How Rachmaninov played The Star-Spangled Banner
The New York Philharmonic, which has a Rachmaninov season coming up, has reminded us of the existence of a recording of the great composer playing the US national anthem. It’s an unusual performance, completely without bombast and with more than a trace of melancholic yearning. The Russian culture minister should listen to it before he […]
Billboard takes down music-biz survey. We put it up again.
We’re sorry to hear that Billboard has bowed to pressure and removed the online version of a survey it was conducting on the music biz. Just for fun, and because it’s August, here are some of the Billboard questions. You might like to apply them to the classical sector. For instance: 1 Who is the […]
Death of a poet
Charles Tomlinson, a profound influence on late 20th century poets, has died at the age of 88. Aside from his own verse, often deceptively simple, he made important translations of leading Italian poets. The publisher and poet Michael Schmidt writes: ‘Octavio Paz led me, a young editor, to him when I first came to England. […]
Trending: Italy finally opens up to foreign arts directors
Our friend Valerio Tura, formely artistic administrator at La Monnaie, reports from Bologna on a welcome liberalisation in Italy’s arts administration. A few days ago the Italian Government appointed, with a brand-new “European” procedure, 20 new directors of the top National museums. This is possibly good news, perhaps just a start for better times […]
Would you buy maestro grim, or grin?
Two new releases have arrived of Paavo Järvi’s Bruckner cycle from Frankfurt. On the 4th symphony he’s looking sombre. By the 6th he has got a sheepish grin. Which one will sell more? We’ll let you know in due course.
Look who’s crashed Usain Bolt’s party
Not even the fastest pianist that ever lived. Just the fastest to a media opportunity.
Why Prokofiev concertos don’t work back to back
There’s a new release of the second Prokofiev violin concerto, and it’s a stunner. Much the better for not being coupled with the first concerto. Why is that? Read my Album of the Week review on sinfinimusic.com right here. At the Proms this summer, all five piano concertos were heard in a single Valery Gergiev […]
Jonas and Joyce are named singers of the year
Echo Klassik, the biggest German music industry event, has just announced its annual awards: Male singer of the year: Jonas Kaufmann Female singer of the year: Joyce DiDonato Solo recording of the year (voice): Elina Garanca Instrumentalists of the year: Lang Lang (piano), Tianwa Yang (violin) Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet), Maurice Steger (flute) Conductor of the year: […]
After global uproar, US Air ‘finds’ 8 lost violins
Eight violins mislaid early last week by US Air, were delivered yesterday in St Louis. The cellist and teacher Ken Kulosa, who was responsible for shipping the instruments, tell us: ‘Unbelievably, we got a call this afternoon telling us the case has arrived in St. Louis, five minutes before, we get a call telling us […]
Young Turk is Europe’s composer of the summer
Sinem Altan has been named winner of the European Composers Prize 2015 at Young Euro Classic in Berlin. The work that caught the judges’ ear is named ‘Hafriyat – Earthwork’. Sinem, 30, was born in Ankara and lives in Berlin.