How few records can a Met star sell?
The weekly list of US classical sales becomes ever more depressing. Only Bocelli reached 1,000 CD and download sales on Nielsen Soundscan last week; the next best record failed to sell 400. But the most shocking stat is that a new DG release by Piotr Beczala, the Polish tenor who has been wowing Met audiences […]
Russian Wagner director faces Pussy Riot charge
A production of Tannhäuser in Novosibirsk has drawn a complaint from the Russian Orthodox church and a police charge of offending religious sensibilities against the director, Timofei Kulyabin. production shot He is accused of public ‘desecration of the object of religious worship in Christianity – the image of Jesus Christ in the Gospels’. The show opened in […]
Madonna falls backwards at Brits, blames Armani
The video…. the coverage… the commentary. She wrote on Instagram: ‘Armani hooked me up! My beautiful cape was tied too tight! But nothing can stop me and love really lifted me up! Thanks for your good wishes! I’m fine! #livingforlove.’
She sang for Stravinsky
The Welsh mezzo-soprano Maureen Guy, who saing in Igor Stravinsky’s 80th birthday Athens production of Oedipus Rex and in Georg Solti’s Decca Ring cycle, has died, aged 82. Her sorrowing husband, whom she married in 1958, is the tenor John Mitchinson. Our warm sympathies to John and their two sons, David and Mark.
Hussain abandons Passenger
Productions are coming thick and fast for Mieczysław Weinberg’s opera, The Passenger. It opened to standing ovations and rave reviews in Chicago on Tuesday and has its next production in Frankfurt-am-Main on Sunday. Problem, though. Frankfurt’s British conductor, Leo Hussain, has fallen sick after five weeks of arduous rehearsals. He will be substituted by a […]
Christian wins € 35,000 Siemens award
The British composer Christian Mason, 30, woke up a lot less poor this morning. Click here. Christian lives in London and works with the LSO.
Just in: The new concertmaster is… 24
Friederike Starkloff has taken over as first concertmaster of the NDR Philharmonic in Hannover. Originally from Chemnitz, she has won any number of competitions and plays a J.B. Guadagnini, on loan from the Baden-Württemberg State Collection. She has recorded Mozart sonatas on the Oehms label and is a fearless performer. She succeeds Volker Worlitzsch, who has retired.
New York Phil names assistant conductor
Joshua Gersen his name is, and he starts in September. A Curtis grad, he has been music director of the New York Youth Symphony for the past couple of years. WQXR have an interview here.
Be afraid: Roger is on the Lewis again
In rugby news….. the chief executive of Welsh Rugby Union will step down after the World Cup this autumn. Roger Lewis, who will be 61, is a former head of BBC Radio 1, Decca Records, EMI Classics and Classic FM. He has one more job left in him. Obvious vacancies: BBC Proms controller, Classic FM, […]
This Steinway artist is 92 and a stroke survivor
Don Puryear of Steinway Piano Gallery of Houston writes: Last week in the Steinway Showroom, I met Betty Ruth Tomfohrde. She asked me to play Chopin’s Ocean Etude on the Horowitz Steinway for her, and after I finished, I asked her to play Chopin for me. I’m not sure what I was expecting….but I wasn’t expecting […]
Tears at the Met: Opera’s lovebirds are getting divorced
Barely had they broken on Women’s Wear Daily as the new power couple of the opera stage than soprano Ailyn Pérez and tenor Stephen Costello are getting divorced (our social affairs correspondent reports). Rumours had been floating for a while. Pérez is currently singing Micaela in the Met’s Carmen. On February 9, she told Latin […]