So who, exactly, needs a new concert hall?
In the April issue of Standpoint magazine, I have a stab at assessing who actually needs a new concert hall in the second decade of the 21st century. Paris has just built one, amid ongoing controversy. Munich has baulked. Warsaw has green-lit a project. And London has got a ‘feasibility study’. But a good orchestral […]
A Met friend’s tribute to ‘incredible’ Maria Radner
The Scottish mezzo-soprano Karen Cargill has just posted a beautiful tribute in the Guardian to her beloved friend, whom she met in December 2011, while working together on the Metropolitan Opera Ring. Maria was an incredible musician who you felt spoke directly to you – she was a true communicator. Her voice had a beautiful […]
New Yorker ‘won’t publish’ letter from Metropolitan Opera
We hear from a very well-placed source that the New Yorker is refusing to publish a letter from the Metropolitan Opera that claims alleged inaccuracies in its recent feature on the company. The New Yorker is backing its reporter, as it should. The letter is signed by officers of the Board, but its language belongs […]
Video: Maria Radner and Oleg Bryjak in their final roles
The Liceu in Barecelona has released video of Maria Radner as Erda, and Oleg Bryjak as Alberich, the roles they last sang in Siegfried on Saturday, before their tragic deaths in the Germanwings crash.
Kirill Petrenko: Why I can’t carry on at Bayreuth
The highly-regarded music director of Bavarian State Opera has been telling German media that Bayreuth has demanded too much from him these past three years. ‘In a Bayreuth season I conduct 14 performances,’ he recounts – three complete Ring cycles, plus extras, four to six hours a night. ‘The next morning, every muscle hurts.’ He […]
Sudden death of New York pianist
We are distressed to share news of the death, in his sleep, of the well-liked, modest and warmly adventurous New York pianist, Joseph Smith. He was 66 and had not been previously unwell. His show “Joseph Smith’s Piano Bench” aired for two years on NPR’s Performance Today and his column, “Rare Finds,” appeared in Piano Today […]
Joshua Bell’s subway stunt is now a children’s book
Remember when Josh played his Strad at L’Enfant Plaza Station in Washington, D.C., earning $32.17 in 43 minutes from seven passersby? It happened on January 12, 2007. Now your kids can read about it in The Man with the Violin by Kathy Stinson, illustrated by Dusan Petricic (Annick Press, $19.95)
Your chance to climb into Placido Domingo’s pants
Los Angeles Opera is selling off star costumes this Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 330 S. Alameda St. More than 1,000 costumes on 90 clothing racks, prices from $2 to $5,000. Full details here.
A third musician on board Germanwings 9525
Gabriela Luján Maumus, 28, from Buenos Aires, was bass player in Asalto al Parque Zoológico (Zoo Assault), a rock band. She was flying home from a Spanish vacation with her boyfriend, Sebastián Gabriel Greco. Their names were released for publication last night. The opera world is in mourning for Oleg Bryjak and Maria Radner. May they rest in […]
A musician with Bell’s Palsy: How I got my sound back
Antony Kearns, director of the music publishers Stainer & Bell, woke up one morning in January 2015, paralysed down one side of his face. He was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy, a condition that causes temporary weakness of the facial muscles. His first concern: could he still play the trumpet? Early attempts were total failures. […]