Irene Jordan, who opened the 1947 Met season as Lakmé before upgrading to coloratura soprano, has died in Dalton MA at the great age of 97.

Before she even won her Met debut she was spotted by NBC and awarded her own weekly show, Songs by Irene.

Leonard Bernstein nominated her in 1961 as one of the Top Ten American Performing Artists.

She went on to marry Arnold Caplan, a first violinist in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, and have four children.


irene jordan

Apparently, he will be working with a specialist classical chief, whose appointment will be announced shortly. The vacancy arose as a result of Elizabeth Sobol’s departure (for those are keeping score). The other point to note is that classics will be run out of New York, not LA. Anyway, here’re the press release that’s about to hit Billboard:

bennett junior





 Veteran Industry Executive Danny Bennett Named President & CEO


New Structure Reflects Deepened Commitment To Jazz and Classical Music


SANTA MONICA, May 19, 2016 – Universal Music Group (UMG), the world leader in music-based entertainment, today announced the formation of the Verve Label Group and appointed veteran industry executive Danny Bennett, a Grammy and Emmy Award-winning music, film and television producer, and long-time manager of his father, legendary singer Tony Bennett, as the label group’s President & CEO, effective immediately. 

The Verve Label Group will be comprised of Verve and UMG’s U.S. classical music labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Records, Decca Classics, Mercury Classics, and distributed label ECM. The new structure marks UMG’s continued investment in jazz and classical music and the company’s unwavering commitment to building upon its rich history in both genres, while also opening up new opportunities, developing global cross-over artists and delivering innovative jazz and classical experiences to fans.  The jazz and classical labels will maintain distinct A&R, marketing and promotions teams, while also leveraging UMG’s global reach to provide artists with deep resources and expertise to develop their careers.

Under Bennett’s leadership, Verve will relocate to New York, where the label was originally founded 60 years ago as home to jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz and Billie Holiday. With his proven strategic marketing skills, Bennett will expand the awareness and reach of UMG’s historic jazz and classical catalogue, and develop and promote emerging artists on a global scale.

Bennett will report to Michele Anthony, Executive Vice President of UMG. Bennett and Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics for Universal Music Group, will announce shortly a President of Verve Label Group’s classical music labels.

David Foster, one of the most successful record producers in history, who led the Verve label since 2012, has decided to return full-time to producing, and will continue to work closely with UMG’s labels and artists. Foster is currently producing albums for UMG artists Carla Bruni and Jordan Smith.  

In making the announcement, Michele Anthony said, “By forming the Verve Label Group and attracting an industry veteran of Danny’s stature and expertise, Universal Music is making a strong statement about the high value we place on building on our robust jazz and classical repertoire. We are committed to growing our presence in these genres even further and creating crossover successes that deliver artists to new audiences around the world. I want to thank David for the immense creative impact he had at Verve. On behalf of everyone here at UMG, we look forward to recording many more hit records with David for years to come.”

Bennett said, “Universal Music is home to the largest and most historically relevant jazz and classical recordings. It’s a tremendous honor, and I am humbled to be chosen to lead the newly formed Verve Label Group. I’m indebted to David Foster for leading the iconic Verve label and I look forward to working with him on many future productions. Additionally, I offer my profound appreciation to Lucian Grange and Michele Anthony for this amazing opportunity.”


Allan Evans has been out again with his microphone.

William Kapell was married to the extraordinary Dr. Anna Lou DeHavenon. Here is an interview with her and how she faced a stress-fraught performance when her husband was ordered by a Draculesque conductor to swallow an unwanted work.

Listen here.

william kapell

They have just signed him to record a substantial Bruckner series with the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, along with a Beethoven symphonic cycle with the Vienna Philharmonic and the Shostakovich symphonies in Boston.

Actually, even Karajan never signed so much away in a day.

Press release below.

nelsons nobel

Andris Nelsons, widely considered as one of today’s most charismatic and compelling conductors, signs an exclusive contract with Deutsche Grammophon. The announcement, made in Berlin on 19 May 2016, represents a major milestone in the Latvian artist’s recording career and prepares the way for three landmark projects.

