Four months ahead of the huge Olympic Festival seems an odd time for the director of ROH2 to swan off in pursuit of other interests.

Deborah, who has been responsible for small stages at Covent Garden, is becoming cultural partners director at King’s College, London. I don’t know what that is, but I’m sure she’ll let us know.

It is, however, much lower profile than her present role and, while I wish her all the very best, I do wonder what happened to persuade her that this was the perfect moment to be elsewhere. Could it be that the end-of-season retirement of her Royal Ballet mentor, Dame Monica Mason, will leave her feeling a little lonely and disgruntled?

Here‘s the ROH spin and here’s King’s College.


Just when you thought newspapers were dying faster than orchestras, the great city of Philadelphia – which has its fill of mortality fears on both counts – is waking up three mornings in a row to read a classical music series by Peter Dobrin and listen to a new trio commissioned by his newspaper, the Inquirer.

The focus is on the Curtis Institute and you can pick it up here. The music, by Curtis student Katerina Kramarchuk, can be heard here.


Is this for real? you ask. Fraid it is.

Watch and wonder how well-meaning people try to sell the arts to kids who don’t have a clue.

Here‘s the video of Brahms for breakfast.

And here, even dumber, is Van Goghurt.

It’s from Believe it.

Americans for the Arts logo

W?adys?aw Szpilman, the pianist who was hidden by a German officer in Warsaw and became the subject of Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning movie, was born 100 years ago today.

To mark the occasion, the Polish president Bronislaw Komorowski brought together Szpilman’s widow and son at the presidential palace with the daughter of the German who saved his life.


(Left to right: Halina Szpilmanowa, Pres Komnorowski and Jorinde Krejci-Hosenfeld; photo – PAP/Jacek Turczyk)
A plaque has been installed on the house where Szpilman was hidden. It reads: ‘W?adys?aw Szpilman – the outstanding pianist and composer of classical, film and light music. Author of occupation memoirs ‘The Death of a City’. Hero of Roman Pola?ski’s film The Pianist.’
Szpilman died in July 2000, before the film was finished.

There are sixteen orchestras in Norway. The population is less than five million.

Musical life thrives all the way up to the Arctic and musicians from all over the world are taking an interest. Last week, there were auditions for a trombone vacancy at the radio orchestra in Oslo. Applications were received from 85 candidates, most of them in other countries.

Norway can be very cold and is unkind to whales. However, by staying out of the European Union and prospecting for oil it has sustained a thriving economy and culture. Musicians may have woken up to those realities ahead of the rest of the world.

The Dutch actor Johannes Heesters is 108.

He’s still working. See here. His most recent appearance this year was in a short film, titled Ten.

Between 1935 and 1945 Heesters was an active Nazi sympathiser, performing for Hitler and Goebbels and, reportedly, for the SS at Dachau concentration camp. Longevity does not necessarily confer moral merit.