Maestro, 91, makes it back to La Scala
There were triple standing ovations last night for Georges Pretre, the French conductor who has cancelled most engagements in the past year but was determined not to miss his Scala gala. Elegant as ever, gorgeous George may have received the highest classical ratio of applause to instrumental music: 17 minutes of ovation for 41 minutes […]
What the priciest Stradivarius sounds like (clue: catgut)
A violinist called Matteo Fedeli is touring the 1715 ex-Bazzini – De Vito, with a price estimate of $16 million. He plays it on CBC television. Judge for yourselves.
Berlin to abolish opera surtitles
The Staatsoper says it cannot afford to instal seatback surtitles in its renovated house. The building work is running way over schedule and budget. The extra million Euros for surtitles, administrators say, would wreck the finances. It’s a petty and ridiculous decision, one which will limit the company’s appeal to foreign visitors. They need to […]
Leading Danish bass has died
The death is reported of Ove Verner Hansen, Denmark’s premier Leporello at the Royal Opera in the 1960s and 1970s. He had a parallel career as the mighty villain ‘Bøffen’ in the Olsen Gang movies. He was 83. photo: Scanpix
Opera crewman is trapped in rotating stage
A stagehand was seriously injured this weekend at the Handel Festival in Karlsruhe. During a scene change of Handel’s Arminio, the man was trapped in rotating machinery and badly hurt. He was freed by emergency services and rushed to hospital where he is said to be out of danger. The performance continued after a short […]
EU: End the misery of flying musicians
A petition has been launched this morning to persuade the European Union to oblige airlines to accept smaller musical instruments on board free of charge. The US Congress has already passed this requirement into law. It’s time for the EU to be as fair to musicians as the US is. The endless anxiety faced by […]
Lang Lang’s door is banged by angry hotel guests
The pianist has told a German TV audience that he often gets protests late at night in hotels from people who are kept awake by his practising. He calmed one down in Berlin, he says, by offering to play something romantic.
Musicology profession ‘is currently exploding’
The furious row over a musicologist’s post about his jailhouse work shows no sign of abating. Amid allegations of racism and elitism from one side and repression of academic freedom on the other, the argument serves mostly to illustrate how the present language of musicology is hopelessly inadequate for addressing American reality. Two examples: In my […]
What’s the difference between a violin star and a legend?
In the Lebrecht Album of the Week on scena.org, openlettersmonthly.com and elsewhere, I try to draw a defining line between highly paid stars and the ones who really matter. Great violinists come in two forms: stars and legends. Think about it. Jascha Heifetz was a star, Nathan Milstein a legend. One was a household name, […]
The free concerts where musicians still get paid
One of the best-kept secrets in outer London is the concert series at St Mary’s Perivale, where outstanding international talent can be heard – for free. And the players still get paid. How does that work? Find out here.
Carnegie Hall soloist joins Cleveland’s cello section
The highlight of Dane Johansen’s career so far was playing the Elliott Carter cello concerto at Carnegie Hall with James Levine. He then walked a performance of the Bach suites all the way across northern Spain. Johansen, now 31, has put all that behind him to join the cello section of what is probably America’s elite orchestra. […]