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 […]
Domingo wins Latin Grammy
Plácido Domingo has been awarded Best Classical Album at the 15th annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas. In 2010, he was awarded ‘Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year’.
Two Koreans in Geneva piano finals
Results of the Semi-Final round (candidates selected for the Finals) Mr. Igor ANDREEV 26 y.o., Russia Mr. Honggi KIM 26 y.o., South Korea Ms. Pallavi MAHIDHARA 26 y.o., United States Ms. Ji-Yeong MUN 26 y.o., South Korea Members of the piano Jury 2014 : Pascal Rogé, France, Chairman Pascal Devoyon, France Gabriel Kwok, […]
Panufnik day in London makes the New York Times
Delighted to see that our composer focus at King’s Place tomorrow has made the Manhattan breakfast table. Click here for the article, here to join us for a Sunday of surprises with a cabaret finish.
Barenboim: ‘I fell in love with La Scala sound’
The departing principal conductor had no regrets in his farewell press conference in Milan after nine ‘wonderful’ years. ‘I have to say very simply: I fell in love with that which I heard,’ he said. He impressed on Pope Francis this month ‘the very urgent need to find a solution’ in the Middle East and […]
Mariinsky’s Falstaff dies, aged 67
The Mariinsky Opera has announced the death of Victor Chernomortsev, one of its leading baritones. Born in Krasnodar, he joined the Kuibyshev Opera in 1974 and was headhunted by the Vienna State Opera in 1992. Two years later he joined Gergiev’s ensemble, making his debut as Scarpia in Tosca. He was a formidable Alberich in Wagner’s […]
Ebène Quartet unwrap their new violist
He’s 23 (that’s legal for a string quartet). He’s French (only to be expected). And he can sing (they sometimes do that for an encore). Replacing Matthieu Herzog, who has gone off after 15 years to become a conductor, meet… Adrien Boisseau.