… and they’re proud of it. They used to be a classical artists agency. Now they’re blowing millions of dollars into the sky for oil sheikhs when, across two borders, Syrian refugees starve and die.

IMG Artists’ Co-chairmen Alex Shustorovich And Barrett Wissman Announce Dubai’s Achievement of Guinness World Record® For The Largest Firework Display

PR Newswire


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates and NEW YORK, Dec. 31, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — IMG Artists, the global leader in the performing arts and lifestyle events management owned by principals Alex Shustorovich and Barrett Wissman, announced today that it has successfully produced and overseen the official Guinness World Record for the world’s largest firework display on behalf of the Government of Dubai.

Alistair Richards, Global President of the Guinness World Records, presented Dubai, IMG Artists and their producing partners with their Guinness World Record certificate at an official handover ceremony in Dubai on January 1.

The six-minute, record-breaking show featured over 400,000 individual fireworks from 400 locations, controlled by 170 skilled pyro technicians and over 60 computer control systems ensuring split-second accuracy across the whole of The Palm Jumeirah and the Islands of The World. The record-breaking display covered over 99.4km of seafront.

Jerry Inzerillo, President and CEO of IMG Artists, said, “We are delighted to announce the successful achievement of this stunning record, which affirmed Dubai as the world’s premier location in which to mark the end of 2013. The record required a tightly-coordinated effort between IMG, the Government of Dubai and our production partner,Fireworks by Grucci, and we are proud of this latest affirmation of IMG Artists’ ability to deliver leading, world-class events on behalf of our clients around the globe.”


florez baby

A post from Juan Diego Florez:

We are blessed and forever grateful to have witnessed yet again the miracle of birth of our second little angel, Lucia Stella.

She was born today, 1st of January, in the loving and calm atmosphere of our home in Pesaro, Italy.

With love and thanks to all for your kind support and good wishes,

Julia and Juan Diego Flórez

Paul Pelkonen must have been the only NY critic to eschew the bubbles on New Year’s night. He went to the Met and saw Fledermaus in Jeremy Sams’s new production. Here’s what he thought.

fledermaus met

Eisenstein (Christopher Maltman) woos Rosalinde (Susanna Philips) in Act II of Die Fledermaus.) Photo by Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera.

The Mariinsky has announced that all takings from its December 30 concert will go to victims of the bomb blasts in Volgograd.


A huge exclusive breaking on Slipped Disc the last day of the year almost halted traffic on Artsjournal.com. It has forced us to revise the final rankings in the annual top story list.

The initial story on an assault by US Customs at JFK on the hand-made instruments of an innocent musicians was read by more than 100,000 people in the last 15 hours of the year, earning it a rapid rise to #3.

The story made the front page of reddit and was picked up by many online media and foreign agencies, including Russia’s RT.com. Contact details for Boujemaa were given to reporters on the Boston Globe and the NY Times. There has been no comment from US Customs on the incident.


The flute virtuoso Boujemaa Razgui, whose instruments were seized and destroyed by US Customs at JFK Airport, has been in touch with us again to thank Slipped Disc for its support. His English is not fluent or precise – it may, perhaps, have perplexed Customs agents – but there is no mistaking Boujemaa’s sincerity or his pain when writing about his hand-crafted neys (or nays).

Here’s what he writes, sharing with us a unique picture of the precious, lovingly crafted neys:

boujemaa neys

photo (c) Razgui/LebrechtMusic&Arts. all rights reserved.

I have  such great memories with these nays through the past years, from culture to any moment that I remember.

Of course l will not hurt any body  with nays. They were my huge art connection with North America and Europe, through churches, synagogues (all of them in Montreal and almost all in Toronto), universities, colleges, theaters, com.centers , mosques, all kind of ceremonies , marriages, helulas , barMetzvahs, you name it.

Crossing the US in my travels, l got to educate myself, meet other people and exchange ideas.

Boujemaa adds some specifics of the case:

What was in the case? they called Bamboo case

1)     11 nays (flutes) made by me some of them in Canada some in US

2)      material to make new nays in the case

3)      flight  AA 0095    Madrid to JFK

4)      time : 12/22/2013   (notice : on 12/23/2013)

5)      Reason :   nays from plants which is agricultural items (so l can’t play nay)

Riga. You’ve heard of it. Capital of Latvia. Home to some good classical musicians. Big on stag parties.

The other is Umea.

You read that right.

Not Ikea. Umea. It’s somewhere in northern Sweden. Famous for… not much. It is home to the heavy metal band, Meshuggah.


Maybe they should have picked Ikea.

Stergios Neamonitakis, conductor of the Philharmonic Orchestra of Chios in Greece, shot himself on Sunday with a hunting rifle in the basement of the orchestra’s rehearsal building. No cause is known. A number of Greek musicians have committed suicide in the past year over economic difficulties.

Stergios in a suicide note, according to local media, ‘only wished happy holidays to all and gave some guidelines towards the function of the philharmonic orchestra.’

Our sympathies go to Stergios’s family, friends and musicians.