No Naxos release topped 5,000 sales last year
The latest stats from Klaus Heymann, founder of the budget classical label: ‘CD sales are not holding,’ Heymann said. ‘In 2015, we had seven new releases that sold more than 10,000. In 2016, not a single release sold more than 5000. There’s still a stable market that buys 2000–4000 of everything. I am confident there […]
Jazz violin legend dies, aged 100
The extraordinary Svend Asmussen died today. A stalwart of the swing era, the Danish violinist played with Fats Waller, Duke Ellington and Benny Goodman, with Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Known as the Fiddling Viking, he gave concerts up to the age of 94.
When Donald Trump tried to be a Broadway producer
Our pals at ZealNYC have dug up a slice of stage history: Donald Trump, 23, thought he would like to be a Broadway producer. He met with David Black, a successful producer … and they joined together—Black providing the experience and know-how and Trump putting up a sizeable chunk of the money—for a new comedy, […]
A concert pianist is selling his Harlem loft
If you need space for a Harlem grand, this could be yours for $2.25 million. One careful owner: Inon Barnatan. He paid $1.182 million for the space in 2007. More facts and pics here.
John Williams is 85 tomorrow
Happy 85th birthday to the most successful film composer of all time. I have not always been an unqualified admirer. Fifteen years ago, I attacked him for eclecticism. But beside many of today’s film composers he sounds like a classic. Read my original assessment here.
Sonya Yoncheva drops a role
The temperamental Bulgarian says she won’t sing Tatiana in Eugene Onegin again, cancelling Paris in June. A few weeks ago, she missed Manon at Monte Carlo with back pain. Last summer she skipped Salzburg and the Munich Festival.
Just in: Stockholm decides that Sting is classical
When they get it wrong up north, they go right off the radar. First the Nobel Prize for Literature is awarded to a songwriter, Bob Dylan. Today, the Polar Music Prize was given to the British rock musician Sting and the American jazz musician Wayne Shorter. The rules of the million-crown ($120,000) prize, founded by […]
Music director gives birth to triplets
When we announced the birth of a child yesterday to Joana Carneiro, music director of the Berkeley Symphony, we erred on the side of understatement. The orchestra has tweeted that Joana gave birth to triplets. We understand that they are two girls and a boy. Their names are: José Joaquim; Maria de Conceição; and Maria […]
Boston mourns a principal trombone
Don Davis, principal trombone of the Boston Philharmonic since it was founded in 1979, has died of cancer. Read Benjamin Zander’s tribute here.
Young Puccini’s lost organ music to have an unexpected premiere
It had long been assumed that the music Giacomo Puccini wrote for the church organ at Lucca as a boy was either lost or insignificant. Apparently not. Researchers have found 45 minutes of unpublished score and there’s to be a premiere at Lucca on May 5.