Earlier this month, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and DG announced that their Grammy Award-winning Shostakovich project with Nelsons had paved the way for an extension to the yellow label’s ongoing series of live Shostakovich recordings, which will now encompass the composer’s complete symphonies and his opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District.

Advanced discussions are underway between Deutsche Grammophon, Nelsons and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig about a collaboration that will shed new light on the symphonies of Bruckner, redefining Bruckner’s very distinctive sound world.

In addition, Nelsons will record Beethoven’s complete symphonies with the Wiener Philharmoniker in the calendar years 2016-2019, and he returns to perform the complete Beethoven cycle in 2020, the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. “I am absolutely delighted to be substantially partnering with Deutsche Grammophon,” comments Andris Nelsons. “Deutsche Grammophon’s commitment to our Shostakovich cycle in Boston and the tradition, expertise, and excellence they bring to each recording has been so important to me. I look forward to partnering with Deutsche Grammophon, welcoming them into my musical family with the two extraordinary musical institutions of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig. Furthermore, I am so honoured to be invited to perform and record a Beethoven cycle with the Wiener Philharmoniker. These revelatory works by the genius composers of Shostakovich, Bruckner and Beethoven will be the focus for my upcoming recordings with three of the world’s greatest orchestras. I could not be happier – it is both a dream and an honour.”

A cri-de-coeur from the French harpsichordist Orhan Memed:

orhan memed

I’m one of the many students of Huguette Dreyfus whom Jory Vinikour mentions in his touching tribute and who finds himself utterly at a loss to imagine the musical world without her presence.

I feel compelled to write to point out with regret how few of her recordings have been reissued. A quick search on the ‘net brings up very little, with only the Bartok and the Bach Partitas released in the last 10 years.

I am probably one of the few who has in his possession the list that Huguette kept of her complete discography and I wanted to share it with you…in the hope that readers would see not only how extensive but also how varied it is… and alas how unlucky we are not to have the opportunity to hear these recordings. The Haydn Trios with Eduard Melkus, for example, are gems and I know how much Huguette cherished them as well.

Years ago, with her permission, I sought to track down what happened to the old Valois recordings. I found out that the stock (and rights) had been bought by Naive and when I approached them I was sent a polite e-mail to say that the stock was in a warehouse and no one had taken the time to organise and therefore impossible to retrieve. A more recent attempt back in 2014 was met with a similar response.

Would it be inappropriate to encourage readers to make their desire to have these recordings re-released known to Naive, Denon, etc.?
huguette dreyfus




J. HAYDN : Concerto pour clavecin et orchestre en sol majeur

avec l’orchestre de chambre Paul KUENTZ. (Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1971)


H. I. BIBER : “Sonates du Rosaire” pour violon et continuo avec Eduard MELKUS.

F. COUPERIN : Apothéose de Lully et de Corelli

J.M. LECLAIR Sonate “Le Tombeau” pour violon et continuo avec Eduard MELKUS.

A.VIVALDI : “Il Pastor Fido”, pour divers instruments et continuo.

A. CORELLI : Opus V : 12 Sonates pour violon et continuo, avec Eduard MELKUS. En deux disques. Réédité en C.D.

J.S. BACH : Les Six Suites Françaises pour clavecin.

“Capriccio sopra la lontananza del suo fratello dilettissimo”.

En deux disques. Réédité en C.D.

J.S. BACH : Les Six Suites Anglaises pour clavecin. En trois disques.

Réédité en C.D.

J.S. BACH : Les Six Sonates pour violon et clavecin, avec

Eduard MELKUS. En deux disques.

C.PH.E. BACH : Sonates – Rondos – Fantaisies – jouées sur un Hammerflügel.


J.PH. RAMEAU : Pièces de clavecin (Intégrale en trois disques).

J.PH. RAMEAU : Pièces de clavecin en concerts, avec Christian LARDE (flûte)

et Jean LAMY (viole de gambe).

(Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque Français 1964)

(Grand Prix des Discophiles 1964).

F. COUPERIN : Sixième et Onzième Ordres

F. COUPERIN : Anthologie de l’oeuvre pour clavecin en quatre disques

(Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1962).

comprenant 9 Ordres et les 8 Préludes de” l’Art de Toucher le


(Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque Français 1970).

