press release:
San Francisco’s Bay Area Rainbow Symphony will be performing a free concert to remember and honor the victims of the Orlando Victims on Monday June 20th at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, 50 Oak Street.   Music Director Dawn Harms will conduct Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 “Pathetique”.   All the tickets had been reserved for the concert in 2 days after ticket sales were launched this past Wednesday.   To be on the waiting list, please reserve through For more information go to or email

      Launched in 2008, Bay Area Rainbow Symphony (BARS) is an orchestra dedicated to promoting and supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual transgender and queer-identified (LGBTQ) musicians and composers.  By creating an artistic community striving for both inclusivity and artistic excellence, BARS is becoming an intersection for LGBTQ artists to connect with each other and a wide range of audiences.  Over 25% of BARS musicians and 40% of BARS audience identify as heterosexual/straight. 

     Berlin’s concentus alius, Homophilharmonisches Orchester Berlin will be performing a free concert called “Orlando-Memorial-ein Konzert fuer die Liebe” featuring Tchaikovsky’s Symphony #6 “Pathetique” on Wednesday June 22nd at Emmauskirche.  Lausitzer Platz 8.  The concert will be conducted by Christiane Silber.  concentius alius is Berlin’s LGBTQ orchestra, founded in 1999.

For more information go to


David Stull, president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, is considered the most go-ahead of US music education chiefs.

The trick, he says, is separating the act of leadership from that of management.

He talks a lot of ‘disaggregation’ and of how to provide value to students that will last 60 years, not just two or three. ‘We cannot thing of conservatory education as merely being vocational training… there’s a bigger conversation to be had. What are the lifetime opportunities for the students? … How does a start-up work?’

Watch him amplify on Zsolt Bognar’s Living the Classical Life.

The former Financial Times music critic David Murray died just before 11 yesterday morning, in the Marie Curie Hospice in Hampstead.  He was 79.

A Canadian who came to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, David lectured in philosophy at the University of London and gave occasional piano recitals. He gave up the piano after breaking a finger and retired as a critic in January 2007 after 27 years on the FT.

UPDATE: His sister Jan, a well known dance critic, died a week later.

noble porter murray

l-r on the FT: Jeremy Noble, Andrew Porter, David Murray

From our Danubian football correspondent: 

There was high tension in Budapest last night.

Hungary was trying to reach the last 16 of Euro16 for the first time since 1972.

They were trailing 0-1 to Iceland in the closing minutes.

Many at the Wagner in Budapest opera festival were watching the match on their mobile phones.

The brass players painted national flags on their cheeks.

hungary brass


Then Siegfried drew his sword and Hungary squeaked an equaliser.

Wagner did it for the Magyars.

Elyen Richter! Elyen Nikisch!


The Wall Street Journal has published my review of Anna Beer’s excellent survey of women composers, Sounds and Sweet Airs (Oneworld). The article is paywalled, but you can get the gist from the opening pars:


Kaija Saariaho

Euterpe’s Daughters

by Norman Lebrecht

When the Metropolitan Opera announced that it would be performing “L’amour de loin” by Kaija Saariaho (pictured) in its coming season, headlines blared that this work was the first by a woman composer to be performed at the Met in more than a century. The last, forgettably, was “Der Wald” by Ethel Smyth in 1903.

I’m not sure which detail was the more regrettable—the inexcusable hiatus or the bad journalism that zoned in on a composer’s gender. A woman may, in 2016, direct the Hadron Collider or serve as the chief operating officer at Facebook without undue comment, but if she composes an opera it’s front-page news in New York. A further sign, perhaps, that opera is out of tune with our times.

How were women kept out of the aria? In “Sounds and Sweet Airs,” Anna Beer, an Oxford historian, traces a pattern of gradual exclusion through the lives of eight composers—three in the 17th century, one in the 18th, two in the 19th and two in the 20th. Although none achieved world renown, it still comes as a something of a shock to learn that women had it much easier in classical times than in modern….



Munich police have recovered a 1758 Landolfi violin that was stolen on a Munich S-Bahn train in April. A suspect brought it into a police station.

He is being questioned.

The owner has been reunited with the instrument, signed ‘Carlo Ferdinando Landolfi nella Contrada di Santa Margarita al segno della Sirena Milano 1758’.


Some violin stories do have happy endings.

Rómulo Assis was playing the Tchaikovsky concerto in Amarante, northern Portugal, when an extravagant gesture by the conductor Nuno Côrte-Real hit the violin out of his hands and sent it crashing to the floor.

The silence that follows is the sound of mass trauma.

On inspection, the 1809 Nicola Lupot violin was found to have a crack running upwards from the ‘f’ hole. It is said to be repairable.

