A court in Seoul has cleared the former Philharmonic chief executive, Park Hyun-jun, of sexual harassment and bullying. Police have been told to question the music director Myun Whun Chung about $100,000 of flight expenses.

Park was forced to resign after widespread staff discontent. Her political oligarch family are seeking retaliation against her accusers.

First report here (in Korean).

park seoul

The Dutch-based Slovenian opera singer Ambrož Bajec-Lapajne underwent surgery for a brain tumor at the University Medical Center in Utrecht.

Surgeons asked him to sing while they operated in order to test brain function. They even provided a decent piano accompanist in the operating theatre.

Ambrož is now doing well and has resumed his career.

His courage is phenomenal. The video is breath-catching, a huge testament to human endeavour in science and art.

You must watch this.

Ambrož Bajec-Lapajne

‘Gute Nacht’ from Schubert’s Winterreise will never sound the same again.

andrew davis

Get the point? We neither.

Schoolboy humour, or just scatology?


Eastman School of Music reports that Professor Emerita of Violin Lynn Blakeslee passed away last evening in Germany. Professor Blakeslee joined the Eastman faculty in 1987 and retired in spring 2013. 


Zeneba Bowers, of the Nashville Symphony, writes:

This morning I awoke to learn the news that my college violin professor and friend Lynn Blakeslee passed away yesterday in Germany. It’s impossible for me to overstate Lynn’s impact on my professional life. I got in to a lot of schools but I chose Eastman because I knew I needed to be a tiny fish in a big pond. When I got there I was definitely at the bottom of the pack, in terms of playing.

My freshman year, I broke the middle and ring fingers on my left hand, which didn’t help matters. Lynn still had me come to every lesson. We worked on my bow arm, with the violin being held up in the crook of my cast on the left hand. Lynn was hard on me — really hard. In the six years I studied with her, she never saw me cry — but I often cried the moment the door closed behind me. In my senior year, she tapped me to be her graduate assistant, a position I held for the next three years, as I chose to stay at Eastman so I could study with her for my Masters. I learned so much from her about teaching, and being her graduate assistant remains one of the most important things I’ve ever done.

I credit her with completely changing my technique, helping me diagnose technical problems in myself and others so I can solve problems on my own, and giving me the thick skin I needed to make it in this tough business. A compliment from her was something to treasure — you knew you earned it. Last year she came to visit me here in Nashville. She was headed out on a post-retirement tour of the US, something that was very unusual for her, as she rarely took time off. She had softened quite a bit, we shared a few great meals together, she saw a concert, and we spent time together drinking wine and reminiscing. Lynn was an excellent cook, and often opened her home to her students for big dinner parties. She was an extremely dedicated teacher who was in it for the long haul with her students. She was a fantastic violinist whose musicianship inspired me. She will be sorely missed. Godspeed, Lynn.

wagner rock2

This handsome peak has commanded the Bodenmais in Lower Bavarian for half a billion years.

Now someone has spotted a certain resemblance to a famous profile.

So for the coming year at least it is going to be designated the Richard-Wagner-Kopf.

wagner rock1


It’s farewell to Columbia House, the main source of new classical records for millions of Americans outside the big cities for the past sixty years.

The owners, Filmed Entertainment Inc., have filed for chapter 11 at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Death by digital means of distribution is the apparent cause.

Sic transit…

columbia house

The Australian author Marie Dobbs, who has died at 91, was married to the press attaché at the British Embassy in Moscow from Stalin’s time to Brezhnev’s.

She made it her job to form contacts with artists and dissidents, among them Slava Rostropovich and Nadezhda Mandelstam, while gathering material for novels that she wrote under various names.

Fascinating obit here.

marie dobbs


The numbers are still appallingly low and the general fare low-brow, but the Nielsen Soundscan sales stats show a slight upturn this week, thanks to tenth symphonies by two composers.

Any guesses?

philip glass



And his.

The immortal physicist, moral philosopher and fervent violinist was so disturbed by the state of racial relations in his American homeland that in 1946 he published an agonised denunciation of ‘this deeply entrenched evil.’

The [American] sense of equality and human dignity is mainly limited to men of white skins. Even among these there are prejudices of which I as a Jew am clearly conscious; but they are unimportant in comparison with the attitude of the “Whites” toward their fellow-citizens of darker complexion, particularly toward Negroes. The more I feel an American, the more this situation pains me. I can escape the feeling of complicity in it only by speaking out.

His message went, and still goes, unheard.

What, however, can the man of good will do to combat this deeply rooted prejudice? He must have the courage to set an example by word and deed, and must watch lest his children become influenced by this racial bias.

Read the full article here.



William Boughton, who joined the New Haven Symphony Orchestra as principal conductor in 2007, has renewed as music director to 2019. William, 65, has led the college-town orchestra recently in a complete cycle of the works of William Walton, whose manuscripts are lodged at Yale.

william boughton

Ruth Tatlow led the academic campaign to discredit the recent remote theory that Bach’s cello suites were written by his wife. She is now putting forward her own ‘groundbreaking theory of proportional parallelism’ to explain Bach’s compositional method.

‘There’s nothing approximate about the numbers,’ she declares, demonstrating that various of Bach’s important works have exactly the same number of bars.

Start counting now. Here’s the video.

There’s a book, too.