strad theft 1

Salah Salahadyn, 41, and Universal Knowledge Allah, 36, have been charged with robbery in connection with the theft of a Stradivarius violin from the Milwaukee concertmaster, Frank Almond.

Allah is also charged with possessing marijuana. The alleged getwaway driver, a woman, has yet to be charged.

Click here for the full criminal complaint.

We understand that Hashem Shaabani was hanged on January 27 for ‘waging war on God.’ His sentence was approved by the supposedly moderate, liberal and enlightened President, Hassan Rouhani.

Human Rights Voices reports: ‘To those who knew him, Hashem Shaabani was a man of peace and understanding struggling to extend spaces of individual freedom within the despotic Khomeinist system…’

More here.


A production of Britten’s Billy Budd from deep in the Sussex countryside has given Brooklyn its biggest opera night in yonks, say our pals at NY Classical Review:



Photo: Richard Hubert Smith

‘Mark Padmore delivers the performance of a lifetime as Captain Vere …

The cast and musicians (the London Philharmonic Orchestra led with sympathetic mastery by Sir Mark Elder) build this to a point of such exhilaration that the audience feels the palpable, bitter frustration of the crew when the ship is unable to close range, and the mists of the ocean and memory enshroud the action once again.’


The Orchestra Mozart, Abbado’s creation, was wound up last month, a few days before he died.

Now Riccardo Muti, his colleague, friend and occasional rival, has let it be known that he is bringing the orchestra together again for a tribute concert this summer at the Ravenna Festival, directed by his wife, Cristina Mazzavillani. Cristina said: ‘The most important tribute we can pay to the memory of the great conductor is to revive and continue the work of his Mozart Orchestra.’

abbado smile

Some 40 members of the federal and state Bundestag have launched a new petition to save the the SWR Baden-Baden and Freiburg symphony orchestra which a bull-headed broadcasting management plans to merge with Stuttgart. If the issue goes federal, the SWR bosses could well lose. Until now, the orch has benefited chiefly from support by eminent musicians.

boulez swr


As in Minnesota, however, the orchestra is being destabilised and both players and conductor are looking to their future.

Here’s the list of politicians:

Die Initiativgruppe:

Kerstin Andreae (MdB), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Freiburg i.Br.

Dr. Gernot Erler (MdB), SPD, WK Freiburg i.Br.

Matern von Marschall (MdB), CDU, WK Freiburg i.Br.

Christoph Bayer (MdL), SPD, WK Breisgau

Bärbl Mielich (MdL), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Breisgau

Dr. Patrick Rapp (MdL), CDU, WK Breisgau

Gabi Rolland (MdL), SPD, WK Freiburg II

Weitere unterzeichnende Abgeordnete in alphabetischer Reihenfolge:

Dr. Franziska Brantner (MdB), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Heidelberg

Prof. Dr. Lars Castellucci (MdB), SPD, WK Rhein-Neckar

Elvira Drobinski-Weiß, (MdB), SPD, WK Offenburg

Thomas Dörflinger (MdB), CDU, WK Waldshut

Dr. Johannes Fechner, (MdB), SPD, WK Emmendingen-Lahr

Axel E. Fischer (MdB), CDU, WK Karlsruhe-Land

Thorsten Frei (MdB), CDU, WK Schwarzwald-Baar

Josef Frey (MdL), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Lörrach

Anneke Graner (MdL), SPD, WK Ettlingen

Manfred Groh (MdL), CDU, WK Karlsruhe I

Walter Heiler (MdL), SPD, WK Bruchsal

Karl-Wolfgang Jägel (MdL), CDU, WK Rastatt

Gabriele Katzmarek (MdB), SPD, WK Rastatt

Ernst Kopp (MdL), SPD, WK Rastatt

Sylvia Kotting-Uhl (MdB), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Karlsruhe

Kordula Kovac (MdB), CDU, WK Offenburg

Dr. Dr.h.c. Karl A. Lamers (MdB), CDU, WK Heidelberg-Weinheim

Ulrich Lusche (MdL), CDU, WK Lörrach

Thomas Marwein (MdL), Bündnis 90/Die Grünen, WK Offenburg

Reinhold Pix (MdL), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Freiburg I

Heribert Rech (MdL), CDU, WK Bruchsal

Wolfgang Reuther (MdL), CDU, WK Singen-Stockach

Dorothee Schlegel (MdB), SPD, WK Tauber-Odenwald

Gabriele Schmidt (MdB), CDU, WK Waldshut

Alexander Schoch (MdL), Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, WK Emmendingen

Armin Schuster (MdB), CDU, WK Lörrach-Müllheim

Rita Schwarzelühr-Sutter, (MdB), SPD, Staatssekretärin, WK Waldshut

Willi Stächele (MdL), CDU, WK Kehl

Johannes Stober (MdL), SPD, WK Karlsruhe I

Georg Wacker (MdL), CDU, WK Weinheim

Peter Weiß (MdB), CDU, WK Emmendingen-Lahr

Ingo Wellenreuther (MdB), CDU, WK Karlsruhe-Stadt

Sabine Wölfle (MdL), SPD, WK Emmendingen

Steve Rubin, former New York Times arts writer turned leading publisher, had – for once in his life – seen enough. An exclusive report for Slipped Disc.


prince igor

Photo: Cory Weaver



Borodin’s PRINCE IGOR hasn’t been perfor med at the Met in almost 100 years. The current team decided to bring the work back to its origins, by sacking the tampering of Rimsky-Korsakov and Glazunov, both of whom tried to stitch together the scenes left by Borodin after his death. Say goodbye to the gorgeous overture; it was written by Glazunov. Director/designer Dmitri Tcherniakov has in essence produced “his” edition of the piece.

Musically, I can only comment on the performance, not the edition. Dramatically, I think the Russian director  Dmitri Tcherniakov made some interesting choices, none of which panned out. It all started with a multi-media approach–Igor projected on a screen. But it led nowhere. The prologue takes place indoors, thus diminishing the scene’s major event, an eclipse of the sun. Act I takes place on a field of poppies, which is visually striking, but ultimately gets in the way of the action.

There wasn’t a single singer who stood out. Unquestionably, the best vocalist on stage was the charismatic bass Ildar Abdrazakov, but his voice is at least three sizes too small for Igor at the Met (as it was for Attila). Gianandrea Noseda, the conductor, was more than competent, but rarely exciting. And the Met chose to lose 72 seats by allowing the chorus to sing from the side boxes in the famous Polovtsian Dances. It was fabulous because of the singing, but the choreography by Itzik Galili, was ludicrous, not helped at all by the endless poppies.

When we returned from the first interval, my lovely companion asked, “want to go?” Without a moment’s hesitation, we fled.

vanska skrowacewski

This is Osmo Vänskä back in town on Friday, dropping in to rehearsal with former music director Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, who is conducting the locked-out orchestra’s relaunch concerts this weekend. On the left is Principal cellist Tony Ross.

The picture has been sent to us from the musicians’ facebook page.



This is so good, you’ll play it twice:


David Greilsamer has shared video of his Geneva concert this week.

greilsamer, herman