Modern Jazz Quartet pianist has died
The death has been quietly announced of Derek Smith, a British pianist who played with MJQ when he migrated to New York in 1957. He played much of his career with Benny Goodman. Derek was 85.
Orchestra portrait of the year
Dancing on the edge of the volcano: This is the Mariposa Symphony Orchestra Performing at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park. Video below.
Buy a Metropolitan Opera chandelier for your bedroom
They are on sale in the Met store for prices ranging from $19,000 to $83,000. Go on, treat yourself. It’s just what you need for those big moments. And the Met desperately needs your cash.
Trifonov: My girlfriend says I practise in my sleep
From an FT interview: … He constantly hears music in his head: “Sometimes I notice it, sometimes I try not to. Sometimes it’s something I’ve already heard, or played or composed, sometimes it can be difficult to discern what it is.” He has even been known to “practise” in his sleep (“I’ve been told by […]
Concertgebouw buys new building
The orchestra has bought a downtown block to house offices and rehearsal rooms for €14.5m. The building cost €4.5m and the orch will need to raise €10m for adaptation.
Why Brum beats London for classical music
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra will present its new music director, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, at the BBC Proms on Saturday night. Mirga is smart, sharp and 30. London orchs are conducted by grizzled blokes who have been doing the same thing for years. Richard Bratby in the Spectator explains why Brum gets it right where […]
The biggest thing that ever happened to Mozart
I was leaving the Universal Music offices yesterday when someone thrust into my arms the monumental Mozart tombstone that is being launched in Salzburg today. I collapsed under the weight and had to be revived gently over lunch. The new big thing is a 200-CD coffer containing every single known work of Wolfgang Amadeus, decked […]
New video: An exclusive interview with Ivry Gitlis on his 94th birthday
It is also the 60th anniversary of his owning the 1713 ‘Sancy’ Stradivari, once the property of Jan Kubelik. Ivry talks, in those inimitably warm tones, about his relationship with his instrument, his friendships with Jascha Heiftez, Isaac Stern and more. With Ivry it’s all about falling in love. He is talking to Jason Price […]
Help! Violin is stolen on a London train
Jane Gordon, violinist in the Rautio Piano Trio, has had her Maggini violin stolen on Monday evening from a train coming in to Waterloo station. Jane has two BBC Proms coming up next week with the OAE and is desperate to find her instrument. She will offer a reward for its safe return. At police […]
Cat-loving composer dies, aged 68
The Union of Composers and Musicologists in Romania reports the death on Friday of Adrian Enescu, an award-winning crossover composer with many films to his credit. Adrian loved cats. (So did some other composers).
Harpsichord maker runs for anti-immigrant party
One tends to think of early-instrument craftsmen as organic lefties who live on the vegan side of the political spectrum. Not in Czechia (formerly the Czech Republic), where one of the country’s leading harpsichord makers is running for the Senate on the ticket of a kick-out-all-immigrants-and-Roma party. Here’s the man, Petr Sefl. This is his […]