The board has chosen Zach Granit to succeed Hanna Munitz.

He’s a political operative, a former ministerial adviser and head of the Israel Museum.

The decision was leaked to a Hebrew website. It won’t be official for several days.

israel opera

The finalists were announced tonight:

Ziyu He Male 16 China
Yu-Ting Chen Female 20 Taiwan
Jeein Kim Female 20 South Korea
SongHa Choi Female 16 South Korea


Yu-Ting Chen


Two Boston University students have filed charges of sexual harassment against the music professor and French horn virtuoso, Eric Ruske.

The women, Erin Shyr and Maria Currie, accuse Ruske of harassing them in person and via e-mail and text messages, including asking for photos of them. Ruske allegedly harassed Currie in 2013, then Shyr the following year.

Eric Ruske is an internationally known and widely recorded virtuoso, who has taught at BU for 25 years. He has not responded to the allegations and is believed to be travelling.

Presumptions of innocence apply.

eric ruske

The Academy of St Martin in the Fields has announced the death of Alan Loveday, one of its founding members and the soloist on its cornerstone 1969 recording of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons.

Alan, a convivial New Zealander, was 88.


alan loveday record

Announcement from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields

It is with great sadness that the Academy of St Martin in the Fields announces the passing of violinist Alan Loveday on 12 April. He was 88.

Alan Loveday was a long-time member of the Academy from 1965. He is best known for his landmark 1969 recording of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons with the Academy and Sir Neville Marriner, which remains a benchmark to this day. The recording sold over 500,000 copies, resulting in the Academy’s first ever gold disc.

Born in New Zealand in 1928, he married the pianist Ruth Stanfield and together they had two children; musician Ian, who passed away in 2009, and daughter Rosalind, affectionately known as Buz. He was also grandfather to two grandchildren, Molly and Daniel.

Academy founder and Life President Sir Neville Marriner has this morning paid personal tribute to his great friend: “Alan was a close personal friend from the age of 14. Looking back over his career he was probably the most unacknowledged and yet unexploited virtuoso violin player in England. As perhaps the most distinguished pupil of Albert Sammons he affected my life in music more than any other violin player in my life. For many years we worked together in the Loveday-Marriner-Hopkins trio and then subsequently he became one of the most distinguished members of the Academy. In our profession he will be very much missed, but very much more so by me as a friend.” 

Elim Chan, winner of the 2014 Donatella Flick LSO Conducting Competition, has been named music director at NorrlandsOperan in Umeå, Sweden.

Elim, who is 29 and from Hong Kong, remains assistant conductor at the London Symphony Orchestra until the end of the season.


elim chan

The country’s leading soprano has jumped into the row in which Johan Kobborg and Alina Cojocaru have been forced out of the national opera. It’s not clear which side she backs:
“Imi doresc si fac atenti pe toti organizatorii de festivaluri, concerte si directori de institutii artistice din Romania ca mai intai artistii romani sa fie respectati in tara lor, asa cum tara lor respecta, intotdeauna, artistii straini invitati si care sunt de aceeasi mare valoare ca si noi, practica valabila in toate tarile cu traditii culturale in toata lumea.

“I would like to make sure they understand all the festivals and concert promoters, and also the managers of the artistic institutions from Romania, that in the first place, the Romanian artists have to be respected in their own country, forever, [with the same respect they receive] the foreign guest artists which have the same great value as we have, which is a common practice in all the countries with cultural traditions from all over the world.

angela gheorgiu

Rather less ambiguous is a statement by Ileana Iliescu, former darling of Romanian Ballet:


“Ce a ajuns astăzi compania noastră de balet, condusă de un străin, danezeul Johan Kobborg, cel care impune balerinilor să vorbească engleză, el refuzând limba țării în care „lucrează”?


‘Where it is now our ballet company, leaded by a foreign citizen, the Danish Johan Kobborg, the one who impose the dancers to speak in English, as he refuses to speak the language of the country where he works?’


UPDATE: We credited Ms Gheorghiu with too much ambiguity. Her Facebook post places her firmly behind the nationalist reformers:

Angela Gheorghiu sustine reformarea Operei Nationale Bucuresti sub noua sa conducere

