Rachel Barton Pine, was trying to fly home from Phoenix, Arizona, when a flight attendant decided that her 1742 Guarneri del Gesú would not fit in the overhead bin.

The result was that Rachel and her family had to sleep the night in the airport, waiting for another plane.

Don’t we just love US Airways?


UPDATE: The full story in Rachel’s own words is here.

Harmonia Mundi will be under new ownership from Thursday.

Press release:

London, September 29th 2015 – [PIAS] one of the  world’s leading independent music companies has announced the acquisition of harmonia mundi the respected classical, jazz and world music specialists.

This acquisition comprises the music assets of harmonia mundi but does not include its book publishing interests or retail operations. With over 100 staff and offices in key territories harmonia mundi, which comprises record labels, music publishing and distribution divisions was founded in 1958 by the charismatic and visionary Bernard Coutaz (1922-2010), who guided the group to its position as a globally successful music company. Eva Coutaz, who has been involved in classical music production since the 1970’s, will remain a consultant to the harmonia mundi board.

This acquisition will be effective from October 1st 2015 and will see [PIAS] add harmonia mundi’s catalogue, infrastructure and expertise to its already successful portfolio of music interests. Founded in Belgium by Kenny Gates and Michel Lambot, [PIAS] is celebrating 33 years as one of the world’s leading independent music companies in 2015. The company has 3 core divisions: [PIAS] Recordings, that signs and develops artists, [PIAS] Cooperative, an associated label group that partners with labels to help fund and develop their repertoire on an international basis, and [PIAS] Artist & Label Services, a sales, distribution and marketing team that takes repertoire to market, physically and digitally, on an global basis.

harmonia mundi

From my Album of the Week on sinfinimusic.com:

Given the music industry’s preoccupation with complete sets, it’s remarkable how few recordings exist of the eight books of Songs Without Words for piano by the great early-Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn seems to have dashed the Songs off in spare moments between 1829 and 1845, sending them to be published six at a time. But there’s nothing random about the series.

The total number of songs – 48 – is a homage to JS Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and the changes of key from one to the next suggests that, across the short span of his adult life (he died in 1847, aged 38), Mendelssohn conceived the set as a complete cycle. Which makes it all the more surprising that famous pianists have not hammered at label doors demanding to record the set.

Read the full review here.

Félix Mendelssohn - Bartholdy

Andrew Haveron, concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been given a 1757 Guadagnini violin to play, purchased at his selection by SSO supporter, Vicki Olsson (pictured), and given to the orch on longterm loan.

Andrew says: ‘I arrived at the showroom of the first dealer I’d contacted and he had six instruments on the table for me to try. I picked up the first one, played one note and just thought: Wow!’

andrew haveron donor

Union negotiators for musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have reached what is described as ‘a tentative agreement’ on a new contract after federal mediators got involved. The deal still needs to be ratified by the muscians themselves. More here.


press release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allison Beck, Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS), announced today that representatives of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Chicago Federation of Musicians have reached a tentative agreement on a new collective bargaining agreement under the auspices of FMCS mediators.

The parties are not commenting regarding details of the agreement until both sides have ratified the new contract later this week.

As is Agency practice, the FMCS also is not releasing information about the contract until the ratification process has been completed.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic music director is frequently under pressure over his perceived alignment with the radical regime in his native Venezuela.

In an article for the Los Angeles Times today (click here), he declares both his patriotism and his political neutrality: As a Venezuelan and a public person, I often end up in the center of such political theater. Because I have been reluctant to speak out on events in my home country, I have been much criticized. Many have tried to define me and my political beliefs, or to tell me what I ought to believe. Now I wish to speak for myself.

I am neither a politician nor an activist. Although I am aware that even something as benign as conducting an orchestra may have deep political ramifications, I will not publicly take a political position or align myself with one point of view or one party in Venezuela or in the United States.

Venezuelan media, meanwhile, have made great play of a picture of Dudamel conducting the Bolivar Youth Orchestra at the United Nations this week, overshadowed by a huge portrait of the country’s former president, Hugo Chavez.

dudamel chavez portrait