Here is the full text of the letter by Sir Peter Jonas, published by the Times newspaper today in an edited form.

coliseum eno


Here in Europe there is astonishment at the threat to ENO, its artists and support staff. ENO’s orchestra, chorus, principals and backstage workers are the company. ENO’s only other resource and asset is the freehold of the Coliseum. At the end of my eight-year tenure as the company’s General Director, in 1993, the board delegated me to purchase the theatre’s freehold from the estate of Robert Holmes-à-Court. Together with Lord Harewood, our chairman, Lord Carr and Nicholas Goodison, our vice chairmen, we secured the Coliseum for the nation in order to underpin ENO’s future for UKL 12.4 million. The funds were raised with the help of the then arts minister David Mellor directly from government with £1m from the National Lottery. An extra million was generously donated by the late Garfield Weston to kick start renovation of the building. The Arts Council did not provide a penny and, perhaps out of pique, demanded a charge be put on the freehold whereby if ENO should cease to exist in its present form as a full time company presenting opera and ballet, the freehold could be appropriated by the Council.

The present attempt by the Arts Council to cut down the already reduced ENO chorus and orchestra, thereby reducing the output of performances, could lead to the Council attempting to call in the charge on the freehold of the Coliseum thus destroying ENO as a company and, in plain English, stealing its assets by taking advantage of a weak board and inexperienced management.

The Arts Council was founded to be a chosen advocate for the arts not to govern artistic

institutions, dictate artistic policy or act as a property speculator without public consultation.

Yours etc.peter jonas

Sir Peter Jonas CBE

General Director, ENO 1985-1993

Intendant, Bavarian State Opera, Munich 1993-2006

The troubled Manchester music school has a new head. Are we impressed?



Dear Students,

The School is delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Alun Jones as the new Head of Chetham’s School of Music.  Mr Jones will take up his post from 1st September 2016, following the retirement of Mrs Claire Moreland after 17 years’ exceptional service to the School.

Mr Jones has been the Head of St. Gabriel’s School, Newbury since 2001 and is the current President of the Girls’ Schools Association,  representing the heads of many of the top performing day and boarding schools in the UK independent schools sector.  A former Choral Scholar, freelance singer and ad-hoc member of BBC Singers, Mr Jones began his teaching career at The Cathedral School, Llandaff and The United College of the Atlantic, St Donats Castle.  Following positions as a Music Master & Choirmaster, Director of Studies and Deputy Headmaster in GSA boarding and day schools, Mr Jones was appointed Principal at St Gabriel’s, Newbury in 2001.  Alongside headship, Mr Jones has been a Team Inspector for the Independent Schools’ Inspectorate (ISI) since 2002 and is a Director on the ISI Board.

Mr Jones said “I am looking forward tremendously to joining Chetham’s School of Music in September and was thrilled to be appointed to the rôle.  It will be a privilege to join a school with such a fine reputation nationally and internationally and I relish the challenges that the job will bring.”

Dame Sandra Burslem, the Chair of Governors, said “Our recruitment process was extensive and thorough and the School has appointed an outstanding Head to lead Chetham’s through the next stages of the School’s exciting developments.  I know that the whole School community will join with me in welcoming Mr Jones.”

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

chethams 3

Mrs Sarah Newman


Gary Hanson retires as executive director of the Cleveland Orchestra on December 31.

On January 1 he starts as interim president of Cleveland Institute of Music.

Here’s what he’s telling friends:

gary hanson

As I pack up my Severance Hall office, I want to let you know personally, and before you see it in the press, that I will be serving as Interim President of the Cleveland Institute of Music beginning in January.  The Institute’s long-time President, Joel Smirnoff, will retire at the end of 2015 and the search for his permanent successor is underway.    I am inspired by CIM’s mission and honored that CIM’s board leaders invited me to serve the institution following Joel’s retirement.  Taking on this temporary role is consistent with my desire to serve the community in new ways, though I confess I didn’t expect to be doing so this quickly.



And here’s the press release:

(Cleveland, OH – December 11, 2015) The Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) announces that Gary

Hanson, retiring executive director of The Cleveland Orchestra, has been named Interim President of CIM. Mr. Hanson was appointed at a special meeting of the CIM Board of Trustees, held today and will begin his term January 1, 2016. In October, CIM’s current president, Joel Smirnoff, announced his retirement from administrative duties at CIM, effective December 31, 2015.

Mr. Hanson will complete his term as Executive Director of The Cleveland Orchestra (TCO) onDecember 31, 2015, a position he has held for more than 11 of the 28 years he served with the orchestra. Under his leadership, TCO built its annual residency in Miami, added both opera and ballet to the season in Cleveland and ushered in the nation’s youngest audience for a symphony orchestra. Mr. Hanson is a trained double bass player, having studied music in Canada and Europe.

“On behalf of the Board, I am pleased to welcome Mr. Hanson to the Cleveland Institute of Music. His superior administrative skills are evident in the extraordinary growth experienced by The Cleveland Orchestra, in its audience, global presence and community engagement. The Board and I are excited to work with Mr. Hanson as we continue our search for a permanent CIM president,” said Richard J.Hipple, Chair of the CIM Board of Trustees.

“Over the course of my time at The Cleveland Orchestra I have experienced the outstanding talent of Cleveland Institute of Music students and the dedication of their faculty. I am inspired by CIM’s mission and look forward to the opportunity to serve the institution during this important time of leadership transition,” said Mr. Hanson.

Chalk and cheese? Charmingly eccentric? Like a polar bear walking backwards?

sibelius beer

ivan fischer horn

She should have let him play more.