Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony, is a cousin of Monty Python star Eric Idle. Faced with a season launch, he tapped deep into family DNA in a set-up with two comedians. So how many stars do we give him? As of this moment, the video has managed fewer than 400 views.

Come on, guys, this is the town where Rob Ford is mayor. What could be funnier than that?

peter oundjian

A full house for Barber of Seville was left furious by the industrial action.


The storm of international protest raised by Slipped Disc over the smashing of Christopher Wilke’s lute by Delta Airlines is starting to have an effect, according to latest reports.

‘It is not uncommon for luggage to be damaged in transit,’ said Russell Cason of Delta corporate communications in Atlanta. ‘I’m hopeful we can resolve it to his satisfaction. With the understanding that this is an unusual situation.’

In other words, we’ll pay this man as little as we can to go away, but don’t expect us to do it ever again.

Delta: must try a lot harder.


The Berlin-based pianist Yossi Reshef was jostled and heckled by students at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg when he tried to give a recital there last March. The university offered a limited apology.

Now, 11 students have been sentenced to community service for their part in the riot, a gentle rap on the knuckles. Read on here.

yossi reshef

Our correspondent David Conway reports from the frontline:

Although the city’s opera house and theatres are still functioning normally, rising tension in Kyiv means that the Philharmonia is now cut off within the barricaded ‘ war zone’ at the town’s centre. Everything is relatively calm in the city at present – although it is rumoured that shenanigans will break out again when Parliament reconvenes for an emergency session on Tuesday. Obviously the Press are expecting something – witness the line of TV vans in Evropeiska Sqare, where the central Khreshchatyk Street (where the Maidan is located) meets the more turbulent Hrushchevskyy Street where most violence has taken place. You can see the Philharmonia in the background to the right. All of Everopeiska Square is now enclosed within barricades erected by the protesters.

kiev revolt mediakiev barricades


So as a result, Haydn’s Creation (scheduled to be performed this evening) will have to wait for May 11th by which time the crisis will hopefully be (peacefully we trust) resolved one way or another…..



kiev cancel


In today’s Wall Street Journal, I review the new English translation of Eva Riger’s biography of Friedelind Wagner.

Friedelind, sister of Wieland and Wolfgang, was the first member of the unholy family to denounce its racism and leave Bayreuth … only to come crawling back, begging forgiveness. Wolfgang never forgave. Hers was a profoundly compromised and troubled life. Read the review here.

friedelind wagner

The diva has a five year-old son, Tiago, to whom she is devoted. The boy was born with a mild form of autism and diagnosed shortly before his third birthday. Friends tell us he is progressing very well and attending a mainstream school.

Anna, who is bringing up Tiago as a single mother, has now decided to discuss the condition in public in order to give encouragement to other parents. She told the Russian TV programme Pust govoryat:

We noticed that sometimes you start talking to him, and he does not respond. And so it began. For me it was a shock. I was scared, but doctors quickly reassured me that it can be treated.

I want to say to women who have autistic children that they should not be afraid, it can all be developed up to normal standards, that children should go to school and study.

The interview is reported in Autism Daily and widely circulated in German media.

anna netrebko




It does what it says on the wall.