Carlos Kleiber: Orchestras will teach you all you can learn about conducting
We have seen a letter from the great conductor to someone asking for lessons. Dated 29 June 1999, here’s what Kleiber advises: Dear I never do any teaching! (And I hardly conduct anywhere any more). Judging by your CD, you aren’t a beginner by any means. Orchestras* will teach you all that you’re capable of […]
Stuart Skelton lays into ENO (and Opera Australia)
Two blasts from a lacerating Bachtrack interview with the sought-after Australian Heldentenor. On English National Opera: ‘They’ve got a new artistic director calling Janáček fringe repertoire. It’s the rep that’s built that house’s reputation! Jenůfa and Káťa Kabanová – that’s the stuff that ENO does better than the Royal Opera. ‘I love ENO so much but […]
The dullest Met season in years?
In an age of braggadocious Trumpery, it is incumbent upon the arts to offer refuge, enlightenment and distraction. The Met’s new season – five new productions, three of them weary warhorses – offers scant relief. Tosca and Norma are being freshened up by the workmanlike David McVicar, almost half the new shows in one pair […]
Vienna remembers Jewish roots of its most famous tune
The Blue Danube Waltz – originally titled Donauwalzer – was first heard 150 years ago, on 15 February 1867. The performance was not within the fashionable Ring but in the Leopoldstadt, the second district, heavily populated by Jewish immigrants and known as Matzah Island. Johann Strauss himself had a Jewish great-grandfather. The waltz was premiered by the Wiener […]
Pittsburgh lose a principal
Jennifer Ross, leader of the second violins in the Pittsburgh Symphony for almost 20 years, has resigned. She has moved to Wyoming to seek ‘a change of pace’. Pittsburgh now has three principal vacancies: concertmaster, principal seconds and timps. Two of those seats have been open since 2015. No-one has been racing to make an […]
How was Pretty Yende in Puritani?
Since the NY Times did not bother to review the Met’s late replacement for Elvira, here’s Zeal NYC’s report: Camarena’s Arturo was every bit as good as expected, but Yende’s Elvira was spectacular in every way. She had only sung the role once before, in a non-traditional production last year in Zurich. It was a triumph for […]
Eurovision in peril as Ukraine sacks TV team
Kiev is due to host the 2017 Eurovision Song contest. Or not, as the case may be. When the most absurd of media events meets the most corrupt of regimes, anything can happen. The BBC reports that Ukraine has no-one in place at the moment to manage the event. Russia is rubbing its hands. (Ukraine won […]
Death of a German pianist, 82
Michael Naura, who died on Monday, was regarded as Germany’s foremost jazz pianist of the post-War era, almost a national institution. From 1971 to 1999 he was head of the jazz division of the state broadcaster, NDR.
Russian composer wins 400k award
Sofia Gubaidulina, 85, has been given the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Madrid. It carries a rize of 400,000 Euros. Past winners include Steve Reich, Boulez and Sciarrino. It may not be strictly accurate to call her Russian, though that is her nationality. Her father was Tatar, her mother is believed to be Polish-Jewish.
Shanghai cellist sews up the games scene
Tina Guo, 31, was born in Shanghai and classically trained. She had appeared as soloist with international orchestras and played with Midori at Walt Disney Hall. But her career is now in the music she writes for video games, alongside gigs for Hans Zimmer and Justin Bieber. Mention her name in LA. It will get […]