We didn’t watch the New Year’s Day concert, but reliable observers counted five.

Just five.

That’s fewer than recent years and contrary to the orchestra’s recent pledges of gradual reform.

This is an orchestra that has discrimination written into its DNA, into its everyday attitudes.

The reason to be concerned about its Nazi past is that nothing much has changed.

vienna phil pose



Patrick Gowers, a brilliant composer who was disabled by a stroke a few years back, has died aged 78.

Among various concert works, he wrote a terrific guitar concerto for John Williams and a Toccata for organ for Simon Preston.

His film work, starting with Peter Brooks’s Marat/Sade in 1966, was distinguished and original. It included David Hockney’s A Bigger Splash and Tony Richardson’s Hamlet.

He may be most widely remembered for television music for Smiley’s People, Thérèse Raquin and The Woman in White.
patrick gowers john williams

Regular users of Broadcasting House will have come across the lovely and helpful Phil Hutchinson, whose life ended tragically last weekend.

phil hutchinson

photo and text: Marianne Khoo:
Phil Hutchinson, died on Saturday in a car accident in Canada. Only a few days before Christmas he’d asked if we could pair up to do some long routes in the Cuillins in May. He was kind and goodhearted and clever and brave, and there were so many adventures he looked forward to having in the new year. I took this photo of Phil several months ago when he asked me to smuggle an ice axe and several ice screws into the BBC’s Broadcasting House one Sunday afternoon, after which we had tea on the roof. Please feel free to share and use this photo of Phil amongst friends.

He’s one of the most reliable troopers on the circuit, a maestro who never lets you down.

But Sir Neville Marriner, 90, has been forced to pull out of a pair of San Diego dates next week with bronchitis.

We wish him better. He was in terrific form at Abbey Road four weeks ago.

neville marriner1

The following letter went out last night from the American Federation of Musicians. Print it out and carry it with you at all times.

The rules are now unequivocal. You have the right to take certain instruments on board.


smashed violin BA

From today, this need never happen again.


December 31, 2014

Dear Member,

I am pleased to announce that on December 30, 2014 the United States Department of Transportation released the long awaited final administrative rule which fully implements section 403 of the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2012 – the law authorizing musical instruments as carry-on baggage onboard US air carriers.  This historic accomplishment was led by your Union and made possible through efforts by Members of Congress who are longtime AFM allies, and officers and rank and file members of Local 161-710, Washington, DC.  We were also assisted by the Department of Professional Employees, AFL-CIO and by many of our music industry partners.

I am currently analyzing the rule in order to bring you a concise, comprehensive explanation of these new policies and how they affect you.  Look for that analysis soon atwww.afm.org and in the February edition of the International Musician.  However, I’d like to bring to your attention several important points that I believe are worthy of your immediate attention.

•    Airlines are required to allow small musical instruments, such as a violin or guitar, to be carried into the cabin and stowed in approved stowage spaces, if available, and/or under the seat.
•    Once safely stowed, airlines cannot require passengers to remove their instruments, even if space taken by their instrument could accommodate one or more other carry-on items.
•    Airlines cannot charge an additional fee for instruments as carry-on or checked baggage other than any standard fee imposed by the carrier.
•    Airlines are now required to train air crews, gate agents, counter agents and baggage personnel concerning appropriate procedures necessary to comply with all FAA musical instrument transportation policies.

Those of you interested in reading the rule can do so here: http://www.dot.gov/airconsumer/final-rule-musical-instruments.

I want to acknowledge the work of our National Legislative Office-Office of Government Relations and the two Directors who helped usher this process through to the end – Alfonso Pollard, our current Director and former Director Hal Ponder, who retired in the spring of 2013.  Special recognition is in order for International Executive Board Member and Local 257 President Dave Pomeroy, Local 161-710 President Ed Malaga and Secretary Treasurer Marta Bradley, and National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) violist and ICSOM Governing Board Member Jennifer Mondie, who attended my recent meetings with Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, his General Counsel Kathryn Thomson and DOT Deputy Assistant General Counsel, Office of Aviation Enforcement and Proceedings and their staff.  I believe it was the impromptu solo performances by Dave and Jennifer at our discussion sessions that may have led the Federal Government to finally come around to our way of thinking.  I also want to thank major and regional airline executives for their work and cooperation in bringing these important new policies to fruition.

Finally, please accept my best wishes for a happy, healthy and productive New Year!

Sincerely and fraternally yours,

Raymond M. Hair, Jr., International President
American Federation of Musicians
of the United States and Canada

That’s what the tabloids are calling Simone Kermes. Can’t think why.

See here.

simone kermes

Simon Keenlyside (pictured) crashed out in the middle of opening night and has not sung since.

His ensemble cover, Paolo Rumetz, was a valiant substitute.

Rumetz, however, has fallen sick. He will be replaced tomorrow by the Rumanian, George Petean.

Anyone free to cover?


The following countries are taking the feed. You may well wonder why, given the horrible history.

Albania: RTSH
Austria: ORF / 3sat
Azerbaidjan: ICTIMAI
Belgium: VRT / EEN, RTBF
Bosnia-Herzegovina: BHRT
Bulgaria: BNT
Croatia: HRT
Cyprus: CYBC
Czech Republic: CT
Denmark: DR
Estonia: ERR
Finland: YLE
France: FR2
Georgia: GTVR
Germany: ZDF/3SAT
Gibraltar: GBC
Greece: NERI
Hungary: MTV
Iceland: RUV
Ireland: RTE
Italy: RAI
Kosovo: RTK
Latvia: LTV
Lithuania: LRT
Macedonia: MKRTV
Moldova: TRM
Monaco: FR2
Montenegro: RTCG
Netherlands: NOS
Norway: NRK
Poland: TVP2
Portugal: RTP
Romania: TVR
Russia: RTR Kultura
Serbia: RTS
Slovenia: RTVSLO
Slovakia: RTVS
Spain: RTVE
Sweden: SVT
Switzerland: SRF/3SAT, RTS, TSI
Turkey: TRT
United Kingdom: BBC
Ukraine: ZIK TV

Bahamas: ZNS
Barbados: CBC
Canada (partly): WNET/PBS
Costa Rica: Canal7/SKY
Cuba: ICRT
Dominican Republic: SKY Central Americas
El Salvador: SKY Central Americas
Guatemala: Canal7 / SKY Central Americas
Honduras: SKY Central Americas
Jamaica: CVM Jamaica
Mexico: SKY Mexico
Nicaragua: Ratensa / SKY Central Americas
Panama: SKY Central Americas
Paraguay: Canal 9
Peru: Canal 9

Australia: SBS Australia
Bangladesh: Maasranga TV
Bhutan: BBS
China: CCTV
Cook Islands: CITV
Fiji: Fiji TV
Hong Kong: ATV
India: Doordarshan TV
Indonesia: Metro TV
Japan: NHK
Kiribati: Fiji TV
Korea: KBS
Maldives: Male TV
Marshall Islands: OTV
Micronesia: OTV
Nauru: Fiji TV
Nepal: NTV
Palau: OTV
Papua New Guinea: Fiji TV
New Zealand: MTV
Samoa: SBC/Fiji TV
Solomon Islands: Fiji TV
Sri Lanka: RC
Taiwan: TTV
Tonga: TBC/Fiji TV
Tuvalu: Fiji TV
Vanuatu: VBTC/Fiji TV

Mauritius: MBC
Mozambique: SOICO
Namibia: NBC
Seychelles: SBC
South Africa: SABC
Tanzania: ITV

vienna phil