Print your own 3-D orchestra
If things get really dull with the family you, too, can make one of these: Like this: And this. Here’s how.
Classical music: When the wheels come off
For your festival contemplation, here are some truly unforgettable moments of live performance, including Jon Vickers’ indelible response to a persistent cougher. Some may be familiar but they lose nothing in the retelling. Enjoyed that? There’s more here.
Holiday reading: How to get into La Scala (a user’s guide)
In my year-end essay for Standpoint magazine, I reflect on the opera houses in my life – all of them, except La Scala which used to make itself virtually inaccessible unless you knew someone on the inside, preferably backstage. It has taken me more than half a century of dedicated opera-going to get to the […]
How Shostakovich would have composed Merry Christmas
A gift from the DSCH Journal. Listen here.
Some of the finest young people you could ever wish to meet
One of the highlights of my year was spending a summer afternoon and evening with the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, working on Mahler’s ninth symphony. Alert, hungry, funny, courteous and tolerant of my bad jokes, these young musicians – few of whom may become adult professionals – represented everything one could wish for […]
Philharmonic violinist steps up as cardiac surgeon
Dawn Hui is a Juilliard-trained violinist who played tutti in the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Today, she’s Asst. Professor Surgery at St Louis University Hospital. Around Christmas time, Dawn pulls on a sweater and plays for the patients. Watch. And read more here.
Just in: Dmitri Hvorostovsky cancels Met due to cancer treatment
The great Russian baritone will resume his treatment for brain cancer in London early in the New Year. He has therefore cancelled Il Trovatore at the Met on February 3, 6, 9 and 13. Dmitri will be replaced in the role of di Luna by Juan Jesús Rodríguez, making his Met debut.
World premiere of Jascha Heifetz’s original White Christmas
In 1944 the great violinist Jascha Heifetz made a spontaneous violin-piano interpretation of Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”, which Decca promptly transcribed and rush-recorded with an orchestra. Jascha, however, never wrote down his arrangement and the orchestral parts were lost. Sixty years later Nate Sabat of Berklee College of Music has carefully reconstructed it for […]
Xmas message: Riccardo Muti appeals for a spiritual revival in Italy
Like the Pope in St Peter’s Square, the maestro has given his annual interview blessing to Corriere della Sera. In in, Riccardo Muti laments the decline of the essence of Italy, its savours, its habits and its music. He has a nice way of evoking an image: The Alps separate the world of frost and […]