The Italian pianist Beatrice Rana, already signed to Warner, has quit the IMG warehouse to join boutique agency, Primo Artists, for north and South America.

Primo is run by ex-IMG high-flier Charlotte Lee. She looks after Itzhak Perlman, Nicola Benedetti and some others.

beatrice rana

Beatrice, a silver-medallist at the Cliburn and a BBC New Gen Artist, is planning to devote much of her next season to Bach’s Goldberg Variations. On the piano, which is considered the opposite of cool.

Hot, in fact.

Thrilling news for residents of New Amsterdam York.

The incoming conductor of the New York Philharmonic has pledged to promote contemporary Dutch music with the orchestra.

Van Zweden was presented as Ambassador for New Dutch music at the Classical Next meeting in Rotterdam.

He said: ‘Met mijn benoeming als chef-dirigent van de New York Philharmonic is het een grote wens van mij om Nederlandse eigentijdse muziek nog nadrukkelijker te presenteren. Ik hou van nieuwe muziek. Dat draag ik graag uit. Ook daarom vind ik dit ambassadeurschap ontzettend eervol. Nederlandse muziek van de 20e en 21e eeuw verdient een plek in het repertoire van orkesten, ensembles en festivals. Ik wil er serieus werk van maken. In New York, maar ook met de andere prachtige orkesten waarmee ik het geweldige werk van nieuwe Nederlandse componisten onder de aandacht kan brengen.’

Or: ‘With my appointment as chief conductor of the New York Philharmonic it is a big wish of mine even more to emphatically present Dutch contemporary music. I like new music. … Dutch music of the 20th and 21st centuries deserves a place in the repertoire of orchestras, ensembles and festivals. I will take it seriously. In New York, but also with other great orchestras with which I can bring the great work of new Dutch composers in the spotlight.’

van zweeden1

Graham Parker, general manager of New York radio station WQXR, has been appointed president of Universal Music’s classical labels in the US.

Graham, 46, ran the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for almost eight years before taking up the radio job in 2010. British-born, he entered the music industry through an assistant’s job with the New York Philharmonic.

His staff are being told about the move at this moment.

By some weird PR coincidence, the New York Times ran a soft feature about Graham at the weekend.

graham parker

Press release coming up:

SANTA MONICA, May 24, 2016 – Universal Music Group, the world leader in music-based entertainment, today named Graham Parker, General Manager of WQXR, the most-listened to classical music radio station in the U.S. and a 2016 Peabody Award-winner for its Q2Music podcast, as President of its legendary roster of U.S. classical music labels, part of the Verve Label Group.

In this new role, Parker will oversee UMG’s U.S. classical music labels including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca Records, Decca Classics, Mercury Classics, and distributed label ECM. Parker will be based in New York and report jointly to Dickon Stainer, President and CEO of Global Classics for Universal Music Group, and Danny Bennett, recently appointed President & CEO of Verve Label Group.
To accelerate Universal Music’s classical music strategy, Parker will serve as the U.S. lead for the company’s classical music initiatives to develop and promote emerging classical recording artists and composers on a global scale, working closely with Stainer, David Joseph, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music UK & Ireland and Frank Briegmann, President & CEO Central Europe & Deutsche Grammophon. In close co-ordination with this global team, Parker will develop digital strategies to bring U.S. Universal artists to the widest audiences possible, will deepen relationships with the leading ensembles and venues throughout the U.S., and explore new business opportunities for today’s 21st century artists.

While at New York Public Radio, Parker oversaw and implemented ambitious initiatives to serve New York’s thriving classical music scene with new programming, digital offerings, bold community engagement projects, and a robust roster of live events and live broadcasts including performances from Lang Lang to Rufus Wainwright, from its own studios to the stages of Carnegie Hall.

