Misha Mullov-Abbado, son of Claudio Abbado and Viktoria Mullova, is a bassist, classical horn player, composer and all-round jazz musician.

misha mullov-abbado


His first release appears today, by chance on the same day his mother issues an outstanding account of the second Prokofiev concerto.

Mullova tweets: ‘By coincidence my son’s 1st CD is coming out on same day as mine, 28th Aug., Very cool jazz recording’.

Here’s a Misha track (full album link here).

Ukrainian agitators have persuaded the Dutch airline KLM to take down audio tracks by the pro-Russian pianist from their in-flight entertainment. Valentina has expressed approval for Russia’s annexation of parts of Crimea and has performed with pro-Russian militants (pictured).

Inna Thorn, a Canada-based Ukrainian, wrote to KLM:

I traveled this August with KLM‬ from Canada to Netherlands and then to Ukraine and was appalled to see Valentina Lisitsa‬ being featured in your in-flight entertainment.

This year Ms. Lisitsa contract and concerts were cancelled by the Toronto Symphony Orchestra because of her heinous tweets where she calls Ukrainians “dog shit”, “pigs”, “nazi” and celebrates terrorists responsible for taking down MH17‬ and killing close to 300 people on board including nearly 200 Dutch citizens*.

I am certain the Dutch airline company KLM will reconsider their decision about including a xenophobic performer in their entertainment programming after being informed about Ms. Lisitsa’s other performance. Thank you for your attention to this matter.

lisitsa zakharchenko


KLM replied:

Dear Inna en Dmitry. First of all, please accept our apologies for the delay in the reply. We do appreciate passengers who reach out to us and point out something as sensitive and fragile as this matter. Our organization still mourns for the loss of the countless innocent lives lost on the MH17 flight. We regret that we were not able to catch this before, but have taken immediate action. The artist will be removed from the playlist in our Inflight Entertainment as soon as possible. Thank you once again for being observant and notifying us about this immediately.


* NL adds: This is an unfounded allegation. I don’t recall Valentina making any reference to the MH17. But she has given a celebratory concert in Donbass and mingled with the rebel militias.

Boian Videnoff has issued an SOS on behalf of the Mannheim Philharmonic.

Dear Friends our season is about to start and we’re looking for a new concert master, solo cello, first trombone, tutti violins and violas. If you’re interested please apply or tell your friends.

Die neue Saison beginnt und in Kürze stehen Probespiele an: Konzertmeister, Violine, Viola, Solocello, Kontrabass, Soloposaune und Schlagzeuger.

That’s leaving it a bit late….

Apply here.


mannheim phil

Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra has appointed Barbara Bishop to the vacant oboe post and Hyobi Sim solo violist.

Details here.

st paul New-Members-432x243

Thoughtful piece by David Patrick Stearns in Philly.com on this summer’s two US operatic premieres.

Everyone raved over George Benjamin’s post-modern opera, Written on Skin. Stearns could not see the point.

Written on the Skin ? opera by George Benjamin

Most reviewers cavilled at Jennifer Higdon’s traditionalist Cold Mountain. Stearns liked it.

So why is that? Read here.

Malcolm Fraser, the Edinburgh firm that designed headquarters for Rambert (in London), Scottish Ballet and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (pictured), has gone into liquidation.

royal conservatoire

Fraser said: ‘The work we did is beautiful and important. However, we have been unable to make it profitable. I am immensely proud of what we have done over 22 years and the influence it has had.’

Christopher Hampson said: ‘Scottish Ballet have a home that has invigorated the company and provided Glasgow with cultural space to be proud of – one that can inspire future generations of dancers and creative artists.’


Vardo Rumessen, who has died aged 73, was the leading scholar of the music of Eduard Tubin and member of parliament for the moderate-right Pro Patria party.


(How many musicologists are there in your parliament?)

A few days ago Mother Falcon, an Austin-based group that walks the gangplank between après-classical and indie pop, were about to release an album, Good Luck Have Fun, when the big guys stopped it.

