Missing persons alert

Missing persons alert


norman lebrecht

June 20, 2008

A year ago I asked ‘has anybody seen Alberto Vilar?’  Several readers were kind enough to respond and I was relieved to learn that the former philanthropist is still going to the opera while awaiting his fraud trial in September.

How about Chris Craker, though? Has anyone seen Chris?

Up to a couple of months ago he was running the classical output of Sony-BMG and talking up the industry in the music magazines with a lovely line in chutzpah. Then  the inevitable happened. A short press statement said he was gone and the cheery fellow has not been responding to emails. I do hope he’s OK. Tell me if you’ve seen him.

The ones I feel sorriest for at Sony are the fine young artists that Chris signed – the Skrida sisters from Latvia and the lovely Lisa Batiashvili. Who will record them now? 

Meantime, better news of two victims of the EMI crunch. Barry McCann, who used to run the classical label in the UK and was Our Nige’s best mate, has joined the self-publishing co-op Avie, while Theo Lap, who ran classical marketing, has joined the Dutch label Brilliant Classics. Brilliant it occasionally is, with low-cost boxes of collected works – the complete Messiaen on 17CDs, for instance, for as little as 30 Euros.

 For some reason they do not appear to be available in the US.



  • Allan says:

    For what it’s worth, I was incorrect; Brilliant is actually distributed by Koch in the US, not Qualiton. (The Friedrich Gulda Beethoven Piano Concertos with Horst Stein/Vienna turned up this afternoon.)
    NL: Thanks, Allan. I need to get me among those Guldas again.