The year’s top stories on Slipped Disc

The year’s top stories on Slipped Disc


norman lebrecht

December 25, 2013

The time has come around again to ask you to guess which was our most-read story of 2013.

Was it, for instance, orchestral misconduct in Vienna?


The unending miseries of Minnesota?


Rumblings in Berlin?


Death of a record label?


emi vaughan williams

Or a human emotion to touch all souls?


diego frazao torquato

Send in your thoughts. We’ll publish the full list in a week.


  • Daniel Farber says:

    How about James Levine’s stirring comeback at the Metropolitan Opera? To be sure, “slipped disc” does not favor positive coverage of most things at the Met Opera House, least of all of anyone who is managed by Ronald Wilford, but this WAS big, positive news for American opera lovers and for most people, irrespective of their love of opera or even classical music, who have a drop or two of compassion flowing through the veins.

  • Michael Schaffer says:

    There was no evidence for any “orchestral misconduct in Vienna”, no matter how many times you tried to restart that story. Was it three or four times? In every case, the vast majority of comments concluded that there is little to no evidence of anything unusual or even “racist” there – except the huge fuss the failed candidate made afterwards.

    That was highly unusual and I think it was incredibly unprofessional, actually I take that as proof that the decision not to hire her was the right one. The Viennese will probably be even more reluctant to try out Asian players in exposed positions now, understandably, and you, too have contributed to that.

  • Leslie says:


    Jimmy and the first Cosi fan Tutte I have seen which was NOT cause of a nap.

    Horror over what the board of the Minnesota Symphony has wrought.

    Worry over the Milwaukee Symphony and my friend and teacher, one of its cellists.

  • James Nimmo says:

    All of the stories mentioned above pale into invisibility beside the photo of that now dead little boy with the short and miserable life trying to play his violin at his teacher’s funeral. If the arts are meant in part to help relieve human misery, reading some of the postings from people who comment on this page shows to me they have issues beyond the help of art.

  • bratschegirl says:

    Had to be something involving Jackie E.

  • Robert Fitzpatrick says:

    For 2013, Osmo Vanska’s resignation. The most courageous move by a leading musician since the end of WW2, IMHO. The boy in tears playing the violin at his teacher’s funeral is certainly very moving but it happened in 2009 and the boy’s tragic death, according to the article, happened one year later (2010).

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      I know we are not supposed to post one word comments, but

      “For 2013, Osmo Vanska’s resignation. The most courageous move by a leading musician since the end of WW2”

      – what???

    • anon says:

      More significant was his conducting, immediately after resignation, of the Musicians of the Minnesota Orchestra in a couple of the concerts they have been putting on independently of the MOA.

  • Michael says:

    May I suggest a tie:

    the story of a flutist that got voted out at the end of her trial period at the Vienna Symphony

    in combination with the recent Vienna Philharmonic event where they voted for a new member.

    That has the advantage of covering two major orchestras in Vienna and makes a nice build up towards the upcoming New Year’s concert .

  • harold braun says:

    The Minnesota Disaster!!!

  • Martin says:

    According to the number of comments in articles related to them it must be a race between Jackie Evancho and Andre Rieu.

  • Janey says:

    Is the criteria unique visitors? That likely would produce a very different result than overall visits or comments.

    • lwriter says:

      1. James Levine’s return to the podium in top form – one of the great conductors of the late 20th and early 21st century.

      2. The terrible situation in Minnesota – the dismantling of a great orchestra by a cruel, narrow minded, egotistical management and board.

      3.Racism and sexual discrimination in both of Vienna’s major orchestras.

      • Michael Schaffer says:

        How do you reconcile 1 and 3? James Levine,”one of the great conductors of the late 20th and early 21st century” has had a close working relationship with the Wiener Philharmoniker for decades. Since long before they got even their first female member.

        • Daniel Farber says:

          You mean as opposed to all those high-profile conductors who REFUSED to work with the Vienna Philharmonic after being invited? Bernstein? Ozawa? Maazel? et. al. Are you saying Levine is not a great conductor because he worked with the VP? Is this your litmus test for greatness? For courage? What am I missing?

  • Brian says:

    Sadly, it has to be Minnesota.

  • opus 131 says:

    I go with Minnesota as well. The musicians there are fighting for all of us who care about beauty in the world and justice in our society.

  • Pamela Brown says:

    It seems to me that the “Minnegeddon” in Minnesota may have the greatest long-term impact of any story of this year, especially taking into consideration the fact that Mr. Vanska felt he had no choice but to walk away from the MO after having had such a meaningful effect on its stature.

  • DrewX says:

    I agree that the big story is the Minnesota Orchestra. Not only is it the tale of the near-destruction of an excellent orchestra, it has many other threads as well – overspending on payroll to goose the ensemble into a higher tier of quality, the contrast between capital spending and human salaries, and the general labor strife that is slowly overwhelming the entire field. A good book is sure to be written about what this situation says about the classical music industry in America, from the general uncertainty about how the “market” should value these players (are they overpaid at $120K? Underpaid at $75K?) to the ongoing and increasingly embittered battles between “labor” and “management” in a field in which most people (especially the audience) want to pretend that there is no “labor vs. management” and that everyone is pursuing a higher calling and shouldn’t be sullied by such meager earthly concerns as balanced budgets and health insurance costs and endowment maintenance and so forth.

  • David Boxwell says:

    Let’s not forget Petrenko, “off the cuff.”

  • What ‘orchestral misconduct’ in Vienna? Michael Schaffer is right, pretty much as always.