Death of an eminent Baltic conductor
We have been informed of the death of Saulius Sondeckis, founder of the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra in 1960 and its conductor until closure in 2004. Sondeckis guest conducted widely across the world and made numerous recordings. He was 87.
Budget airline issues new violin rules
Norwegian, buffeted by strong headwinds on Slipped Disc, has revised its instrument policy in line with general European standards. See here. It’s safe to fly Norwegian once more.
University of Copenhagen fires 500 after Govt cuts
It has been confirmed today that 532 will lose their jobs, amounting to 7.4 percent of the workforce. They include professors, administrators and support staff. The first 209 will be fired arbitrarily next week. The rector describes it as ‘a huge loss of knowledge and competencies.’ We have not yet heard how the music department will […]
International violinist responds to bad reviews
The irrepressible violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has opened a trash bin on her website to deal with bad reviews. Yes, deal with them. She responds to factual errors in reviews and rebukes lapses of taste. She demands gently to know who – herself or the reviewer – has spent longer studying the score or living with […]
Official: After 71 years, Jane is now the longest serving orchestral player
Slipped Disc’s exclusive list of longest serving orchestral players has finally been topped. After four years and dozens of comments and contributions, someone has finally beaten Frances Darger’s 70 years in the violin section of the Utah Symphony. This week marked the eighty-seventh birthday of Jane Little and her 71st year in the bass section of […]
Simon Keenlyside makes recital return but cancels another opera
The popular British baritone, who has suffered more than a year of ill-health, made a welcome return at Wigmore Hall on Sunday night, without attracting press attention. From social media responses, it seems to have gone well. However, Simon has announced his withdrawal from all Munich performances of Un ballo in maschera for the rest […]
Why Munich keeps winning the opera race
When we reported yesterday that Bavarian State Opera had sold out the entire run of a new opera two weeks before its world premiere, there were grunts and shrugs of couldn’t-happen-here from most other opera capitals around the world. So what makes Munich audiences so loyal? Richard Hartmann has some answers for us: Munich has […]
Alarm as international soprano collapses in mid-aria
A performance of Benjamin Godard’s rarely-revived Dante at Versailles was halted last night after the French soprano Véronique Gens collapsed on stage. A critic for forumopera.com, Laurent Bury, writes that Véronique, 49, appeared to lose her voice during a climactic aria. She then collapsed onto a desk, her head on her chest. A mezzo-soprano signalled for […]
Sicklist: Muti’s out after a hip operation
Overnight from the Chicago Symphony: CHICAGO— CSO Music Director Riccardo Muti is unable to conduct his February concerts in Chicago due to recovery from a hip operation that was needed following a minor accident. We wish Riccardo a swift recovery. UPDATE: It appears he suffered a fall at home, in Ravenna.
America’s most exclusive college? It’s Curtis
The most selective college in the United States is Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music, according to StartClass, an education research org. Curtis admitted just 5.1 percent of applicants in 2014-15 – 14 out of 277 – tying for top place with Stanford. Juilliard? Way back in 10th place. Must try harder, New York. The list […]
London awaits return of naked opera
Holland Park’s new season witnesses a revival of Mascagni’s Iris, an opera whose heroine dreams she is being encircled naked by an octopus. It’s the pivotal scene; without it, nothing else makes sense. Iris was brought back to London by OHP in 1977 after a lifetime’s absence; if you missed it then, here’s your second […]