Austrian Airlines broke my contrabass
The latest summer victim of airline maltreatment is the distinguished NY-based French bass player, Joëlle Léandre. Joelle flew Austrian to the avant-garde Nickelsdorf Konfrontation festival last week when this happened. She won’t be flying Austrian again any time soon. We’re awaiting a response from the airline. Joelle, who is also a singer and composer, has performed with […]
Sad news: Chicago maestro dies
Founder of the Chicago Sinfonietta and a widely known guest conductor, Paul Freeman has died at 79. Born in Richmond, Va., Paul conducted more than 100 orchestras in over 30 countries and made around 90 recordings, many of them in London and Prague. He retired four years ago in declining health. His papers are held […]
Kirill Petrenko: ‘I am very shy at the beginning’
The Berlin Phil have posted a subtitled interview clip from 2012 with their incoming chief conductor. Asked how he gets his particular sound in each piece with an orchestra, he tells clarinettist Alexander Bader: ‘I work on it a lot at home. When I study a score I learn it page by page and I sing […]
How to get your instrument past the ivory police
The ivory ban imposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and followed by some other nations has left many musicians in a state of high anxiety about getting their instruments through airports. Joey Grimmer, incoming principal bassoon of Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera orchestra, has compiled an indispensable guide to instruments and ivory. […]
International pianist vanishes from university roster
Alexander Toradze, the Georgian pianist and Valery Gergiev pal, has been a professor at Indiana University South Bend since 1991. They haven’t seen him since last August and have no idea when he’s likely to return. ‘It’s a personnel issue and we can’t comment on it,’ says the college. More here.
Pianist has instruments seized in noise row
John Hudspith, a retired hotel manager in Coventry, got into a row with his neighbours. After a lot of slamming doors, he bought an amplifier and started playing classical pieces very loud. Last week, enforcement officers seized his keyboard, organ and amplifier after his third alleged breach of a noise abatement order. Full, sad story here.
UK conductor quits US orch
Alastair Willis is leaving the Illinois Symphony Orchestra midways through his contract in order ‘to balance the demands of his international performance schedule’. Alastair, US born, was raised in Surrey and went to university in Bristol and Kingston. He now lives in Seattle.
Want to own Maria Callas’s car?
It’s on sale next Monday in Monte Carlo. Details here.
Liszt’s last piano goes on show
Or so they say. The 1862 Erard was in Liszt’s apartment in the Vatican at the time of his death in 1886. It lay untouched for more than a century until its rediscovery in the 1990s by the Italian pianist, Carlo Maria Dominici. Newly restored, it is going on public display this week for the first […]
Death of a principled clarinettist
Jessica Duchen reports the death of her neighbour, John McCaw, at the age of 96. Jack, a New Zealander, was principal clarinet of the New Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic in the glory days. He was old-school London muso, hard-working, unassuming, dazzling on his night. He played the first Nielsen concerto I ever heard. […]