Bennett said, “Universal Music is home to some of the world’s finest classical recordings and composers in history, as well as the world’s cutting edge new artists. With Graham, we’re adding an executive who has a proven track record of having his finger on the pulse of classical music and opera and who has made the genre accessible to a whole new audience through groundbreaking programming and digital innovation. I’m looking forward to working with Graham and together making an indelible impact in the world of classical music.”

Added Stainer, “I’m delighted to welcome someone of Graham’s stature and visionary approach to help expand classical music’s reach and audience in the U.S. His arrival marks a moment of excitement and opportunity for artists and music fans in America and across the world.”


“I’ve devoted my life to classical music and bringing this incredible genre to as wide an audience as possible,” said Parker. “The opportunity to not only join the legendary catalog of Deutsche Grammophon and Decca, but to also be on the forefront of identifying the classical superstars of tomorrow, was too incredible to pass up. I’m humbled by this opportunity and I’m looking forward to working with Danny, Dickon, Michele Anthony and the entire UMG team.”

We’ve got 230 names in the hat and are starting the draw for a free season’s livestreaming now.

simon rattle vienna



The winners:

1 William James Dundas

2 Andrew Condon

3 Rosalind Porter

4 Cristina Monica Hauser

5 Alexandra Ivanoff

Congratulations to the lucky winners. You will be contacted shortly by the Vienna State Opera with details of your free subscription.

Thanks to all who took part. Watch this space for more offers…… coming soon.

Statement published just now by the Berliner Philharmoniker:

The imminent disbanding of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) from 1  September 2016 due to lack of funding from the EU would symbolically be a cultural and political disaster second to none and a terrible indictment against a background of increasing nationalistic and anti-EU tendencies.

As a result, we call on the political leaders and representatives of the European Union to do everything possible to ensure the survival of this artistically and politically irreplaceable institution.

Since its inception in 1976, the EUYO has been one of the world’s most prestigious orchestras and brings together the most talented young musicians from all 28 EU member states to create a unique orchestra. In the 40 years of its existence, more than 3,000 young musicians from all EU member states have performed in the EUYO.

Through working together with world-renowned conductors and soloists, including our former chief conductors Claudio Abbado and Herbert von Karajan, the orchestra has acquired an outstanding reputation over the years in terms of musical education, and is a unique reservoir of young talent for all the world’s leading orchestras. For example, no less than nine colleagues of our orchestra are former members of the EUYO.

The impressive music educational aspect is nevertheless secondary to the symbolism of this unique EU cultural institution, where the idea of a peaceful and united Europe is lived out and made tangible to the public.

The work in this collective of 140 members provides a perfect example of how different nationalities and languages can be purposefully united towards a joint solution despite differing viewpoints and perceptions.

Sir Simon Rattle                                                          Martin Hoffmann

Chief conductor of the Berliner Philharmoniker/General manager of the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation

Ulrich Knörzer Knut Weber

Members of the Orchestra Board Member of the Orchestra Board


berlin philharmonie

Auf Deutsch:

Die Berliner Philharmoniker wenden sich gegen die drohende Auflösung des Jugendorchesters der Europäischen Union (EUYO)

Die aufgrund mangelnder finanzieller Mittel drohende Auflösung des Jugendorchesters der Europäischen Union (EUYO) zum 1. September 2016 seitens der EU ist – gerade vor dem Hintergrund zunehmender nationaler, europafeindlicher Tendenzen – ein in seiner Symbolik wohl kaum zu übertreffender kulturpolitischer GAU und ein großes Armutszeugnis.

Daher fordern wir die verantwortlichen Politiker und Repräsentanten der Europäischen Union auf, alles zu unternehmen, um ein Weiterleben dieser künstlerisch und politisch unersetzlichen Institution sicherzustellen.

Seit seiner Gründung im Jahr 1976 gehört das EUYO zu den prestigeträchtigsten Orchestern weltweit und vereint die größten Nachwuchstalente aller 28 EU-Mitgliedsstaaten zu einem einzigartigen Klangkörper. In den 40 Jahren seines Bestehens haben mehr als 3000 junge Musiker aus allen EU-Mitgliedsstaaten im EUYO musiziert.

