spanish christmas ad

It’s for the Spanish Lottery.

Anyone know who wrote the music?

Sounds like Einaudi.

The Berlin Staatsoper conductor has sent this letter to the Copenhagen Government, urging it not to dismantle the Royal Danish Orchestra. 

To whom it may concern:

I am deeply concerned about the cuts at the Royal Theatre in Copenhagen. We live in a difficult time for art, not only in Denmark but throughout Europe. Finding the means to create and exercise art is becoming increasingly difficult.
It is for this reason of utmost importance to protect that which cannot be replaced. The core of an opera house is its orchestra. Especially in a house like the Royal Theatre where the Kapelle play not only opera, but also ballet and symphony concerts, three of the four arts at the Royal Theatre.

Denmark can be proud to have the oldest orchestra in the world with over 500 years of tradition of excellence.
To reduce such an orchestra to a size where it is not able to play regularly in full size will have devastating long-term consequences for the Royal Theatre. I would urge the management at the royal theatre that reconsider their plans to reduce this national treasure – the Royal Chapel. There are alternatives.

Daniel Barenboim

barenboim's letter



Today’s impressive national commemoration of the 130 victims of the Paris terror attacks was dignified by four pieces of music, appropriate to the occasion.

The first was Jacques Brel’s Quand on n’a que lamour, delivered by four popular singers.

Then came the Marsellaise, performed by the orchestra and chorus of the French army. It was given in the beautiful orchestral version by Hector Berlioz, introduced by television commentators as ‘the best known French composer in the world’.

Third was Natalie Dessay singing Perlimpinpin by Barbara.

Last came Verdi’s Va, pensiero – a statement that an attack on France is an attack on European civilisation as a whole.

Amour from Brel, attack from Berlioz, tendresse from Barbara.

France’s three Bs.

hommage national


Pickwick Group, once a major distributor of classical recordings and still a player in the field, has been hammered in a court defeat over its show-tunes releases. The damages could be as much as £300,000 ($500,000).

peter katin



Here’s the victorious lawyers’ press release:

Producer of the Birdie Song secures a win in legal battle over rights to well-known show tunes

The Henry Hadaway Organisation, in conjunction with media disputes expert Lawrence Abramson of Keystone Law, has claimed victory in court against Pickwick Group Limited in a copyright dispute over the highly regarded Gordon Lorenz Shows and Musicals productions.

Well-known songwriter and producer Gordon Lorenz died in 2011 leaving behind to Henry Hadaway the rights to these recordings. Tracks included arrangements of renowned songs from West End hit musicals such as Les Misérables, Cats, The Lion King and West Side Story amongst others. However, after Pickwick compiled and released a series of titles featuring these famous productions, veteran producer Henry Hadaway decided to launch a High Court legal battle for infringement of copyright. Mr. Hadaway argued that a personal agreement between himself and Mr. Lorenz meant that Mr Hadaway’s company owned the exclusive rights to distribute these recordings. Pickwick Group responded by contesting Mr. Hadaway’s ownership of these songs.

Following a two day hearing, the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court ruled that Henry Hadaway did indeed own the recordings, and that by releasing this large collection of valuable recordings, Pickwick was indeed in breach of copyright. The Court awarded Mr Hadaway damages and an injunction to stop any further use of these recordings. Pickwick Group was also ordered to pay £48,500 in costs.

Henry Hadaway commented:

“It’s been a long battle and I’m glad we have prevailed. I don’t like to see infringement – it’s not good for the industry, and it’s inexcusable to monetise on other people’s rights. I’m just content we have safeguarded our rights and achieved an outcome which is fair.”


Jennifer Stumm, an American viola player baed in London, founded the Ilumina Festival in São Paulo last year to connect international artists with Brazilian musicians from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The scheme yielded immediate results: half of Ilumina’s first-year fellows won places at international programs, including the top-ranked cello applicant at the Mozarteum Salzburg.

However, Jennifer tells Slipped Disc: ‘We were just hit with a sudden devastating blow of losing our main sponsor to a corruption scandal in Brazil, and so we are in a race to ensure the festival continues in January.


jennifer stumm

‘We’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign so that people can help, and November 30 in London, at Queen’s Gate Terrace, a starry cast of characters is banding together in support, alongside the best of of our young Brazilians. Hoping very much to show that bad guys don’t always win.’

Here’s the cast at Monday’s concert:
Steven Isserlis, cello

Cristina Ortiz, piano

Tamara Wilson, soprano

Matthew Rose, bass

Ksenija Sidorova, accordion

Jennifer Stumm, viola

Alasdair Beatson, piano

Brazilian canapes to follow. Tickets here.

Chase Platon, a student from San Jose, caught sight of handlers at his home airport trying to see which could throw the baggage furthest.

The company concerned was Alaska Airlines, but it could have been anyone. ‘This is sometimes a game the baggage handlers play,’ they said.

