Who’s running our classical social media?

Who’s running our classical social media?


norman lebrecht

May 29, 2015

The pianist Peter Donohoe has stepped in at very short notice for Louis Schwizgebel to play the Ravel G major concerto this weekend in Leeds. The marketing people got swiftly into gear.

Here’s what happened next, in Peter’s own words:

After a tweet by my management company, retweeted by orchestra, chorus, and venue, in which Ravel’s Concerto in G minor was mentioned, the following exchange took place:

me: @PeterHDonohoe: @ikonarts @BBCPhilharmonic @LFChorus @LeedsTownHall Dear esteemed management company, Ravel’s Piano Concerto is in G major…..

At this point, the originator of the tweet, realising the mistake, took it down, and the chorus for the concert took over and tweeted:

@LFChorus: @PeterHDonohoe will perform Ravel piano concerto with @BBCPhilharmonic and @LFChorus at @LeedsTownHall on Saturday.

So far, so good. However, Ravel’s Concerto is properly entitled ‘Piano Concerto in G major’ or ‘Concerto in G’, which provoked me into tweeting:

@PeterHDonohoe: @LFChorus @BBCPhilharmonic @LeedsTownHall Don’t get it. The title is Concerto in G. Are we to hear Walton’s Belshazzar’s Bunfight in part 2?

[You see what I did there?…. Because we seemed to have a problem actually calling Ravel’s work by its proper name, I thought it would be a good wheeze to do something similar with Walton’s ‘Belshazzar’s Feast’. Clever, I thought.]

This was what came back:
@LFChorus: @PeterHDonohoe @BBCPhilharmonic @LeedsTownHall yes, Walton is after the interval.

Where would we be without social media? How did the world manage without it? What an asset to society it truly is.


Peter Donohoe  - English pianist, May 1993.


  • Novagerio says:

    What an asset to society that the music business is in the hands of such incompetence…. 🙁

  • Jeffrey Biegel says:

    It is not always easy to reach everyone, except for those within our own social media circles. But friends of friends often pick up stories, and sharing posts of performances and recordings can indeed be a boost to attendance at concerts and sales of recordings. All in all, a win-win-win as long as personal, religious and political feelings are not part of the mix. It has also helped tremendously to bring new talents to the fore, and maintain careers for those who have been around the block a few times. Everyone wants to ensure an audience, so technology has helped enable this to happen in many ways. It is also a means to reach young audiences who are plastered to their gadgets and find their information on them. It’s the new way of mail and phone calls, so to speak.

  • Marg says:

    Was today a short news day at Slipped Disc? Honestly …..!!!!4230

  • Gene Gaudette says:

    The irony is that I would pay good money to see Walton’s “Belshazzar’s Bunfight.”

  • PHD says:

    MARG. That you are bored with something does not mean that you have to say so. Could you not just move on to something that you do find interesting? Honestly……!!!!1175

  • Una says:

    What a load of nonsense! Sounds as if there is no news today!!! 🙂 Smile!

    The main thing is that Peter is playing in Leeds tonight, and so many will be pleased as they love him up here, and he’s terrific and no nonsense. Also he is playing the Ravel – I won’t attempt to name it – in Ilkley next weekend, where I live, which was planned so a five minute walk down the road. Absolutely adore Belshazzar’s Feast but can’t make Leeds tonight.

  • Alex says:

    Well at least it provides a working opportunity for musicians to be consultants and aid this kind of people no?

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    It reminds me of a pre-antisocial media story, when the manager of a leading London orchestra (I thought I remembered which, but I’m not sure), on listening to various voices discussing the possibility of performing Tod und Verklärung/Death and Transfiguration said, ‘Well, why don’t we do them both?’

    Not so long ago, the symbol @ was used to indicate, for example, a price: Four pounds of tomatoes @ £2.30. Have we progressed?

    • V.Lind says:

      Tomatoes £2.30 each? That’s very expensive. It’s even a lot a pound, at least compared to what I pay for top quality market tomatoes!

      Your tale reminds me of a chap I used to know who thought Olivia Newton-John was a folk trio.