Claire Moreland has sent the following email to staff and students: ‘I am writing to let you know that I will be retiring from Chetham’s School of Music on 31st August 2016 after 17 years as Head. I am sharing my decision with 18 months’ notice in order to liaise with the School Governors as they appoint my successor, and then to work with the new Head to lay the foundations for the next exciting phase for Chetham’s, not least involving our new world-class Concert Hall!

‘It has been a rare privilege to serve as Head of this unique establishment, and I would like to thank everyone sincerely for all the wonderful support I have received throughout my time here, support which has helped me to lead the School through much development and progress.’

Ms Moreland led the school through the period when its former head of music, Michael Brewer, was jailed for sexual assault on a pupil. A head of chorus, Nicholas Smith, was jailed for child abuse. Two more teachers, Malcolm Layfield and Wen Zhou Li, will go on trial in the next few weeks on charges of pupil rape. All the alleged offences took place before Ms Moreland’s headship, but the school’s failure to address past issues until Brewer was convicted raised questions of governance, past and present, about several English music schools.


Full story here from the Independent’s diligent Paul Gallagher.

Both the music director and the concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra told James Jeffrey that he looked the part on the podium. So what’s so hard about conducting, anyway?

A good, long read here.

james jeffrey conducts

Ronald Knudsen has died, aged 83, two years after he retired from the orchestra.

When he wasn’t playing in the BSO, he conducted two local orchestras, in Brockton and Newton.

His son, Sato, played cello in the BSO.


No sooner was the decision out that two radio orchestras may be forcibly merged than the leading names in French music have sent a petition to the Minister of Culture, urging her to maintain the high standards of France Musique.

The first signatories are:

Roberto Alagna, chanteur ; Alain Altinoglu, chef d’orchestre ; Gautier Capuçon, violoncelliste ; Renaud Capuçon, violoniste ; Jean-Claude Casadesus, chef d’orchestre ; William Christie, fondateur des Arts Florissants ;Alexandre Desplat, compositeur ; Natalie Dessay, chanteuse ; Pascal Dusapin, compositeur ; Anne Gastinel, violoncelliste ; Véronique Gens, chanteuse ; Hélène Grimaud, pianiste ; Emmanuel Krivine, chef d’orchestre ;Katia et Marielle Labèque, pianistes ; Didier Lockwood, violoniste ; Patricia Petibon, chanteuse ; Michel Portal, clarinettiste et compositeur ; Christophe Rousset, fondateur des Talens Lyriques ; Jordi Savall, fondateur d’Hespèrion XXI ; Alexandre Tharaud, pianiste ; Jean-Yves Thibaudet, pianiste.

djokovic_dessayAlagna 3petibon

Aux armes, citoyens!

Our resmusica amis have drawn our attention to a ruling by the auditor of public finances, demanding the fusion of two Paris-based radio orchestras, the Nationale (Daniele Gatti) and the Philharmonique (Myung Whun Chung).

The ruling was handed down by the Cour des comptes, which surveys spending at all public bodies from the Elysée Palace to hospitals and schools.

Its recommendations are hard to resist. This looks pretty bad for the orchs, and for hundreds more who work in broadcasting.

The court also calls for a merger between France Inter, France Info and France Culture. More here.

radio france

The entire country is under an electricity blackout.

No transport, no air traffic control, no broadcast music.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said all possible causes of the blackout were under investigation, including terrorism.

If you’re not hearing from frineds in Turkey, that’s why.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan

The Leipzig String Quartet has launched the defence of its leader, Stefan Arzberger, who was arrested after running naked through a Manhattan hotel and allegedly attacked a female guest.

The Quartet says:

After he got drugged in a bar he was disoriented for 5 hours and got robbed. All credit cards were used with high criminal energy and serious damage. Investigation is in progress.

leipzig string quartet

received message:

musician subway

Dear Norman,

After reading your article about Andrew Kalleen’s wrongful arrest, I thought you’d be interested that The Busking Project has launched a service to help New York buskers get cashless payments in the street, network and hopefully avoid needless arrest.<

This year is the 30th anniversary of the landmark case that legalised busking in New York. It’s also a time where buskers are facing their biggest challenges – especially the increase in wrongful arrests by the NYPD and the digital revolution.The Busking Project has just released limited edition signs for New York City buskers to display that will help prevent busking dying out in an increasingly cashless and bureaucratic society.

