They write chamber music. Some quite well. See here.



rozsa cd

A viola player of the Royal Concertgebouw, Vincent Peters, has urged the Orchestra to make a statement on Russian LGBT-policies during its forthcoming tour in November.

“It is the policy of the Orchestra that during tours to countries where human rights are under pressure, e.g. China and Abu Dhabi, efforts are made to build bridges via music and master classes.” The Dutch gay rights movement COC suggested to change the program and play Tchaikovsky instead of Mahler.

After a meeting with leaders of the Dutch GLBT-movement, the Orchestra

decided that no statements will be made during the tour.

In November, the King and Queen of the Netherlands plan to visit Moscow for a concert by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (Mariss Jansons conducting Mahler II). It is the first time in 40 years that the orchestra goes to Russia. Queen Maxima is the patron of the orchestra.

There is diplomatic tension between Russia and the Netherlands since a Russian diplomat was arrested by Dutch police and a Dutch diplomat was beaten up in his apartment in Moscow and had LGBT scrawled on the bathroom mirror and a Dutch Greenpeace Vessel was seized by Russian marine and its crew accused of piracy.

The concert is part of the last part (Asia and Australia) of the world

tournee of the Concertgebouw orchestra. The RCO claims to be the first

orchestra to play in the fice continents in the same year. Ironically,

the visit of the Dutch Royals to Russia marks the end of the

celebrations of the Russian-Dutch friendship year.

jansons turangalila



Message received:

My father, Edward Simons who lives in Rockland County NY has been

conducting the Rockland Symphony since 1952 and he has a young

people’s concert tomorrow. He will be 97 on 2/1/14. Someone told me

they googled him and he’s the oldest active conductor in the country

or the world but I wasn’t sure if that’s true – wasn’t sure how to

verify it. We have 4 generations of musicians in our family – very

talented grandchildren (Ed’s great-grandkids) Dad also still teaches

violin and performs and plays string quartets regularly. At a recent

community gathering, we played the G Minor Mozart Piano Quartet with 2

of my musician grandkids.

Jo Simons

edward (1)



This is a sombre ending. Min-Jin Kym, whose Stradivarius was stolen while she drank coffee in a London train station and then returned after a huge police effort, has decided to sell it. Life does not always pan out the way you plan.

Release below.

Min-Jin Kym

Stolen ‘ex-Kym’ Stradivarius to be sold

Stolen and recovered Stradivarius to be sold at auction by Tarisio in December 2013

The world-famous Stradivarius violin that was stolen from London’s Euston Station in 2010 and later recovered, will now be going on sale at auction on 18th December 2013.

The violin belonged to London-based violinist Min-Jin Kym, a celebrated international soloist and chamber musician and the story of the theft received worldwide attention and sympathy. After chasing leads across Europe, the instrument was recovered three years later by the police in the Midlands, astonishingly undamaged.

Though she has since acquired another Stradivarius violin Ms. Kym hopes the public sale of the violin will help close this chapter of her life; “This violin was a faithful friend for many years and I was devastated by its loss. Its recovery is an absolute relief and I am eager to hear the violin onstage once more and I wish its next owner all the best of luck and success.”

The ‘ex-Kym’ Stradivarius will be sold by Tarisio, the leading auction house for fine stringed instruments. “It is so exceptionally fortunate that Min-Jin’s violin was recovered safely and can now find its way into the hands of the next deserving owner,” says Jason Price, Director of Tarisio. “Min-Jin made a spectacular start to her career on this Stradivarius and we are certain the next owner will find similar success.”

Made in Cremona, Italy in 1696 by the Italian master Antonio Stradivarius, the ‘ex-Kym’ Stradivarius is one of an estimated 600 remaining instruments highly sought-after by performers and collectors. Stradivarius violins regularly sell for many millions of pounds; Tarisio set the current world record at public auction for a violin in 2011 with the sale of the ‘Lady Blunt’ Stradivarius for £9.8 million.

Launched in 1999, Tarisio combines the services of a traditional auction house with the efficiency and accessibility of online sales. Whilst Sotheby’s and Christie’s fine instrument departments have recently closed down, Tarisio has continued to expand, each year hosting nine auctions and continuing to set records in New York and London.

At the time of theft news reports valued the violin at £1.2 million. Online bidding for the auction will start at £1 million but the final price could fetch upwards of £2 million. A portion of the proceeds and sales commission will benefit the authorities who were instrumental in recovering the violin.

There will be a rare chance to see this celebrated Stradivarius on 27-28th October 2013 at the Westbury Hotel, Mayfair, where it will be shown as part of Tarisio’s London Public Viewing.


Dorothy DeLay’s teaching fiddle fetched $1,390,999 in an online auction. The auctioneers claim this as a record for the maker. Any challenges?

delay guadagniniDeLay_Portrait250


New world records set in Tarisio sale of DeLay’s Guadagnini

The Guadagnini of celebrated violin teacher Dorothy DeLay was sold in Tarisio’s New York sale last week for $1,390,999, setting a new world record. The previous record for a Guadagnini was $1,080,000.

Jason Price, founder and director of fine-instrument auction house Tarisio, says, ‘The DeLay Guadagnini was that rare blend of soloist sound, investment potential and historical provenance. The bidding was fiercely contested and the final bidder is delighted with her acquisition. This new record isn’t simply an incremental record but a considerable increase over the previous price set by Tarisio in 2011. Guadagnini is clearly a maker in high demand’.

DeLay’s instrument was not the only record set at Tarisio’s sale. Indeed another 29 world records were hit by the 406 bidders and 296 lots, including: a Pressenda which sold for $475,000; a Vuillaume for $228,000; a Sartory cello bow for $66,000; and a Curtin & Alf violin made in 1985 for $132,000. This violin was made for Ruggiero Ricci as a copy of his Guarneri and is a record amount for a contemporary maker.

‘It’s pretty sensational to sell a contemporary violin for $132,000 when the makers, both still alive, sell their new instruments for about a third of that amount’, says Jason Price.

In total 89.9% of lots were sold.


Our friend Paul Pelkonen is first online with a review of the Nico Muhly opera ta the Met. From his description, the production has developed considerably since its first outing at English National Opera. Read here.

two boys

Here’s a link to the live stream of an extraordinary event: Martha and eight of her faves, playing Bach from Paris tonight.

At the first concert last night at the Salle Pleyel, Martha led an all Bach program, with Gabriela Montero improvising in the style of Bach. Both concerts will also be available on demand following their broadcasts.

The players are:

martha argerich




  • Nicholas Angelich, piano
  • Martha Argerich, piano
  • Frank Braley, piano
  • David Fray, piano
  • Nelson Goerner, piano
  • Dong-Hyek Lim, piano
  • Gabriela Montero, piano
  • Akane Sakai, piano
  • Mauricio Vallina, piano
  • Lilya Zilberstein, piano