UK orch signs ‘royal’ liquor deal with China
The UK Government is claiming a breakthrough in winning the first Chinese sponsorship for a British arts company. It’s worth half a million pounds over five years and it’s between Wuliangye Yibin Company, makers of a rice liquor, and the Philharmonia Orchestra, who don’t mind a drink. Liu Zhongguo, chairman of Wuliangye, said at a […]
Maxim Shostakovich: Why I returned to Russia
The composer’s son fled the Soviet Union in 1981, in what he describes as the ‘era of stagnation’. He has told Russian interviewer that he wanted to tell the truth about his father and make a political protest. But he has moved back now. ‘I want my children to grow up in Russia, to feel […]
No English competitor at Cardiff Singer of the World
The BBC has announced 20 contestants for this summer’s televised singathon. Among them are three South Koreans, three Americans, two from Belarus and one each for a dozen other nations. A Swansea soprano, Céline Forrest, is included by virtue of winning the Welsh Singers Competition. No contestant made the cut from any other part of the […]
China’s piano king is out for six months
Yundi Li, who has far more followers on Chinese social media than any other pianist we can think of, has cancelled all engagements until July. We understand that his father is undergoing major surgery and Yundi, 32, wants to be around until he is on the road to recovery. Just another reason why some of […]
$200 million for touching up a concert hall? Not again…
The government of New South Wales has decided to sink a fortune into ‘renewing’ the concert hall inside Sydney Opera House. Bad move. The concert hall has never been great from the day it opened, and never will. London has squandered hundreds of millions on two bad halls, the Royal Festival Hall and the Barbican, […]
A defining oboist
It’s the centenary year of Haakon Stotijn (11-02-1915 – 03-11-1964), principal oboist of the Concertgebouw orchestra from 1940 to his early death. His father Jaap was principal oboe in The Hague. The Stotijns set the tone across the Netherlands. Haakon’s son, Marc, is building a website to their achievements. See it here.
Meet the ‘it’ conductor
Musicians of the Met orchestra are getting out more and more on their website. We particularly liked this dinner interview with one of their conductors, Pable Heras-Cassado, a man seemingly without pretensions. Asked why he doesn’t use a baton, he gives a straight answer: ‘I am left-handed. I tried holding the baton with the right, […]
Europe’s best airline for instruments is…
… according to Die Zeit…. Alitalia. The Italian airline specifies: ‘All musical instruments less than 115 cm long and 8 kg in weight can be carried as hand luggage. Full report here.
Here’s who you missed at the Oscars
He’s with Oscar-winning composer, Alexandre Desplat. Is there any party he doesn’t crash?
I’m a concert pianist with great reviews. I work behind a bar.
We received today a round-robin from a young British pianist whose talent is unquestioned. A Gramophone reviewer called his current series of recordings ‘a triumphant achievement’. Others, in Europe, have written of his ‘creative mastery’. We have heard his performances; they are of a very high order. But this pianist is not getting a foot […]