They have dropped Aida as the season opener and replaced it with Dvorak’s Rusalka.

The conductor for the curtain-raiser will be the Norwegian,  Eivind Gullberg Jensen.

Assuming there is an orchestra and chorus for him to conduct on November 27.

eivind gulberg jensen

Which is far from certain since the Opera has announced their dismissal.

Read and recoil:

Hi there,
From November, British Airways is introducing ‘Sonic Seasoning’ on flights to bring out even more flavour in the food and drink served. The science behind it is taken from Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University, quoted in the release.<

A full press release and image of our Sonic taster attached!
Many thanks,
Sophia Procter

British Airways, Consumer PR Manager
british airways

When it comes to perfect pairings, food and music may seem an unlikely combination, however research by Oxford University suggests that the right music can influence taste buds. To put it to the test, British Airways has created a unique ‘Sound Bite’ soundtrack, for customers dining at 35,000ft.

Known as ‘Sonic Seasoning’, the study found that specific music can make food appear up to ten per cent more sweet or salty.  Based on the findings, the airline’s 13-track playlist is available on long-haul flights from November, to complement the dining experience.

Diners start with a choice of Paolo Nutini to complement the Scottish providence of the salmon dishes, or Louis Armstrong ideally matched for savoury dishes. Lily Allen and Coldplay are among the choices for main meals, as the findings claim that ‘British food and music belong together’. For those choosing a hearty main, Debussy is available, since classical music is perfectly paired with roast style dinners. For dessert, high-pitch tones from James Blunt and Madonna bring out the sweet flavours.

Sonic seasoning can also have an effect on drinking wine, with classical and rock music said to enhance perception of quality and depth of flavour. The Pretenders have been chosen to accompany red wines, as they can make it appear more ‘robust’ and ‘heavy’, while white wine is served with The BBC Symphony Orchestra, since classical music can enhance the perception of its quality. To round off the meal the low tones of Tenor Domingo are a great match for coffee.


Mark Tazzioli, British Airways’ chef, said: “Your ability to taste is reduced by 30 per cent in the air, so we do everything we can to counteract this. As the ‘fifth taste’ we use umami rich ingredients in our meals, and choose wines that work well with these dishes. The sonic seasoning research is fascinating, and our pairings should really help bring out the flavours.”

Professor Charles Spence from Oxford University, who conducted the study, said: “In the coming months and years we are going to see far more interest in the matching of music and soundscape to what we eat and drink. I think that it is a really exciting and innovative development to see British Airways taking the first steps in this direction.”


Based on Professor Spence’s study, the playlist compiled by the airline’s in-flight specialists Spafax can be found on the airlines ‘Rock and Pop’ audio channel on long-haul flights as of November. It features the following songs to accompany dishes:

Artist and song
Dining option
Findings from the study
Paolo Nutini,                  Scream (funk my life up)
Scottish salmon starter
Scottish musicians can enhance the providence of Scottish foods
Anthony and the Johnsons, Crazy in love
Savoury starter
Low tones complement savoury starters
Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington, Azalea
Savoury starter
Low tones complement savoury starters
Johnny Marr, New Town Velocity
Full English breakfast (early morning flights)
British music should be paired with British food
Lily Allen, Somewhere only we know
Main meal,
British classic
Piano notes can enhance the sensation of sweet and bitter tastes. British music should also be paired with British food
Coldplay,                                             A sky full of stars
Main meal,
British classic
British music should be paired with British food
Debussy, Claire De Lune
Main meal/ roast dinners
Classical music is suitable for meals such asSunday lunch.  Piano notes can also enhance he sensation of sweet and bitter tastes
James Blunt, You’re Beautiful
High-tones boost sweet flavours
Madonna, Ray of Light
High-tones boost sweet flavours
Otis Redding,                   The dock of the bay
After-dinner chocolate
Low tones can bring out the bitterness in chocolate
The Pretenders, Back on the chain gang
Red wine
Rock music can enhance depth of flavour, making red wine appear more ‘heavy’
Hope/BBC Symphony Orchestra/Shostakovich, Romance from the Gadfly, Op.97
White wine
Classical music can enhance the overall experience and perceptions of quality when paired with wine
Plácido Domingo, Nessun Dorma from Turandot
Tenors low tones are suited to the bitterness of coffee
British Airways features more than 130 movies, 650 TV shows from around the world, 550 audio albums and 200 radio shows in its in-flight entertainment systems.
In previous months, the airline has introduced ‘Slow TV’ programmes on board – including an unedited seven and half hour train journey from Oslo to Bergen. Last month it launched a new ‘Paws & Relax’ channel, dedicated to showing footage of cats and dogs for pet fans.
Notes to Editors:
·        Professor Charles Spence of Oxford University conducted a study (Spence et al, Flavour 2013) into the relationship between food, drink and music, and found that specific sounds can make foods appear more salty or sweet. More about his studies can be found here:


Only one place to find out. In Colorado, where the symphony orchestra does invitation-only pot concerts.

