mick jagger

Here’s how:

During the summer,  Suzi Digby and her choir Voce toured with the Rolling Stones at the O2, Hyde Park and Glastonbury. Suzi Digby got chatting to Mick about her charity, Vocal Futures. Aimed at 16-22 year olds, Vocal Futures seeks to engage young people with classical music.

On 11-13 December, Patrick Kinmonth directs a fully staged production of Haydn’s Creation in Ambika P3, a disused concrete factory undereath the Marylebone Road, in central London.  It stars Mary Bevan, David Stout, Charlotte Beaumont and Jonathan McGovern.

Mick Jagger is a lead sponsor. QED. John Taylor of Duran Duran is also chipping in.

You read it here first.

The Royal Conservatoire in The Hague today issued the following notice. Please share it widely:


‘We would like to ask your attention for our student Aktas Erdogan’s journalist mother. She has been in prison for 7 years in Turkey and on the 5th of November she was given a life sentence. Erdogan: “This demonstration is about the freedom of press and about my mother, so we will be protesting to Turkey. The aim is to have a lot of effect on Turkish authorities in the international arena. In that way we can make their decision change at a higher court.”‘

fusun erdogan

Don’t take our word for it. This is a joint report by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Read it here.

Don’t read it if you’re in Minnesota.

Opera followers read this.


Just watch…. remember to breathe when it’s over.

avi avital

Watch the complete concert here.

He turns 60 next month and he’ll bring the Berlin Phil for a week of concerts in February 2015. Dates and costs will be split between the South Bank and the Barbican, in part because neither of the rival centres can single-handedly afford Berlin’s impressive fees.

Sir Simon is due to leave Berlin in summer 2018. Reports have linked him to the upcoming vacancy at the London Symphony when Valery Gergiev departs for Munich in 2015. Recent inside whispers indicate that Rattle might consider shortening his Berlin commitment.

Press release follows:






The Barbican and Southbank Centre present:
Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker – The London Residency 2015
The Barbican Centre and Southbank Centre today announce that they are bringing Sir Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmonikerto London for a major residency in 2015.  Following the great success of the orchestra’s London concerts series in 2011, the week-long residency will feature performances in the Barbican Hall, Queen Elizabeth Hall and Royal Festival Hall from 10-15 February 2015. It will bring the two arts centres together in a series of concerts and in creative learning work with young people from a number of London boroughs, both north and south of the river Thames. Tickets go on sale to Barbican and Southbank Centre members on 9 December and to the general public on 11 December.
Sir Simon Rattle has chosen to mark his 60th birthday with this London residency, choosing music that has a special significance for him: a complete cycle of Sibelius’s seven symphonies in honour of the 150th anniversary of the composer’s birth, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 and music by pioneering German composer Helmut Lachenmann. The residency is also a celebration of the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, one of classical music’s most outstanding artistic partnerships, and a showcase of one of the world’s greatest orchestras.At the core of the Barbican concerts (10, 11, 12 February) is the complete cycle of Sibelius’s symphonies, performed in sequence. ViolinistLeonidas Kavakos joins the orchestra for Sibelius’s Violin Concerto on 11 February. Kavakos has a unique connection and insight to the work: he won the Sibelius violin competition in 1985 and has performed the work to great critical acclaim, including with the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle. Kavakos has also made a recording that includes both the concerto’s original 1903/04 version and its final 1905 version.
Southbank Centre’s concerts (13, 14 and 15 February) feature two performances in the Royal Festival Hall of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (Resurrection) with soloists Kate Royal (soprano) and Magdalena Kožená (mezzo-soprano); and the London Symphony Chorus andCity of Birmingham Symphony Chorus. Known as a signature work of Rattle’s, the symphony will be performed alongside Helmut Lachenmann’s Tableau in a juxtaposition of old and new sound-worlds that has typified Rattle’s tenure in Berlin. In addition to these performances there will also be: a family concert as part of Southbank Centre’s annual Imagine Children’s Festival, sponsored by The Book People, featuring the 12 Cellists of the Berliner Philharmoniker (15 February 2015, on sale from 25 April 2014); and a chamber performance in the Queen Elizabeth Hall by The Philharmonic Octet Berlin (13 February 2015, on-sale from 25 February 2014) when the group will perform Nielsen’s Serenata in vano, Berwald’s Septet and Schubert’s Octet.
Across the residency, the Barbican and Southbank Centre will join forces to bring together a young mixed-ability orchestra that represents London, working with local music hubs on both sides of the river Thames to recruit, rehearse, lead workshops and to mentor young people in the area. During a period of ten days these young people aged 7-25 will have the opportunity to make music together as a large orchestra and in a range of other formats. They will debate the value of music in society and the impact it has on their lives, whilst also exploring the music that the Berliner Philharmoniker will be performing and the relationship between London and Berlin. The culmination will be a performance at each of the two venues, led by Sir Simon Rattle. The residency also includes family concerts, chamber music and open masterclasses, to be announced in 2014.
Sir Simon Rattle, Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Berliner Philharmoniker since September 2002, said: Coming to London with the Berliner Philharmoniker feels like a homecoming, especially because we are performing repertoire that I love: Sibelius, Mahler and Lachenmann. I first heard Mahler’s second symphony aged 11 in Liverpool, and it inspired me to become a conductor. This work was premiered by the Berliner Philharmoniker in 1895 and is at the heart of what this orchestra loves to perform. Sibelius’ music is not frequently performed in Germany, and it is perhaps surprising that the rich, broad sounds of Sibelius really suit this orchestra – come and hear for yourself! I am thrilled that our friends at Southbank Centre and the Barbican are again working together to invite us to London. We will celebrate great music, a great orchestra, and the great work that these cultural centres do in bringing music to the next generation.

