The Last of the BBC Proms?
In my monthly essay for Standpoint magazine, I assess the bleak future for the Proms and two of the BBC orchestras as new management and financial assaults dismantle the old defences. Proms controllers for the past quarter-century — John Drummond, Nick Kenyon, Roger Wright — fought to protect the festival’s unique character from interference by […]
Respected German opera chief has died
Christoph Groszer, wake-up intendant of the Zurich Opera from 1986-1991, has died aged 89. Hamburg born, he ran the opera houses in Tübingen, St. Gallen, Braunschweig and Wiesbaden before leaving a legacy in the underpowered Swiss city. Before retirement, he groomed Alexander Pereira as his successor. Groszer rehearsing Barber of Seville. Photo: Göbel
Play your Bach the Leonhardt way
A keyboardist at the Dutch Bach Society is making an edition of the old master’s scores. This from Siebe Henstra: BACH/LEONHARDT TRANSCRIPTIONS: EDITION IN PREPARATION The Dutch harpsichordist Gustav Leonhardt (1928-2012) transcribed/arranged the works for solo violin and solo cello for harpsichord in the years 1975-1978. His recordings and recitals were very impressive and […]
Seriously weird: Estonian choirs sing Anarchy in the UK
The great Baltic choirs have discovered British punk. Watch here.
Claudio Abbado’s son cuts debut album
Misha Mullov-Abbado, son of Claudio Abbado and Viktoria Mullova, is a bassist, classical horn player, composer and all-round jazz musician. His first release appears today, by chance on the same day his mother issues an outstanding account of the second Prokofiev concerto. Mullova tweets: ‘By coincidence my son’s 1st CD is coming out on same […]
Just in: Valentina Lisitsa is silenced by Dutch airline
Ukrainian agitators have persuaded the Dutch airline KLM to take down audio tracks by the pro-Russian pianist from their in-flight entertainment. Valentina has expressed approval for Russia’s annexation of parts of Crimea and has performed with pro-Russian militants (pictured). Inna Thorn, a Canada-based Ukrainian, wrote to KLM: I traveled this August with KLM from Canada […]
Last-minute appeal: ‘We need concertmaster, solo cello, first trombone…’
Boian Videnoff has issued an SOS on behalf of the Mannheim Philharmonic. Dear Friends our season is about to start and we’re looking for a new concert master, solo cello, first trombone, tutti violins and violas. If you’re interested please apply or tell your friends. Die neue Saison beginnt und in Kürze stehen Probespiele an: […]
Orch hires: St Paul names oboe and viola
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has appointed Barbara Bishop to the vacant oboe post and Hyobi Sim solo violist. Details here.
Why critics split over new operas
Thoughtful piece by David Patrick Stearns in Philly.com on this summer’s two US operatic premieres. Everyone raved over George Benjamin’s post-modern opera, Written on Skin. Stearns could not see the point. Most reviewers cavilled at Jennifer Higdon’s traditionalist Cold Mountain. Stearns liked it. So why is that? Read here.
Arts buildings architect goes bust
Malcolm Fraser, the Edinburgh firm that designed headquarters for Rambert (in London), Scottish Ballet and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (pictured), has gone into liquidation. Fraser said: ‘The work we did is beautiful and important. However, we have been unable to make it profitable. I am immensely proud of what we have done over 22 years and the […]