Xmas Cracker 1: A clarinet hymn beneath the surface of the earth
Our first seasonal offering features the clarinet class at Shenandoah Conservatory playing the Icelandic Hymn Heyr Himna Smiður deep down in Virginia’s famous Luray Caverns. If feels like the end of the world. You will want to hear it again. Here’s the standard choral version. h/t: Garrick Zoeter. You may recall this train station […]
‘Hard to remember when a pianist last gave Schubert such personal expression’
Who? It’s my five-star album of the week on sinfinimusic.com. Click here. This, on a boutique label, is Schubert playing at the Schnabel level.
The Communist kibbutz that failed in America
The death of Beryl Rubens, the viola-playing sister of a music-literary tribe, has called to mind these reminscences she recorded of the utopia she tried to found in the Catskills. ‘We were fed up with New York…. we lived together, and we got involved.’ Watch. Catskill Reds from Louis Proyect on Vimeo.
He sold his instruments to pay the rent. Now he’s composer of the year
Simon Dobson is passionate, expressive composer. He writes mostly for brass bands. Not much brass in that. Last year before Christmas, he sold the last of his instruments to avoid becoming homeless. This month he was named British Brass Composer of the Year for this quirky and original piece: Go, Simon.
Breaking: Sydney Opera cancels shows in security lockdown
The Sydney café siege has shut down the nearby opera house. Tuesday’s children’s shows are cancelled, as is a Damon Albarn performance in the concert hall. The site was evacuated after reports of a suspicious package. The world prays that the siege will end safely.
Met mezzo who founded a California opera house
Irene Dalis, who sang at the Met, Milan and Berlin before returning home to found the San Jose Opera, has died aged 89. Lovely profile here:
Ennio Morricone: One director I’ll never compose for again
The Italian film composer is extremely disgruntled with his recent work for Quentin Tarrantino. The pair worked together on Inglourious Basterds, and parts of Kill Bill. Morricone, 86, has cooked more spaghetti westerns than hot breakfasts. Tarantino, he says, ‘places music in his films without coherence.’ Ouch.
A time of gifts: Curtis gets $11.5 million
Never fail to be astonished at the munificence of US music supporters. A $20m gift for LA Phil last week, $11.5m for education this weekend. Press release follows: PHILADELPHIA, PA—December 15, 2014—The Curtis Institute of Music announces a combined $11.5 million in gifts from Board Chair Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, including a $10 […]
The happy face of a tragic Cliburn winner
We have been talking to various friends of José Feghali, the 1985 Van Cliburn gold medallist who took his own life last week. The person who was closer to him than any other was Jim Denton, a cellist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra. Jim and José shared an apartment with a third musician in 1982-83 […]
Season’s joy: Cellist is forced to breastfeed in the car
Katherine Jenkinson, cellist of the Aquinas Piano Trio, was booked last week to play with her group at the Oriental Club in London’s West End. The club is one of those crusty relics of empire that cling to the London scene by dint of a wealthy membership and a book of rules that makes the […]
Playing to the end, a musical dynasty takes its final bow
We have been informed of the death of Beryl Rubens, an accomplished violinist and viola player and member of a musical family. Before migrating to the US, she played in the orchestra of Welsh National Opera. portrait by Norma Procter Beryl’s brother Harold Rubens was a piano prodigy and close friend of Nelson […]