Tonight I’m going to Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver to see the Colorado Symphony Orchestra’s end of summer concert. Normally that wouldn’t require a visit to a pot dispensary beforehand, but this show is the symphony’s first public performance in partnership with the cannabis industry, which ponied up nearly $130,000 to sponsor the Symphony’s “Classically Cannabis” series….

The symphony’s CEO Jerry Kern has teamed up with Big Marijuana to help save a sinking ship.

When the 77-year-old ex-lawyer and Playboy CEO took charge of the Colorado Symphony in 2011, the symphony was nearly bankrupt and $1.2 million in debt.

Read more here.


The mezzo has been telling Corriere della Sera why she keeps raiding old archives for something to sing.

I’ve always enjoyed research, try­ing to find for­got­ten music to enlarge the rep­er­toire, being that con­tem­por­ary com­posers can’t seem to write for opera sing­ers like me. It would be won­der­ful to work with a com­poser writ­ing for just for us. Moz­art wrote his operas know­ing the voices of the sing­ers who would inter­pret the roles. Today, it’s no longer like that: atonal music cre­ates a bar­rier between com­poser and singer, so in order to find new music to sing I have to search in the past.

More here. Discuss.


The first law of British journalism is: never touch Northern Ireland. It has a logic all its own.

So when reports began to filter out that the Ulster Orchestra has a matter of weeks before it runs out of cash, we put fingers in our ears and went la-la-la, expecting the hubbub to die down as it usually does. Except this time, it won’t. This time, it’s for real.

An internal document smuggled out to Slipped Disc reveals that the orchestra’s current deficit of half a million pounds is roughly equivalent to its total reserves, which have been run down heavily.

Two chief executives have come and gone in as many years, each with a handsome pay-off. The last one was the head of music at the local Arts Council, Dr Rosa Solinas, who should have known what she was walking into – and straight out of.


Amid the Solinas chaos, the subscription lists have been lost. The orchestra no longer knows who its customers are and where they might be found. The document sent to Slipped Disc is part tragedy, part farce.

A UK consultant, Ed Smith, was flown in. The board did not like his sensible solution, so they hired another consultant.

So what now?

The Ulster Orch has a new chief conductor, the excellent Rafael Payare, but audiences are weak and losses mounting.

There are no further musical remedies for this situation. A decision has to be taken at the highest political level whether Northern Ireland can sustain a symphony orchestra. If so, it needs to be funded by the Northern Ireland government. If not, well… let’s not go there.

The musical community in the north of Ireland is facing an unmitigated disaster.

This Youtube vid has scored 3.7 million views in two days.

The soundtrack is Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra 1936.

The rest is Sara X.

Please do not try this at home. Or anywhere. Please.
sara x

You’ve read the worst. These are the best, on current form in our opinion, in descending order (marks from 0-10).

10 Glyndebourne …. 7.1

Remarkably helpful for so snooty a fest.

9 Orchestre de Paris

Fastest in France (that’s not saying much, but still…)

8 London’s Barbican Centre …. 7.2

Streets ahead of the South Bank

7 Royal Opera House, Covent Garden …. 7.8

Depends who picks up the phone, but they’re usually good.


covent garden

6 Chicago Symphony Orchestra …. 7.9

Smart, literate, non-verbose.

5 La Scala, Milan … 8.1

Until a month ago, Bayreuth’s close rival for worst opera press office on earth. Now under new management. Very sharp.

4 Cleveland Orchestra …. 8.2

Under change of guard… but still very much on the ball

3  Bavarian State Opera … 8.3

Alert, outgoing, initiating. A living reproach to Bayreuth.

2 Salzburg Festival …. 8.5

Prompt, polite, polyglot. Good coffee.

1 Los Angeles Philharmonic … 9

Run by ex-record-biz wiz, a really sharp and happy bunch of Dudies. The rest should emulate.

sophie jefferies

The A-team



There have been significant shifts over the past year. Once impregnable press offices have turned all cuddly, while previously friendly institutions have caught a chill. Often, it’s just a matter of one press officer leaving and another coming in. Sometimes, it’s hardline institutional policy.

Here for your consideration is Slipped Disc’s current black list of the world’s worst music press offices. Marks are given 0-10.

1 Bayreuth Festival…. 0

Never knowingly answer a phone. If they do, the answer’s No. A clear winner of the Slipped Disc trophy.

wagner bayreuth


2 Metropolitan Opera … 1

Historically overstaffed, wildly inefficient, half the press list are long dead. Hasn’t operated well since Johanna Fielder was in charge.

3 New York Philharmonic … 1.5

Snoozetown. Hotline to NY Times.

4 Boston Symphony … 2

Hello? Anybody there? I’d like to speak to Andriss…

5 Scandinavia … 2

We count annual contacts from Nordic orchs and operas on the fingers of one hand. In a good year.



6 Spain …. 2.5

Manana, across the board. Though the Liceo used to be quite good.

7 Vienna State Opera….. 3

Ever the last with the news. Now with a French-speaking press chief.

8 Berlin Philharmonic …. 3

Rapid response corporate hotline. No releases of interest all year.

9 Concertgebouw …. 3

Never much of a Dutch treat.

