The U.S. Postal Service pays tribute to a rock and roll legend. Artwork by artist Rudy Gutierrez. Out now.

The death is reported of Harris Goldsmith, piano teacher at Mannes College and, after Harold Schonberg, Manhattan’s polymath of the instrument. He was 77. Starting with Guido Cantelli in the 1950s, he was an indefatigable searcher of talent for Musical America and other outlets. Here’s a recent Harris report:

Yuja Wang, piano

At age 17, Yuja Wang played an astonishingly mature and technically finished interpretation of Schubert’s late CMinor Sonata, D. 958, in Weill Hall on April 12, 2004. And—from the sublime to the ridiculous—at a Rockefeller University recital on February 2, 2007, she tossed off an unexpected encore, Arcadi Volodos’s indulgent paraphrase of Mozart’s Rondo alla Turca. Volodos had given her the music

only a week earlier. “It’s not so hard,” she shrugged. Most important is Wang’s self-proclaimed ideal: “For me, conveying the music through the piano is more important than the instrument itself. The music is what interests and intrigues me.”  After substituting for several of the most celebrated pianists Argerich, Perahia, and Lupu, to name a few), Wang at 23 has amassed a repertoire of by now over 35 concertos and has two spectacularly successful recordings for Deutsche Grammophon to her credit. What particularly endears me to her playing is the inviting warmth and touching vulnerability in tandem with her fiery brilliance. •

Harris was no mean artist himself and a well-known face about town.

harris goldsmith

Allan Kozinn adds: I knew Harris pretty well in the 1980’s when we both wrote for High Fidelity and Opus, and I commissioned him to write a piece for a booklet the New York Philharmonic published in connection with a Beethoven festival – one of my few editing projects. More recently, I used to run into him periodically at concerts – mostly piano recitals at Carnegie. Harris knew everything there was to know about the piano repertory, and particularly Beethoven, and he was a sweet man with an interesting, sometimes peculiar, and usually groanably pun-encrusted sense of humor.

The European Parliament has voted to fix all mobile calls and internet access  scrap at local rates in all 28 member countries. From December 2015, the cost of making a call or downloading internet data in any other EU country will be the same as at home.


i-phone brass1


COMMUNIQUÉ DE PRESSE – Bruxelles, le 3 avril 2014

Marché européen des télécommunications

Un bon jour pour la neutralité du net et la fin du roaming

Ce jeudi 3 avril, le Parlement européen a adopté un règlement établissant des mesures relatives au marché

unique européen des communications électroniques et visant à faire de l’Europe un continent connecté (A7-


Un vote salué par Malika Benarab-Attou, députée européenne, membre de la commission de la culture et de

l’éducation :

“Aujourd’hui, le Parlement européen a défendu le principe de la neutralité du net au sein de l’UE. Les fournisseurs de

services ne pourront pas conclure d’accord avec des fournisseurs d’accès à Internet afin de prioriser certains flux.

C’est une grande victoire qui permettra de garantir l’accès aux contenus, la liberté d’opinion,

d’information et des médias ainsi que le pluralisme culturel et des médias en général. Nous demandons

aux gouvernements des États membres de soutenir fermement notre approche.”

L’eurodéputée ajoute :

“Les parlementaires européens se sont également prononcés sur la question des frais d’itinérance (“roaming”). Les frais

de communication téléphoniques sont scandaleusement élevés lorsqu’on appelle d’un État membre à l’autre. En dépit

des pressions très fortes exercées par certains lobbies, nous sommes restés fermes : les frais d’itinérance doivent

être supprimés d’ici fin 2015, une autre grande victoire pour les citoyens européens”.