Mother Falcon (how do you pronounce that?) got made an offer they could not refuse. The new album will now come out on Universal Music Classics in October.

Mother Falcon’s Matt Puckett says: ‘Good Luck Have Fun explores more deeply the indie-pop as well as the neo-classical sides of our sound. It’s new territory for us both sonically and now in our partnership with UMC.’

Elizabeth Sobol, President & CEO of UMC says: ‘I’ve been following Mother Falcon for quite some time now. Their classically-derived instrumentation and exploratory compositions set them apart. No one sounds like Mother Falcon. Their music is truly in line with the artistic vision of Universal Music Classics.’

So it goes.

mother falcon

Th Israeli media have picked up reports from Slipped Disc and elsewhere that Chancellor Merkel is planning to take a Berlin orchestra with Daniel Barenboim to accompany her to Iran.

This has provoked a furious response from the ultra-nationalist culture minister in the Netanyahu government government, Miri Regev who explodes on her Facebook page, demanding that Merkel leaves Barenboim, an Israeli citizen, behind.

‘Barenboim takes an anti-Israel line and does his best to slander Israel while using culture as leverage for his political opinions against the State of Israel,’ shrieks Regev, who says she will be writing to Merkel today to point out her ‘mistake’.

We’re sure she’ll get a polite reply from the Chancellery, perhaps before Christmas.

Read her full, preposterous post here. And for those who read Hebrew:

את המנגינה הזאת חייבים להפסיק….
המנצח, דניאל ברינבוים אזרח ישראלי, יופיע באיראן יחד עם התזמורת הממלכתית של ברלין.

ברינבוים מוביל קו אנטי ישראלי נגד ישראל ודואג להכפישה תוך שהוא משתמש בתרבות כמנוף לדעותיו הפוליטיות נגד מדינת ישראל. זו החלטה שגויה של קנצלר גרמניה אנגלה מרקל .

בכוונתי להוציא מכתב עוד היום אל נציגי משרד החוץ ושרת התרבות של גרמניה ובמכתב אציין כי הופעתו של דניאל ברינבוים באיראן פוגעת במאמצי ישראל למנוע את הסכם הגרעין ונותנת רוח גבית לדה לגיטימציה נגד ישראל .

miri regev

From a speech yesterday by Rory Jeffes, managing director of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra:

I remember when we were touring in Japan in 2007 we were giving a performance in Osaka. In Japan concerts halls are often built into larger complexes and this one happened to be on the third floor so you had to go up three flights of stairs to reach it. We arrived in buses and climbed three flights of stairs – in a glass atrium, to reach the concert platform.  After the performance I went through the backstage area to make sure nothing was left behind and found a musician standing in the stairwell looking at the stairs leading both up and down.

‘Which way is the bus?’ he asked me.

‘What in God’s name makes you think it’s upstairs?’

This musician – a highly intelligent person – had gotten through the whole day following the person in front and now suddenly was on their own they didn’t know what to do.

Read the full transcript here.

sydney symphony

Another Jeffes soundbite:

Musicians often have enormous reticence in communicating concerns about others’ performance levels to colleagues. Sometimes in a rehearsal (and hopefully only in a rehearsal!) someone will make a huge mistake or wrong entry – and there isn’t a twitch or eyebrow raised across the orchestra. Nothing. The sense is ‘they know they made the mistake – they don’t need me to point it out’. One of our senior musicians told me when he first worked at the back of a string section in one of the major London orchestras a horn player made a loud mistake and our musician turned round to look at the culprit. ‘What the hell are you looking at sonny?’ was the response. They never spoke again.

Eric Wayman of Bowgate, Gosberton, will be sentenced at Lincoln Crown Court on 11 counts of making indecent photographs of children.

Wayman, 63, is former head of music at Spalding Grammar School and organist at St Botolph’s Church, Boston (Boston Stump). In one of his videos, the court was told, a child is seen screaming in pain after being spanked with a belt.