D.SCARLATTI : Anthologie chronologique de 70 Sonates. Coffret de quatre


J.S.BACH : Quatre Toccatas pour clavecin.

J.S.BACH : La Musique de Chambre:

Enregistrement des Sonates pour violon, pour viole de gambe

et des oeuvres pour flûte avec le clavecin ou la basse continue,

avec G.F. HAENDEL (violon), Christian LARDE (flûte), Jean

LAMY (viole de gambe),Michel DEBOST (flûte) et Claude

MAISONNEUVE (hautbois).

Coffret de six disques.

J.M. LECLAIR : Les 9 Sonates pour flûte et continuo en deux disques, avec

Christian LARDE (flûte) et Jean LAMY (viole de gambe).

(Grand Prix de l’Académie du Disque Français 1968).

J. HAYDN : Seize Trios pour Hammerflügel (Pianoforte), violon et

violoncelle (sur instruments anciens) avec Eduard MELKUS et


Coffret de quatre disques.

(Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1972).

Chez ERATO :

Père Coelestin HARST : Pièeces de clavecin : le Troisième Ordre.

(Série Châteaux et Cathédrales : Strasbourg).

C.PH.E. BACH : Concerto en fa majeur pour clavecin et pianoforte avec

Robert VEYRON-LACROIX et l’Orchestre de

Chambre de la Radiodiffusion Sarroise dirigé par Karl


J.S. BACH : Participation à l’enregistrement intégral de “l’Art de la

Fugue” avec R. VEYRON-LACROIX et l’Orchestre de

Chambre de la Radiodiffusion Sarroise dirigé par Karl



W.F. BACH : Quatre concertos pour deux clavecins

J.CH. BACH avec Luciano SGRIZZI.


J.S. BACH : Les douze concertos pour clavecins et orchestre avec

Luciano SGRIZZI, Luigi-Ferdinando TAGLIAVINI,

Yannick LE GAILLARD et l’Ensemble Baroque de



(Une collection ERATO/RADIO FRANCE pour la musique française) :


hautbois, Bernard CAZAURAN, contrebasse et Bernard

BALET, percussion.

(Prix de la Nouvelle Académie du Disque 1994)


J.S. BACH : Participation à l’intégrale des concertos pour clavecin avec

Ruggero GERLIN et le Collegium Musicum de Paris dirigé par



Carlos SEIXAS : 14 Sonates pour clavecin (sous les auspices de la Fondation



W.A. MOZART : Sonates pour violon et clavecin avec Claire BERNARD.


Hugo DISTLER : Concerto pour clavecin et orchestre avec les Deutsche



Bela BARTOK : Extraits de “Mikrokosmos” au clavecin, en un disque.

(Grand Prix du Disque de l’Académie Charles Cros 1970);


W.A. MOZART : Les Six Sonates pour flûte et clavecin

KV 10-KV15, avec Andras ADORJAN.

C.PH.E. BACH : Quatre Sonates pour flûte et clavecin, avec Andras


J. S. BACH : Quatre Sonates pour flûte et clavecin et Trois Sonates

pour flûte et basse continue, avec Andras ADORJAN

(flûte), et Joachim RABE (viole de gambe).

J.S. BACH : Trois Sonates pour viole de gambe et clavecin, avec

Johannes FINK (viole de gambe).

J.S. BACH : Musique de clavecin : Concerto Italien en fa majeur

BWV 971

Fantaisie chromatique et fugue en ré mineur BWV 903

Fantaisie en ut mineur BWV 906

Prélude et fugue en la mineur BWV 894

J.S. BACH : Inventions et Sinfonies BWV 772/786.

D. SCARLATTI : 14 Sonates pour clavecin.

J.CH. BACH : 3 Concertos pour clavecin et orchestre avec les TOKYO


F. COUPERIN : 11e et 13 e Ordres.

W.A. MOZART : Concerto pour trois clavecins et orchestre KV 107 avec

Georges KISS et Olivier BAUMONT. Deux concertos

pour clavecin et orchestre avec la Capella Academica de

VIENNE dirigée par Eduard MELKUS.

