We have been informed from France of the death today in Strasbourg of Jean Deplace, one of the country’s most influential cellists and teachers.

Principal cello of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and professor at Strasbourg Conservatoire and CNSM in Lyon, Deplace’s students included Christian Wolff, Anne Gastinel, Emmanuelle Bertrand, Pierre Strauch, Bruno Cocset and Renaud Déjardin. He played in a well-known duo with his wife, the pianist Andrée Plaine.

jean deplace

Rudolph Tang is reporting from Beijing that Professor Wang Cizhao, widely respected rector of China’s top music conservatory for 21 years, has been dismissed after an investigation.

There has been no official confirmation. A statement is expected tomorrow.

The conservatory, celebrating its 75th anniversary. recently awarded its first ever honorary doctorate to Lang Lang, an associate of Professor Wang.

wang cizhao

Kathy Schuman, Artistic Administrator of Carnegie Hall since 2001, has jumped ship to become Vice-President and Artist Director of the music publisher G. Schirmer (and AMP/Music Sales Corp.).

Kathy has been responsible for commissioning new music at Carnegie and running Zankel Hall. At an early stage in her career she worked for Arts Council England and London’s South Bank but escaped untainted.


kathy schumann

If ever statistics told the story, this is it.

The world cannot get enough of Adele. And it cannot run fast enough from classical records.

The week’s top US seller, according to Nielsen Soundscan, was the Yo Yo Ma 60th birthday album, with 493 sales in all formats. The next highest, Stile Antico, sold half as many (or as few).


yo yo ma chicago

It’s my Album of the Week on sinfinimusic.com.

latvia landscape

Click here to discover.

News from the struggling Coli:

ENO announces that Huw van Steenis is joining the ENO Board of Trustees with immediate effect.

Huw van Steenis FRSA is a British financier at Morgan Stanley where he leads Financials Research. Van Steenis has won numerous investment awards and his views have appeared widely in the international media and in testimony. He sits on a number of advisory panels including the World Economic Forum’s Agenda Council on Banking, the WEF’s Disruptive Innovation in Financial Services Group and the European Central Bank’s Macro-Prudential and Financial Stability Group. 

Huw has a life-long interest in classical music growing up with a concert pianist, composer, choirmaster and organist in the family, and is an active supporter of the arts. He was educated at Oxford and INSEAD and is married with 3 boys.

In the US, a new director would not get appointed to an opera board without making a substantial up-front donation – which is what ENO desperately needs. No mention is made in the press release of any private contribution.

coliseum eno

Further to our post on the ten most-heard males, we discover that the woman with the most appearances at the Met was mezzo-soprano, Thelma Votipka. She sang 1422 times from December 1935 to April 1966.

A comprimaria from Cleveland, Ohio, Thelma owned the role of Flora in La Traviata, which she sang 101 times at the Met.


thelma votipka


The only other woman to sing more than 1,000 performances was Mathilde Bauermeister, back in the mists of time. She made her last appearance in March 1906.

h/t: Lew Loesberg

Pekka Kuusisto, who won the Sibelius competition 20 years ago, was having a serious video conversation with Vesa Siren about how he played the concerto, then and now. Serious, as only Finns can.

But then the conversation got a bit out of hand as Vesa challenged Pekka to play in other styles.

Folk music, for instance? Easy.

John Adams? Easier still.

On to Philip Glass and, finally Radiohead.

Watch the cracking video here (English subtitles). Violin nerds start at the beginning. The rest of your race forward to 6.50, that’s where the fun starts.


Pekka Kuusisto radiohead

Jenna Douglas at Schmopera has compiled a fascinating list of the singers who made most appearances at the Metropolitan Opera. Top of the ten is the tenor Charles Anthony, who died three years ago, aged 82.

He sang 2,928 times between 1954 and his retirement in 2010.

The next nine are also men.

Has the Met got something against women of mature years?


Charles Anthony


Or have they perhaps got better things to do?

See Jenna’s list here.

UPDATE: And here‘s the woman who sang most.

Happiness is seeing a right-wing, Red-bashing British newspaper taking its content from the organ of the Chinese Communist Party. The story is about a ‘woman conductor’, unnamed, ‘somewhere in China’ who gets a tad over-excited at a village wedding.

Nothing to frighten the horses, but we love the incongruity. Does Lord Rothermere know he’s filling his paper with raw Communism?

Here’s the Mail rip-off. And here‘s the People’s Daily original.

woman conductor china

Hats off to the German soprano Mojca Erdmann who, on Saturday, gave a triumphant premiere at the Mozarteum of Beat Furrer’s new piece, spazio immergente.

Mojca had less than three days to learn the score after Golda Schulz called in sick.

The 15-minute work is a set of variations on a fragment of Mozart melody for soprano and percussion.


Eldar Ryazanov, director of the top-selling Soviet-era musical comedy film Karnavalnaya Noch (Carnival Night), has died at 88. The film sold 50 million tickets, but Ryazanov soon felt the heavy hand of Soviet censorship.

After several brushes with the authorities, Chelovek iz Niotkuda (Man from Nowhere) was suppressed for 20 years because the humourless Soviet premier Leonid Brezhnev thought it was about him.

Ryazanov was, however, too popular with audiences to keep under wraps forever. Among other distinctions, he had an asteroid named after him in outer space.