This is the original Clare Fisher string arrangement for the Prince penned song “Nothing Compares 2 U”, a song he wrote for The Family (on their self titled album).

This video features the original singer Paul Peterson & saxophonist Eric Leeds.

Apparently, Prince’s album Parade was named for the Erik Satie ballet score. Prince recorded most of the album in France, where he lived at the time.

The evidence is mounting… 



Unmissable video of an act of violin transmission.

heifetz perlman

It is reported that a retired milliner, Herta Groves, was knocked down and killed by a passing lorry as she left the Wigmore Hall after a concert.

Mrs Groves, who was 96, used to make hats for Her Majesty the Queen.

She reached England in 1938, after Hitler seized power in Vienna.


Martha Argerich, Riccardo Chailly and Filarmonica della Scala have agreed to play a free, open-air concert in the Piazza Duomo on June 12, at 9.30 pm.

chailly duomo

The programme:
Paul Dukas L’apprenti sorcier 

Igor Stravinsky L’oiseau de feu 

Maurice Ravel, Concerto per pianoforte e orchestra in sol maggiore

Filarmonica della Scala

Riccardo Chailly, conductor

Martha Argerich, piano

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

In May 2015, visibly frail, the august Nikolaus Harnoncourt stood before his Concentus Musicus Wien and directed two Beethoven symphonies in a reading that followed closely what the composer had written in his score. If Beethoven gave a primitive horn an impossible low D to play, that’s how Harnoncourt wanted it played and not, as others do, switched it to the bassoon. It’s a vital question, he said, of ‘whether it is possible to achieve your goals’.

harnoncourt lebrecht

Read here and here.

The Economist publishes a fine article today (by Elisabeth Braw), extolling the virtues of Fazioli pianos. Many concert artists, the paper maintains, are switchig over from Steinway.

One is Daniil Trifonov, whose Fazioli preference is an open secret backstage even though he remains officially a Steinway Artist.

Elisabeth Braw adds: ‘Angela Hewitt, a renowned interpreter of Bach, performs on Fazioli instruments whenever possible. “The action is incredibly responsive to every variation in touch, and everything I imagine in my head I can produce with my fingers,’ she explains. ‘Other pianos can be very beautiful but are less interesting, because the sound cannot be varied to such an extent as on a Fazioli.’

So should Steinway be worried? Read here.

trifonov wrist2


The eye-catching Catalan director brings his Carmen to San Francisco this month, his Forza del Destino to the Met in 2017-18.

Carmen, a staple at ENO since 2012, is the one set in Franco’s Spain where soldiers could do with women more or less as they pleased. Not terribly shocking.

Still, they’re getting excited in San Fran: That is why San Francisco Opera’s premiere of a Bieito production is so important. This is not just a violent, sexy production of Carmen; it’s the possibility of a different approach to opera — an approach that will help opera survive as a relevant medium by combining stunning, old scores with modern social commentary. San Francisco Opera is taking a brave first step; it’s up to us to attend, applaud and ask for more.


eno carmen

Bieito’s Carmen will also be staged at the Boston Opera House on September 23, 2016.

Peter Phillips has, after 33 years, written his last column for the Spectator.

‘Things have moved on from my habitual think pieces, outraged rants, ad hominem demolition of palpable idiots written in the back of aeroplanes,’ he reflects.

Obviously it didn’t pay well enough for him to travel business class.

Phillips is a busy choral conductor and entrepreneur, founder of the Tallis Scholars.


The New York Post today names the woman believed to be the reason of Jed Bernstein’s dismissal as president of Lincoln Center. She was some 30 years his junior.

The paper further alleges that, having ‘plucked her from the chorus’, he twice gave her promotions to key posts at the Center.

Both were single at the time and the relationship is now said to be over. The woman has kept her job. ‘Lincoln Center is fully supportive of her, and she is remaining with the organization,’ a source told the Post.

Report here.

lincoln center

I just got to tell ‘er, man….

David Barnard asked Myriam Mazouzi, Director of the Academy of the Paris Opera, what chance an Australian has of gaining a place at the prestigious academy.  Her reply:

‘None – there are so few places and the standard is so high across Europe, why would we even consider looking to Australia? In Europe, Australia is not regarded as a country for opera and we would most likely spend the whole time bringing the Australian artist up to standard in the basics of style and language first – we don’t have time for this.’

Read more here.

joan sutherland norma

baden baden mephisto

Stage design for Mefistofele at the Baden Baden Whitsun Festival.