How to get your instrument past the ivory police
The ivory ban imposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and followed by some other nations has left many musicians in a state of high anxiety about getting their instruments through airports. Joey Grimmer, incoming principal bassoon of Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera orchestra, has compiled an indispensable guide to instruments and ivory. […]
International pianist vanishes from university roster
Alexander Toradze, the Georgian pianist and Valery Gergiev pal, has been a professor at Indiana University South Bend since 1991. They haven’t seen him since last August and have no idea when he’s likely to return. ‘It’s a personnel issue and we can’t comment on it,’ says the college. More here.
Pianist has instruments seized in noise row
John Hudspith, a retired hotel manager in Coventry, got into a row with his neighbours. After a lot of slamming doors, he bought an amplifier and started playing classical pieces very loud. Last week, enforcement officers seized his keyboard, organ and amplifier after his third alleged breach of a noise abatement order. Full, sad story here.
UK conductor quits US orch
Alastair Willis is leaving the Illinois Symphony Orchestra midways through his contract in order ‘to balance the demands of his international performance schedule’. Alastair, US born, was raised in Surrey and went to university in Bristol and Kingston. He now lives in Seattle.
Want to own Maria Callas’s car?
It’s on sale next Monday in Monte Carlo. Details here.
Liszt’s last piano goes on show
Or so they say. The 1862 Erard was in Liszt’s apartment in the Vatican at the time of his death in 1886. It lay untouched for more than a century until its rediscovery in the 1990s by the Italian pianist, Carlo Maria Dominici. Newly restored, it is going on public display this week for the first […]
Death of a principled clarinettist
Jessica Duchen reports the death of her neighbour, John McCaw, at the age of 96. Jack, a New Zealander, was principal clarinet of the New Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic in the glory days. He was old-school London muso, hard-working, unassuming, dazzling on his night. He played the first Nielsen concerto I ever heard. […]
Bayreuth gets an American Isolde
We’re excited to report that, at the dress rehearsal of Katharina Wagner’s new production of Tristan und Isolde, the part of Isolde was sung by Linda Watson, deputising for an unwell Evelyn Herlitzius. Linda had flown in just a day earlier from California. Evelyn is expected to reclaim the role on opening night, but insiders tell […]
Mahler portrait is stolen
We reported yesterday that a portrait of Gustav Mahler, inscribed by him to Arnold Schoenberg, had been put up for sale on ebay. The ownership looked a bit suspicious. It now appears to be decidedly questionable. We have received the following message from Larry Schoenberg, the composer’s son: ‘It is clear to me that the […]