philharmonic notice

The concert program is dated  Feb. 11, 1915


Whatever you do, don’t miss the Whitney Houston take.

After two local officials accused the composer of being a wartime collaborator (when he was, in fact, an active member of the Résistance), the city of Paris has just announced it will affix a memorial plaque to the outer wall of the apartment where Henri Dutilleux lived for most of his adult life.

C’est bien fait.

Henri Dutilleux rue saint Louis en l' isle , près de chez lui, en 1995

We were delighted, if a little bemused, to read about an exciting new presenter on Fox News.

lebrecht fox news

“Lebrecht will bring a fine appreciation of fine culture to our viewers,” said Fox News chief Roger Ailes. “He just told me about this Mahler guy! I’m having all our shows open with different sections of the Symphony No. 5 starting next week!”

Only the date of the report let us down.

Nice one, Micaela Baranello.

HET symfonieorkest, orchestra of the East Netherlands, has announced it has run through its budget, cannot balance the books and is cancelling most concerts for the rest of the season.

HET – with Harm Mannak as general director and Jan Willem de Vriend as chief conductor – spent last year’s local subsidy of 8.3 million euros on a business plan that failed. It will now play mostly in schools and community centres until someone comes up with a better idea, or insolvency is enforced.


Dutch reports here and here.

HET made itself hugely unpopular a few years ago by fighting the Netherlands Philharmonic through the courts for the right to call itself the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra. After a six-figure pile of legal bills, HET lost. has a fascinating obit of a highly gifted musician, first trumpet in the Rochester Philharmonic and a regular in Stokowski’s orchestra, who wound up becoming a tax accountant.

Joseph Koch Koplin died of prostate cancer, aged 75. Read here.


Etienne Abelin of Lucerne Festival Orchestra has posted this appeal:


etienne abelin

Please take a short moment to support this online petition (German and English) to save the professional Symphony Orchestra Biel Solothurn, Switzerland.

And please share the link on as many channels as possible.

The local council of Biel has put a request to the city council to approve to the closure of the Symphony Orchestra Biel Solothurn and to replace it with a mere project orchestra. The city council has its meeting on April 22. The more local, national and international support we can show in the coming few weeks, the better will be the chances of the orchestra’s survival. Thank you in advance for your support and for a sign of support to the orchestra musicians, something they much deserve in this difficult moment.

The world has heard by now of the rock queen’s connection with Gustav Mahler.

Now she’s moved further into the 20th century.


Brilliant mash by Musical Toronto’s Michael Vincent of Beyoncé’s Single Ladies.


shostakovich nudes

Valery Gergiev is giving a Conductors Masterclass in Amsterdam from 10 am tomorrow with the Concertgebouw Orchestra.

Focusing on Richard Strauss’s Don Juan and Claude Debussy’s La mer, he will be sharing his knowledge with three talented young conductors: Ben Gernon from the UK, Zaurbek Gugkaev from North Ossetia and Joshua Weilerstein from the US (says the media release).

Gernon and Weilerstein are bright young talents who have won conducting positions on merit.

Zaurbek Gugkaev is new to us. He is listed on the Mariinsky website as a staff conductor.




What is not listed in his c.v. is that his father Tamerlan Gugkaev is executive director of the Mariinsky concert hall.

Tamerlan is married to Gergiev’s sister (and former assistant), Svetlana.

A second sister, Larisa, is Artistic Director of the Mariinsky Academy of Young Singers and Artistic Director of the State Opera and Ballet Theatre of the Republic of Northern Ossetia-Alania (Vladikavkaz).

So much talent in one small family.


Just in from Toulouse, France: Tugan Sokhiev has signed on again until 2019 with the Orchestre National du Capitole, taking him out of the reckoning for limelight vacancies in Washington, New York and Berlin.

Sokhiev is also artistic director at the Bolshoi and a serious international player.


The shortlists are getting shorter day by day.

Decca’s Benedictines of Mary occupy two of the top three slots in Nielsen Soundscan’s trusted weekly sales list.

Bocelli apart, no-one else sold diddly-squit.

Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles 3

UPDATE: Nuns ask Slipped Disc to show their lighter side

We’ve had a note from the convent saying they don’t like this dark pic.

nuns montfort

Happy sunflowers, then.

London-based Intermusica has signed the violinist Noah Bendix-Balgley for worldwide management.

Noah is the new first Concertmaster of the Berliner Philharmoniker. He was formerly with the Pittsburgh Symphony.

noah bendix-bagley

From the press release: Bendix-Balgley is also active in performing traditional Jewish classical music and Klezmer music, performing with world-renowned klezmer groups such as Brave Old World and teaching klezmer violin at workshops in both Europe and the US. A klezmer violin concerto, composed by Bendix-Balgley himself, will be premiered in Spring 2016 with the Pittsburgh Symphony conducted by Manfred Honeck.