Part of the roof of London’s Apollo Theatre came down during a performance of The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime.

The emergency services said more than 80 people have been injured. The theatre, built in 1901, accommodates 775 seated on four levels. Earlier reports said a balcony had fallen. Here’s the latest BBC report.



Maria Lidka, a Hitler refugee who has died at the age of 99, was a formidable figure in British musical life, performing concertos with all the main orchestras and devoting herself to the works of young composers. When her pianist friend Margaret Kitchen died, the Telegraph wrote: ‘For many years it seemed as if Maria Lidka gave all the important violin premières, and Margaret Kitchin all the piano ones.’

A pupil of Max Rostal in Berlin, Maria followed her teacher to London in 1934. Interned in 1940 as an enemy alien, she formed a Czech Trio with Walter Süsskind (piano) and Karel Horitz (cello). She played often with Walter Goehr, Benjamin Britten and Michael Tippett, playing the solo role in the world premiere of his Fantasia Concertante on a Theme of Corelli.

Obituary here (auf Deutsch).

violin wood

We have received news of the death of Brian Pollard, one of the first British players to win a principal seat in a world-ranked orchestra. Brian was principal bassoon in the Concertgebouworkest. When I met him in 1983, he was one of the hardest-working members of the most conscientious ensemble I had ever come across, an orchestra in which players arrived an hour early for rehearsal, to be ready for the first downbeat. Brian was often the first in his seat.

Several bassoonists have described him as the beacon by which they led their lives.

Sympathies to his family and colleagues.

brian pollard

photo: Maarten Vonk

The Antaeus Company of North Hollywood need cash to buy new costumes. So they did what so many classical performers have done since time immemorial: they stripped off. Story from the LA Times. Really cool video. Cold, even.


This just in from our local paper. Let’s hope support pours in for Abi Baker.

abi baker

They are trying to raise money by selling off the roof tile by tile, while appealing to cultured people not to let Australia be ruled by philistines. Watch the video. The attitudes it reveals may shock.


The city of Munich has published a letter from Valery Gergiev to Munich’s Kulturreferent (cultural advisor) Hans-Georg Küppers, saying that he fully and completely supports the city’s anti-discrimination laws. Text follows.


gergiev munich

Dear Dr. Kueppers,
Once again I would like to return to our yesterday’s press conference.
In this press conference you mentioned.
“For the city of Munich it applies that any exclusion, discrimination or harassment of people because of their gender, origin, color, religion, disability or sexual orientation must not occur. Ways of behaviour that contradict these principles will not be tolerated.”
I fully support this attitude of the city of Munich. In my entire professional career as an artist I have always and everywhere adhered to these principles and will do so in the future. All other allegations hurt me very much. In addition, I think it is useful to have a conversation with the community during one of my next stays here in Munich.”
Valery Gergiev
Sehr geehrter Herr Dr. Küppers,
noch einmal möchte ich auf unsere gemeinsame Pressekonferenz von gestern zurückkommen. Sie hatten dort geäußert:
“Für die Stadt München gilt, dass jede Ausgrenzung, Benachteiligung oder Belästigung von Menschen aufgrund Geschlecht, Herkunft, Hautfarbe, Religion, Behinderung oder sexueller Identität unterbleibt.
Verhaltensweisen, die diesen Grundsätzen widersprechen, werden nicht toleriert.”
Ich unterstütze diese Haltung der Stadt München voll und ganz. In meinem ganzen Berufsleben als Künstler habe ich überall auf der Welt nach diesen Grundsätzen gehandelt und werde es auch in Zukunft tun. Alle anderen Unterstellungen treffen mich sehr. Darüber hinaus halte ich es für sinnvoll, bei einem meiner nächsten Aufenthalte in München ein Gespräch mit der Community zu führen.”
Valery Gergiev
Gergiev is due to become music director of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra in 2015, with a reported wage of four million Euros.

Watch. Life’s not always as reported.

The musicians were European and American. The concert was organised by the French Cultural Centre at the Deir-el-Latin, the region’s only Roman Catholic church.

Credits: Michael Dabroski, Violin and interview. “Goldberg in Gaza” Hosted by Al Kamandjati Association (Ramallah) and Cultural Institute Francais Gaza. Michael is Director of Music at Burlington College, Vermont, USA. Other musicians Ariana Falk (cello), Peter Sulski (viola), Demetrios Karamintzas (oboe). Link by Watania (Gaza).

gaza bach