The Spanish conductor Pablo Heras-Casado, 38, has announced the birth of his first so, Nicolas, with his wife, the television presenter Anne Igartiburu, 47.

Mother and child are doing well. We wish them much happiness.

heras cassado

The exuberant Emmanuel Ceysson – the man with the bright red harps – will be teaching at Mannes from September, he has announced.

Join the queue.


Marin Symphony has chosen Tod Brody, 62, as its next executive director.

Principal flute at the San Francisco Chamber Orchestra and a freelance in contemporary ensembles, Tod is presently executive director at go-ahead Opera Parallèle.

tod brody

The violinist Jennifer Koh (pictured) tells WQXR that she weighed the two options and chose New York for its creativity.

Our string quartet diarist Anthea Kreston is having a whale of a time in Berlin – at least she was until yesterday’s incident – and prefers smalltown environments to New York.

So where’s better for a fiddle person to live – a city that doesn’t break your arm to pay health care? or one that promises the sky and sometimes delivers?

Your call.


The word has been out on Swedish violinist Daniel Lozakovich ever since his Moscow concerto debut six years ago, at the age of nine.

Now, 15, he signed today to DG to record the Beethoven concerto.

They think he’s the next Anne-Sophie Mutter (who also signed at 15).

Daniel Lozakovitj

Author Salman Rushdie missed the world premiere of his first opera, Shalimar the Clown, in St Louis, it’s reported.

He had to be in New York that day for the wedding of son Zaf to London soprano Natalie Coyle.

We wish the family much happiness.

rushdie wedding

Here’s a fond memory of the dockworker-turned-heldentenor Alberto Remedios by Bill Leece, former music critic of the Liverpool Echo:

My colleague David Utting in the London office of the Liverpool Echo interviewed Alberto once in the run-up to Tristan at the Coliseum. The interview went very well – he was a friendly chap who held the Echo in high regard – and after he formal part was over, Alberto asked David if he was coming to the first night a few days later. Alas, no.

The grandees of English National Opera regarded the Echo as somewhat beneath them, and David was on too tight a budget to buy his own. “Hang on a minute.” He picked up the internal phone to the press office and cranked up the Scouse accent a couple of notches. “It’s Alberto here. If the Liverpool Echo doesn’t get press tickets for next Thursday, I’m not f***ing singing. OK?” The tickets were waiting at the door, and from then the end of the Echo’s London operation they remained on the door for every first night.”
alberto remedios

Alberto died on Saturday, aged 81.

reiner bust

Riccardo Muti with Hungarian sculptor Katalin Gerő whose bronze of Fritz Reiner, Chicago Symphony music director 1953-62, has been inaugurated in the Symphony Center lobby.

Jonathan Bloxham is the new Assistant Conductor at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.

Working closely with Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla and visiting conductors – as well as the CBSO’s Michael Seal and Simon Halsey – Jonathan will provide rehearsal notes and advise on balancing issues for main-season CBSO concerts at Symphony Hall.

Jonathan says: ‘I’m thrilled and honoured to be joining the CBSO family next season. It’s a very exciting step for me and my career as a conductor. I can’t wait to start working with and learning from Mirga, Michael, Simon and the Orchestra.’

jonathan bloxham

The Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO) will make a debut, six-town UK tour this summer.

Conducted by Sian Edwards, they will play Perth, Glasgow, Leeds, Birmingham Cardiff and London’s Royal Festival Hall.

Propaganda alert: The press release below is infused with PLO dogma.

palestinian youth orchestra

The UK welcomes the Palestine Youth Orchestra (PYO) for the first time this summer. Under the baton of Sian Edwards, the young orchestra will perform at leading venues across the country, as part of their first UK tour culminating at London’s Royal Festival Hall, to bring their message of inspiration and humanity, in spite of international political turmoil.

This highly anticipated series of concerts follows on from last year’s tour of France, performances in Germany, Italy, Jordan, Greece, Oman, Syria, Bahrain, and Lebanon, and a critically acclaimed performance by a smaller ensemble of the PYO (the Palestine Strings) with Nigel Kennedy at the BBC Proms in 2013.

Established by the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music in 2004, the PYO was launched with the vision of bringing together young Palestinian musicians from around the world in a high-quality orchestral ensemble, and delivering their message of inspiration and humanity to audiences worldwide.

The 85 musicians, comprising students and high-level amateurs aged 14 to 26 from all over Palestine and the Palestinian diaspora, will travel to the UK from over 10 countries to embark on a six-city tour, showcasing their incredible drive, passion for music, and resilience in the face of adversity.

Unable to rehearse together at home, the PYO will meet and rehearse at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland between 18 July and 24 July. This year they are joined by the Palestinian vocalist, flute player, and composer Nai Barghouti – a rising star of Arabic music, after her recent acclaimed performances at the Montreux Festival and the UN Headquarters in New York – and by several students from leading British conservatoires.