10 Kennedy Center, D. C. …. 3.1

Big Government gone mute.


Now, before you start attacking us for negativity and demanding to know where’s the entry for La Scala, Milan, hold your collective breaths.

A list will follow shortly of the world’s very best music press offices.

Click here.





We regret to report the death of David Wessel, a California computer music specialist who went to Paris in 1976 as part of the founding team at IRCAM, the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustic/Musique. He became IRCAM’s head of education and taught the first computer music class at the Paris Conservatoire. Samples of his music can be heard in an IRCAM compilation here.

From 1988 he taught at UC Berkeley, where he promoted the art of improvisation.

david wessel

The Taliba survivor who won the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is about to receive the first concert premiere of her life – in London, at the end of the month.

James McCarthy has composed a Malala oratorio. Read what he has to say here.


Danielle Turano caught the eye of a pair of 20-ish British twins, who operate JacksGap, a YouTube channel with 3.7 million subscribers.

She’s the subject of their new video, Following Heart, which premieres October 18 on JacksGap. It will also screen this weekend at Toronto’s Buffer Festival, a YouTube focus in Canada.

Cool, or what?

danielle turano

The press release (below) gives a positive spin of record fund-raising and ticket sales. But behind the upbeat message there is darkening concern of a level of spending that is running way beyond the orchestra’s means.

The CSO’s operating deficit soared to $1.4 million from $169,000 the year before. Operating expenses shot up from $78.1 million from $73.8m.

Watch those numbers. The incoming chief executive has a headache awaiting him.


press release:

CHICAGO—The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) released its fiscal year 2014 results at its Annual Meeting today at Symphony Center. The 2013/14 season marked the CSOA’s fourth consecutive year of record-breaking ticket sales and contributions, according to Jay Henderson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the CSOA, who presented the artistic and financial highlights of the season.

CSOA Chairman Jay Henderson said, “Under the artistic guidance of Music Director Riccardo Muti, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra has had an exceptional year of music making at the highest possible artistic level. Complementing that work, CSOA community engagement initiatives continue to serve audiences of all ages and walks of life, a critical part of our mission. The CSOA Board of Trustees is committed to preserving the CSO’s legacy of artistic excellence and supporting the vision of our music director, Riccardo Muti, while maintaining the financial strength of this great institution. Thanks to the dedicated work of our music director, musicians, patrons, staff, donors, volunteers and Board members and their ongoing commitment to the CSO, we experienced record ticket sales and record fundraising results.”

Two commitments to the CSOA’s endowment, received in June 2014, from the Zell Family Foundation and the Negaunee Foundation, of $17 million and $15 million, respectively, helped to secure the long-term future of the CSOA by providing support in perpetuity for both the naming of the position of CSO music director and the naming of the Negaunee Music Institute at the CSO. In addition, a pledge of $2 million from Randy and Melvin Berlin to create the Berlin Family Fund for the Canon, will support the performance of music by Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Schubert and other great composers of the Classical era.

At the close of the 2013/14 season, more than 13,000 individuals participated in supporting the CSO through philanthropy compared with 10,400 in the previous year.

Ticket Sales and Earned Revenue for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2014

  • Ticket sales totaled $22.4 million for 240 CSOA-presented events, a slight increase over last year’s amount of $22.3 million, marking the fourth consecutive year of record-setting sales.
  • In addition to ticket revenue, other earned revenue of $7.3 million was taken in from tour fees, merchandise sales, space rentals, royalties, recording fees and miscellaneous activities.
  • Nearly 386,000 tickets were sold for 240 ticketed concerts*.
  • Approximately 454,000 people attended CSOA performances and presentations at Symphony Center and in other venues in greater Chicago last season, including 185 free events such as Civic Orchestra of Chicago concerts, the CSO’s All-Access chamber music programs, education programs and open rehearsals for students and community groups, as well as the CSO’s free performance in Cicero.
  • Subscription renewal rate for CSO series in the 2014/15 season is over 90%.

* Figures exclude concerts at Ravinia or on tour anywhere outside the Chicago area.

Contributed Revenues for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2014

  • During the 2013/14 season, overall contributed revenue totaled $57 million.
  • General operating support to the CSO totaled $30.2 million—an increase over last year’s record-setting total of $29.8 million. Individual philanthropy totaled $20.6 million, corporate sponsorships and partnerships totaled $5.9 million, and contributions from foundations and government agencies totaled $3.7 million.

Financial Information for Fiscal Year Ending June 30, 2014

  • Operating revenues totaled $76.6 million, a 4% increase over FY13’s $73.6 million.
  • Operating expenses totaled $78.1 million, resulting in an operating deficit of $1.4 million.


  • Total assets increased by $56 million to $529 million, and net assets increased by $57 million to $323 million, due to an increase in contributions and investment returns.
  • Endowment investments were $288 million.
  • Under the oversight of the Investment Committee, the CSOA’s long-term endowment returns continue to rank among the highest of comparable funds with a one-year return rate of 18% and a 15-year return rate in the top 7% of comparable funds.