Larry Johnson reports the death of his friend, Marvin David Levy, whose opera Mourning Becomes Electra, premiered at the Metropolitan Opera in its inaugural season at Lincoln Center in 1967.

Read more here.

marvin david levy

Vladimir Jurowski has pulled out of this week’s Boston Symphony performances ‘because of a visa problem arising from a miscommunication with his management team. Make of that what you will. Jurowski’s management is the faltering giant, IMG.

Stefan Asbury will replace Jurowski in a Birtwistle premiere. Ken-David Masur will take over the rest.



Swedish Radio reports that the Finnish conductor Hannu Koivula has been paid a million crowns ($119,000) over the past year, while not conducting a single concert in Jönköping.

Koivula was dismissed last January after what are described as ‘personnel conflicts’. He challenged the dismissal as unfair and the adjudication is working its way through the system. Meantime, he gets paid – and so do the other conductors who are brought in to replace him.


Hannu Koivula

The prize is not huge – just 10,000 Euros and a date at the Schleswig Holstein festival, which gets to pick the winner.

But the profile in Germany is priceless.

Step forward Krzysztof Urbanski, Bernstein Award winner of 2015.

Urbanski, 32, is music director at Indianapolis.



Dallas is starting an institute for females talents.

See press release below.

Nicole Paiement

DALLAS, FEBRUARY 9, 2015 – Working to address a long-standing career issue in the opera world, The Dallas Operais delighted to announce the launch of a unique, new residential program designed to provide training and career support for distinctively talented women conductors.  Female conductors age forty and younger, as well as accomplished women singers, opera coaches and accompanists, and instrumentalists with established careers seeking a new career at the podium, are encouraged to apply.

This new program, The Institute for Women Conductors at The Dallas Opera, will be inaugurated on November 28, 2015 and run through December 6, 2015, with generous support from the Richard and Enika Schulze Foundation.


Stated Dallas Opera General Director and CEO Keith Cerny: “The Dallas Opera has demonstrated, in multiple ways, its commitment to reshaping the opera field through the use of innovative public outreach, and by exploring new technologies, commissioning new works to expand the operatic repertoire, and programming with passion and imagination.

“This much-needed program,” Mr. Cerny adds, “will enable more women conductors to add their talents and insights to our collective understanding of this marvelous art form.”


The Women’s Conducting Institute will provide participants with opportunities to

  • Conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra
  • Participate in master classes with Dallas Opera Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and Principal Guest Conductor Nicole Paiement
  • Attend seminars and discussions on how women conductors can make a greater impact on their field
  • Network with peers and take part in a media “refresher” course


Six women will be selected for the inaugural class, and all program participants will conduct The Dallas Opera Orchestra in a public concert to be held on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at the Margot and Bill Winspear Opera House at the AT&T Performing Arts Center in the Dallas Arts District.

Those attending are also eligible to take part in an annual two-day networking event, beginning in the summer of 2016.  There is also the potential for one or more participants to be invited to serve as Assistant Conductors on future Dallas Opera productions.



TDO’s Music Director, Emmanuel Villaume, enjoys a stellar international career, which includes regular appearances at The Dallas Opera, Covent Garden, the Mariinsky, and New York’s Metropolitan Opera, as well as his critically acclaimed work as Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Prague Philharmonia and with other major opera companies, symphony orchestras and prestigious concert venues throughout the world.  Maestro Villaume notes: “I have advised many talented young conductors over the course of my career, both on and offstage, and I look forward to the chance to incorporate what I have gleaned from these experiences in support of this important new national program.

“No conductor ever stands at the podium alone.  We raise our baton with those who came before us, and those who will follow in our footsteps.

“It takes a lifetime to become completely at home on the podium,” Villaume adds.  “It was my privilege to be guided and taught by geniuses like Spiros Argiris and Seiji Ozawa, who, in turn, always quoted their own masters.  In fact, they claimed that, only near the end of their performing careers, did they entirely understand some of the comments and advice they received from their mentors.

“We are always trying to perfect our work.  I feel I am now at a place in my career, where I can begin to effectively share my experiences with the next generation of conductors.”

Stanley Solomon served in the Canadian forces during the Second World War and played principal in the Toronto Symphony from 1949 to 1983. From 1966 on he also ran an orchestra of his own and managed a number of Canadian artists. Family notice here.




madonna lang lang

Lang Lang was working the room at the Grammys.

lang lang jay z

We think the other guy’s a conductor.

E. Randol Schoenberg (left) is an L. A. lawyer who specialises in the restitution of art works stolen by the Nazis. The grandson of an immortal composer, his greatest legal triumph – the recovery of a pillaged Klimt – is retold in a forthcoming film, Woman in Gold, starring Helen Mirren.

Schoenberg’s courtroom opponent was Dr Dreimann, an Austrian state attorney. Dreimann is played in the film by Justus von Dohnanyi (right), great-grandson of an important composer and son of the German conductor, Christoph von Dohnanyi. Christoph is a noted Schoenberg interpreter.

Small world, huh?


schoenberg dohnanyi

photo (c) Pam Schoenberg


The Korean TV channel MBC is about to screen a demolition documentary on Myung Whun Chung, music director of the Seoul Philharmonic. Chung is accused of ‘ethical violations’ a charge first raised by the orchestra’s discredited chief executive, who was forced to resign for bullying.

A trailer for the programme wilfully distorts (by selective editing) some comments that I made during the course of an interview last week. I very much hope my full contextualised comment will be heard in the course of the programme tomorrow. If not, I shall publish exactly what I said.

Meantime, a music business analyst, Arnold Nielsen, has published a full account of the sorry Seoul saga here.

myun whun chung

I found the performance by two Paris concertmasters – who happen to be sisters – simply irresistible. It’s my Album of the Week on

But the way the two players describe each other in the accompanying booklet is almost the opposite of how each of them plays.

Check it out here.


The greatest tenor on earth failed to make much of a dent on Aussie apathy – though the prices may have been to blame.

So  now they’re trying to flog Angela at the same sting rates. No seat less than A$125. Crazy.



He couldn’t afford his own, so he borrowed Irving Fine’s.


copland cat