Maestro moves: US stick wins Swiss band
Joshua Weilerstein has been named artistic director of the Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne from next summer on a four year deal. Recently, he came second in a baton shoot-out for the Luxembourg Philharmonic. Lausanne has nicer views.
The Mike Nichols tripwire test for classical radio presenters
Andrew Patner tells us that the film director Mike Nichols, who died today, was the first announcer at WFMT Chicago and creator of its 61 year running Saturday night folk music and comedy program “The Midnight Special.” He also wrote the station’s audition test for prospective announcers. The test is still used today. Try it, […]
The oboist that Boulez chose
We are sad to report the death in Bristol, after a long illness, of Robin Miller, a prince among British oboists. He was 72. Robin was picked by Pierre Boulez as principal oboe in the BBC Symphony Orchestra and went on to play for 13 years in the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. He was a founder […]
Last film of Frans Brüggen hits the festival circuit
He was paper-thin and confined to a wheelchair when I saw him at the Warsaw Chopin festival in August last year, but Frans Brüggen was happy to cooperate with a film team, scorning his frailty, oblivious to image. He died a year later. The documentary about Frans Brüggen and his Orchestra of the Eighteenth Century by […]
Shock, horror: Conductor is found strangled
The Mexican conductor Luis Fernando Luna Guarneros, missing since Sunday, has been found murdered. The death is being treated as a crime of passion, although there are other lines of inquiry. Strange messages were sent from his cellphone for two days after his disappearance. Luis was associate director of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Yucatán, in a […]
A Rattle mentor has gone to her rest
Ivey Dickson ran the National Youth Orchestra from 1966 to 1984, shifting the repertoire from English-traditional to Stravinsky, Bartok and Boulez. Simon Rattle, a percussion player, was decisively influenced. Ivey has died, aged 95. Obituary here. photo (c) Graham Salter/Lebrecht Music&Arts, c.1980
The man who broke, and broke up, Simon and Garfunkel
The death has been announced of Mike Nichols, the movie director. He made Simon and Garfunkel into huge stars by using their songs as soundtrack to The Graduate. Then he was blamed for their break-up, by giving Garfunckel a major role in Catch-22 and consigning Simon to the cutting floor.
Maestro is risen in US classical charts
A month before Christmas, what’s peaking on the Nielsen Soundscan graphs? At number 1, the complete Andrea Bocelli. At 2, 10 years of Andre Rieu. At 3, Christmas at Harvard. At 4, Britain’s Got Talent singer Jonathan Antoine. The first two albums sold over 2,500 copies last week. The next two fewer than 500. A […]
A shoddy deal in Seville
The local power brokers wanted to renew Pedro Halffter as music director. The musicians protested they’d had enough after ten years getting nowhere. Implacable force met irresistible players. The result? Halffter remains chief at the Teatro de la Maestranza, while the American John Axelrod gets to lead the orchestra concerts. Good result? Like all political deals, […]
How long can a grand piano survive in the open air?
The Dutch composer Rik Elings found a grand abandoned beside a canal after a photoshoot in August. He passes by and plays it every day, filming and recording the process of deterioration. Not sure what the end result will be, but here’s yesterday’s video. Day 86 and it’s still more or less in tune. […]