Forget about phony documentaries. This is real history from Robert Eschbach, associate professor of music at the University of New Hampshire:

bach's daughter


Johann Sebastian Bach’s second wife, Anna Magdalena, a gifted singer who shared his work and who bore him 13 children, died in great poverty 10 years after Bach’s passing.

Her last child (JSB’s 20th), Regina Susanne, died in 1809, the year of Felix Mendelssohn’s birth.

A decade before her death, Regina Susanne was also living in poverty. Friedrich Rochlitz, the editor of the Allgemeine Musikalische Zeitung, put out an appeal on her behalf, saying that she was starving, but that she “cannot, no, she should not, no she shall not beg.”

Among those who answered the appeal was Ludwig van Beethoven, who sent her 307 Gulden — a large sum. At the same time, he wrote to his publisher, Breitkopf & Härtel, to give her the royalties from one of his forthcoming compositions. Regina Susanne wrote to him: “With tears of joy, I received this sum, which surpasses all my expectations. Not a day that Providence grants me will go by that I will not remember you with heartfelt thanks, my benefactor.”

bach newspaper

The pianist Graeme McNaught, a former lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, has been arrested again for questioning that he had resumed harassing his former partner, the author Janice Galloway.

McNaught, 54, was relieved of his position at the Conservatoire after five charges had been proved against him two weeks ago for stalking and ‘acting in a threatening and abusive manner and and placing Miss Galloway in a state of fear and alarm’. 

He was released by the sheriff’s court, but we understand that he continued to attempt to make contact with Ms Galloway. He was refused bail after his arrest on Friday October 24 and remains in custody.

graeme mcnaught

The Danish National Chamber Orchestra is due to be shut down at the end of next month. They’ve got nothing to lose but their insides… Watch.
danish orchestra-players-jpg

The video is heading for 200,000 hits after just 24 hours.

Geoff Edgers has cracked it. Read here.

concert phones

Anyone else tried the app?


Musicians of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra are demanding to know why the ASO won’t end the lockout now that they have conceded the last sticking point. The only conclusion one can draw is that the WAC and ASO enjoy inflicting pain.

Since the acting ASO chief exec is a retired Coca-cola executive, I suggest we all stop drinking Coke until the dispute is decently settled.

atlanta musicians

Musicians statement:

Atlanta, GA, October 31, 2014


Four days ago, the Musicians made a new proposal to the Woodruff Arts Center that balances the stated needs of the WAC/ASO leadership while meeting the need to ensure the survival of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.  The orchestra has been in a world of hurt since the deep salary and benefit cuts of 2012, and there are numerous losses within the ranks needed to produce the ASO’s programs with the sound that made the Orchestra famous and won Atlanta 27 Grammy awards.


Every aspect of the Musicians’ proposal provides significant savings for the WAC/ASO, while keeping it on a narrow path toward desperately needed restoration.  The ASO has had up to 95 Musicians, and has been cut back to 76, even though the current contract calls for 88 players.  The Musicians temporarily gave up positions, and now need to replace them.  The Musicians’ proposal embodies flexibility and true willingness to reach an agreement, replacing the positions gradually over time.  Notable aspects include:


    An extended stabilization period – sought by the WAC/ASO management – offering to maintain the current complement size of 77 for the duration of the first year, and flexibility in arriving at a guaranteed complement number of 88 Musicians by the end of the fourth year.


    No individual Musician gains a penny in their fight to keep what the ASO and every other major orchestra in the United States and the world has: a fixed minimum number of musicians large enough to perform the music of a full symphony orchestra.


    A tentative agreement regarding healthcare involves the musicians offering to move to a high deductible plan – a major change from the current health insurance plan – ensuring annual savings of over a quarter of a million dollars for the WAC.


    No agreement has been reached on the modest incremental salary increases that the Musicians proposed.  If agreed, Musician salaries would still not reach pre-2012 levels by the end of the four-year contract in 2018.


Having addressed the stated needs of the Woodruff Arts Center to continue the stabilization period begun in 2012, the ATL Symphony Musicians call on the WAC to accept their latest offer, end the lockout of the musicians, and put the award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra back on stage for its 70th anniversary season.

Two important rebuttals have been issued against claims by the violinist Mark O’Connor that the founder of the Suzuki Method falsified his own education – an assertion described by one hysterical newspaper as ‘the biggest fraud in the history of music.’

