Not new… but a heartwarming find at the end of a week of horrors.

The prediction comes from Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook’s v-p for Europe, citing an eightfold increase in video views on the site over the past year.

If you’re a word person, prepare to migrate to other social media



Joana Mallwitz was 27 when she signed on as GD in Erfurt in 2014.

Today, she got a new contract, taking her to 2018, into her 30s.

joana mallwitz

She’s getting out quite a bit, too, conducting Macbeth last month at Zurich Opera.

See Woman conductors: The power list

From Amit Peled:

amit peled and cello

This week, Anthea Kreston of the Artemis Quartet suffered the theft of her beloved violin and spent more face time with German police (pictured) than anyone expected. The violin has not yet been recovered. Anthea, an American in Berlin, has much on her mind. But one concern must never be neglected. Here’s her weekly diary for Slipped Disc:

anthea with cop

When Jason and I first talked about my contacting the Artemis Quartet to talk about the idea of me coming to audition, we spoke for hours about the implications of a possible move – from the minuscule to the tremendous. One subject we both knew well, from our own experiences being members of string quartets, is the all-consuming nature of this job. It is not a job, actually, it is a commitment to a new reality – a completely new life. It consumes, it obsessed, it challenges, it breaks you down and lifts you up higher and lower than you thought possible. Days and weeks of frenetic highs punctuated by a stillness and a quiet.

What does it mean to be a member of a string quartet? Many people believe that this is the highest form of classical music making – every composer’s dream configuration – every player’s dream of the perfect balance of technical and musical challenges. It is bigger than any of us alone – you can never be good enough – honest enough with your emotions – in tune enough, in control enough, able to abandon yourself enough on stage. It is the ultimate quest, and one that can never, ever be attained. It is based on mutual respect and the ability to draw the best from you colleagues – to ask the impossible, to demand it from them and yourself. To never be satisfied. It takes a stomach of steel and a heart of putty.

It is exhausting – physical injury is a constant worry – the irregular schedule makes regular nutrition and sleep impossible, and private lives are subject to this erratic swing. I don’t know why I started this week thinking like this. I am sitting on a train, heading south to tonight’s concert. Concert number 30. Lots of time to think, I suppose.

Our travel plans changed this week. We were supposed to be heading to a concert – a fabulous concert with a fabulous guest – and the city we were going to sustained a terrorist bombing – a second attack within the short time I have lived here. I heard of it first from Jason. He sent me a link. We called a quartet meeting to discuss it. My plan, since joining this quartet, has been to take a back seat in quartet decisions. I need to understand these personalities, respect their flow, allow them to still be themselves. I need to join the quartet – in all ways. To observe. So, when we talked about this concert, we had three different opinions. One strongly for keeping the concert, one strongly for not going, and one who could see both sides. There are so many feelings and rationalizations that happen when one contemplates a reaction to a terrorist attack. Stay strong – don’t let them dictate my life – respect your gut – make sure your family feels comfortable with your choice…..

It became apparent that I needed to weigh in. This is one decision that must have all of us. I was heavily leaning towards not wanting to go – and I can’t, with a clean conscious, ask someone to do something they feel uncomfortable doing. So I voted to cancel. Stay home. Stay with family.  And then, Orlando happened. How can we feel safe?  What can we do?  This is everywhere, in the smallest and largest doses. In the States, I had been close to enough mass shootings that I would not go to malls or movie theaters. In kindergarten they have drills where 5 year olds practice hiding under desks and being quiet. What can we do?  What can we do?

But – my three magical days at home were just what I needed.  What my family needed. It was the week that Jason took flight. The Eagle Has Taken Wing.  He got a call to play with the Deutsches Sinfonie Orchestra. And on Saturday he was asked to play a trio concert with an old Curtis friend of mine – Judith Ingolfssohn – an amazing violinist who was the winner of the Indianapolis International Violin Competition.

We were able to rush his work visa through just in time. I was able to take over my old role of primary parent for two days – seeing him leave the apartment with cello on back, briefcase on shoulder – was as bittersweet as seeing Tzippy through the window at Kindergarten. We have all begun to sprout here – each finding our own light and nutrients. Relying on one another, finding our independence, our inner strengths, and coming together to share our sadnesses and triumphs. This is the week of “The Jason” and the first of many new and exciting adventures for him – his week to take flight. It is what I have been waiting for.

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

The three works on this album encompass an entire composing life. The first piano trio was written by a 17-year-old for his girlfriend in 1923. The mastery is already undeniable and the thumbprints instantly recognisable: pathos, scepticism and the juxtaposition of polar opposites. This is not the way most of us would go about wooing the love of our life. Shostakovich was always an original, even at his most eclectic. Everything he writes can be interpreted equally as its opposite, a device that became the key to the composer’s survival in Soviet Russia…

Read on here and here.