Clara Rodriguez, professor at the Royal College of Music in London, has been wounded in political debate with Gabriela Montero. Here’s Clara’s response:
clara rodriguez
There is, in my opinion a dangerous situation among Venezuelans at this time in which some feel entitled to think for others and judge negatively if they feel you differ from their point of view.
In the last 48 hours , I have been the victim of an attack by my colleague, pianist Gabriela Montero through her Twitter and Facebook accounts for a tweet  I did on my own in which I quoted an article which appeared in the Guardian in March 2014.
Concerned with the situation in my country, seeking information where it appears and trying to draw my own conclusions as sometimes contradictory opinions are emitted by the press and private social networks. The tweet, simply said that “many of the recent protests in Venezuela would not be tolerated by any democratic government in the world.”
I know from experience that in the UK , where I have lived for 30 years, shredding a public space, removing manholes from avenues, putting barbed-wire across streets to kill motorbikers – apparently a “Chavista” symbol-, cutting trees by the hundreds to build barricades and stopping the traffic, especially free access for ambulances is not something that can be done without immediately getting a response from government forces to prevent it.
London was hit by a popular protest in Tottenham between 6 and August 11 2011, a revolt in which young men, enraged by the death of a neighbour at the hands of the police, set fire to establishments, set up barricades and burned cars. By the 15th of August there were a total of 3,100 boys arrested, of whom 1.000 were charged with crimes against persons and property of others .
There were a total of five people dead, none of them law enforcement officers . I honestly do not think that a Venezuelan style “guarimba” would be tolerated in this democratic country, I am in my right to say it and should not be discredited for it. I believe that opinions can be emitted in a respectful way.
Unfortunately Gabriela is not interested. She could have tried to communicate with me in private, and heard my opinion, as I would hers; I guess we would have differences but also similarities in many points. Instead, she thought it appropriate to use the artistic platform to encourage hatred, division and bigotry, to act as a sort of policeman of public morals, harassing and accusing me of saying something “incomprehensible ” and ‘ unforgivable ‘ . She says that she has ‘ unmasked ‘ me, I have never worn masks (except in carnaval parties) or worked with a political party, I do not receive money from anyone or any institution that isn’t music related for my teaching or concerts.
I have been insulted by her fanaticals (the term had never had such true ring to it), my CDs are being apparently burned and some more such deplorable actions without Gabriela trying to dampen the violent reactions. I have not studied economics or politics , but I need not have done that to be convinced that Venezuela will not get out of this awful crisis without dialogue and an attempt to at least understand the arguments and aspirations of those who disagree about the different situations of the present. A way to stop violence and its terrifying consequences is to try to see the “other” point of view, it’s a coin with two sides and one sole wish: PEACE for all .
To me the right to protest is sacred, but we must ask whether “guarimbas” render the results that we are all looking for which is a society of free thinkers working together to live together in harmony in true democratic spirit. Political fanaticism is dark , from any the side. Above all there is something that Venezuelans can not stop fighting for and it is the autonomy of reasoning. I invite the talented Gabriela Montero to a respectful exchange of views and information with the idea to opening spaces, especially the musical ones, our true vocation, the most noble of them.
Clara Rodriguez, London, April 1, 2014

When California was hit by a 5.1 last weekend, the Los Angeles Philharmonic played through it unperturbed under the baton of Charles Dutoit.

Elsewhere, there was panic.

The Cal State Long Beach Symphony Orchestra was in the middle of a tuba concerto by John Williams when the earth moved. On the video, the conductor is first to rush for the exit. His friends say he was leading by example. There seems to be no concern for the audience. Your views?


She had agreed to step in for Anna Netrebko at Baden-Baden. Now she’s having second thoughts. Here’s what Angela Gheorghiu has just posted:

I am very sorry to have to turn down the offer from the Baden-Baden-Festspielhaus to perform in Faust in June this year.

It has always been one of my principles not to sing in a new production that has not been conceived from the very beginning for me. It is also rather unusual for me to have to replace another singer. Nevertheless, I have tried to make it possible and to be available for the whole period but unfortunately I have not been successful in doing this.

I sincerely hope to have the chance to be invited to a new production in Baden-Baden, that will be created for me, in future.

I am also so much looking forward to my New Year’s Eve Gala Concert in Baden-Baden!

Angela Gheorghiu


angela gheorghiu baden



His birthday’s on Sunday and his website has not been updated for over four years.

Andre, it seems, is taking a break.

andre previn

Maria Miller, the UK Secretary of state for Culture, Media and Sport has been ordered to say sorry to her peers for over-claiming on expenses. No resigning matter, it seems, but her position is now less secure and that will be a cause of satisfaction to the arts world.

Ms Miller is not anti-art. She is best described as culture-neutral.

Her apology to the house was brusque to the point of insult.  She regretted only her ‘attitude to the committee’, not her wayward expenses. Watch here.

maria miller

Another day, another list.

This one, no more authoritative than any other, is by a lone blogger. Unlike previous league tables, it contains much useful information and sound advice.

We dispute, however, the placement of Juilliard at the top of the pole. Most educators, both in and out of Juilliard, recognise that the school has fallen off its perch in the past few years. Talent for talent, Curtis, Bloomington and Cleveland have outstripped it.

Juilliard is now recruiting expensively to recapture its position. There has never been tougher competition in US music schools. Take the first 12 names on this list, put them in a hat and shake it. Whichever name comes out first could well be the current best.




We hear that United Music Publishers Ltd. have notified their composers that the company is entering liquidation.

UMP was founded in London in 1932 to promote contemporary French music, particularly Messaien, Dutilleux and Duruflé. Over time, it took on a number of British composers, among them Simon Bainbridge, Diana Burrell, Edward Cowie, Michael Finnissy and Havergal Brian.

Their catalogues are orphaned by the sudden collapse. We have sought clarification from UMP.