Equally at home with Western and Arabic repertoire, the PYO maintains a unique position amongst youth orchestras internationally. On their first UK tour, they will perform music by Beethoven, the pop-inspired Metal by British composer Graham Fitkin, songs made famous by legendary Arab singers Fayrouz and Om Kolthoum, and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition.

Sian Edwards, conductor, said“I am delighted to be working with the Palestine Youth Orchestra again, having conducted some of their earliest tours and witnessed the exciting development of the orchestra on every level. The excellent support of the ESNCM, without which none of the orchestral projects would be possible, combined with the generous input of guest tutors and staff, creates a wonderful atmosphere that enables the young musicians to perform with a special passion and commitment.”

Suhail Khoury, General Director of the Edward Said National Conservatory of Music, said: “The young Palestinians are very eager to show their talent to British audiences and to illustrate the true Palestine, its culture and the humanity of its people.”

Lord Cope of Berkeley, Chairman of Palmusic UK, said: “This tour will be a wonderful personal experience for young musicians who normally live such restricted lives and a giant step in their musical development. Palmusic strives to help music open hearts and minds to Palestinian culture and open new doors.”


Anthea Kreston, American violinist in the Artemis Quartet, had her violin stolen yesterday afternoon on the Berlin-to-Freiburg train. Last night, she went on stage with the quartet, playing a borrowed instrument. Afterwards, sleepless and resilient, our weekly diarist Anthea went online to tell Slipped Disc readers how she coped.


harold and maude

Yesterday afternoon, as I was taking the train with my quartet to Freiburg from Berlin, my violin was stolen. The train was searched, hours were spent in the police station, and when I arrived at the hall for the concert, four incredible and generous violinists were waiting for me, offering their violins for the quickly approaching concert. The details mimic other similar events, but my personal reaction was different than I would have expected.

This violin, a 1928 Carl Becker from Chicago (the first family of makers in the USA – often referred to as the Strads of the States) was a gift from my grandfather. It has been by my side since age 14 – has spent more time with me than any person or thing. It is truly my sidekick. It has my voice – my Chicago accent – and it has stood the test of time and held its ground in concert and competition against many a mightier and loftier instrument. It is a fighter’s instrument with a warm, powerful dark bottom and a top sound which can cut through anything. It is tender and bold, quirky and reliable. It is me.

As I was playing the concert, many things were rushing through my head. This loss, in many ways, sums up my experiences since January. Let go, be open, be yourself no matter what the circumstance.  My voice – all of our musical voices – exists independent of any physical thing. We would be the same musicians if we had an injury, lost our instrument, were in a coma. It is inside. By the time I was part-way through the Shostakovich, I could hear myself in the new violin, coming out slowly.

I started thinking of a man I once met at a concert in upper state New York. He was from Egypt and had a refugee childhood – going from country to country, living hand to mouth. His parents, white collar workers, did everything from working in belt factories to selling food in the streets to survive. He told me what they said – “we can’t give you a home or possessions, but we can help you learn every language of every country we go to, and this will be your tool. Your future.  It isn’t something tangible, but it is very valuable.” He eventually made it to the States, with nothing but the clothes on his back. But, speaking 20 languages opened the door to possibilities and he did make his way.  He was a wonderful and warm man – and in his big beautiful house, he had hidden under the floorboards a year’s worth of rice in a barrel. He said that was the first thing he would do when he moved to a new home. He would bury rice.

This is what I have now. I left my possessions, I brought my family, and this is simply the last of my possessions that I lost. But, it is inside of me. It came out in the concert. It will always come out – even if I am lucky enough to get old enough to not be able to play anymore.

I also, for some reason, keep thinking of the movie Harold and Maude. I haven’t seen it in 15 years but I still have every line memorized. Maude says at one point (she has a love of stealing cars) “Well, if some people get upset because they feel they have a hold on some things, I’m merely acting as a gentle reminder: here today, gone tomorrow, so don’t get attached to things.”  I love Maude.

Maybe this is the magical moment when someone comes forward with an instrument that I can borrow – you know those people who somehow have incredible instruments on loan?  How does that even happen? I don’t have any idea. But – I do have a very bad second violin which I can use, and Gregor has an $89 carbon fiber bow for me. In no time, those will sound just like me too.


anthea's violin

UPDATE: The German orchestra association has posted a theft notice.

Cornelius Meister, who recently quit Vienna’s radio symphony orchestra in pursuit of bigger fish, is about to be named Generalmusikdirektor at Stuttgart Opera from 2018.

Meister, 36, has been making some useful international opera debuts in the past two seasons.

Cornelius Meister