And here.



Blaming international sanctions and domestic economic difficulties, the Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky has abandoned his attempt to purchase the composer’s Swiss lakeside home, named Senar, for the Russian nation.

The purchase had been ordered by President Putin on the advice of the pianist Denis Matsuev, at an estimated price of 17 million Swiss francs.

Vladimir Medinsky had also talked of repatriating Rachmaninov’s remains from America.

rachmaninov grave


But after all the huff and puff, it appears that both plans are unrealistic, Medinsky said today.

The rouble has fallen, the cost of Lucerne property has risen, the ownership structure is ‘complex’ and sanctions are really starting to bite.

Rest in peace, Sergei Vasilievitch.



Five of the UK’s leading choirs come together on Monday to raise funds for the families mourning the loss of their loved ones in Orlando.

All proceeds from the event will be distributed directly to the Orlando victims’ families in conjunction with Equality Florida’s ‘Pulse Victims Fund’.

Performances by:

The Adam Street Singers –
Pink Singers –
Diversity Choir –
Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Choir –
London Gay Men’s Chorus –

At St Pancras Church, Euston Road.
TICKETS GO ON SALE AT 1PM TODAY (Friday 17th June 2016)



That’s what it says here:


The greatest classical composers meet the world’s most innovative electronic music artists.

And this is what it sounds like. 

Re:works is the result of a groundbreaking project that sees the rich catalogue of Decca Classics being opened to some of the world’s foremost electronic producers, including Mr Scruff, Starkey, Henrik Schwarz, Fort Romeau, Patrice Bamuel, Martin Buttrich and Kate Simko.  Their classical remixes are already being played in clubs from XOYO to DC10 in Ibiza.

Vast improvement, right?

Over the last few years, the lines between classical and contemporary electronic music have been blurred more than ever before. High-profile orchestral collaborations from some of the scene’s leading figures have brought the compatibility of these seemingly disparate genres into sharp focus, opening doors to new avenues of musical exploration.

Re:works seeks to further establish the common ground between the historic and modern day aspects of musical composition, opening the hallowed Decca vaults to a selection of seminal electronic artists.

Composers including Bach, Beethoven, Rachmaninov, Satie and Reich created some of the most timeless classic music ever made: remixing these compositions is no small undertaking, but the results are nothing short of breathtaking.

pete tong

Take my breath away.

I am listening to the first release on Geoffrey Smith’s ‘fluid piano’, an instrument that contains tuning mechanisms that can be operated by the player to produce tonalities used in non-western cultures.

It ticked the boxes of Arts Council England, which paid for its development.

The first release is of Indian ragas.

I’m loving it.

fluid piano

That’s the alarmist headline in today’s Le Figaro.

It is founded on a secret recent attempt by the Ravel estate to keep Bolero from falling out of copyright and a parallel appeal by the Friends of Ravel to return the composer’s scattered manuscripts to France.

We print the appeal below. But we cannot see why Maurice Ravel’s precious legacy will be in any way endangered if his manuscripts are professionally curated – as they are – in the world’s leading museums and libraries. Ravel himself never requested such a thing. The idea of turning Ravel into national treasure was his brother’s.

The appeal looks like a case of Frenchmen crying wolf.

maurice ravel smoking



International appeal for the return of all missing documents and property of Maurice Ravel to the care of the public archives in France.

In his will of 18 July 1958, Edouard Ravel (1878-1960), younger brother and sole heir of the composer Maurice Ravel (1875-1937), bequeathed Le Belvédère, the composer’s home at Montfortl’Amaury, to the Réunion des Musées Nationaux in order to create there a Ravel museum in memory of his brother.

On 27 October 1959 Edouard Ravel gave to the Ville de Levallois some of the composer’s belongings which came from his second home in this town. Edouard Ravel had also expressed in writing the wish that property of any kind which may have belonged to the composer should be preserved, especially his manuscripts and autograph sketches.

The association of Les Amis de Maurice Ravel was established with the aim of guarding the composer’s memory. It is launching an appeal for the return of all of the missing documents and property of Maurice Ravel to the care of the public archives in France, where they may be freely consulted. Anyone who supports the terms of this international petition may sign it by writing to the offices of the association, by post or by e-mail. The list of signatories will be published on the association’s website:

The respected Frankfurt newspaper has published a long article today on the recent misdemeanours and allegations concerning the violinists Stefan Arzeberger and David Garrett, the Salzburg rector and pianist Siegfried Mauser and others less well known.

The Berlin-based author, Johanna Adorjan, takes the view that predatory sexual behaviour by male classical musicians is not aberrant. Rather, it is generic to the art form.

You may read her challenging article here (regrettably, nur auf Deutsch).

david garrett