The International Suzuki Association reiterates its founder’s record and accuses Mr O’Connor of impure motives: Shinichi Suzuki had violin lessons with the prominent German violinist Karl Klingler in Berlin in the 1920’s. Klingler’s daughter, Marianne Klingler, was a strong supporter of Suzuki’s teaching principles and became the first chairperson of the European Suzuki Association. Ms. Klingler confirmed many times that Suzuki had indeed studied with her father…

One can only speculate as to why Mr. O’Connor, who publishes and sells his own approach to violin playing, is so eager to discredit Shinichi Suzuki and why he has chosen to manipulate media at this time. These may be questions for serious journalists to work on further. In the end, however, it is not what Shinichi Suzuki did or did not do in the 1920s that is of importance. The important issue is the successful use of his teaching principles which have enriched the lives of students and has positively influenced music education worldwide for the past 70 years.

More substantive evidence appears in documents supplied to us by the cellist Amy Sue Barston of Swarthmore, Penn. Ms Barton refutes O’Connor’s claims that Suzuki never studied with Klingler or was befriended by Einstein with two images:

einstein suzuki

Einstein’s self-portrait drawing, made for and given to Suzuki. The autograph says, “Herr Shinichi Suzuki in freundlichsten Erinnerung” translated is, “Mr Shinichi Suzuki in friendliest recollection” – Albert Einstein November 1926.

suzuki klingler

A Portrait of Dr. Suzuki with his teacher, Karl Klingler. Anyone with a cursory understanding of photography can tell this is was a planned portrait of that time period.

Also, Suzuki never claimed to go to the Berlin Hochschule.  He always said he studied with Klingler privately.  That is very clear in all his writings. Klingler’s daughter, Marianne Klingler became the first Chairperson of the European Suzuki Association.

O’Connor says: “Shinichi Suzuki had no violin training from any serious violin teacher that we can find. He was basically self-taught, beginning the violin at the age of 18, and it showed. He was never allowed a position in any orchestra, never performed professionally or made a professional recording.”  — from his Blog, Suzuki’s Biggest lie.

Here is a listing of  Dr. Suzuki’s Professional Career:

♦In 1919, Suzuki joined an exploration to the Kurile Islands organized by Marquis TOKUGAWA. On the ship, Suzuki played the violin with KOHDA Nobu, violinist and pianist who studied in England and also at the Wien National Music Academy. This would indicate that Suzuki was already at the level of a chamber musician at that time. (This episode appears in Kohda Sisters, published in 2000.)

♦By the recommendation of KOHDA Nobu, her sister ANDOH Koh became Suzuki’s first authentic teacher when he was 21. She was one of the top Japanese violinists who went first to Wien and then Berlin to study in Berlin National Music Academy under Josef Joachim.

♦Suzuki recorded Franck’s Sonata in A Major in Berlin in 1928 at Deutsche Grammophon Gesellshaft.

♦Albert Einstein gave his self-portrait to Suzuki as a present and it is reserved in the Suzuki Memorial Museum.

♦Suzuki was active as a soloist (he played with Shin-Koukyohgakudan=New Symphony Orchestra….precursor of NHK Symphony) and was the top violinist of the Suzuki Quartet which gave concerts all over Japan and on radio programs from 1929.

♦Suzuki was an educator in Kunitachi Music School (precursor of Kunitachi College of Music) from 1930 to 1931. He was a Professor at the Imperial Music Institute from 1931 to 1943, and served as the 3rd President of this Institute. One of his intimate colleagues was Alexander Moguilewsky.

♦Formed the Tokyo String Orchestra and gave concerts in main cities in Japan from 1932.

♦Chamber Music, co-authored by SAITOH Hideo, mentor of OZAWA Seiji, was published in 1932 by Bungeishunjuh-sha. His career as a performer ended when he left Tokyo because of the World War II.

Suzuki’s Recording of the Franck Violin Sonata:


Rare and important research (in Russian) on Stalin’s death quads. Click here.


stalin's executioners


On Saturday, November 1, the Bayerische Staatsoper will be streaming the season’s second performance on STAATSOPER.TV. This time, General Manager Nikolaus Bachler is presenting Leoš Janáček last but one opera The Makropulos Affair. In Árpád Schillings production, german sopranoNadja Michael is portraying Elina Makropulos. The Bayerische Staatsorchester will be conducted byTomáš Hanus, who worked on a new critical edition of the score for this new production.

The live audiovisual broadcast will start at 6 p.m. (CET) at The service is free