Mark Minkowski and the Musiciens de Louvre, told last month that Grenoble is ending a 438,000 Euro subsidy, have responded by cancelling their January concerts.

Minkowski’s statement: ‘”L’Orchestre devrait accuser un déficit de 400.000 € en 2015. Malgré son désir de poursuivre ses actions sur Grenoble, mais afin de limiter ces pertes, tenter de pérenniser la structure et restreindre l’impact sur l’emploi, l’Orchestre se voit contraint d’annuler” des concerts dès janvier.’

Details here.


Irwin Steinberg, whose death was reported today, founded Mercury Records in 1945 together with Irving Green in Chicago. Green’s family owned a plastic plant that supplied the vinyl for their records. Steinberg was a super salesman.

The label was soon a leader in r&b, jazz and country. Quincy Jones joined as an a&r man. A classical division, founded in 1951, was revered for the clarity of its sound.

In 1963, Mercury was sold to the Dutch firm Philips, later PolyGram, now Universal.

Irwin Steinberg served as US CEO of Polygram Records for the next 30 years. He was a quiet player in a gaudy world, mostly seen at signings (3rd right, below). He died at 94.

steinberg irwinmercury

The dominant German violinist has pitched headlong into the row over building a new concert hall in Munich, a debate that has been running without resolution for more than ten years.

Here’s what she told the Süddeutsche Zeitung:Dortmund hat uns akustisch absolut in die zweite Liga verdrängt. Viele international renommierte Orchester kommen nicht mehr nach München, weil ihnen diese Räume fehlen….

Dortmund absolutely relegates us to the second division in acoustic terms. Many international orchestra no longer come to Munich because these facilities are missing.’

That’s telling ’em.


boston so previn mutter

Our social secretary reports the birth of a baby boy to the popular Vienna Opera mezzo, Zoryana Kushpler. Mother and baby are doing well.



The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia’s most respected newspaper, has given a kicking to Lyndon Terracini, the ‘outspoken and polarising’ artistic director of Opera Australia who (as we reported) has effectively banned two leading critics from performances.

harriet cunningham


Harriet Cunningham, the SMH chief reviewer (pictured), was told she would not receive review tickets, while Diana Simmonds of StageNoise was taken off the media list altogether, denying her access to production information.

The SMH has avoided responding in kind with a boycott of Opera Australia. Instead: ‘The Herald’s position is that the paper will not have our critics chosen for us by companies, and Cunningham, whether with a comp ticket or one that the Herald purchases, will review Faust for our readers.’ More here.