Youngest-looking conductor gets London orchestra
The Philharmonia Orchestra has named Jakub Hrůša and Santtu-Matias Rouvali as principal guest conductors. Hrusa, 36, is Czech. He is chief conductor in Bamberg. Rouvali is said to be 31 and looks 15 years younger. The Finn is chief conductor in Gothenburg.
Aussie maestro quits German job
Nicholas Milton is leaving the Saarland state theatre after just one term as music director. ‘Personal reasons’ are what it says in the press release. Milton, 48, took up the post in 2014. He leaves in summer 2018.
Power shift as Juilliard sets up in China
The elite New York music school has named a chief executive and an artistic director for its offshoot in Tianjin, opening in 2019. Alexander Brose, chief fund-raiser at the Aspen Festival, will be executive director and CEO of the Chinese campus. Wei He, violin professor at the San Francisco Conservatory, will be artistic director and […]
What makes a great opera house? It starts with the orchestra
In my final monthly essay for Standpoint magazine – I am off to sunnier pastures – I write about how important the orchestra is to maintaining standards in an opera house. It’s something the British are prone to forget: The first rule of UK opera governance is: trim the payroll. In recent years, the number […]
The man who whistled up The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
The film’s composer was Ennio Morricone, but the main theme was supplied by his friend Alessandro Alessandroni, who also played guitar on the soundtrack. Alessandroni, who died this week aged 92, was the expert whistler on several Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, notably on A Fistful of Dollars. On his own account he wrote scores for many […]
What’s wrong with the New York Philharmonic? Look at Boston…
Music director Andris Nelsons has four weeks of concerts coming up, four weeks of the highest talent. Mitsuko Uchida plays a Mozart concerto as prelude to a Bruckner symphony. Radu Lupu makes one of his rare appearances. Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Tchaikovsky and Takemitsu. Kristine Opolais features in Mahler 4, in a concert that […]
Watch: A Police sergeant plays Beethoven
This is Sergeant Jim Quackenbush of Portland Police Bureau, Oregon. He will arrest your attention. Jim has participated in master classes with Lazar Berman, Gyorgy Sebok, John Browning, and Christopher O’Riley.
London concert venue shuts down
The Forge in Camden Town, RIP. Co-founder Adam Caird said: “The directors of The Forge have decided to close the venue from 1st April 2017. Running a music venue in these times is exceptionally tough and we have reached a point where it is time to close the doors and move on to […]
Outrage in Moscow as music professor teaches ‘enemies of the people’
A compulsory new lecture course, ‘The Cultural Policies in Russia’, was added to the Moscow Conservatoire syllabus this year. From the beginning, there have been complaints that it amounts to state propaganda with Stalinist overtones. A few days ago there appeared on Youtube a student reading aloud a list of ‘state enemies’ and ‘fifth columnists, among […]
Canada is putting on the world’s longest concert (that’ll be 17 days)
Musical Toronto has the story of how the town of Stouffville, Ontario, is trying for the longest musical event in the Guinness Book of Records. Classical guitarist William Beauvais is among those taking part. He writes: ‘I had just hit the coda, and doing a quick calculation in my head reckoned to be about thirty seconds from […]
Anti-Brexit musicians sing Ode to Joy at Westminster
The baritone Simon Wallfisch staged the first chorus this morning of what is intended to be a monthly reminder to Parliament that half the country does not want Brexit. Simon and friends sang Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, a joy that for many is fast receding. Simon is appealing for supporters to join him at 10 […]