Two days after he was held captive while travelling to Caracas, Luis Castro, horn player of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra, was sprung by a police raid early today. We are delighted he is safe and sound.


simon bolivar orch

Jonathan Reekie is leaving the seaside, making the announcement hours ahead of the highest tides in 60 years. He has been in charge for 16 years and the end of Britten 100 must seem a good time to move on. Press release:






It has just been announced that Jonathan Reekie will be leaving Aldeburgh Music to take up the appointment of Director of Somerset House Trust with effect from spring 2014.

“After more than 16 wonderful years I’ve come to realise that there is nowhere better to be in the field of music than Aldeburgh. Moving to Somerset House, which will be a very different challenge, therefore seems like the perfect step for me.

“I’m very excited to be offered the role of Director of Somerset House. Its beautiful historic buildings and the creative tenants it houses offer huge potential for its next phase of development. I’m looking forward to working with the trustees and staff who have done such an excellent job restoring the site to its former glory and establishing it as an important cultural destination.

“I never imagined I would stay in Aldeburgh for such a long time. What has kept me there is the combination of the inspirational place, the richness of the Britten legacy and the wonderfully supportive trustees and staff. I shall always treasure the time I have spent there and look forward to taking much of what I have learnt, particularly in the area of nurturing talent, into my next challenge.

“I envy the person who will follow me in running such a special place, and feel extraordinarily lucky to be moving onto somewhere equally special.”

The 16 years of Jonathan’s tenure at Aldeburgh Music has been a period of extraordinary growth, which culminated this year with Benjamin Britten’s centenary. Simon Robey, Chairman of Aldeburgh Music, sums up Jonathan’s contribution: “Jonathan has made a truly massive contribution to Aldeburgh Music. Among his many achievements stand the extraordinary redevelopment of Snape Maltings, securing the future of the concert hall and creating stunning new spaces for artists and audiences. He and his team have built a wonderful year round artistic offering at Snape, have presided over internationally critically acclaimed festivals year after year and have built a world-renowned artist development programme. And, of course, he has led the Britten centenary celebrations in Aldeburgh with respect, creativity and acclaim, reminding us all about the vital role that Aldeburgh plays in the musical and artistic life of our county, country and world. He will leave Aldeburgh brimming with success, buzzing with energy and full of exciting possibilities for our future. “Jonathan will be with us until March 2014 and will finalise the programmes for 2014 before he leaves as well as completing other important projects, including our ACE submission and the first new opera collaboration with Royal Opera House and Opera North. In the event of a hiatus, General Manager, Harry Young, will act as interim CEO.”

