… Georgia, which gives less per citizen to arts than any other state.

Georgia allows 6 cents per head. South Carolina gives 63 cents, Mississippi gives 61c., Alabama gives 82c. and Tennessee gives $1.07.

Shame on Georgia.

Watch here.

woodruff arts center

In an effort to engage its thriving international online audience with the daily work of an orchestra, the Detroit Symphony aims to stream Wednesday’s rehearsal live.

Correction: make that ‘aimed’.

It appears that union rules only permit 15 minutes of rehearsal streaming without heavy payment.

slatkin birthday


You can watch on dso.org/live from 9:50 EST when Leonard Slatkin makes some preparatory remarks. The rehearsal kicks in at 10. The work on the stands is Mahler’s First.


After 16 years as executive director, Alan Jordan has resigned from the Vermont Symphony Orchestra, apparently with immediate effect. His name has been removed from the orch’s website.

Music director Jaime Laredo said: ‘Alan and I came to the VSO at about the same time and have worked together for many years. He was been an extraordinary partner and loyal friend.’

Stuff happens.


Trouble at the Beethoven Orchestra of Bonn, where music director Stefan Blunier is on his way out. The players held a ballot for his successor and voted overwhelmingly – and with a decisive clarity that must be envied in Berlin – for the experienced, Munich-born Jun Märkl as the next chief conductor.

But a selection committee consisting of Beethovenfest director Nike Wagner (pictured), the Bonn theatre manager, Bernhard Helmich, and a musicologist Peter Gülke have ignored the musicians’ decision and handed a contract to the Frenchman, Marc Piollet. Our man on the spot says local bureaucrats wield far too much power in Bonn, believing they are still running the German capital, rather than an aimless ghost town.

This will not end well.

nike wagner

Montserrat Caballé, who missed a court date in Barcelona last week, has cancelled a matinée at the Vienna Opera on May 31 ‘on grounds of ill-health.’

Poor Montsy.


Caleb Young, a conducting student at IU, has sent us a short reflection on a loss of leadership in conducting faculties in the USA. He has a point. Baton students these days head to Helsinki, St Petersburg, Vienna, Berlin and elsewhere. Has America lost the beat? The headline and preamble are written by Slipped Disc. Here’s Caleb’s thoughtful article.

caleb young


A tidal wave of change is coming to conducting pedagogy here in America.

Ambitious young conductors come from all around the world to study conducting in the United States. For decades our schools have sported internationally renowned Maestros, who have passed along their experiences and wisdom, lab orchestras and a plethora of performance opportunities. But is this golden age of conducting pedagogy coming to an end? From my standpoint the future looks uncertain.

The death of the great James DePreist at Juilliard started a domino effect in the American school of conducting. Curtis, well steeped in producing excellent conductors, has struggled to fill Otto-Werner Mueller’s shoes. The stern, yet lovable, Victor Yampolsky is still manning the helm at Bienen. But for how much longer? Peabody’s lionized Gustav Meier is still flying from Ann Arbor to Baltimore to teach his talented class of budding maestros, even in his 80s.

Then there is my guru, David Effron, at Indiana University. From Cologne, City Opera, Eastman, Curtis, Brevard, and finally the Jacobs School, the winds of change are passing through Bloomington. (In fairness Jacobs will be in great hands with Maestro Arthur Fagen…)

These are big shoes for deans to begin to start thinking about filling. We will see a drastic change in the next 5-10 years in the way conducting is taught in the USA. There will most certainly be arguments for this being both a negative and positive passing of the batons. The USA has become an epicenter of conducting pedagogy that students flock to and it will be interesting to see how our craft will evolve. As I shared a long lunch with my own guru yesterday, I felt honored to have been part of this legacy of the great American school of conducting. But as with all art, we must take our sacred traditions and grow them into new and ever evolving ideals.

The australian composer’s house was sold yesterday at auction to a pair of arts philanthropists who want to turn it into a ‘music fellowship in residence centre’.

The neighbours, who were the underbidders, are said to be furious. Read here.

peter sculthorpe's home

Sculthorpe died last August, aged 85.

Robert Drasnin, director of music for CBS television from 1977 to 1991, has died after a fall, aged 87.

His own credits include composing the Mission Impossible theme music for the second series, according to Variety, and working with the Grateful Dead on Twilight Zone.

bob drasnin

The BBC has announced that 118,000 tickets were sold on the first day of booking, up 9 percent on last year.

Some 31,000 tickets were vended online in the first hour of Saturday box-office.

Top draws were Beethoven’s 9th symphony with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Andris Nelsons (19 July), Bernstein – Stage and Screen with the John Wilson Orchestra and Maida Vale Singers (5 September), Yo-Yo Ma’s Late Night performance of Bach’s complete cello suites (5 September), a programme including Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No.2 performed by Nikolai Lugansky and the St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra with Yuri Temirkanov (7 September), and Elgar’s The Dream of Gerontius with Sir Simon Rattle and the Vienna Philharmonic (11 September).

bbc proms

Yuri Simonov has been describing how, in 1968, he became the first Soviet conductor to win an international competition.

‘My Leningrad professor NS Rabinovich, knowing I had been selected as a substitute candidate, offered me a brisk farewell: “Just be happy to spend a few days in Rome, walking through the streets, conducting the Academy of Santa Cecilia, and return home full of unforgettable memories.” Seeing the surprise on my face Nikolai Semenovich repeated his homily, three more times.

‘He was a wise man. Unlike my two senior colleagues, I went into the competition not as a hazardous test, but as an unexpected vacation. Conducting one of the best Italian orchestras, I felt joy, boyish excitement and … no fear!’



The results were announced at midnight last night.

The finalists are:


reine elisabeth

Tobias Feldmann, 24, Germany

William Hagen, 22, USA

Kim Bomsori, 25, South Korea

Lee Ji Yoon, 22, South Korea

Lim Ji Young, 20, South Korea

Mohri Fumika, 21, Japan

Thomas Reif, 23, Germany

Kenneth Renshaw, 21, USA

Oleksii Semenenko, 26, Ukraine

Stephen Waarts, 18, Netherlands/USA

Wang Xiao, 28, China

Ching-Yi Wei, 20, Taiwan.