Bolshoi Opera conductor has died, aged 66
Alexei Stepanov, conductor at the Bolshoi Opera from 1977 to 2005, has died after a long illness. He conducted the company on tour in Italy and was a frequent guest conductor across Europe and the US. In 2011 he gave the world premiere of Toshio Hosokawa’s Shakespearian opera, Vision of Lear.
Greek composer wins Golden Lion at Venice Biennale
They have announced Georges Aperghis, 69, as the 2015 laureate in the music category. A Xenakis apostle, he lives in France.
The #1 radio station in this city is …. classical
Rub your eyes, girls and boys. The Nielsen ratings are in for 2014 and the #1 music station for San Francisco is…. classical KDFC. And by a standout margin. The ratings are measured on an average share of listening Monday-Sunday 6am to 12am; for persons aged six and over. How do they do that?
Now Covent Garden is giving degrees
In an age where all must have prizes, the Royal Opera House has announced a degree course in making costumes. Seriously. A BA in cutting frocks, in association with the University of the Arts London. Read the specifications here. You couldn’t make it up. What next – a Met MA in media manipulation? A Bolshoi […]
Opera director: ‘This is a genocide of Russian theatre’
The international opera director Dmitry Tcherniakov has written a furious denunciation of the state dismissal of an opera intendant whose Siberian production of Wagner’s Tannhäuser offended local Russian Orthodox bishops. Tcherniakov, 44, is presently staging Parsifal at the State Opera in Berlin. Here is his response: Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that […]
Bank gives Berlin Phil five more years
The Deutsche Bank has renewed its munificent sponsorship of the flagship orchestra until 2020, reinvesting in education projects and the Digital Concert Hall. The bank has been a lead partner of the Berlin Philharmonic since just before the world changed, in 1989. No money is specified in the press release (below). This is all about […]
‘I lived in awe of Ronald Stevenson’
The pianist John Humphreys has intimate memories of the great composer and pianist, who died on Saturday. In 1967 I was a piano student in Vienna. One day I dropped by a record shop to see what was ‘new’ on the piano front and an HMV record caught my eye a work by […]
String quartet leader is arrested after ‘naked rampage at Manhattan hotel’
The New York Post reports this morning that the leader of the Leipzig String Quartet ran amok at the Hudson Hotel at Columbus Circle in the early hours of Friday, forcing his way into a fellow-guest’s room. Police sources told the paper that a 64-year-old woman from North Carolina ‘heard a knock and opened her door […]
Just in: Russia fires opera boss over Tannhäuser church row
Varvara Turova reports: Today, 29 March, the Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation, Vladimir Medinsky, announced that Boris Mezdrich had been fired from his position as Director of the Novosibirsk State Theatre of Opera and Ballet. The decision was taken in connection with Tannhäuser, an opera directed by Timofei Kuliabin. Mezdrich is succeeded by […]
French quartet wins Wigmore contest
The Paris-based Van Kuijk Quartet won the triennial Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition ast night. Joint runners-up were the Piatti Quartet (UK) and Verona Quartet (US). Third Prize went to the Aizuri Quartet (US). The winning combo is composed of Nicholas van Kuijk (violin), Sylvain Favre-Bulle (violin), Grégoire Vecchioni (viola) and François Robin (cello). photo: Ben Ealovega
‘Hooligans’ at Vienna Elektra, boos for Berlin Parsifal
The weekend’s big openings were greeted with all the maturity we have come to expect from elements in the opera audience of Vienna and Berlin, divided as they are between traditionalists and progressives. There were cries of ‘hooligan’ at the Vienna State Opera’s new production of Elektra, director Uwe Eric Laufenberg. It opened with a group […]