The office of the Manhattan Public Administrator is seeking relatives of Eugene Bergen, a violinist in the NY Philharmonic who died in 2012, aged 96, leaving no known relatives.

Among other assets, Bergen owned a Gagliano violin. Read more on the search for heirs here.

eugene bergen

Under pressure from pro-Kiev activists, Lufthansa has followed KLM in removing recxordings by the pianist Valentina Lisitsa from its inflight entertainment. Lisitsa has taken a militant stand in favour of Russian occupation of Crimea and support of anti-Kiev militants.


Fox News reports:  California music teacher Chris Ling killed himself in Sherman Oaks today as US Marshal served warrant in UK child abuse case.

Ling had been accused of misconduct with students of high school age while working as a violin teacher at Chethaam’s school in Manchester. Ten former Chetham’s students accused him of being a sexual predator.

chris ling

h/t: Ian Pace


John Martin, 47, a musician, has been formally accused of killing concert pianist Natalia Strelchenko, who was found dying of head wounds at a domestic residence in Newton Heath, Manchester, on Sunday.

Natalia was 38. She is survived by her son.

John Martin was her companion and manager. He is further accused of the attempted murder of a boy under the age of 17. He will appear at Manchester Manchester Court tomorrow.

natalia strelle

The case has certain similarities with the Bonn murder last year of a Belgian concert pianist, Kate de Marcken.

The formidable Greek composer, 90 this summer, speaks of his life and struggles in another fascinating interview from Bruce Duffie’s archive.

‘ I like very much the English language for his simplicity, for his music.  My dream is to learn English, but the only opportunity was when I was in prison, and my English is the English of the prison because in Greek prison we learn English.  The science of language is exciting because the language is not like an organism, like a tree.  It is life.  It’s very nice, it’s very nice.  But you can, I think, find character of one people with his musical language, the music of language.  For example, the Gothic, the German is very strong.  Ka-ka-ka.

‘ In Africa, the life is simple, so it is ah, oh, eh, oh… is all light.  His language is light, music dark.  Music is language of dark, language of life is light.  The other very intelligent side is the influence between the language and the way the world works.  Great works go to English language, to Italian, to German.  This is very nice.  For the moment the English language must be the international language.  I believe that.

BD:     For science and diplomacy?

MT:    No, no, for the people, too, because this language is very, very simple, I think.  Other languages… in Greek, for example, the syntax is very complicated.  French language — I lived in France forty years and I speak French.  It’s for me, I never lose it.  My accent is, because it’s very, very delicate, the French language.  Very difficult to pronounce, you know?  The foreigner, after two or three years, speaks English very, very well.  It is very important, this one.

Enjoy the full interview here.


David Gockley, head of San Francisco Opera, has hit out at New York critics for praising anything foreign and ignoring US composers. His particular target was  British composer George Benjamin’s ‘Written on Skin’ which left him (and many others) unmoved but was raved over in NY media as the hottest thing since Lulu.

Gockley on New York’s opera establishment and critics:  “They are willing to dismiss (anything outside NY) as being pap, and therefore, when something like the Benjamin comes along they can jump on that and think it’s the bee’s knees. As far as I’m concerned, it’s just rehashing the modernism that has bit the dust again and again over the last 50 years.’

Full rant here on WQXR.

Written on the Skin ? opera by George Benjamin