Just so you know.

The video is going viral. Click here if it does not come up immediately on screen.


baggage handler san jose

Anne Applebaum, the US-Polish political analyst, has written a scorching piece in Commentary on the return of Soviet values, practices, apologists, nostalgists and fellow-travellers. Here’s a sample:

Admirers of the grim Stalinist skyscrapers in Warsaw and Moscow have multiplied…

Somewhat less amusing is the resurrection of old Marxists like Jeremy Corbyn, the newly elected leader of the British Labour party. For many years Corbyn has been writing for the Morning Star, the newspaper of the British far left, proffering anti-American, anti-NATO, anti-Semitic, and even anti-British sentiments. These views no longer alarm a generation that can’t remember who sponsored such views in the past, or why. His conservative opponents have accused him of pushing policies that were last heard in the 1980s, but what does that mean to people who were born in the 1980s? To them Corbyn sounds new and fresh.

Still, the resurrection of the Western far left or the return of forgotten British comrades is not what I worry about the most. My concern is the revival, with amazing speed, of a belligerent Russian state, one led by men who were taught and trained by the Soviet state and are thus prepared to use a familiar blend of terror, deception, and military force to stay in power. One might argue, of course, that such men never really went away. But their level of aggression is rising just as our once formidable ability to counter them seems to have vanished altogether. Instead, we have trouble simply recognizing them for what they are.

Now read the full essay here.


soviet union

Leeds Minster, a church dating back to the 7th century (last rebuilt 1841), has suspended a 200-year tradition of boys choral singing because it can’t find enough boys to attend.

‘There just aren’t the numbers of boys singing with us currently to make them deliver what’s expected of them,’ said, the Rev Canon Sam Corley, Rector of Leeds. ‘There used to be 30 boys and we were down to nowhere near that – as low as five at some services.’

Full story here.

leeds minster

Gidon Kremer:

Nowadays (although I wonder if it really was different in the past), some conductors – even some truly gifted ones – have no compunction about turning up at the first rehearsal shamelessly underprepared. It is as if the ability to “manage” rehearsals efficiently and quickly, not to mention the following concerts, takes precedence over matters of artistry.

I recently witnessed an artist (who is best left unnamed) literally sight-reading Alban Berg’s mysterious violin concerto – with absolute ease … but zero meaning. Cases like that reinforce the necessity of establishing a “pact” for a harmonious reading of any great score.

Read the great violinist’s thoughts on the soloist-conductor relationship here.


Ôîòî Íèêîëàÿ Òèì÷åíêî 18.11.14 Ôèëàðìîíèÿ. Ãèäîí Êðåìåð. Êèåâñêèé êàìåðíûé îðêåñòð. Äèðèæåð Ðîìàí Êîôìàí

The sought-after pianist Igor Levitt is giving a concert tomorrow (Saturday) night in his home town Hannover for 150 Syrian refugees, invited from a nearby camp. Levit, 28, came to Germany as a child from the former Soviet Union.

‘We came to Germany in 1995 as a Jewish family on the refugee quota, but by plane and with a permanent residence permit,’ says Igor. ‘We did not go thousands of kilometers on foot, or take a boat across the Mediterranean.’

The Syrians, he adds, ‘have been forced through no fault of their own to give up their freedom, their lives, their homes, their belongings.’

Tomorrow’s cncert will include Saint-Saens Carnaval des Animaux, for kids from the camp.

igor levitt

Good man.



We are saddened to hear of the passing in New York, on November 18, of the international American opera singer, Daniel Ferro. His death has been reported in Europe, but not yet by US media.

Born Daniel Eisen to Russian-Jewish parents in Massachssetts, Daniel studied at Juilliard and Salzburg, joining the Graz opera company in the 1950s. Back in the States, he headed the voice department at Manhattan School of Music before joining the Julliard faculty.

Down the years, he gave courses and masterclasses at many of the world’s conservatories and opera houses, founding a popular summer program at Greve, in Chianti, Italy.

He maintained a private teaching practice in New York where his students included Evelyn Lear, Thomas Stewart, Barbara Hendricks, Neil Shicoff and Kathleen Battle.

His funeral service was held on Monday at Temple Shaarei Tefilah in New York.

May he rest in peace.



The Mariinksy and Munich music director was asked at a Tokyo press conference whether he had plans to perform in Turkey. The question was tagged to the shooting down of a Russian military plane by Turkish ground forces.

Gergiev, who is often an apologist for President Putin, said (according to the semi-official Tass news agency): ‘I do not have plans to perform in Turkey. This is a very dangerous region. It is not the job of artists to find a solution in this region, it is the task of politicians.’

Gergiev is touring Japan with the Munich Philharmonic.

putin gergiev

He has not previously hesitated to perform in danger zones, and no Government presently considers Ankara and Istanbul to be areas of danger.