Natalie Portman directs Hebrew-speaking film
The Hollywood actor is in Israel for the Jerusalem premiere and general release of her debut film as director. In A Tale of Love and Darkness she brings to the screen the autobiography of Israeli writer Amos Oz. Natalie, who also co-wrote the script, plays the role of Oz’s mother, Fania. Portman, who was raised […]
Maestro stays: Finn extends in London
He has been chief conductor with the BBC Symph since 2013. Today, Sakari Oramo renewed until 2020. Mural by Norman Perryman Here’s hoping the orch survives that long.
The last public smoker in classical music
Yuri Bashmet, viola player and ensemble director, puffing away at a press conference yesterday in Rostov-on-Don.
Bring back Kiri, cry Rugby Union watchers
There’s a swell of protest online at the truly appalling singing of the Rugby Union World Cup anthem by Paloma Faith, a throaty pop pusher. A petition has been launched to have her replaced. Traditionalists are calling for the restoration of Dame Kiri, or Bryn Terfel. Gustav Holst is turning in his grave. Sign the […]
What has changed at English National Opera? The language
A message from new chief executive Cressida Pollock on ‘some of the exciting changes that are happening at ENO': You will notice a few changes in the way that our brand looks and feels. We have been looking at how we express the ENO brand, whether through the way that we look and the way that […]
Rest in peace, Avery Fisher
The hall he endowed for the New York Philharmonic was renamed yesterday. Avery Fisher, an enthusiastic violinist and electronics millionaire who died in 1994, gave his life for classical music. David Geffen, a rock mogul, gave $100 million. That’s why his name is now on the hall. There is no room for sentiment in arts […]
NY Phil scores $25 million opening night gift
The Pope was a no-show for the season’s first symphony concert, but Oprah Winfrey and Barbra Streisand turned up on the red carpet and so did the biggest gift in 173 years of Philharmonic activity. The board chairman, Oscar Schafer, and his wife, Didi (pictured), gave $25 million. Just like that: $20m for the endowment […]
Your weekend read: What critics want
Allan Kozinn has trained his critical eye on his own profession and has come up with a shortfall. He writes a list of what a critic ought to be in 2015… and leaves us struggling to name one who ticks all the boxes. In the 21st century, after all, a classical music critic should […]
UK director slams New York’s opera censors
Sir Jonathan Miller has lashed out at the US political correctness brigade who forced the cancellation of a Mikado production because it did not employ ethnic Japanese singers. Sir JM tells Nick Clark in tomorrow’s Indy: ‘It is amazing that anyone who could think the operetta was Japanese could find their way to the […]
Who’s opening China’s first piano museum? (Hint: Not Lang Lang)
The city of Chongqing now has the largest piano museum in China. It opened on Tuesday with 200 historic pianos of various periods, including one that was owned by Camille Saint-Saens. Yundi Li is the museum’s honorary director.
Warning: We’re losing our best comprimarios
Speight Jenkins, the former Seattle Opera director, is worried that the most experienced character actors in opera are being replaced by cheaper, younger substitutes. He has written a thoughtful, detailed essay on the risks: The other day one of the excellent character artists in opera wrote me that he was going into another business: he […]