BBC treats living composers as ‘pond life’
Oliver Knussen issued the following diatribe last night at the Ivor Novello awards: ‘Some of us who write music today, we don’t write very far out music, we don’t write very populist music, we write what we believe in and to communicate a vision. ‘There are an extraordinary number of incredibly gifted young composers … […]
Young string quartet wins $100,000
The inaugural winners of the University of Michigan’s Chamber Arts Competition are the Calidore String Quartet. The quartet, average age 27, beat four saxophonists and a piano-percussion foursome in the final. Players: Jeffrey Myers; Ryan Meehan; Jeremy Berry; Estelle Choi.
Is a conductor always self-employed?
It’s a thorny tax question. If a maestro’s main job is with one orchestra, can he be considered freelance for the purposes of claiming peripheral expenses against tax? The case was fought out yesterday in a Dresden court between Philharmonic music director Michael Sanderling and the local taxman. Maestro won. (Between fuzzy lines.) Read here.
EUYO plays out against EU
At noon today, players from the European Union Youth Orchestra, past and present, will join musicians from other youth and professional orchestras in a protest against the EU’s decision to end funding for its youth orchestra. The idea is to let music sound out against a wall of Brussels silence. Venue: Festival Terrace, Royal Festival Hall, […]
Netrebko triumphs in Wagner debut
No reviews yet of last night’s Lohengrin in Dresden, but the ovations lasted 15 minutes and first social media murmurings suggest that Anna Netrebko’s Elsa, to Piotr’s Beczala’s Lohengrin, was the stuff of dreams.
A Metropolitan Opera legend has died, aged 97
Irene Jordan, who opened the 1947 Met season as Lakmé before upgrading to coloratura soprano, has died in Dalton MA at the great age of 97. Before she even won her Met debut she was spotted by NBC and awarded her own weekly show, Songs by Irene. Leonard Bernstein nominated her in 1961 as one of […]
Tony Bennett’s son is new US head of Universal classics and jazz
Apparently, he will be working with a specialist classical chief, whose appointment will be announced shortly. The vacancy arose as a result of Elizabeth Sobol’s departure (for those are keeping score). The other point to note is that classics will be run out of New York, not LA. Anyway, here’re the press release that’s about […]
William Kapell’s widow opens up about the lost pianist
Allan Evans has been out again with his microphone. William Kapell was married to the extraordinary Dr. Anna Lou DeHavenon. Here is an interview with her and how she faced a stress-fraught performance when her husband was ordered by a Draculesque conductor to swallow an unwanted work. Listen here.
Official: Andris Nelsons is DG’s new Karajan
They have just signed him to record a substantial Bruckner series with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, along with a Beethoven symphonic cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Shostakovich symphonies in Boston. Actually, even Karajan never signed so much away in a day. Press release below. Andris Nelsons, widely considered as one of today’s most charismatic and compelling conductors, […]
Few traces left of Huguette’s great recorded legacy
A cri-de-coeur from the French harpsichordist Orhan Memed: I’m one of the many students of Huguette Dreyfus whom Jory Vinikour mentions in his touching tribute and who finds himself utterly at a loss to imagine the musical world without her presence. I feel compelled to write to point out with regret how few of her recordings […]
Barenboim will tutor BBC Young Musician
Not the cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won this year’s competition, but one of the other finalists, horn player Ben Goldscheider. Read on: Ben Goldscheider was due to study at the Berlin Hochschule next year, but his plans have just changed quite dramatically… He has been approached by the Barenboim-Said Akademie (also in Berlin), a […]