If Toronto can do it, why can’t your town? Clownish mayor Rob Ford was quoted as saying: ‘We are moving quickly to create jobs and economic development by supporting Toronto’s internationally respected music industry.’

Read Michael Vincent’s report here.

priority parking for musicians


You may remember David Skorton, the flute-playing president of Cornell University, who recently declared:

It is through the study of art, music, literature, history and other humanities and social sciences that we gain a greater understanding of the human condition than biological or physical science alone can provide.

He has now been appointed secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, responsible for 19 museums and galleries and the National Zoological Park.


This just in from our friends in Romania:

enescu festival


ENESCU COMPETITION. Three worldwide notorious musicians will conduct finals of the 2014 “George Enescu” International Competition

Marek Pijarowski, former Artistic Director of the prestigious National Philharmonic of Poland, will conduct the Violin Final of the Enescu Competition. Distinguished German pianist and conductor Justus Frantz, a close collaborator of the legendary Leonard Bernstein, will conduct the Piano Final. Ovidiu Balan, one of the highly praised Eastern European musicians, will conduct the Cello Final.

Enescu Competition will take place this fall, between 8th and 27th of September. Three worldwide notorious musicians will take the podium to conduct the Final Concerts of the George Enescu International Competition on the Romanian Athenaeum stage inBucharest, with the George Enescu Philharmonic Orchestra and the winners of the 2014 Edition.

A disciple of conductor Arvīds Jansons (famous Mariss Jansons’s father), musician Marek Pijarowski will conduct the Violin Final of the Enescu Competition. Marek Pijarowski has an international conducting career spanning over more than 30 years. He was honored by the Republic of Poland with Knight’s Cross of the Order of Poland Restored (Polo¬nia Resti¬tuta) and with the Glo¬ria Artis Order. He was Artistic Director of the esteemed Polish National Philharmonic, as well as the Artistic Director of the International Chopin Festival. He is the chief conductor of the Poznań Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra since 2007.

Pianist and conductor Justus Frantz began his extraordinary musical career in 1967, when he won the well-known ARD International Music Competition hosted by a famous German television station. His debut as a pianist was in 1970, with Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the baton of the legendary Herbert von Karajan. In 1975, Justus Franz shared the stage for the first time with another legendary musician – Leonard Bernstein, who later on became his dear friend as well. For over 20 years Justus Frantz has been internationally successful as a pianist and conductor. Regarded also as a visionary, he took pride in discovering young talents and in nurturing their breakthrough into today’s classical music hall of fame – musicians as Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, Evgeny Kissin, Anna Netrebko, to name just a few. Justus Franz will conduct the Piano Final of the Enescu Competition.

Ovidiu Balan will conduct the Cello Final of the Competition. One of the most sought-after conductors of Eastern European tradition, Ovidiu Balan is the Music Director of the Domenico Cimarosa Symphony Orchestra in Italy since 1996. A graduate of the National University of Music Bucharest in 1973, Ovidiu Balan has perfected his conducting art in the United States with prestigious musicians such as Zubin Mehta, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Georg Solti.

Our social secretary reports that Ms Anna Netrebko is engaged to be married to the tenor Yusif Eyvazov.

It is four months since she announced her separation from the baritone, Erwin Schrott.

Her fiancé is Baku born and based in Milan. His career peaks so far are Duke ( Rigoletto) at the Teatro Verdi in Milan and a 2010 Cavaradossi (Tosca) at the Bolshoi. Our social secretary says he has not yet crossed her party radar. He is singing opposite Anna in Rome’s Manon Lescaut.

netrebko engaged

Mr Eyvazov is the one who announced the engagement on Facebook. Ms Netrebko has yet to confirm.


UPDATE:  Sources close to Ms Netrebko say that they are not exactly engaged, more ‘in a relationship’ (apparently Facebook makes no distinction between the two statuses in Italian). The sources say Ms Netrebko asks for her privacy to be respected. We respect it.

They’ve named Nikolaus Harnonourt an honorary member of the orchestra.

Under Karajan, he was never allowed to conduct.

Since 1991, he has given 90 performances with the orch in Berlin and Salzburg. Release follows.

harnoncourt bphil

Berliner Philharmoniker Confer Honorary Membership on Nikolaus Harnoncourt



Before the acoustic rehearsal at the Vienna Musikverein last Friday, 7 March 2014, the

Berliner Philharmoniker welcomed Nikolaus Harnoncourt as an honorary member of the

orchestra in an expression of their gratitude.


Since Nikolaus Harnoncourt‘s belated debut at the conductor’s desk of the Berliner

Philharmoniker in 1991, he and the orchestra have presented 29 programmes in 90 concerts

together in Berlin and at the Easter Festival in Salzburg during the past 23 years.


In a brief speech orchestra board member Peter Riegelbauer declared: “You have given us a

new perspective on the works of the great masters of the 18th and 19th centuries. You have

always aroused our curiosity about the stylistic realities beyond the scores. We are greatly

indebted to you.”

Latest leaks from the unstable orchestra suggest they will offer the former music director a reduced role as principal guest conductor.

Osmo’s not bothered. He’s thinking about raising the next generation of musicians in South Africa.

Release below.

osmo vanska



Osmo Vänskä for the South African National Youth Orchestra’s 50th Birthday

Osmo Vänskä conducting the South African National Youth Orchestra for their 50th Birthday! Surely nothing can outclass this on the 2014 South African orchestral calendar. Rarely do South African audiences experience a conductor of this calibre in live performance. Add the green-and-gold National Youth Orchestra with a large alumni core performing alongside them and a treat is in store.

Performances, generously sponsored by Sasol, will be on Saturday 6 December in Cape Town and Sunday 7 December in Johannesburg.

His last ambition was to hold this book in his hands.

mortier book

It was not to be.

The memoir recounts his own role in the development of opera production, placed in the context of a 400 year-old story. He regards the theatre as ‘a religion of humanity’

Pub. details:

Gerard Mortier: Dramaturgie einer Leidenschaft. Für ein Theater als Religion des Menschlichen. Aus dem Französischen von Sven Hartberger. Bärenreiter-Verlag / Verlag J. B. Metzler 2014. ISBN 978-3-7618-2060-5. 126 Seiten. € 24,95.


In Avignon, Roberto Alagna and Aleksandra Kurzak took their new baby Malena to see an opera that he created with his brothers, based on Victor Hugo’s Dernier jour d’un condamné.


roberto alagna alexksandra kurzak

Nicky Benedetti got herself a gig, in between some stunningly boring businessmen’s speeches. Mrs Merk woke up.

Watch here at 46:30.

nicola benedetti elgar

The pianist is Alexei Grynyuk. And who’s that turning pages? Mark Wilkinson, president of DG.