A composer asks: Why do we still write symphonies?
The question is posed by James MacMillan in the new issue of Standpoint magazine. He provides a list to show the symphonic impulse is still alive and well, still the benchmark of creative ambition: Hans Werner Henze wrote ten. Alfred Schnittke also wrote ten, and so far Peter Maxwell Davies has also written ten. Michael […]
A six year-old boy reviews the Met’s Turandot
He has all the necessary enthusiasm and the beginnings of a critical perspective.
Breaking: Airline offers low fares for musical instruments
This just in from Jean Saad, head of sponsorship and merchandising at Air Canada. It sounds fit for purpose. Dear… I am very happy to announce to you that Air Canada has introduced a new policy in favor of musicians traveling with instruments! Effective today, customers may purchase a seat at a 50 per cent […]
Who do I have to tweet to get a review round here?
Patricia Hammond, a London-based mezzo from Canada, has put heart and soul into making an authentic recording of songs from both sides in the First World War. But can she get a review? Editors complain that the music does not fall into any recognised genre and refuse to assign it. Absurd but true. What does […]
Natalie Portman directs Hebrew-speaking film
The Hollywood actor is in Israel for the Jerusalem premiere and general release of her debut film as director. In A Tale of Love and Darkness she brings to the screen the autobiography of Israeli writer Amos Oz. Natalie, who also co-wrote the script, plays the role of Oz’s mother, Fania. Portman, who was raised […]
Maestro stays: Finn extends in London
He has been chief conductor with the BBC Symph since 2013. Today, Sakari Oramo renewed until 2020. Mural by Norman Perryman Here’s hoping the orch survives that long.
The last public smoker in classical music
Yuri Bashmet, viola player and ensemble director, puffing away at a press conference yesterday in Rostov-on-Don.
Bring back Kiri, cry Rugby Union watchers
There’s a swell of protest online at the truly appalling singing of the Rugby Union World Cup anthem by Paloma Faith, a throaty pop pusher. A petition has been launched to have her replaced. Traditionalists are calling for the restoration of Dame Kiri, or Bryn Terfel. Gustav Holst is turning in his grave. Sign the […]
What has changed at English National Opera? The language
A message from new chief executive Cressida Pollock on ‘some of the exciting changes that are happening at ENO’: You will notice a few changes in the way that our brand looks and feels. We have been looking at how we express the ENO brand, whether through the way that we look and the way that […]
Rest in peace, Avery Fisher
The hall he endowed for the New York Philharmonic was renamed yesterday. Avery Fisher, an enthusiastic violinist and electronics millionaire who died in 1994, gave his life for classical music. David Geffen, a rock mogul, gave $100 million. That’s why his name is now on the hall. There is no room for sentiment in arts […]
NY Phil scores $25 million opening night gift
The Pope was a no-show for the season’s first symphony concert, but Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand turned up on the red carpet and so did the biggest gift in 173 years of Philharmonic activity. The board chairman, Oscar Schafer, and his wife, Didi (pictured), gave $25 million. Just like that: $20m for the endowment […]