A man is on trial at the Central Criminal Court in London after allegedly ramming  disabled woman with her wheelchair in a dispute over seat space at the Wigmore Hall. The incident took place during a Jonas Kaufmann recital in January this year.

Graham Kern, 57, is supposed to have told Alison Harvey ‘I’m not moving’ when she asked him to allow her into the disabled space. Ms Harvey said she had attended ‘hundreds of concerts’ at the Wigmore Hall and never had a seating problem before. ‘I regarded it like a home,’ she told the jury.

Mr Kern denied the assault. The trial continues.

The sold-out Kaufmann recital earned rave reviews.

photo (c) Ken Howard

UPDATE: The verdict.

Julie Landsman broke the ice when she won the 1985 audition – behind a screen – for principal horn player at the Metropolitan Opera.

Julie says: Since that time, four more women have joined the Met Orchestra horn section. The Met horn women are all former students of mine! I am optimistic about women in the brass world continuing to win auditions with great orchestras!

Full interview here.


We warned some days back that South Florida was about to lose three classical radio stations. It now has.

The future is Christian.

God help us all.

south florida

Here’s what the former owners say:

“We are proud of the classical music service we’ve provided to hundreds of thousands of South Floridians on FM radio,” said Jon McTaggart, president and CEO of APMG. “As audience expectations and needs have changed, along with changes in media technology and the music economy, it’s clear we must change the ways we deliver and sustain our services. We’ve been working to build Classical South Florida since 2007, and we’ve not succeeded in providing the distinctive value that motivates a sustainable level of support. APMG produces and presents world-class classical music for millions of Americans, every week, and we must constantly adapt to ensure that more people can access our public services on-the-air, online and on stage.”

Now that Katie Wagner has sole command on the hill, she can do as she likes. It’s being reported that she agreed to give one radio interview to the public broadcaster about the forthcoming Tristan und Isolde production. But then she decided she didn’t like the interviewer and had the press office tell BR to send another.

katharina wagner thielemann

The Latvian mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca has issued the following statement:

elena garanca


‘Due to personal reasons, I much regret to withdraw from my professional activities until further notice.   My mother is suffering from terminal cancer, so I will now stay by her side in Riga.  I am very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause and ask for your understanding in this difficult time.’

The Salzburg Festival has replaced Elina with Angela Georghiu in Massenet’s Werther and Elisabeth Kulman in a song recital.





The Pittsburgh Symphony, with a growing international reputation under conductor Manfred Honeck, has suffered a disastrous season at home.

Attendance at the Mellon Grand Classics series plummeted from 61 percent to 50 at Heinz Hall; the Pops series dropped from 62 to 56 percent.

The orch has an ambitious new manager. She’ll have to work fast.

pittsburgh heinz hall

The critic Wolfram Goertz is getting very excited about finding a falsie in a Schubert symphony conducted by Nikolaus Harnoncourt on the Berlin Phil’s selfie label. Goertz writes:

Beim Beginn der 5. Sinfonie unterläuft dem Orchester, das sich selbst für eines der weltbesten hält und es vermutlich auch ist, ein Malheur. Im dritten Takt spielen die ersten Violinen, eingekleidet von Holzbläsern, eine absteigende B-Dur-Tonleiter, die mit einem witzigen Aufschwung startet. Das zweite F dieser Violinen hört man auf der CD als einen Ton mit Schmutz dran. Da stimmt was nicht. Die meisten Berliner Geiger spielen F, daran ist kein Zweifel, aber eine Geige spielt falsch. Oder sie rutscht übers Griffbrett. Oder ihr Bogen verspringt. Der misslungene Ton fällt deshalb auf, weil die ersten Geigen blank daliegen wie auf dem Präsentierteller.

Would this ever have got past the note-pickers on DG?

wrong note

Full album review here.


She’s appearing in a Lebanese festival at the end of August, Al Ahram reports.

netrebko macbeth

Apparently, she has sung before in the UAE.

Marin Alsop.

She is due to lead the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba in October.

The concert was set up by CAMI Music as a Lang Lang promo, with a local duet pianist and a US conductor.

The Minnesota Orchestra broke the musical ice with a Cuba trip in May, conducted by Osmo Vanska. Marin will be the first US conductor to raise a baton on the island since the Obama thaw.

Marin Alsop, David Rimelis, Dan Trahey at the premiere of Rimelis' OrchKids Nation

The Hungarian exile, who died in Vienna in June 2006, has been commemorated by the city of Hamburg on the wall of the house where he wrote many of his masterpieces over 30 years from 1973. His widow, Vera, attended the ceremony, along with dozens of former Ligeti students, colleagues and musicians.

I remember the house well, on a soporific suburban street, flooded with lake light.

Ligeti hamburg
photo (c) Betty Freeman/Lebrecht Music&Arts

The Semper Oper achieved almost 91 percent occupancy over the season just ended, across opera, ballet and concerts. The season included nine new productions.

semper oper dresden