Toronto Symphony plays half-empty after ‘terrible precedent’
There were demonstrators in Roy Thomson Hall and a severely depleted attendance as the Toronto Symphony played without Valentina Lisitsa last night after the pianist had been removed from the programme for her outspoken political opinions. ‘She shouldn’t be discriminated against for her political views,’ said Vlad Alexeyenko, a Ukrainian studying at the University of […]
Two orchestras go on strike today
The Iceland Symphony Orchestra looks like losing tonight’s concert. Players voted to strike from today if agreement had not been reached on a new contract. It is the first orchestral strike in country’s history. Olari Elts was down to conduct Mozart symphonies nos. 32 and 40, with Shai Wosner playing Mozart’s D minor concerto. Lights out in […]
New York Phil nabs Houston concertmaster
The new NY #1 is to be Frank Huang, presently concertmaster of the Houston Symphony. He succeeds the retired Glenn Dicterow after a search process that lasted almost two years. Statement: ‘More than any other musician, the concertmaster shapes the persona of an orchestra, and in Frank Huang we have found just the right mix of […]
Festival woes: Local favourite pulls out of Salzburg
Genia Kühmeier, Salzburg born and bred, withdrew today from this summer’s Marriage of Figaro ‘for personal reasons’. She will be replaced by the German soprano Annett Fritsch. ‘Personal reasons’ usually means a clash with the director, vocal problems or relationship issues. UPDATE: The tragic cause is amplified in Comments.
Exclusive: Chief conductor is erased from Russian opera house
In an act reminiscent of Stalinism, staff members of the Novosibirsk Opera have removed the principal conductor’s name from its website. There is still a sign on his door today (we are told) but it appears that Ainars Rubikis is no longer in control of artistic affairs of the opera house where a production of Wagner’s […]
A tip from the concertmaster: Here’s when you clap
Our friend Holly Mulcahy, concertmaster of the Chattanooga Symphony, finds that many in her audience are uncomfortable as to when – and when not – to applaud. So she’s written a little etiquette guide: Concertmaster enters, clap. The concertmaster bows, representing the orchestra, and then tunes. You can stop clapping once the tuning starts. Music […]
Lisitsa latest: She’s in Toronto, determined to perform
The irrepressible Ukrainian-US pianist has turned up in Toronto, insisting that she will find a space to perform in on Thursday and Friday night, when she should have been appearing with the symphony orchestra. She told the Globe and Mail today that her agent – Tania Dorn at IMG Artists – had an email from the […]
Pianist promises to clean up Sydney competition
The British pianist Piers Lane has been announced as artistic director of 2016 Sydney international piano competition. He told the ABC that he wants a ‘transparent’ jury whose members will not include teachers of the competitors. Now we’re talking.
Equality crawl: First woman to head Vienna music faculty in 198 years
The announcement that Regula Rapp will take over in October as Rector of the Universität für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien (est. 1817) has provoked a round of Viennese self-congratulation. See, we’re just as equal now as anywhere else…. Regula Rapp, 53, was an outside candidate, a German who has been head of the Hochschule für Alte […]
Latest: Now Toronto Symphony censors itself
Having fired Valentina Lisitsa for her pro-Kremlin politics, the Toronto Symphony boss Jeff Melanson quickly reeled in a Canadian pianist, Stewart Goodyear, to take her place at the piano. But, after extraordinary scenes of confusion and indecision, he then decided to drop the concerto altogether from its programme, announcing: Dear Patrons: In light of this […]
Is it ever right to ban an artist?
Some have detected an inconsistency between the widespread support for Opera Australia and La Monnaie in Brussels when they fired a singer for apparent homophobic comments, and the condemnation of the Toronto Symphony, which sacked a pianist for her Twitter campaign against the Ukrainian government. What’s the difference? Simple. Valentina Lisitsa had launched a Twitter […]