Durch die Zusammenarbeit mit weltweit renommierten Dirigenten und Solisten, darunter unsere ehemaligen Chefdirigenten Claudio Abbado und Herbert von Karajan, hat sich das Orchester im Laufe der Jahre eine herausragende Reputation hinsichtlich der musikalischen Ausbildung erworben und ist ein einzigartiges Nachwuchsreservoir aller international führenden Orchester. So sind allein in unserem Orchester neun Kolleginnen und Kollegen ehemalige Mitglieder des EUYO.

Dieser beeindruckende musikpädagogische Aspekt wird durch die Symbolik der einzigen EU-eigenen Kulturinstitution noch überragt: Hier wird die Idee eines friedlichen und vereinten Europas gelebt und für die Öffentlichkeit erfahrbar gemacht. Die Arbeit in diesem Kollektiv aus 140 Mitgliedern veranschaulicht auf ideale Weise, wie trotz verschiedener Nationalität und Sprache differierende Standpunkte geäußert, wahrgenommen und zielführend vereint werden können.

Someone in Bristol has a thing about politicians who can’t tell truth from lies.

source: Bristol 24/7

The graffito went up overnight in front of the Carriageworks.

It might possibly be the work of Banksy, who has been much celebrated in the city.

Don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.

bob dylan

portrait by Don Hunstein (c) LebrechtMusic&Arts

Matthew Mehaffey, associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, has been named music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, choral adjunct of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.


He succeeds Betsy Burleigh and will shuttle between the two jobs.

Canada woke this morning to the sad news that Gord Downie, lead singer of Tragically Hip, has final-stage cancer.

Downie, 52, is something of a heritage figure, celebrating all things Canadian in his songs.

Very sad to share this news.


gord downie

Sotheby’s are today selling the first contract for the publication of the St Matthew Passion.

Not signed by the composer, who had been dead for 80 years by the time Mendelssohn rediscovered the work in 1829.

Nor by his family.

Our friend Stephen Roe reports:

The document is completely unknown and unrecorded in the extensive literature on Bach and his Passion and it reveals how quickly the work was edited and printed after Mendelssohn’s concerts. It is the contract between the musician and journalist Adolf Bernhard Marx and the publisher Adolf Martin Schlesinger.

It is dated 8 April 1829, that is to say, between the second and third performances of Mendelssohn’s version. The contract is signed by both Marx and Schlesinger and was retained by the publisher in his archive, where it remained for almost two hundred years, until its recent discovery.

Read on here.

bach in eisenach

The board of the Middletown Symphony Orchestra, in Butler County, Ohio has announced that next season will be its last.

The music director for the past 35 years has been Carmon DeLeone and the orchestra has 60 professional musicians on its books.

Steve Ifcic, board chairman, said: ‘Although a decision of this nature never comes easily, the fact is that there are many choices and much competition for an individual’s time and financial resources today, and we certainly took that into consideration.’

The remaining endowment will be spent on supporting a youth orchestra.


Sarah Maley plays the violin with the Middletown Symphony Orchestra during the Labor Day Pops Concert Monday, September 1, 2008 at Woodside Arboretum in Middletown, Ohio.  Staff photo by Nick Graham

The Tonhalle in Zurich is literally falling to pieces. It needs urgent refurbishment. The gloomy public areas could easily be mistaken for the city morgue.

But before anyone puts up a scaffold, the good people of Zurich get to vote on the expenditure in a referendum. The Swiss People’s Party have come out in opposition, saying it’s far too expensive.

The vote could go either way.

Meanwhile the Tonhalle orchestra and its conductor Lionel Bringuier are out canvassing votes.

Whatever decision is made, it will be absolutely democratic.

new Zurich foyer, architect’s design

That’s how London should go about it. Of course, it bloody won’t.