These are the final moments of Myung Whun Chung as music director of the Seoul Philharmonic.
He went around the orchestra shaking hands with every player while the audience roared their support. Some were totally overwhelmed.
It was a seminal few moments, a terminal moment.
Click here to watch.
이런 영상을 함부로 올리면 안되는 것도, 이 사건이 매우 민감한 이슈라는 것도 잘 알고 있다.하지만 나는 현장의 목격자로서, 시향의 오랜 팬으로서 나의 생각을 이 영상 말고는 달리 표현할 길이 없기에 여기 올린다. 정명훈과 서울시향의 마지막 연주가 끝나고 관객들은 무대에 꽃다발을 수북히 던졌다. 공연장 어셔가 제지하였지만 이미 관객들의 환호는 멈출 길이 없었다. 마에스트로는 울고 있는 시향단원들 한명 한명과 모두 악수하고 안아주면서 계속 따뜻한 미소를 지었다. 누군가는 울고 누군가는 안아주고 누군가는 환호하였지만, 우리 모두는 이 날의 무대가 한국 음악계의 장례식이라는 점을 가슴 깊이 느끼고 있었다. 더욱 중요한 점은 이 사태가 많은 이들의 인권과 희망을 짓밟고 있다는 점이다. 직원들이 폭언과 모독을 입었다면 그것이 사실인지, 지휘자에 대한 대우가 과했다면 정말 과했는지, 혹은 누군가 음모를 꾸민거라면 왜 꾸민 건지 밝혀내는 것이 우선이다. 그러한 본질은 모조리 비껴간 채, 회당 몇천만원을 받는다더라, 누가 자살을 시도했다더라, 누가 정치적으로 누구 편이라더라와 같은 지극히 자극적이고 쓸모 없는 가십들만 오르내리고 있다. 무엇보다 잊지 말아야 할 점은 서울시향은 시민을 위한 오케스트라, 한국을 대표하는 국가대표 오케스트라가 되기 위해 존재한다는 점이다. 저열한 루머들과 달리 현장에 있는 서울시향 단원들은 정말 절박할 정도로 아름답고 진심어린 연주를 하였고 마에스트로는 너무나 존엄했다. 직원들은 이 연주를 위해 누구보다 뜨겁게 움직였다. 그리고 수많은 관객들이 서울시향의 음악에 위로받았다. 오늘의 합창교향곡 연주가 부디 서울시향의 장례식이 아니길, 다시 한 번 부활의 화음으로 용솟음칠 날이 오기를 진정 기원한다.
Posted by Seong-Ho Ahn on Wednesday, 30 December 2015
Edition Peters will start 2016 in the building its rightful owners erected in the late 19th century.
Why did it take so long for Peters to get it back?
Because it was impossible to dislodge the Nazi who seized the company in 1939 and held on until his death at over 100.
All’s well now. Here’s the happy ending.
The full story can be found in my book, Who Killed Classical Music?
Should their station bosses be watching this?
The Seoul Arts Centre threatened musicians before yesterday’s concert that, in the event of any demonstration or protest in favour of ex-music director, Myung Whun Chung, they would switch the hall lights out.
(That’s what passes for free speech in ‘democratic’ South Korea.)
One musician successfully distributed a circular among the audience telling them that the players stood with their conductor.
We hear today that further resignations may be expected.
Also, that unemployed western conductors are applying for the Seoul-dead vacancy.
Sophie Dartigalongue will play principal bassoon in the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day Concert, televised around the world. It’s her first New Year’s concert and Vienna’s first time playing on TV with a woman principal.
Sophie, 24, won the bassoon audition in May and was appointed principal bassoon in September.
The UK-based pianist is among the new members appointed Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest rank of national honours.
The prolific Daniel Smith, who recorded all 37 Vivaldi concertos with the English Chamber Orchestra and I Soloisti di Zagreb, has died in Brooklyn, aged 77.
He was equally active in jazz, big bands and small ensembles. At one point he was known as the Rampal of the Bassoon.
Full appreciation here.
The Romania-born pianist was named Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in the honours list of the UK, where he lives.
There are OBEs for the pianist Malcolm Martineau and conductor Steuart Bedford, as well as David Joseph, chair and chief executive of Universal Music.
Others honoured include Catherine Arlidge, a violinist in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra who devotes her free time to engaging children in classical music. Catherine created The Stringcredibles, a string quartet formed of fellow-CBSO musicians which runs creative workshops, performances and other events for young people.
She receives the MBE, as do Michael McCarthy and Michael Rafferty, founders and joint Artistic Directors of contemporary opera company Music Theatre Wales. Also in the MBE list are the violinist Alina Ibragimova and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic supporter Milena Lady Grenfell-Baines. The indefatigable Milena, 86, was one of the 669 children rescued from the Nazis by Sir Nicholas Winton in 1939.
The great pianist tries out St Antony’s Sermon to the Fishes on a herd of elephants.
Click here to watch.
His baritone voice is not bad, but his German needs attention.
1 The New York Philharmonic will pick the wrong music director.
2 No turf will be broken on Simon Rattle’s vanity hall.
3 Munich will complain about Valery Gergiev’s lack of rehearsal or Putinist statements.
4 The resurrection of NY City Opera will be postponed.
5 Eighteen critics will call on Placido Domingo to retire the voice.
6 A British orch will appoint youngest woman music director.
7 A woman in Buffalo, NY, will call for more Dutilleux. She will be outvoted.
8 Arts Council England will continue its vendetta against English National Opera
9 The Dallas Symphony will find no-one overseas is taking its calls
10 China will be confirmed as the world’s largest consumer of western classical music.
Peter Rice, opera and stage designer
Papageno from The Magic Flute (1975), designed by Peter Rice
The distinguished stage and opera designer Peter Rice died on 24 December at the age of 87. Having first trained as a painter, his first opera production was in 1952, when he designed Seraglio for Sadler’s Wells, launching an astonishingly long and varied career during which he designed for operas, ballets, plays and musicals in the West End and more widely across Britain, in Europe, America, Australia and the Far East. Over nearly sixty years he worked with many of the greatest stage performers and directors: he was still working for Opera Holland Park (for whom he designed well over a dozen productions after 2000) when he was well into his eighties.
His work was always graceful and elegant, as was he – one of the most gentle, erudite, modest and generous of people. With a twinkle in his eye, and always a kind word for everyone, his sketch book and pencil were never far from his hand. His eye for detail was astonishing – walking down the street he would suddenly vanish into a little shop, emerging a few moments later with another piece of fabric or an object that he had spotted which would find its way into the current production. With an ability to create something vivid and memorable from almost nothing, he was the only production designer I have ever worked with who never once went over budget. He was one of the most creative people you could ever meet, and always a joy to work with. But much more than that, he was the one of the warmest and kindest people you could ever hope to encounter.