Pittsburgh has new chorus director
Matthew Mehaffey, associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, has been named music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, choral adjunct of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He succeeds Betsy Burleigh and will shuttle between the two jobs.
Canadian singer has terminal brain cancer
Canada woke this morning to the sad news that Gord Downie, lead singer of Tragically Hip, has final-stage cancer. Downie, 52, is something of a heritage figure, celebrating all things Canadian in his songs. Very sad to share this news.
The publishing contract that J S Bach never saw
Sotheby’s are today selling the first contract for the publication of the St Matthew Passion. Not signed by the composer, who had been dead for 80 years by the time Mendelssohn rediscovered the work in 1829. Nor by his family. Our friend Stephen Roe reports: The document is completely unknown and unrecorded in the extensive […]
US orchestra shuts down after 75 years
The board of the Middletown Symphony Orchestra, in Butler County, Ohio has announced that next season will be its last. The music director for the past 35 years has been Carmon DeLeone and the orchestra has 60 professional musicians on its books. Steve Ifcic, board chairman, said: ‘Although a decision of this nature never comes easily, […]
Swiss to vote on $250 million concert hall renewal
The Tonhalle in Zurich is literally falling to pieces. It needs urgent refurbishment. The gloomy public areas could easily be mistaken for the city morgue. But before anyone puts up a scaffold, the good people of Zurich get to vote on the expenditure in a referendum. The Swiss People’s Party have come out in opposition, […]
Sony signs someone
It has been a very long time since Sony Classical have added a new artist. It’s so long ago, the last one might have been Jonas Kaufmann. But never say never at Sony. Yesterday they brought out the fountain pen for the London-based German baritone Benjamin Appl, a member of the BBC New Generation artists scheme. […]
Met picks principal second violin
We hear from Rob Knopper, who prepares players for audition, that Chinese-born violinist Shenghua “Simon” Hu is to be the new principal second violin of the Metropolitan Orchestra. Raised in Shanghai and finished off in Cincinnati, Simon is a prizewinner at several international competitions and a soloist with leading US orchestras.
English Chamber Orchestra gets an artistic director
Quin Ballardie stays in control, but violist Lawrence Power becomes artistic director from next season. A small step for an orchestra that sometimes feels it’s from another era. Press release below. From Quintin Ballardie, ECO “In 1960 I founded, with my friend Dr Ursula Strebi, the English Chamber Orchestra as it is today. I am very pleased […]
Breaking: Austria elects non-fascist president
News media are reporting that the green candidate Alexander Van Der Bellen is the new president, defeating Norbert Hofer in the count of postal votes. But was a close-run thing. Austria cannot go back to business as usual. not totally green, then…
How not to sell your orchestra
Message just in from the Concertgebouworkest PR, an infrequent communicant: !Contact.Engelse_Aanhef_brief__c}, Attached you will find the press release about the fact that Unesco has granted patronage to RCO meets Europe. Kind regards, What’s wrong with this? 1 It assumes that we know (or care) about RCO meets Europe. 2 It assumes we don’t know (or care) […]
Shock: Leipzig rejects both cantor candidates
After deliberating for months over the rival merits of Clemens Flämig of Dresden and Markus Teutschbein from Basel, the process was stopped this morning and both candidates were told they had failed. Instead, the city will now instal interim cantor Gotthold Schwarz, a local man, in the position once held by J S Bach. Photo (c) […]