A truly shocking stat on this week’s Nielsen Soundscan classical charts. The Monks of Norcia on Decca sold more than 5,000 copies in the US last week. No classical release has done so well in months.

Almost equally shocking: the next-best ‘classical’ seller is … Downton Abbey, with just under 500 sales.

After that, Yo Yo Ma with … 200.

Five places down is the Vienna New Year’s Day concert. Fewer than 90 copies sold in the second week of release.

Why bother?


With the slow demise of sinfinimusic.com, we have relocated the widely-read review to its former homes, on www.scena.org in Canada and www.openlettersmonthly.com in the US.

First review coming up shortly. Thanks for reading.


An Antonio Domenicelli cello that was left in the owner’s car, which was stolen last November in Glendale, California, has been found safe and well in the car, which was parked on a residential street for two months.

Neighbour called the police, who identified the vehicle and returned it to Hollywood session musician Cameron Stone with the cello unharmed.

There must be a lesson in there, somewhere.

glendale cello


Announcement on the ROH website: 

Amanda Echalaz has had to withdraw from Tosca on 25 and 29 January due to illness.

The Royal Opera is extremely grateful to Romanian soprano Angela Gheorghiu, who will now sing the role for these performances.

Tickets are, as they say, still available. Word at the box-office is that ROH is having a tough season.




The retreating conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra has been named Honorary Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony, where he has made 150 appearances over 51 years.

A consolation prize.


Eva Pusztai-Fahidi was  a girl of 18 when she was taken to Auschwitz, where her parents, sister and 49 members of her extended family were murdered in the Nazi extermination machine.

For 60 years after her liberation, Eva never spoke of her horrific experiences.

Now, in her 90s, she has opened a show in dance and words for a Berlin audience.

Watch video here.

Read more here.


eva fahidi

An official from the BSO has written to Adele Ohki apologising for her eviction from Symphony Hall while pointing out that the orchestra has ‘a long-standing rule’ not to allow children under five into concerts, or rehearsals.

Kim Noltemy, chief operating an communications office, adds: ‘I oversee the various audience policies at the BSO and yesterday I brought your concerns to the attention of the senior management, including Mark Volpe.

‘We will study the issue further and survey the current audience on the subject. This will be a process and I cannot promise you that there will be a change, but we will review the matter anew.’

That seems fair enough.

Except ‘the long-standing policy’ is inaccurate. A former BSO assistant concertmaster has commented on Slipped Disc that she remembered infants being brought to rehearsals in the 1970s and 1980s. Cecylia Arzewski added: ‘I am very sad to hear how you have been treated!’


adele ohki

Jonathon Heyward, 23, winner of the Besançon conductors competition, has signed with Paris-based boutique agency, CLB

Jonathon is currently based in London, where he is studying with Sian Edwards.

jonathon heyward

The sometime Sony Classical artist will top the bill at a profile-raising concert for the Labour Party leader.

She’s being touted as the big draw in #JC4PM (Jeremy Corbyn for Prime Minister) at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh on March 9, and elsewhere on tour.
charlotte church

From today’s Wall Street Journal:

The hand-held device, which sells for $99, attaches to a tuning peg on a stringed instrument. After the user plucks the string, Roadie analyzes the sound and automatically adjusts the tension to get the string tuned properly. An app stores profiles for different instruments and custom tunings and keeps track of the elasticity of the strings, telling the musician when new ones are needed.

Too good to be good? Read more here.

tuning up violin



The weekend’s casualties have recovered fast.

Gennady Rozhdestvensky, whose fall on his way to conduct the Dresden Philharmonic caused the concert to be cancelled, is up and about today. His agent tells Slipped Disc: ‘he is okay to travel to Stockholm today and hopes to fly to Chicago next week.’

Meanwhile, Anna Netrebko has posted a short video message on Instagram to say her leg is unstrapped and she’s back in rehearsal. ‘My health is now much better and my foot is almost fine,’ she reports.

Monday morning, back to work.

gennady rozhdestvensky

Julian Trevelyan, who came top at this year’s Long-Thibaud-Crespin competition, is among the finalists announced today for BBC Young Musician of the Year.

The 2016 category finalists are:



Jackie Campbell (15) – piano

Tomoka Kan (17) – piano

Harvey Lin (13) – piano

Julian Trevelyan (17) – piano (pictured)

Yuanfan Yang (19) – piano

julian trevelyan


Polly Bartlett (17) – recorder

Lucy Driver (17) – flute

Jess Gillam (17) – saxophone

Joanne Lee (15) – flute

Marie Sato (15) – flute



Matthew Brett (14)

Hristiyan Hristov (17)

Joe Parks (16)

Tom Pritchard (18)

Andrew Woolcock (16)



Sam Dye (16) – trombone

Zak Eastop (18) – trumpet

Ben Goldscheider (18) – french horn

Zoe Perkins (17) – trumpet

Gemma Riley (17) – trombone


Stephanie Childress (16) – violin (concertmaster, National Youth Orchestra)

Sheku Kanneh-Mason (16) – cello

Charlie Lovell-Jones (16) – violin

Joe Pritchard (16) – cello

Louisa Staples (15) – violin

Finals on May 16 at the Barbican.