Rómulo went on to play the concerto on the concertmaster’s instrument.

violin goes flying

Daniel Grimwood: Aged 19 – the lowest point in my life – I will never forget the kindness shown me by Peter Feuchtwanger (who died yesterday, aged 76). He quite literally resurrected me and without his guidance and generosity of soul I doubt I would be a musician today. He criticised perpetually (with characteristic vibrancy and charm), strove to make me realise my finest self, instinctively understood me, was a considerate listener, was a fountain of naughty jokes, never doubted me and proved to be far more than merely my piano teacher.  You haven’t died, Peter; your legacy lives with the vitality of every string set into vibration by the many pianists who’s lives you touched.

Bernd Sandner: I pay respect to one of the kindest people i have met in my life!
Peter Feuchtwanger was an extraordinary musician and human being, and has taught and influenced generations of students. He helped many people, who had lost their capability of playing piano, to recover and even surpass their own expectations.
In this often harsh and egocentric musical world, he was a gem, always friendly, open, warm, helping, insightful.
A master, detecting his students problems immediately and giving them the means to overcome these, he was teaching until his last days. Every student, visiting him in his London home would feel like a part of his family, loosing anxiety and gaining self-confidence.
I am grateful, to have had the chance to meet him and to profit from his wise and thoughtful instructions.
A good man in this troubled world. He will live on in our minds!
Thank you Peter Feuchtwanger!

peter feuchtwanger2

Susanne Kessel:  I had my first lesson with him when I was 15 years old. THANK YOU! He meant the world to several generations of pianists & musicians on the whole planet. A piano philosopher and incredible inspiration for so many of us. He was a window into true music and into aesthetics of the 19. century. I love him. I would never call him a “teacher”, he was so much more to me. I will never stop talking about him and playing his music.


Andrew Kraus: Peter Feuchtwanger‘s death is on my mind this morning as I woke to a message from two of his other students on my Facebook feed. I will miss him. As with many others, he made an immensely positive impact on me and my playing, and I am doing my best to pass on what he taught to my own students. He was a genius and prodigy,and his abilities went beyond those required to play the piano in an extraordinary way himself. He also had the desire from a commendable generosity of Spirit as well as the the ability to nurture other musicians, technically and artistically. His Master Classes were a privilege and pleasure, all too rare, to be in a situation with a group of fine pianists who spent a week nurturing and encouraging each other instead of tearing each other down, a quality I attribute to his own generosity and kindness.. RIP Peter Feuchtwanger.

Sanja Stefanovic:

Petruschka  peter feuchtwanger sanja

You brought our souls to sing,
you taught us to forgive,
you gave us dignity and confidence,
you nurtured us with the beauty of the art,
you treated us equally,
you respected our differences,
you never judged us.

I miss you, very much. I miss you before you are gone….somewhere….where did you go now? Where ever you are gone now, mein lieber Perruschka, I hope it is not cold, but warm just as you like it. With the Devine music. Just as you imagined it.

To my beloved teacher, my friend, my all:

Peter Feuchtwanger

June 26, 1936-June 18, 2016

תנוח על משכבך בשלום

Paul Cibis: Yesterday, Peter Feuchtwanger passed away. Since I first met him in 1998 every lesson and the many hours spent together with him were a wonderfully surprising experience. No matter what ideas about the music or worries about your playing you would come with, you would leave the session understanding how much more beautiful and touching the pieces are than you imagined; and the amount of musical insight, the motivation and inspiration you would go home with were bewildering and moving.
Beautifully eccentric and vain in some small matters, but abundantly generous and selfless in things that matter, he was no guru to me but a true master and “sensei”, an artistic compass for which teaching music was just a means to teach you about life. I am sad and angry about the many unspoken words of thanks, and I shall join the many colleagues and friends in celebrating his wisdom and support.


We are receiving reports from various pupils that Peter Feuchtwanger died on Saturday, a week before his 77th birthday.

A Hitler refugee whose parents took him as a newborn baby to Palestine, he was profoundly influenced by Clara Haskil and taught the principles that she espoused. He also studied with Edwin Fischer and Walter Gieseking, always opting to teach rather than to be a performer.

He worked closely with Martha Argerich before she won the 1965 Chopin Competition (he said she really didn’t need him at all). He taught in Karlsruhe and Basle, and held guest professorships in Salzburg and at the school founded by his friend, Yehudi Menuhin. He composed a work for violin, sitar, tabla and tamboura which Menuhin and Ravi Shankar played and recorded. He was fascinated as a composer by Asian tonalities.

Above all, he was in high demand for his exceptional masterclasses. He made his home mostly in London.

Peter Feuchtwanger was unique unto himself. His first piece of technical advice, quoting his first teacher, was: ‘You have to imagine that you’re holding an apple in your hand and that your fingers are like little hammers.’

peter feuchtwanger

Students mourn a legendary piano teacher.