It’s John Denver’s pad in Aspen, Colorado. Asking price is $10.6 million. The singer died in a place crash in 1995.



Clever. Really clever.

early music


… and writes a book about it.

Ari L. Goldman, the former Times religion correspondent, has seen the light in several ways. Among other things, he has taken up the cello after a quarter-century lapse and started playing in a A Late Starters Orchestra.

So he wrote a book about it. So it goes.

ari l goldman

For those who think critics just sit on their A-flats and carp, here’s one who doesn’t.

Our friend Lawrence Johnson, founder of the Classical Review sites in Bsoston Chicago, South Florida and New York, has spent much of the past year putting together an initiative that will promote performances of American music.

The American Music Project will launch with a Chicago Q Ensemble concert on October 5, featuring works by Charles Ives, David Diamond and Irving Fine, alongside the AMP’s first commission, a piano quintet by Amy Wurtz with the composer as soloist.




‘If, for example, somebody wants to put on a festival of American string quartets, or a cycle of American symphonies, we would provide a check to underwrite some of it,’ says Johnson.

No idea where the money’s coming from, but it’s a necessary initiative and it has cost Larry the greater part of a year’s work.

Three cheers, please, for that music critic.

More information here.

The musicians of the Metropolitan Orchestra have agreed to observe radio and social media silence while their negotiators are hammering out a deal with a retreating Peter Gelb.

The self-restraint, admirable as it is, does not mean musicians can’t talk about their craft. Principal trombone Demian Austin reminisces in this fascinating video portrait how all of his instrumental teachers were conditioned by vocal sound.

demian austin

Laura Mvula, the stunning British singer, had a classical upbringing in Birmingham and used to play in a  string trio. On her new album, out next week, she offers unashamed and unamplified orchestral backing from Holland’s Metropole Orkest.

On the second track, Make Me Lovely, there is 1:42 of pure orchestral sound before she begins to sing. How rare is that?

Catch an exclusive preview here.


laura mvula

Want to hear more Laura? Click here.

Anthony Theodore Vance, 76, is being tried in South Australia, without the benefit of a jury. He is accused of tampering with three primary school girls between the years 2003 and 2008. Grim details here.

vance piano teacher

The Rotterdam Philharmonic has an extraordinarily versatile bass trombone, called Ben Van Dijk. Aside from the low stuff he does in the orchestra, he plays flamenco guitar to virtuoso level – and does both simultaneously on a new Lorca CD. Watch, and wonder.

ben van dijk

This is Nejmi Succari in 1968, playing Sarasate’s Introduction et Tarantelle, Op.43 and Paganini’s Caprice No. 9 In E Major, Op.1 in 1968. A product of the Moscow Tchaikovsky Conservatoire, he came eight in a tough year at the Reine Elisabeth:

nejmi succari


Concours Reine Elisabeth in 1963
1. Alexei Michlin (SU)
2. Semion Snitkovsky (SU)
3. Arnold Steinhardt (USA)
4. Zarious Schikhmursaieva (SU)
5. Charles Castleman (USA)
6. Masuko Ushioda (J)
7. Yossef Zivoni (IL)
8. Nejmi Succari (SYR)
9. Jean Ter-Mergerian (SU)
10. Hiderato Suzuki (J)

h/t: MeloClassic

This is extraordinary film of the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Viscount Hidemaro Konoye, brother of the pre-War Japanese prime minister and a vastly influential musician. Konoye, a pacifist, never subscribed to Nazi ideology. He was a fervent devotee of the music of Gustav Mahler and made, in 1930, the world’s first recording of Mahler’s fourth symphony.

To see him conducting an overtly political concert beneath the murderous swastika comes as something of a shock.
hidemaro konoye conducting

Despite being in her 70s, losing Zubin Mehta and her dramaturg, getting badly shaken up in a Vienna road accident and generally feeling frail, the redoubtable impresaria has told Valencia that she will remain head of its stumbling Palau de Les Arts until her contract ends in April 2016.

Story here.


She’s a legend in France, with a best-selling biography and packed recitals – whenever she cares to give them. But outside France, where she has lived for 30 years, Zhu Xiao-Mei is a shadowy, enigmatic figure, seldom heard and recognised by very few.

Zhu Xiao-Mei only plays the summits of the western repertoire. Her performance of Bach’s Art of the Fugue, newly out on Accentus, exists philosophically in a world of its own. It is my five-star Album of the Week on Click here.


We understand that she is planning a return to China in the coming season, the first since she left in 1980.