A new scheme at the venerable Philadelphia conservatory incentivises students to offer a year’s payback to the city and its communities in return for the free education and benefits they have enjoyed.

It’s a terrific idea. Juilliard next? (We’re not holding our breath.)


bok trio

For nine years before he escaped in 1971 from the police state that was East Germany, Klaus Tennstedt was music director of the state orchestra and theatre in Schwerin. It was a Baltic town where he enjoyed the seascape and a good deal more freedom of speech than he had found possible in Dresden and Berlin. He always talked fondly of the place and of its musicians.

Now we read of plans to merge two theatres in the region and cut 61 jobs, 17 of them musicians.

Klaus, bless his memory, would have wept.



The New York Post’s Page Six says the Hollywood actor who played Margaret Thatcher has been signed as Maris Callas in the HBO version of Terrence McNally’s play, Master Class. Mike Nichols will direct.

The play recreates a class Callas gave at Juilliard in 1971.

galina callasmeryl streep sings

The singers are on the left.

Damian Thompson, a pioneer in newspaper blogs, has suddenly left the mother ship. Says it’s all ‘entirely amicable’.

Telegraph floats aimless on high seas.

damian thompson

More here on today’s bloodbath at the sinking Telegraph.

Unlike the US Jewish lobbyists who brought pressure on the Met to cancel the show, I have seen two full productions. I have also read the libretto and discussed the work with its composer, John Adams.

Over time, I have reached what I think is a reasoned view on both of the questions above. Click here to read my conclusions.


The Death of Klinghoffer

Look away now. Our faith in society has fallen to a very low ebb.

maggie lane

Message from Andrew Bove:

I gathered together 23 of the top studio and orchestral low brass musicians in New York, and we recorded this YouTube video for fun, and for fans of the HBO show Game of Thrones to enjoy.


This is obviously an extremely powerful ensemble. (11 Bass Trombones, 6 Contrabass Trombones, 6 Tenor Trombones, 6 Tubas, and 3 Cimbassos)  It’s also evidently intriguing people beyond the usual classical music “low brass folks.”The video was released on Friday, and already has 170,000 views.

It’s fun to see “non musicians” excited about Cimbassos and Contrabass Trombones. As you know, Low Brass are never in the mainstream media (or even in classical music media for that matter).


He has a point. Watch. Listen. The music is by Ramin Djawadi.


The Google-owned video central is about to launch a paid-for subscription service.

It is also threatening to clear out music videos and artists from independent labels which have refused to buckle to its tough terms.

The future?

No pay, no Youtube.



Jeffrey Tate has crashed out with summer flu.

The State Opera’s second Ring cycle will be shared by Adam Fischer and Cornelius Meister.


vienna state-opera-house-the

We hear that the Minnesota music director has been named principal guest conductor in the far north, working with music director Ilan Volkov.

Might need more of those woolly sweaters.


In other moves, Jun Märkl has been named music director of Spain’s Basque national orchestra, La Orquesta de Euskadi (OSE).

A good day to have an ä in your name.