Talking about the first time
Wonderful BBC Radio 4 documentary on a life-accompanying song. Listen here.
Venezuela regime demands payback from El Sistema
Latest from Geoff Baker: At a recent large meeting at El Sistema’s Centre for Social Action through Music, a government representative, the Vice-Minister of Supreme Happiness (!) Carolina Cestari, reminded the institution’s employees that their funding came from the President’s Office, and they should therefore support the government’s revolutionary process or find a new job. […]
Search is called off for pianist’s missing daughter
Message on the Piano Guys’ website: We’ve been so touched by the outpouring of love and support from everyone — the countless prayers, the social media sharing, the hundreds of volunteers at the rescue site, food donated by local vendors — the unselfish sacrifice of so many on behalf of Jon and his family. People […]
Watch Germany’s latest concert hall opening today
You can watch it live (and streamed) here. It’s the exquisite Bochum hall that Steven Sloane has dreamt up in one of the poorest towns in the depressed Ruhr. Read more here.
Just in: Airline gives $2.5 million to orchestra
Delta, not the most musician-friendly of fliers, has donated a handsome $2.5m to help musicians in the Atlanta Symphony restore 11 permanent seats in the orchestra. The gift takes the musicians’ appeal over the $25 million mark and will re-establish the ASO as a go-ahead ensemble. Press release below. ATLANTA, October 28, 2016 […]
How did Canada get all the best talent?
From the Lebrecht Album of the Week: …Both the players and the label are Canadian. Many of the best musical things are nowadays… Read more here. And here. Also here. Discuss.
Great conductors still collaborate with great dictators
In my new essay for Standpoint magazine, I assess the present strategies of Valery Gergiev and Gustavo Dudamel in the context of the past lives of Willem Mengelberg and Wilhelm Furtwängler. Sample: The Venezuelan government subjects its citizens to starvation and mob rule. It is represented on the world stage by a conductor, Gustavo Dudamel. […]
Pub landlord pays £6,600 for Churchill’s cigar-box violin
Gerry O’Brien, general manager of The Churchill Arms in Kensington, handed over six grand plus commission for a William Robinson violin made from Winston Churchill’s cigar boxes and once played by Yehudi Menuhin. The price was six times the top estimate. Maybe Gerry had a quick snifter before he bid. Other top prices […]
Fashion mogul says opera is ten times more gratifying than sport
Isaac Mizrahi is promoting opera across the USA as chair of Opera Week. Press release: OPERA America is delighted to announce that famous designer and beloved television personality ISAAC MIZRAHI is serving as the Honorary Chairman of National Opera Week 2016, encouraging audiences to explore opera. ‘The more you know about opera, the more you […]
Covent Garden chief pleads for EU artists to remain in UK
From an article by Alex Beard yesterday in a widely unread freesheet: We must establish the right to remain for EU nationals currently working in the UK, including the multilingual, highly skilled individuals who contribute to the success of the UK’s creative industries, whether on stage or back- and front-of-house. We owe our past and […]
Bad air day: Lufthansa confiscates viola
Sey Cheon, deputy principal viola at Finnish National Opera, tells us: Lufthansa took away my viola at the gate in Helsinki. The viola will be coming out on the baggage belt (on arrival). This is not okay. Cold temperature shrinks peg, unravelling strings, causing low tension. I don’t know if my sound post stayed in same […]