Two Wagner operas are three-quarters unsold this week
One of our readers alerts us to some empty Wagner nights this week: (We) found out by accident that the Theater Freiburg is performing Parsifal and Tannhauser (fully staged, company of 200) at the Theatre Royal, Norwich at the end of this week. Toying with the idea of a weekend break checked the theatre site […]
‘Mozart’s three last symphonies were, in fact, one’
That’s Nikolaus Harnoncourt’s latest theory, so he has re-recorded the works as a single entity of 12 movements. Inevitably, with Harnoncourt, the musical logic reinforces his original idea. Read more here. The recording is my Album of the Week on sinfinimusic.com.
Label news: Queen Elisabeth champion signs exclusive deal with Naxos
It is reported in Switzerland that Boris Giltburg, the Israeli pianist who came second to Daniil Trifonov in the Rubinstein before going on to win the Reine Elisabeth, has signed an exclusive recording deal with Naxos. Giltburg, 30, had previously worked with niche label Orchid while awaiting an approach from the majors. But the majors […]
Breaking: Ring director considers legal action against Bayreuth
Frank Castorf, last-minute director of last summer’s catastrophic Ring cycle has engaged the Gregor Gysi law firm to pursue a case against Katharina Wagner and Eva Wagner-Pasquier, directors of the Bayreuth Festival. Castorf claims the Wagners replaced his Alberich without consultation, sacked his designer and tried to prevent him putting a neo-Nazi placard on stage. […]
Mischa Maisky: The most unbelievable musician I ever met
The ongoing controversy about Isaac Stern has sparked a fascinating conversation about great violinists who, for one reason or other, never became world famous. The name that shot to the top of the pile was the Latvian violinist, Philippe Hirschhorn. Philippe who? Ljubisa Jovanovic explains. Philippe Hirschhorn (Violin) Born: 1946 – Riga, Latvia (former USSR)Died: […]
Le Sucre du printemps: Just desserts with Slava, Rubinstein and cigar-smoking Galina
Another priceless new video from a lunch to remember. Plenty of singing and a personal memory of Chaliapin in the nude. Click on ‘Post’ if video fails to pop up. Post by Meloclassic.
Composer is named president of Munich conservatoire
The composer Bernd Redmann has been announced this weekend as the new chief of Munich’s Hochschule für Musik und Theater. He’ll have to start getting used to wearing a tie. Redmann succeeds Siegfried Mauser who, after 11 years, has taken an upgrade to become Rektor of the Mozart University in Salzburg.
Yale student wins Leipzig Bach prize
A School of Music that has lagged in recent years behind the best now has a feather to put in its cap. Hilda Huang, 18, an American scholarship student at Yale, took first prize at the prestigious Leipzig contest. Second was Schaghajegh Nosrati, 25 (Germany/Iran). Third was a Latvian, Georg Kjurdian, 20.
First false move by Met union
A statement from the musicians union president Tino Gagliardi has been sent our way. Published in an old-school workers’ journal, it amounts to an attack on Peter Gelb’s policy of promoting new operas – which Mr Gagliardi considers avant-garde – and which he claims have been box-office failures. Quote: He also notes the avant-garde operas Gelb champions to draw younger customers […]
A musical survivor from the genocide no-one dares to mention
I came across a lovely piece in a rural newspaper about a conductor, Vartan Melkonian, who works with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Vartan grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, as a street kid, the orphaned child of refugees who escaped genocide – the planned destruction of their race by a ruthless empire. He spent the first […]
BBC I-player is down. Bad news for the Proms.
The BBC i-player has been largely shut down by what is described as a ‘technical problem’. The BBC press office said it was ‘some people cannot access certain parts of BBC online ..We are working hard to fix this as soon as possible.’ An ever-increasing proportion of the Proms audience accesses the concerts via the […]