blinded giant […]
Saleroom: Living the mezzo life, at half-price
This is Nedda Casei‘s pad on Sutton Place. Nedda, 82, was a leading mezzo at the Met for 21 years. She has been trying to sell her place for two years through Sotheby’s at $5.5 million, but had to settle for $2.9m.
The war-torn pianist who runs marathons
Yllka Istrefi is concert pianist who lived through the war in Kosovo and subsequently moved to England. She studied at the Royal College of Music and is an exclusive Steinway Artist. Her story is a parable for our troubled times.
Video: How to start the Eroica Symphony
Erik Carlson has compiled a sequence of the opening chords of Beethoven’s third symphony, as recorded by maestros from Oskar Fried in 1924 to Riccardo Chailly in 2011. Somewhere among them must be a tempo and a pitch that’s just right for you.
New video: Making music in the ruins of Ukraine
A message from the conductor, Ivan Ostapovych: ‘We are a community of young and active Ukrainian musicians – Collegium Musicum. We promote culture, classical music and poetry in our country. We recorded this performance of Handel`s concerto grosso in the ruins of an abandoned industrial building.’ It’s haunting stuff.
Cameron’s man puts boot into ENO
Martyn Rose was appointed chairman of English National Opera two years ago with a brief to improve the company’s political connections and raise much-needed donor contributions. In March he resigned, blaming the artistic director John Berry. Now he’s back for a gloat over John’s resignation: ‘This is the right decision for the English National Opera,’ […]