They rolled out the menu today and tickets are immediately available.

The highlights are a new opera by the English composer Thomas Adès based on a surrealist film, The Exterminating Angel, by Luis Buñuel. There will also be a Gounod Faust – a first for Salzburg, with Piotr Beczala in the title role – and Richard Strauss Die Liebe der Danae, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst.

The Vienna Philharmonic will play concerts with Daniel Harding, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti and Mariss Jansons.

This is an interregnum summer artistically. Markus Hinterhäuser takes over as artistic director from 2017.

Tickets here.


thomas ades

From Alisa Weilerstein:

My husband Rafael Payare‬ and I want to share some very exciting news: we’re expecting a baby next spring! We couldn’t be more thrilled about starting a family together. In the meantime, I’m keeping very active and healthy and am feeling wonderful. My schedule is as full as always, and I’m enjoying performing and recording as never before!


alisa weiler wedding

Our warmest good wishes to them both.

father christmas coming out

The Western Daily Press was disturbed when it unwrapped its Nestlé Father Christmas.

So cunning those Swiss.

The rich just go on getting richer.

The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University is generally thought to be the best endowed in America, if not the world. But there’s always competition.

So the Jacobs family, who have already donated $40.6 million, just gave another $20m.

Read how it’s done here.

jacobs school of music indiana

Graham Johns, principal percussion of the Royal Liverpool Phil has been trying out his new Hammerschlag, the box he whacks in Mahler’s sixth symphony for the ‘Knocks of Fate’, using a huge wooden hammer.

Graham made his box from a log found in Sefton Park. It’s based on speaker technology: the diaphragm moves on springs and makes a more resonant ‘thud’ than by hitting an old orange crate as in the past.

I shall look forward to testing it a week from today when I give the pre-concert talk at the Phil.

Come along, details here.

mahler 6 drum

It has been announced that Melbourne will host ‘the exclusive Australian season’ of the BBC Proms, over four days in April 2016.

The Proms are a unique British and BBC institution, taking place over seven weeks in London every summer and broadcast free the world over.

To sell a spin-off Proms to Australia not only dilutes the brand. It opens the floodgates to any number of cheap imitations and depletes a core national asset, which is owned and paid for by the British people.

Last summer, under new management, the BBC dumbed down the Proms as never before. We warned that there was worse to come.

Here we go, here we go, here we go.

bbc proms plastic trumpets

Charles de Ramus of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra has arranged Sibelius’s trademark encore for six double-basses (and three obligatory handkerchiefs).

You see it here first.  Prepare to shed them now….


Sibelius conducted the Gothenburg Symphony in the Valse triste on 6th February 1911.

The orch will perform all seven symphonies on December 2-4 with principal guest conductor Kent Nagano.

A survey of the UK music industry, published today, shows that it adds £4.1 billion to the British economy.

That’s nice.

But a remark by UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple gives cause for considerable concern. Jo writes in her introduction that ‘35% (of musicans) are not paying into pension schemes, and 21% … had undertaken work for free during the past year with the aim of furthering their career.’

That’s not economic growth, it’s charity.

Read her introduction here.

jo dipple

Roxanna Panufnik has been commissioned to write a ‘people’s opera’ for the 2017 Garsington Festival, it was announced today. Silver Birch will be sung by professional singers with community and children’s choruses.

Rox is the daughter of the Anglo-Polish symphonist Andrzej Panufnik and prolific explorer of religious themes. She and I have worked together on The Song of Names oratorio.


What took them so long?


martha argerich gold medal


press release:

One of classical music’s highest honours, the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal, has been awarded to the distinguished Argentinian-born pianist, Martha Argerich. She becomes the 101st recipient since the medal was founded in 1870 in celebration of the centenary of the birth of Beethoven (London’s Philharmonic Society commissioned Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and enjoyed a close association with the composer).

RPS Chairman, John Gilhooly, awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal to Martha Argerich at Wigmore Hall, London. In its citation, the Royal Philharmonic Society says:

“Martha Argerich’s combination of technical mastery and passionate artistry make her one of the most compelling and expressive pianists, and her extraordinary live performances are a musical and intellectual tour de force.

She is a consummate chamber music collaborator. It is this spirit of collaboration that led to the Progetto Martha Argerich at the Lugano International Festival, now in its 15th year, through which she demonstrates her enduring generosity and personal commitment to emerging musicians and by mixing established and up-and-coming artists has created many inspirational chamber music partnerships.

Gabriele Baldocci, one of her long- standing duo partners, pays tribute: “She says everything through music. I’ve never had a formal lesson with her, but she is my greatest teacher.”

John Clark, former director of music at Aldro School in Shackleford, Surrey, committed sexual offences in the 1970s against four boys, aged eight to 13. More here.

john clark

… Toronto student Emily D’Angelo.

She blew away the competition to win the coveted Nex Opera Star title at last night’s COC gala.

emily d'angelo