We have been informed that Seymour Lipkin, the cherished professor of piano at Curtis and Juilliard, died Monday night at Blue Hill Hospital, in Maine.

He was 88 years old and had been in poor health for a while.

Born in Detroit, Seymour studied at Curtis with Rudolf Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, and David Saperton. In 1948 he won the Rachmaninoff Competition. Later he became known as a formidable Beethoven specialist.

He played with all the major US orchestras but was quickly recognised as one of the great educators. He joined the Curtis faculty in 1969 and Juilliard in 1986.

seymour lipkin

pictured with Vladimir Horowitz and Mrs Rachmaninoff.

News of the death was confirmed to Slipped Disc by Robert Clements, President of Trustees at Kneisel Hall, where Seymour was artistic director since 1986. Robert spoke to Seymour’s wife, Ellen Werner, this morning.

The funeral will be in Maine, today or tomorrow.

Our condolences to Ellen and the family.

The attacked theatre was named for this.

Just so you should know.


P.F. Sloan, who wrote Barry McGuire’s ‘Eve of Destruction’, has died of pancreatic cancer at 70.

Born Philip Schlein, he also composed the hook to ‘California Dreamin’ and ‘Secret Agent Man’ for Jonny Rivers.But Eve of Destruction, with its Dylanesque foreboding, has never lost relevance in half a century.
eve of destruction

We’re getting reports that Ibrahm Maalouf, a star trumpet player who is due on stage at the Barbican tonight, has been detained by immigration control at the Gare du Nord in Paris.

Ibrahm is a nephew of the writer Amin Maalouf. He is a French and Lebanese citizen.

We have no further information at this point.

ibrahm maalouf

UPDATE: Ibrahm was questioned for two hours and released. He is on his way to London.

This is Kheireddine Sahbi, 29, known to his friends as Didine. He was a student of ethnomusicology at the Sorbonne and a violinist in one of its ensembles.

Didine was walking home in the 10th arrondissement when he was caught in the Islamist attack on a restaurant.

We mourn the loss of a young life and a musical talent.

Kheireddine Sahbi

He has shifted 65,000 copies of his DG debut in the first two weeks of release and is presently ahead of Andrea Bocelli in the US sales charts.

The Chopin competition winner Seong-Jin Cho is sweeping all before him.

His album has yet to be released in Japan, where he won the Hamamatsu competition, or in France, where he lives.

korea queues 1

Minnesota Public Radio has been given $10 million by a person who is ‘passionate about classical music and music education’. That’s all we know about him, or her.

The donation is completely without restrictions. MPR run a good classical station.

But if you had $10m to burn, would you give it to local presenters – or to performers?

Pictured: Minnesota Orchestra during its 16-month lockout


Peter Oundjian, music director of the Toronto Symphony and the Royal Scottish National orchestras, signed on yesterday as principal conductor of the Yale Philharmonia, at the Yale School of Music.

Time hanging heavy on his hands?

peter oundjian

His timing’s not that great. Yesterday, the RNSO took possession of a new hall.

Glyndebourne’s last chief exec came from running a London period-instrument orchestra, the one before from a London arts centre.

The new head on the cowpats comes from the heart of the process.

Sebastian F Schwarz is credited locally with much of the pizazz that has made the Theater an der Wien the best show in Vienna outside the Staatsoper.

He was number two at the ancient theatre, and his casting has been both young and daring. In addition to main-house duties, he set up a youth ensemble, a baroque voice competition and a university course.

This appointment could be interesting. Where previous Gly chiefs have operated under the landowner’s thumb, Schwartz is thought to have obtained guarantees of artistic independence. There would be no point, otherwise, for either side in him taking this job.sebastian schwarz

sebastian schwarzsebastian schwarzschwarz-edit-small

He has received an enthusiastic endorsement from the music director, Robin Ticciati: ‘I am extremely excited about what Sebastian Schwarz will bring, especially his own personal artistic vision and his inspiring approach to what he believes opera can be in the 21st century.’

sebastian schwarz

sebastian schwarzsebastian schwarzsebastian schwarz


The maestro is taking his Cherubini youth orchestra to Assisi this Saturday to play for peace on earth in the Basilica of St Francis. Schubert’s Unfinished and Beethoven’s Fifth.

More details here.


riccardo muti solemn

The composer’s assistant, who died last week, recalls the dramatic events surrounding the great man’s obsequies in Venice, 44 years ago. Ezra Pound was there.

Craft will be buried at the same location.

Detailed and moving.

Igor Stravinsky in Munich, 1950 with Robert Craft (American Conductor and writer on Music, b.1923) around time of Rake's Progress.

The often-troubled New Jersey Symphony Orchestra has reached for the future by appointing Xian Zhang, 42, as its next music director from next season, succeeding the Canadian Jacques Lacombe.

Zhang, who made her debut at 20 conducting Figaro at Beijing’s Central Opera House, moved to the US in 1998 and spent a few years as associate conductor of the New York Philharmonic.

She is now music director of the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi and is presently in London, conducting La Boheme at English National Opera. She maintains a high-profile career in Beijing.