…. in human nature, if nothing else.

Bohemian Rhapsody is a wonderful, anarchic expression of the meaninglessness of absolutely everything.

So some straitlaced geeks and sock-puppets have reset it to the Nativity Story.

Now, how perverse do you have to be to do that?

Oh, for Freddie’s sake….

bethlehemian rhapsody


While auditioning for the concertmaster’s post at Chattanooga, Holly Mulcahy sniffed something in the air-conditioning  and recognised it as romance. What’s going on? she asked when they gave her the job.

Here’s what she found out:




There have been over 20 blind dates in the past year at our Chattanooga Symphony & Opera concerts.

Most were organized by a local university which helped students meet each other at our Volkswagen Concert Series, a more casual kind of concert that takes place at the Volkswagen auto plant here in Chattanooga.

The first time I saw the blind date groups was during my trial week last year when music director, Kayoko Dan, welcomed the couples before we played. The audience erupted with applause! The couples were dressed to impress and it set the mood for that afternoon’s concert and the rest of the series where other couples met up for their first time.

While there have been a few genuine matches made from these blind date concerts, the exciting part is that people consider these concerts to be “date-worthy”. I couldn’t agree more since there is no awkward silence over a meal, but an instant shared experience to talk about after the concert. The other trend at our concerts seems to be marriage proposals! The second one was during our “Home for the Holidays” pops concert last night!

She said Yes, by the way.

(c) Holly Mulcahy/Slipped Disc

Berlin, December 21, 2013. Interview with New Times editor Yevgenia Albats.

Mikhail Khodorkovsky is asked: – Did you want to go to the cinema, theater?

He replies: Theater – no, it’s difficult to convince me to go to the theatre, but I’ve heard about good theatres. I want very much to listen to classical music… I don’t know why, I have no musical hearing at all, but the only thing from such things I really dreamed of not 10, but last 8 years was to go to Conservatory or concert hall to listen classical music. I very much want it!


(Gidon Kremer, are you reading this?)

Herb Geller played so much in Europe that US media have failed to register his death last Thursday and his burial in Forest Lawn, California.

After a spell with Benny Goodman, Geller went to Paris and Berlin, depressed by the death of his young wife. He got offered a job at the RIAS band and later at the radio band in Hamburg where, in addition to attracting major soloists, he liked to play all the woodwind instruments in the row, from clarinet to piccolo. Among many compositions, he wrote a musical on the life of the entertainer Josephine Baker.

Herb Geller - the Gellers

The conductor and violinist Jean-Jacques Kantorow has had enough of Orléans. He has just told the orchestra he’s leaving when his contract is up next June. No reason given. He has recommended Marius Stieghorst as his successor. Stieghorst is presently assistant music director at the Paris Opera.


Shuffling down the pile of review copies as the last deadlines of 2013 draw near, I never quite know what’s going to tweak my ear. All the big names have been and gone – either into print, or into the bin – and what remains veers from the quirky to the wild to the shamelessly self-promotional.

I put on the present set, fearing it would send me to sleep. An hour later, I was still on the edge of my seat.

Guess what? Guess who?


paert lacitta

Read the review here.


photo (c) Roberto Masotti

The pianist has told the BBC why he won’t go back to his homeland. The Government, he accuses, honours war criminals. As for the public mood, it veers from cowardice to viciousness:

‘It’s the people that disturb me. Not all of them. There’s very little civilian courage. People are scared to speak up… I have been threatened that if I return to Hungary, they will cut off both of my hands. I don’t want to risk physical and mental assault.’

Read the full, unsettling interview here.