Urmaresc de mai multe zile cu stupoare, ingrijorare, dar si cu mare speranta evenimentele de la Opera Nationala Bucuresti. Impreuna cu colegi romani din tara si din strainatate ne-am alaturat maestrului Tiberiu Soare si am salutat numirea sa la conducerea operei bucurestene. Am sperat ca, in fine – dupa multe decenii de dezolare – ar putea veni si momentul reformei pentru o institutie care trebuie sa redevina prima scena lirica a tarii.
De atunci, insa, sunt si suntem uimiti ca, in loc sa punem cu totii, de indata, umarul la proiectul atat de necesar de reintrare a Operei intr-un cadru legal si artistic de normalitate, asistam la sicane si boicoturi.
Am rugat foarte mult pe Presedintele Romaniei, domnul Klaus Iohannis, pe Primul Ministru, domnul Dacian Ciolos si pe Ministrul Culturii, domnul Vlad Alexandrescu sa analizeze cu mare atentie neregulile petrecute pana acum sub precedentele conduceri ale Operei Nationale Bucuresti si sa asigure conditiile in care institutia sa poata reveni la legalitate.
Artistii nu trebuie sa ceara sau, si mai grav, sa-si asume titluri inexistente, ci sa demonstreze cu intelepciune si tact tot ce sunt capabili sa faca cu talentul lor, mai ales in aceasta perioada dificila. Asteptam cu totii, de 26 de ani, o echipa artistica si manageriala inteligenta si cu dragoste fata de publicul din Romania, dar mai ales pentru toti artistii Operei si Operetei, doua institutii care trebuie sa renasca, fiecare in traditia si in teritoriul ei.
Sunt sigura ca Maestrul Tiberiu Soare, cu care am colaborat in Romania si in strainatate cu un succes real, ne va face pe toti artistii lirici, cei ce locuiesc in Romania sau in strainatate, sa ne unim si sa dorim sa ne reintoarcem deseori la Bucuresti, pe scena Operei Romane. Personal, visez la inca un ‘debut’ in cariera mea, pe scena Operei din Bucuresti, pe prima scena a tarii mele, unde pana acum nu am cantat niciodata o opera.
Indemn pe toti artistii romani, muzicieni si balerini, sa se reintoarca cu inima si talentul lor, in tara. Imi doresc si fac atenti pe toti organizatorii de festivaluri, concerte si directori de institutii artistice din Romania ca mai intai artistii romani sa fie respectati in tara lor, asa cum tara lor respecta, intotdeauna, artistii straini invitati si care sunt de aceeasi mare valoare ca si noi, practica valabila in toate tarile cu traditii culturale in toata lumea.

Romania este una dintre acele natii creative, ce au dat nume emblematice in cultura internationala, fapt dovedit si recunoscut pe plan mondial de peste o suta de ani. Abia astept sa ne revedem pentru o mare gala la Opera Romana din Bucuresti!


Michael Boder, the greatly experienced music director of Copenhagen’s Royal Theatre, says he cannot abide the constant pressure to make cuts.

‘When I became familiar with the cuts and was in no way been involved, I had to ask myself how I could sit with responsibility for something I had no opportunity to influence. And I must say that even so I would not be responsible. I would obviously like to have defended the orchestra, but it was all decided beforehand.’

Boder, 57, says he won’t renew his contract, which ends this summer. He’s out.


The programme is being announced in London as I write (in New York).

First out of the hat: Martha Argerich playing Liszt with Daniel Barenboim and the West/East Diwan here,

martha argerich

And Gergiev conducting the Munich Phil in Ustvolskaya… now that’s a Proms first.

And Mirga, the new CBSO music director, makes her London debut with Barbara Hannigan in a Hans Abrahmsen piece.

UPDATE: press release:

New Proms Director David Pickard introduces an innovative series Proms at … that explores spaces outside the Royal Albert Hall and Cadogan Hall. The series matches music to four venues across London with Shakespeare-inspired works by Purcell at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse at Shakespeare’s Globe in Southwark, Rossini’s Petite messe solennelleat The Chapel, Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, the music of Steve Reich at the Bold Tendencies Multi-Storey Car Park in Peckham and the return of the Proms to the Roundhouse in Camden with new work by British composer David Sawer.


The cello is put under the spotlight this summer with ten concertos ranging from Elgar’s Cello Concerto performed by Sol Gabetta on the First Night to the world premiere of Huw Watkins’s Cello Concerto written for and performed by his brother, Paul Watkins. 400 years since the death of Shakespeare, the Proms marks the anniversary with a broad survey of music inspired by the Bard from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet to Hans Abrahamsen’s let me tell you and extracts fromKiss Me, Kate.


In the year in which the Olympics are staged in Brazil, the Proms celebrates the music and musicians of Latin Americawith performances from the São Paulo and Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestras, pianists Martha Argerich andGabriela Montero, conductors Daniel Barenboim and Gustavo Dudamel, cellist Sol Gabetta and Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Flórez who appears at the Last Night of the Proms. The music of Villa-Lobos and Ginastera, who would have been 100 this year, also feature. A special Late Night Prom from the string players of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra and members of the São Paulo Jazz Symphony Orchestra promise to get everyone into the carnival spirit as they celebrate a century of Brazilian popular music.

A vital part of the Proms mission remains bringing classical music to new audiences, and youth music-making and youth audiences are a major focus this year.  The hugely popular CBeebies Proms return and there will be two Proms devoted to BBC Music’s Ten Pieces II, part of a ground-breaking nationwide initiative for schools designed to open up the world of classical music to primary and secondary school children. As part of a series of weekend matinee concerts aimed at family audiences, presenter Tom Service and conductor Nicholas Collon introduce and unpick Mozart’s Jupiter Symphony, played from memory by the Aurora Orchestra. With young musicians firmly at the centre of the festival, the world’s most famous classical concert, the Last Night of the Proms, opens with a BBC commission for former BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition winner Tom Harrold. The Proms Youth Ensemble also performs at the Last Night, side-by-side with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and 16 young singers take to the stage for Vaughan Williams’s Serenade to Music.

