The Bayreuth boss, hired to stage Parsifal in Buenos Aires next December, has been replaced ‘on quality grounds’ by an Argentine director. ‘I wanted something artistically stronger and of higher standard,’ said the theatre’s new boss. Read here.

katharina wagner thielemann

The LA Times runs the numbers on the Philharmonic and comes up with two fascinating stats.

1 The LA Philharmonic pays the highest base salary in the country.

2 The second highest player, after concertmaster Martin Chalifour $508,145), is the principal bassoonist, Whitney Crockett ($306,924).

Read here. 


George Pretre, who is 90, has  broken a leg.

Franz Welser-Möst steps in for a Bruckner run next month.

georges pretre

Helena Bonham Carter, who sang the cannibalistic pie maker in the film of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd, has bared her all for fish.


helena bonham carter fish

media release: Helena Bonham Carter, has got her kit off to pose with a 27kg tuna to highlight the fact that 100 conservation charities (including MCS) are calling on ministers to declare more marine reserves in the British Overseas Territories of Pitcairn, Ascension, & the South Sandwich Islands. They make a lovely couple – but the message is a serious one

The St. Louis Symphony, which won best orchestral performance on Sunday, has named Marie-Hélène Bernard as its new president.

A Quebecois who has been running Boston’s Handel and Haydn Society since 2007, Bernard, 46, starts work in July. Her  brother Charles plays cello in the Cleveland Orchestra.

More here.


marie helene bernard

We hear that Vladimir Fedoseyev was rushed to a Moscow hospital last weekend in a serious condition. He is 82.


An article in Varsity by music undergrad Alvo von Cossel has set the dovecotes all a-flutter. Alvo describes the different colleges and their choirs are impossibly snobbish and destructively competitive.

He writes: There’s something inherent in classical music and music education that causes a snootiness which has nothing to do with Cambridge: it’s full of ‘foreign’ words… This engenders an artificial rift between the ‘musical literati’ and the ‘laypeople’, according to these bizarre criteria. Those ‘in the know’ often seem to give the ‘great musical unwashed’ a patronising pat on the back. I, as a former ‘muso’, oddly count as somebody in the know: an authority on Händel (fat) and Mozart (wrote songs about poo), despite specialising in Middle Eastern popular music – a subject remote from Mozart’s 41 symphonies. Maybe I perfected the art of quietly listening to something that ‘sounds really complicated’ (read: atonal music) while looking thoughtful.

This snobbery is seen nowhere more than in the odd Cambridge pastime of ranking college choirs.


Read on here.

Marc Clémeur has resigned as artistic director of L’Opéra du Rhin (Strasbourg-Mulhouse-Colmar). No reason given. He will leave two years early in September 2016.

Report from our friends at resmusica.


strasbourg opera

Eugene Klein, a prison chaplain, pleaded guilty at his trial today in Chicago of  trying to help mobster Frank Calabrese recover 250-year-old Stradivarius violin that had been hidden in his Wisconsin home. Klein, now 66, administered communion to Calabrese in 2011 at a Missouri jail where he was serving life for 13 murders. Calabrese died the following year.

So who in Chicago sold the killer his Strad?


The London Borough of Bromley, a Tory-ruled leafy suburb, wants to withdraw all funding to Bromley Youth Music Trust, an independent service that provides instrumental and vocal teaching in schools and the wider community.

The sum involved is £300,000. The council says it has been squeezed by Government cuts. The cut takes effect at the end of April, just before the general election.

Since the constituency is a safe Tory enclave, slashing the arts to balance the books is not going to be an election-night decider.

Unless the issue starts to roll nationally. Your borough could be next.

Be informed here. Sign a petition here.


An elderly lady was knocked down by a lorry in Chiswick, west London, yesterday morning.

She has been identified as Anne Naysmith, a former concert pianist who was reduced to living on the street after being evicted from her home and seeing her car towed away after a neighbour complained of its rundown condition.

She is known to have given recitals at the Wigmore Hall and Leighton House. Her life went off the rails after the collapse of a relationship with a singer.

Ms Naysmith was believed to be in her late 70s. If you knew her in happier times, please share reminiscences.

More here.


A local acquaintance recounts the few known facts of her life here.

The video below is an acted dramatisation of her last years.

The Lady of Chiswick from Adam-James Baldock on Vimeo.

Music director Manfred Honeck has announced four soloists playing their own compositions next season.

Organ extrovert Cameron Carpenter will premiere his new concerto.



Daniil Trifonov will play his recent piano concerto in E-flat minor. Stewart Copeland, formerly of The Police, will appear in his first percussion concerto, titled The Tyrant’s Crush. And pianist Conrad Tao will present an orchestral piece, Pangu.

Different. Calculatedly different.