The signs link audiences to buskers’ profiles (e.g., where they can donate to them digitally. But they’ve also been specifically designed to make busking appear more “legit”, in the same way that MUNY signs do.

BuskNY and The Busking Project are also working with Paul Hale, an attorney representing buskers who are suing the NYPD. He is actively looking for more buskers to add to the lawsuit.

Stephen Wright, a co-founder of IMG Artists, now owns ICA Artists (which used to be Van Walsum).

With me so far?

Stephen needs help at the top so he has hired Ian Smallbone, who set up the ill-fated Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra before joining the IMG exodus in 2013.

Like White Russians driving cabs in 1920s Paris, the music world is thronged with IMG refugees.

white russian cab paris

Trade announcement:


I am pleased to announce that, with effect from 13 April, Ian Smallbone will be joining me as Co-Chairman of International Classical Artists. Ian and I have a close working relationship that goes back over 25 years – from when he joined me at Harold Holt in the late 1980s, through my years at IMG Artists – and in particular, collaborating together on a major five-year project to advise PETRONAS on the creation of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, and the opening and running of its new concert hall in Kuala Lumpur.


At ICA, apart from sharing the chairmanship and oversight of the company’s activities,  Ian will concentrate on a range of developments, including the areas of Orchestral Touring & Projects, and ICA’s expanding role in Asia.  I will continue my direct, and personal, involvement as before with the company’s individual artist roster, and together, Ian and I will also be working to expand and enhance the opportunities available to our artists around the world.



When the New Yorker refused to publish a letter from the Metropolitan Opera accusing it of inaccuracy, cooler heads than Peter Gelb’s submitted a shortened, watered-down version of the General Manager’s original rant, leaving out any suggestion that the reporter got it wrong.

Here’s what gets published today:


Tribeca Talks After the Movie: "Wagner's Dream" - 2012 Tribeca Film Festival



We were disheartened to read James Stewart’s piece about the Metropolitan Opera, which presents a one-sided, negative view of what is, in fact, a thriving, vital organization that is essential to the cultural life of New York, and of the world (“A Fight at the Opera,” March 23rd). The article emphasizes the challenging economics of grand opera and the difficulties of the Met’s recent union negotiations without providing a balanced perspective on a company that is at the height of its artistic powers. Today, the Met is at the fore, making opera globally accessible through our game-changing, live, high-definition transmissions, which have been seen by millions of people, in seventy countries. We’re certainly not suggesting that sustaining the Met is an easy task, but, under the watchful eye of the energetic Peter Gelb, his management team, and our dedicated board, it is a mission that is being accomplished. There is plenty of drama at the Met, both onstage and off, but not as Stewart told it.

Kevin Kennedy, President

Ann Ziff, Chairman

William C. Morris, Executive Committee Chairman

Judith-Ann Corrente, Secretary

Metropolitan Opera

New York City

In addition, there are letters from the AFL-CIO’s Alan Gordon and a ‘stunned’ reader. Click here.


The Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery, an essential part of our weekend reading, reports a major breakthrough in our understanding of cats.

Twelve females were fitted with headphones while being spayed at a vet’s surgery in Portugal.

After two minutes of silence, the cats were played two minutes each of Barber’s Adagio for Strings, Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn,’ and AC/DC’s ‘Thunderstruck.’

Each cat’s breathing rate and pupil diameter was measured during the play for stress levels.

Overwhelmingly, the cats were most relaxed while listening to the classical track.


cat headphone

Yes, but how about Wagner?

The deputy head of Russia’s presidential administration Boris Magomedov has told state-controlled RIA Novosti that he intends to introduce a repertoire approval system in order to avoid another Tannhäuser blasphemy row.


М.Магомедов провел заседание Совета при президенте РФ по международным отношениям

He said: ‘Today I spoke with the Ministry of Culture.Probably, it will be necessary at some stage to approve the repertoire, especially at state theatres … They should no be allowed to hurt the feelings of believers. We have no right to produce works that outrage part of the population and cause feelings of insult. This should not be allowed.’

Day by day, freedoms are extinguished in Putin’s Russia.

One leading director has called the current situation ‘a genocide of Russian theatre’.