I’m a concert pianist with great reviews. I work behind a bar.
We received today a round-robin from a young British pianist whose talent is unquestioned. A Gramophone reviewer called his current series of recordings ‘a triumphant achievement’. Others, in Europe, have written of his ‘creative mastery’. We have heard his performances; they are of a very high order. But this pianist is not getting a foot […]
The ultimate negative ad
This was Radio Shack’s Superbowl ad a year ago, watched by tens of millions. The time-warp electronics chain went bust today.
In Seoul, music director’s enemies accuse him of ‘crimes’
Allies of the ousted chief executive of the Seoul Philharmonic are stirring up the Seoul media against the music director Myung Whun Chung. Chung is being accused of using official plane seats for his family over the past ten years and has been ordered to pay back $12,000. This sounds more like a mishap than […]
Classical musicians looking uncomfortable (6)
Yehudi Menuhin on the floor, and upside down.
Classical musicians looking uncomfortable (3)
Er, too comfortable. Far too comfortable. Netrebko and Villazon, 2007.
Elena Obraztsova and the KGB
In Soviet times, it was widely whispered that the great mezzo-soprano was an agent of the secret police. There are two documented sources for this suspicion. One is an account by the American soprano Astrid Varnay that she had been warned by western opera managements to stay on the right side of the Russian mezzo […]
Now Karajan’s interrogator has gone
Three days after John Freeman, who elicited Otto Klemperer’s most famous interview, we learn of the death of Jacques Chancel, the gentle inquisitor of Radiocopie and Le Grand Échiquier on France’s Antenne 2. He was 86 and a national institution. President Hollande called him ‘the incarnation of public service broadcasting.’ Chancel’s subjects included Truffaut, Godard, Chagall, Brassens, […]
Lloyd Webber musical heroine has died
Mandy Rice-Davies, whose early notoriety was the fulcrum of a recent ALW flop, has died of cancer, aged 70. A sometime nightclub singer, she is remembered chiefly for the courtroom catch-phrase, ‘He would, wouldn’t he?’
Playing to the end, a musical dynasty takes its final bow
We have been informed of the death of Beryl Rubens, an accomplished violinist and viola player and member of a musical family. Before migrating to the US, she played in the orchestra of Welsh National Opera. portrait by Norma Procter Beryl’s brother Harold Rubens was a piano prodigy and close friend of Nelson […]
When a music director must quit
Ludovic Morlot, resigning today at La Monnaie, is the sixth music director in three months to leave his post peremptorily and without warning. Franz Welser-Möst walked out of Vienna because he could not agree artistic plans with the general director, Dominique Meyer, himself under extreme pressure to cut costs. Riccardo Muti left Rome, Nicola Luisotti […]