J.S. BACH : Concerto en la mineur pour flûte, violon, clavecin et

orchestre BWV 1044 avec Andras ADORJAN (flûte) et

Jean-Jacques KANTOROW (violon) et le


par Kees BAKELS.

J.S. BACH : Six Partitas pour clavecin BWV 825/830 en trois C.D.

J.S. BACH : Ouverture à la Française – Prélude , Fugue et Allegro

en mi bémol majeur – Quatre duetti.

F. COUPERIN : Septième et Huitième Ordres.

C.PH.E. BACH : Deux sonates pour violon et clavecin

Fantaisie en fa dièse mineur pour violon et pianoforte.

W. FRIEDEMANN BACH : 9 Fantaisies pour clavier.

J.S. BACH : Les “Variations Goldberg” BWV 988

J.S. BACH : 16 transcriptions pour le clavecin de concertos de

compositeurs variés BWV 972/987. 2 C.D.

W.A. MOZART : Sonates et fantaisies sur fortepiano. 2 C.D.

J.S. BACH : Le “Clavier bien Tempéré” Volume 1 BWV 846/869.

2 C.D.

J.S. BACH : Le “Clavier bien Tempéré” Volume 2 BWV 870/893

2 C.D.



1962 : F. COUPERIN : 6è et 11è Ordres (Valois)

1970 : B. Bartok : Mikrokosmos au clavecin (Harmonia Mundi)

1971 : J. HAYDN : Concerto pour clavecin et orchestre en sol

majeur avec l’orchestre de chambre Paul Kuentz

(Deutsche Grammophon-Polydor).

1972 : J. HAYDN : Seize trios pour Hammerflügel (Pianoforte),

violon et violoncelle (sur instruments anciens)

avec E. Melkus et E. Vogt.

(Coffret de 4 disques) – (Valois).


J.S. BACH : Cinq disques (Archiv Produktion-Deutsche

J.S. BACH : Un disque (Denon-Nippon Columbia)

D. Scarlatti : Un disque (Denon-Nippon Columbia)



1964 : J.PH. RAMEAU : Pièces de clavecin en concerts, avec

Christian Lardé (flûte) et Jean Lamy

(viole de gambe – (Valois).

1968 : J.M.LECLAIR : Les 9 Sonates pour flûte et continuo en

deux disques, avec Christian Lardé

(flûte) et Jean Lamy (viole de gambe).

1970 : F. COUPERIN : Anthologie de l’oeuvre pour clavecin en

4 disques comprenant 9 Ordres et les 8

Préludes de “l’Art de Toucher le

Clavecin” (Valois).


1964 : J.PH. RAMEAU : Pièces de clavecin en concerts avec

Christian Lardé (flûte) et Jean Lamy

(viole de gambe) – (Valois)


1994 : HENRI DUTILLEUX : Participation au coffret de Musique de

Chambre avec “Les Citations” avec

Maurice BOURGUE (hautbois),

Bernard CAZAURAN (contrebasse) et

Bernard BALET (percussion).


Parmi de nombreux enregistrements notons:

Chez D.G.G. Archiv Produktion:

Suites françaises et anglaises de J.S.BACH

Chez Valois :

l’oeuvre pour clavecin de J.Ph.RAMEAU

Chez Harmonia Mundi :

un disque de Mikrokosmos de B.Bartok


des oeuvres de J.S.BACH, C.Ph.E.BACH, W.Friedemann BACH, J.C.BACH,


Les disques les plus récemment parus sont :

J.S.BACH: Le Clavier bien Tempéré (Vol.I et II) (DENON-NIPPON


H. DUTILLEUX : “Les Citations” pour hautbois, clavecin, percussions et contrebasse


Not the cellist, Sheku Kanneh-Mason, who won this year’s competition, but one of the other finalists, horn player Ben Goldscheider.

Read on:

ben goldscheider


Ben Goldscheider was due to study at the Berlin Hochschule next year, but his plans have just changed quite dramatically…

He has been approached by the Barenboim-Said Akademie (also in Berlin), a phenomenal new institution set up by Daniel Barenboim and the literary theorist and intellectual Edward Said. Their aim is to bring together the most gifted young musicians from the Middle East and Europe, and combine the study of music with the humanities. This part of the curriculum is designed to foster intellectual curiosity, critical reflection, and persuasive written and oral expression based on the study of philosophy, history and literature.

