Doyen of English quartet leaders has died, aged 90
Colin Sauer, leader of the Dartington string quartet and a violinist for many years in the Academy of St Martin-in-the-Fields, is no more. Colin was a quiet mentor to countless professionals and a fierce tennis player. Before the War, he was a finalist at Junior Wimbledon.
How many piano concertos can you fit in one concert?
Valery Gergiev is conducting all five by Prokofiev at one BBC Prom – a piece of swagger programming that lacks poetry or coherent reasoning. Now Gergiev best mate and fellow-Putinist Denis Matsuev has announced he will play all three Tchaikovsky piano concertos in one concert next week in Yekaterinburg. The concert has been given the […]
Data crunch: At 33 you lose interest in new music
A survey of Spotify data shows that people’s interest in new music tails off at the advanced old age of 33. After that, we tune into the oldies and assure one another that music was so much better back then. Same in classical-contemporary music?
How to run an opera without an artistic director
Lyric Opera of Kansas City thinks it can, firing Ward Holmquist after 17 years in charge. Statement from the chairman, Kenneth Hager: ‘Lyric Opera of Kansas City is reorganizing along the lines of standard industry structure for the purpose of improved effectiveness and efficiency in our operation and has eliminated the position of artistic director. […]
Tragedy: British composer dies in NY house fire
Ronald Senator, who achieved widespread recognition for a 1986 Holocaust Requiem, has died with his wife, Miriam Brickman, in a New York house fire. Ronald was 89. A student of Egon Wellesz at Oxford, he cut a large figure on the London scene in the 1980s.
In Russia, they (don’t) discourage women concertmasters
Our man in Moscow says there are plenty of chamber orchs that are led by women, but the main symphony orchestras maintain a male closed shop. Anyone know of exceptions? UPDATE: Our man in Moscow is wrong. Here’s a list of woman concertmasters from reader Max Grimm: Lyudmila Tchaikovskaya, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra Tatiana Porshneva, Russian […]
Just in: Three finalists named in Malko competition
This morning, they were six. Tonight, jury president Sakari Oramo announced three candidates for tomorrow’s Final Round: Tung-Chieh Chuang (Taiwan) David Niemann (Germany, pictured) Jesko Sirvend (Germany)
Doctors, book a classical pianist for your waiting room
A Minnesota-based study in Musicae Scientiae says live music calms patients down and takes their mind off their woes and how late their appointment is running. If your practice can’t afford a decent piano and performer, book a classical guitarist. An opera singer is probably not advised (though we’re thinking of funding a study).
Love the piano, not sure about the sound
In Budapest on other business, I stopped by Franz Liszt’s old place to examine his keyboard collection. No artist on any instrument did more to challenge manufacturers to make improvements to what he played. Over Liszt’s lifetime, largely driven by him, the piano matured from tinkle to thunder. Here’s what’s left in the apartment: Two […]
Nelsons plans triumphal tour
Regardless of the Berlin Philharmonic vote on May 11, Andris Nelsons is bringing his Boston band to Europe this summer for their highest profile tour in many years. Press release follows. Andris Nelsons will lead his first tour as Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, conducting the famed ensemble in an extensive […]
A maestro asks: Does a woman concertmaster change my orchestra?
Among volumes of responses to our groundbreaking survey of woman concertmasters comes one from a well-known music director who wonders whether there is an appreciable difference when his orchestra is led by a woman, or a man. This particular maestro has a woman concertmaster at his orchestra, and his question is offered in the soirit […]