A bold claim here from Stanley Dodds, violinist and media chairman of the Berlin Philharmonic. Some, notably in London, might dispute that claim.

Dodds goes on to describe the process by which candidates are selected and what the orchestra expects from a conductor:

Ein guter Dirigent muss während eines Konzerts in der Lage sein, das Orchester zu begeistern, und für magische Momente sorgen. Wenn man von einem unvergesslichen Konzerterlebnis spricht – dann hat der Dirigent auch eine sehr wichtige Rolle dabei gespielt und dafür gesorgt, dass der Funke überspringt. Ein guter Dirigent setzt die Kräfte der Musiker frei.

More here.

bild petrenko

The Courthouse News Service has the full story here.

David Garrett is being sued for $20 million – not $12m as previously reported – and the case is being heard under his real name, David Christian Bongartz, in Manhattan Supreme Court.

The details are lurid. Think before you click.


press release:

On Monday 27 June at St John’s Smith Square, a major memorial will be held for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies who died on 14 March 2016.

The free morning event, Max: A Celebration, will comprise a mixture of musical performances and spoken tributes and present an opportunity for everyone, from friends and colleagues to the general public, to pay their respects to the late composer.

The programme will include Maxwell Davies’ Seven Brightnesses, Lullabye for Lucy andFarewell to Stromness as well as a previously unheard work String Quartet Movement 2016 and The Golden Solstice which received its world premiere last month as part of the Battle of Jutland celebrations. Performers include Centre for Young Musicians Chamber Choir conducted by Lynda Richardson, the Behn Quartet and clarinettist Charlie Dale-Harris.

Speakers will include Royal Opera House Music Director Antonio Pappano (who will also perform Farewell to Stromness), composers Robert Saxton, Sally Beamish, Alexander Goehr, actor Andrew Branch and architect Giuseppe Rebecchini.


Event details
Monday 27 June 2016, 11.30am
St John’s Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HA

Max: A Celebration

Centre for Young Musicians Chamber Choir
Lynda Richardson
Behn Quartet
Charlie Dale-Harris
Antonio Pappano piano
Maxwell Davies String Quartet Movement 2016 (world premiere); Seven Brightnesses; Lullabye for Lucy; The Golden Solstice (London premiere); Farewell to Stromness


maxwell davies young suzie maeder

From Daniil Trifonov, Tchaikovsky Competition gold medallist:

I don’t often express myself on non-musical topics, but what has happened in London Underground has forced me to speak out.

Penguin’s latest ad campaign has unattributed quotes from classic books and includes this one by Turgenev. Taken out of context and with its original meaning changed I find this offensive and nothing short of racist – of course Russians need liberalism, progress and principles as much as any other nation. Please visit change.org here to add your name to the petition calling for the ad’s removal and official apology:


It’s a shame that established publishing house tries to make money in such cheap and pitiful way.

trifonov penguin

From the petition:

A set of posters have been placed in London Underground by Penguin Random House, which read:

“Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles.. Useless words! A Russian doesn’t need them!” 

Penguin Random House took a quote from the novel “Fathers and Sons” by Ivan Turgenev and disgracefully twisted the original meaning of it. The original quote is:

“Aristocracy, liberalism, progress, principles … what a lot of foreign … and useless words. A Russian would not want them as a gift”

Penguin Random House has intentionally cited the quote to take a true meaning out of context and have intentionally chosen NOT to include the author and the name of the book on their poster.

A New York-based magnate has decided to give 25,000 Swiss francs each to four chaps who run music ventures.

Just like that.

The Vendome Prize has decided to honour four music administrators with the Vendome Awards of SFr25,000 each. The awards have been given to Raymond Trenkler (Founder and Director of the Kronberg Academy), Michael Haefliger (Artistic and Executive Director of the Lucerne Festival), John Gilhooly (Artistic Director of the Wigmore Hall, London) and Martin Engstroem (Founder and Executive Director of the Verbier Festival). 

The Prize is paid out by Alexis Gregory, Russian-American owner of The Vendome Press arthouse.

Why the prize? we asked. Because he wants to.


Wigmore Hall


It has been announced today that this summer’s Ring will be screened by Sky Arts HD in Germany, Austria, the UK, Ireland and Italy.

The transmission will be over the July 30-31 weekend in the UK and Ireland.

Stephen Fry will present.

No chance of Rupert appearing as Alberich.

WNO's Paul Bunyan Stephen Fry credit Richard Hubert Smith 8210

Katie Wagner says: ‘I look forward to the cooperation with Sky and really appreciate its commitment. With this, many people can enjoy the performances and I believe it’s in the spirit of Richard Wagner to reach as many arts fans as possible. This is a large and prestigious project, realised with state-of-the-art technology.’

The death is reported of Maria Luisa Cioni, a celebrated Lucia at La Scala and a sought-after performer at most other European opera houses. She was 93.

For sports fans her greatest fame was as wife of the champion cyclist Adolfo Leoni, who died young in 1970.

maria luisa cioni

This is the new trailer from the London-based Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment.

Wrong, wrong, hopelessly wrong.



Her Majesty the Queen, who has turned 90, has allowed BBC Radio 2 to publish her ten favourite pieces of music (below).

All of them are pop songs or church hymns.

No great surprises there. But in a recent award of the Queen’s Medal for music to the composer Oliver Knussen, she detained Ollie for several minutes with childhood reminiscences of Edward Elgar, who wrote a Nursery Suite for the birth of her sister and for whom she retained a lifelong affection. She followed that recollection with memories of six generations of British composers. Her Maj knows much more music than BBC Radio 2 can possibly imagine.

knussen queen elizabeth

The Queen’s 10 favourite pieces of music (according to Radio 2):

– Oklahoma! by Howard Keel

– Anything You Can Do (Annie Get Your Gun) by Dolores Gray and Bill Johnson

– Sing by Gary Barlow and the Commonwealth Band featuring the Military Wives

– Cheek to Cheek by Fred Astaire

– The White Cliffs Of Dover by Vera Lynn

– Leaning on a Lamp-post by George Formby

– Praise, My Soul, The King Of Heaven (hymn)

– The Lord is My Shepherd (hymn)

– Lester Lanin Medley

– Regimental March Milanollo

knussen queen elizabeth

photo: David Sillitoe/press pool

We have received distressing news of the death, after a debilitating illness, of Charles M. Rodier, the legal adviser to EMI Classics for more than quarter of a century.

Charlie was a charming and unusual man, a lawyer who liked to say yes.

He facilitated archival access to writers like myself and assisted in the many minor difficulties that arise with peripheral copyright holders.

He loved music and those who make it.

He will be widely missed, like the label he served.


Vesa Siren, chief critic of Helsingin Sanomat, has sent us a short video interview clip with Domingo after he sang in St Petersburg last month.

Vesa asked him why he carries on singing at 75.

Placido’s reply: ‘The big passion that I have. I love so much to have the contact with the public, with the music that I have loved all my life, so I carry on singing.’

He goes on to tell Vesa that he’s learning a role in Verdi’s Luisa Miller.

Watch video here.

placido-domingo curtain

Domingo: ‘You pitiful old man, a shadow of what you were’

Following the Italian government intervention to save the European Union Youth Orchestra from death at the hands of the EU Commission, we learn today that the Orchestra Mozart, the last ensemble founded by Claudio Abbado, will reassemble in January after a three-year silence.

The orchestra was wound up a few days before Abbado died after a bank withdrew sponsorship.

Bernard Haitink will conduct the first concert of the revived band in Bologna on January 6.