Who’s this on Sweden’s new banknotes?
Yo-ho, to-ho, it’s Birgit Nilsson. Coming to your bank October 2015.
Slowest-ever January for new classical recordings?
An editor mentioned she was finding it hard to find new releases for review this month. Others chimed in that the record industry’s output is not much more than a trickle, much of it bottom-of-barrel stuff. On the other side of the till, this week’s US sales figures have gone back to abysmal. Bocelli tops […]
Holland loses its greatest opera champion
Fred Lingen has died. Holland owes him its opera house. He founded the Wagner Society in 1961 and was artistic adviser to the Friends of the Opera from its inception. Pierre Audi, director of De Nederlandse Opera, writes to Slipped Disc: ‘He was the most important opera lover DNO will ever know. A man […]
Growing US calls to cancel Gergiev award
Valery Gergiev is due to give two performances this weekend with the Mariinsky Orchestra at Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he will receive the 2015 UMS Distinguished Artist Award. Calls to cancel the award are being heard from gay groups and anti-Putin academics. Here’s a very lucid statement of the case against Gergiev: Why I […]
Two sopranos get captioned at Covent Garden
A splendid photograph by Fritz Curzon from the current Andrea Chenier shows Rosalind Plowright in pursuit of Eva Westbroek. Rosalind used to be an international soprano until she toned it down to mezzo. Her husband added the caption to Fritz’s pic and she gifted it to Eva on the first night. So cool. The word […]
The war over Sergei Prokofiev
Latest reports from Donetsk say Ukrainian forces have been pushed back from Sergei Prokofiev international airport by Russian-backed ‘rebels’. Both sides in this sordid conflict claim to value culture at the heart of nationhood. Look what they have done to Prokofiev.
Chicago radio clears its schedules for death of Russian piano teacher
WFMT Chicago discovered the artistry of Vera Gornostaeva last year through a pair of immigrant enthusiasts who had pressed her old LPs onto CD. The station gave away some of her recordings in a fundraising drive and received an extraordinary response. On reading of Vera’s death this week, WFMT cleared its schedules to play the […]
Curtis ‘besties’ clean up in Singapore
Taiwanese violinist Tseng Yu-chien, also known as ‘Benny’, won the first Singapore international violin contest, taking home US$50,000. Second ($25k) was fellow-Taiwanese Richard Lin, his best friend at the Curtis Institute of Music.
Just in: North sends Ring to London
OPERA NORTH’S ASTONISHING AND ENTHRALLING RING CYCLE TOURS UK IN 2016 Leeds Town Hall (23 April – 21 May & 24 – 29 May 2016) Royal Concert Hall, Nottingham (6 – 11 June 2016) The Lowry, Salford (13 – 18 June 2016) Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre (28 June – 3 July 2016) […]
The greatest teacher, ‘her face became the face of Beethoven’
The funeral of Vera Gornostaeva is being held today in Moscow. In an exclusive interview for Slipped Disc, piano master Sergei Babayan remembers his teacher, in conversation with Zsolt Bognár. ZB: At what point in your life did you start learning from your teacher Vera Gornostaeva? SB: I was 18 or 19, and […]
Major soloist cancels next few months ‘with exhaustion’
The Norwegian trumpet virtuoso Tine Thing Helseth has abruptly pulled out of a North America tour. Promoters have been told she has ‘cancelled all her concerts for the next few months because of exhaustion.’ There is no mention of this on her site, or her agency’s. In her last tweet, two weeks ago, she was […]