The season celebrates some of the world’s most eminent living composers including Steve Reich, Magnus Lindberg and Jörg Widmann as well as celebrating the birthdays of three leading British composers, Anthony Payne at 80, Colin Matthews at 70 and Sally Beamish at 60. The Proms remains firmly committed to new music with 30 premieres including 13 world premieres. The anniversaries of Satie and Dutilleux are also marked across the season. 

From gospel to Gershwin, the season presents a broad-ranging programme of music. Katie Derham presents the first everStrictly Prom with the help of professional dancers from the BBC Television series, musical giant Quincy Jones is joined by Jules Buckley and the Metropole Orkest to celebrate his extraordinary career and and John Wilson and his eponymous orchestra return to the Proms to mark the 120th anniversary of Ira Gershwin’s birth. A selection of handpicked singers from leading gospel groups come together for a Late Night Prom and Jamie Cullum returns to the Proms with the Heritage Orchestra, and special guests including emerging talent from BBC Music Introducing.

In the year that we lost two musical pioneers, the Proms pays tribute to Pierre Boulez and David Bowie in two Late Night concerts.


Star soloists taking to the stage include Martha Argerich, Juan Diego Flórez, Barbara Hannigan, Stephen Hough, Steven Isserlis, Sir András Schiff, Stuart Skelton, Bryn Terfel and Alisa Weilerstein. A platform is also given to the brightest young stars of the musical world with 132 artists and ensembles making their debut at the festival this year and no fewer than 15 current or former members of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists scheme performing at the festival. Many of the world’s finest orchestras and conductors also make a welcome return to the Royal Albert Hall stage including the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle,Budapest Festival Orchestra with Iván Fischer, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra with Herbert Blomstedt,Berlin Staatskapelle and West-Eastern Divan Orchestra with Daniel Barenboim and Dresden Staatskapelle with Christian Thielemann in his first performance at the Proms.


Chief Conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Sakari Oramo, opens and closes the festival, and in the 50th-anniversary year of his first appearance at the Proms, Bernard Haitink conducts Mahler’s Symphony No. 3 with theLondon Symphony Orchestra in what will be his 88th Prom. Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla makes her Proms debut, her first London appearance with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra before she becomes the orchestra’s Music Director in September.


In addition to the six BBC Performing Groups who are once again central to the festival with a total of 32 performances across the season, the rich wealth of the UK orchestral landscape is on show including performances from the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra,Hallé, London Philharmonic and London Symphony Orchestras, Philharmonia, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra and many of the UK’s chamber orchestras and ensembles.


In the spirit of its founding vision to make the best music available to the widest audience, every Prom is broadcast live onBBC Radio 3, and in 2016 BBC Radio 2 and Radio 6 Music each broadcast multiple Proms. Audiences will be able to watch the Proms on BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies and iPlayer. Proms Extra, the Saturday-evening magazine show, returns to BBC Two for its fourth season. 


David Pickard, Director, BBC Proms, says:

“I am hugely proud to be presenting my first season as Director of the BBC Proms. I cannot think of another festival anywhere in the world which offers such an extraordinary range of music performed by the world’s leading orchestras, conductors and soloists. The BBC’s ongoing support not only allows the Proms to reach millions through broadcasting, it also ensures that those attending concerts can hear the very finest performances at an astonishingly low cost. I look forward to continuing the founding vision of the Proms – to bring the best of classical music to the widest possible audience.”

Ballet-lovers and nationalisrs hurled angry slogans at each other over the resignation of the country’s leading dancer, a withdrawal provoked by rising nationalism at the opera house.

Watch. Weep.

alina cojocaru tears

The former D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, Royston Nash, has died, aged 82.

A Southampton lad, his activity beyond the world of Gilbert and Sullivan involved the BBC Concert Orchestra and other London ensembles.

In 1980 he migrated to Cape Cod to conduct an orchestra of part-timers which he turned fully professional. He led the orch for 27 years to his retirement, counting a Dream of Gerontius among his greatest successes.

Our condolences to the Nash family.



The Jackson Symphony Orchestra in Michigan has named a successor to its long-serving music director, Stephen Osmnod, who’s stepping down after almost four decades in the job.

The new guy is Matthew Aubin, a consultant to Amazon’s proto-Dudamel TV series.

matthew aubin

Here’s a heartwarming story from the hard streets of Montreal, Canada.

Mark Landry, a homeless man, woke yesterday to find his violin had been stolen. He played the instrument on the streets to stay alive and sane.

Mark created a placard ‘violon voler’. A passerby snapped it and posted the pic on social media.

Hours later, the Orchestre Métropolitain saw the message. They called the Maison du Violon, a local dealership. Between them, they got Mark a new violin, bow and case by the end of the day.

Good people.

Full story here.

violon voler