Here’s a telegram the great conductor Erich Kleiber send to Milan in December 1938:

I learn at this time that the Teatro alla Scala has closed its doors to your compatriot Israelites. The music is made for all as the sun and air. Where you deny to human beings this source of consolation so necessary in these times so hard and this only because they belong to another race or religion, I can’t work either as a Christian and as an artist. I must therefore ask you to consider null and void my contract despite the pleasure I had in directing in this magnificent theater that recalls the most noble traditions of Italy. Erich Kleiber.



h/t: Tomislav Vichev

Kevin McCabe used to do the biz at Parlophone for Coldplay, Blur, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, The Verve and David Bowie. Now Parlophone is owned by Warner, he’ll be doing it for a growing bunch of indies loosely linked to the big beast. Bryn Terfel, he could be your man.

bryn terfel bmw



Press release:





LONDON, 5 DECEMBER 2013 – Kevin McCabe, one of the most experienced and respected media and promotions executives in the UK music business, is joining Universal Music.


McCabe is the latest high-profile appointment at Caroline International, Universal Music’s recently-launched full service global partner for independent labels and artists, where he has been named Director of Promotions and Artist Campaign Strategy.


McCabe is also setting up an in-house radio and TV promotions agency working across artists signed to Caroline and Universal Music UK’s labels. It is anticipated the new promotions agency will also work independently with artists from outside the Universal Music family, including Radiohead with whom McCabe has worked for 20 years.


McCabe joins Universal Music in January having left Warner Music in August after 23 years at its newly-acquired Parlophone label. McCabe joined Parlophone in January 1990 as a sales rep, switching to regional radio plugging in 1993 and working his way up the promotions team before becoming, in September 2000, Head of Radio Promotion for Parlophone. He continued in this role for eight years, being named the Radio Academy’s National Radio Plugger Of The Year four times. In 2008 he was promoted to VP, Promotion & PR for Parlophone, soon after adding EMI Label Services and the EMI Music Catalogue roster to his portfolio. In January 2012 he was promoted to the newly created role of SVP Promotion & Publicity for the whole of EMI Music. Over the years he has worked with countless artists including Coldplay, Blur, Radiohead, Gorillaz, Paul McCartney, Kylie Minogue, The Verve and David Bowie.


Universal Music UK Chairman & CEO David Joseph says, “There are few people in the industry as respected and well-liked as Kevin. The quality of artists he’s been at the heart of breaking reflects his calibre as an executive – we are delighted he is joining us and have no doubt he will continue to repeat his considerable success.”


McCabe’s new job at Caroline International sees him reunited with Michael Roe, the division’s joint-MD alongside Jim Chancellor. Roe was previously McCabe’s partner at EMI Label Services.


Caroline International is a division of Universal Music but the two companies operate on an arms-length basis allowing Caroline to deliver a bespoke service to independent labels and artists in every market and region of the world.


Alongside his new roles at Universal Music, McCabe will also take on the role of Head of Music Development at TBI Media, the multi award winning production company which will produce around 600 programmes over the next 12 months for BBC radio and television, commercial radio and corporate brands. McCabe has had a long association with TBI – he was part of the team that was awarded the Gold Award at the Sony Radio Awards in both 2009 and 2010 for its live coverage of Coldplay and Blur respectively.


Being appointed a state senator for life in Italy comes with a state salary.

Claudio Abbado was happy to accept the title. The money he has renounced. It will go to finance student scholarships at the music school in Fiesole. Nice.


Last night on Front Row, I ventured the opinion that politicians, as skilled users of voice, ought to let themselves sing a bit more in the public arena. Barack Obama, when he tried it, was seriously inhibited. Silvio Berlusconi was certainly not.

Someone has sent us this mash video of US politicians giving air to their lungs. The former attorney-general was pretty good.

Here’s Vladimir Putin in action:

putin sings

Feel free to add some more.