Ben’s name was put forward by Radek Baborak, and he was chosen to be Baborak’s one student from applicants all over the world (Europe, Asia, North America, South and America and North Africa and the Middle East).

He has been awarded a full tuition scholarship, weekly horn lessons with Baborak, piano lessons, conducting lessons, tutorship from Barenboim himself and playing opportunities with the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra and Berlin State Opera.

He will be one of the first 30 hand-picked students to start the Akademie which will formally open in October!

Ben says, “I feel hugely privileged to be selected for this incredible academy. As an extension of Daniel Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan project, I am unbelievably proud and excited to be in an institution that realises music goes beyond the four walls of a practice room. Along with the inevitable focus on solo performance, I will gain an extraordinarily wide ranging education, not only of music but also the history and philosophy of the periods studied. This rounded education is put into practice with projects that involve taking music to communities that have been shattered by the horrors of our modern world. There are no words to describe my excitement of approaching music from a new, wider perspective, to see how it can quite literally be people’s salvation in times of hardship and to learn and live with people that have a completely different outlook on life. I really think it is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity and intrinsically rewarding.”

(from June Emerson Wind Music Young Artists)

The Polish-French film composer Casimir Oberfeld died in January 1945 on a forced march westwards out of Auschwitz. His body was dumped on a Czech railway platform at Prelouc, and buried locally.

Yesterday, his son exhumed his remains and brought them for burial at the Paris-Montmartre cemetery.

Casimir Oberfeld

Among the many tragic ironies of Oberfeld’s life, one of his melodies was stolen by the Vichy regime and adapted as its authoritarian anthem.


Saad Lamjarred is currently the hottest commodity in North African music, with (according to Guiness) the most-viewed Arab video on Youtube, 325 million hits and climbing.


Fame, however, has its drawbacks. A woman who accused him of raping her in New York saw the video and reminded police, through her lawyers, that he had skipped bail six years ago.

Saad has some serious questions to answer.

Jonathan Conklin, one of two down-and-outs who murdered orchestral violinist Mary Whitaker in August 2014 at her upstate summer home, has been handed a 25-year jail sentence.

His accomplice, Charles Sanford, will be sentenced tomorrow.

The agony is almost over for Mary’s many friends, but the sense of loss will never fade.

mary whitaker

The serious German press is full of appreciations for Moidele Bickel, one of the most respected and influential theatre and opera costume designers of the past half century. Moidele died on May 16, aged 79.

She worked closely with Patrice Chéreau, Peter Stein, Luc Bondy, Robert Wilson and George Tabori.

moidele bickel
Moidele Bickel backstage with singer Vesselina Kassarova preparing Patrice Chéreau’s “Don Giovanni” at Salzburg Festival 1994 (c) Marion Kalter/LebrechtMusic&Arts

The Ruhr Triennale, founded by Gerard Mortier in 2002, is changing hands for the next three years.

The new team for 2018-20 are Stefanie Carp, intendant, and Christoph Marthaler, director-in-chief.

Stefanie, 6o, is a protégée of Marie Zimmermann, whose early death prevented her from becoming head of the Ruhr Triennale back in 2008.

carp marthaler

© Edi Szekely/Ruhrtriennale

On the eve of his last production, the outgoing music director is interviewed this morning by Anna Picard for the Times (firewall).

Two key quotes:

I said to them, if you can find £750,000 to protect the full-time chorus, I will stay. When I discovered that was not an option, I began to wonder whether the choice was neither financial nor artistic but political. And once I felt it might have been a political choice, I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to continue.


Mark Wigglesworth

I don’t think it is ever naive to stand up for what you believe in. I felt a huge responsibility to try and protect the musicians and the musical qualities of the company. I cannot imagine a music director who cares about his musicians feeling any different.

Defending the musical quality of the organisation is the job. It stands to reason that when you can no longer maintain that defence, you are no longer able to do your job. I have lost the debate, and am incredibly sad about that, both for myself and for what I believe to be the needs of the company.