One we missed: The musical savant who can play anything
This segment of CBS Sixty Minutes aired in 2010, seven years after the programme first discovered its subject. They couldn’t tear their eyes away from Derek. Derek Paravicini, born blind and with severe cognitive disabilities, can do anything at the piano. Just watch. h/t: EL/CH
Musical chairs: Musicians Union chief takes on part-time job
John Smith, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union (MU) since 2002 will become chair of the music licensing agency PPL from next January. John, a former tuba player at English National Opera, is also president of the International Federation of Musicians (FIM). He is presently a member of the PPL board.
Free piano lessons at London Eurostar station
The fabulous Laura Mvula has kicked off three weeks of free piano lessons at the St Pancras terminal. The station has three good upright pianos and teachers will be standing by 11.00-14.00 from 23rd July to 12th August 2015 at each of them. This is a wonderful initiative by Youth Music, a charity which helped […]
What you need to show to carry an instrument on an aircraft
From January 1, 2015, it is the law in the US that airlines are obliged to take small musical instruments – including violins and guitars on board. They must also allow musicians to purchase an available seat for larger instruments. The obligation is listed in section 403 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012. You can […]
Ex-Verbier pianist loses everything in US house fire
‘Pray for me,’ messages Terrence Wilson, a concert pianist and former Verbier assistant, after fire gutted his Montclair, New Jersey, apartment block. Terrence has lost his piano and most of his possessions, including a Grammy nomination certificate. Offers of help are trickling in. If you know Terrence, send some solidarity to his facebook page.
Polish orchestra to headline Ukraine independence day
The region’s murky politics are often inseparable from culture. The I, Culture Orchestra – which brings together 94 musicians aged 18-28 from Poland, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Moldova and Armenia – will play Beethoven’s Ode to Joy in Kiev’s Maidan Square on August 24. That’s bound to please the Russians. I, Culture is based in Warsaw. […]
Just in: Top baritone cancels season due to bone marrow disease
We are very sorry to learn that the outstanding German baritone Johannes Martin Kränzle has cancelled his 2015 season after being diagnosed with bone marrow disease. He is awaiting a stem-cell transplant. Johannes, 52, a member of the of the Frankfurt Opera since 1998, has sung major roles at La Scala, Munich, Berlin, Glyndebourne and San Francisco. […]
Maestro quits Tanglewood to have baby
The knock-on effects of Oliver Knussen’s visa denial are becoming ever more dramatic. Act One: Ollie, booked five months ago to conduct a Gunther Schuller tribute, gets snarled in the US visa system and has to cancel at two days notice. Act Two: Modernist concert is split up between two resident young Brits, Jonathan Berman […]
Two Sibelius, please. No nuts.
From a drinking pal in Finland (where else?)
A Juilliard graduate pianist says the system is screwed
Jack Kohl, a New York based music director, has written his first novel, That Iron String(Pauktaug Press). It’s about a couple of pianists in New York, trying against all odds to make a go of it. Interviewed by our colleague Michael Johnson, Jack has this to say about the concert business: Aren’t we witnessing a lemming-like […]
Angela Merkel did not faint at Bayreuth
Two German media sites, Bild and Speigel, reported that the Chancellor fainted at a coffee bar in Bayreuth. They later printed a government statement saying it was nothing of the sort. Her chair was faulty and collapsed. The Chancellor went on to watch Tristan und Isolde, which she said she enjoyed. Our correspondent saw her […]