What’s so awful?

1 It does not play classical music.

2 It looks like a package holiday ad.

3 It oozes insincerity.

4 The composer is a robot.

5 It is made by the Gewandhaus.

What would Mendelssohn have said?


Has there ever been a worse sales pitch for classical music?

An opera based on the Swedish detective novels by Henning Mankell will be premiered on Friday at the University of Tübingen, in Germany.

Mankel died last October, aged 67, having approved the composer and the project.

The music is by Fredrik Sixten.

After the premiere, the production will travel to Ystad in Sweden, the fictional Wallander’s home town.

The title is ‘W: The Truth Beyond.’



The biggest-ever ‘Wuthering Heights’ dance-along will take place this Saturday at the Lambeth Country Show in Brockwell Park, London. More than 1,000 Kate Bush wannabes are expected.

Wear a red frock.

Sign up here.

Be there.

wuthering heights tribute

We are hearing of sweeping administrative redundancies at the orchestra, following Paul Meecham’s resignation as president and his departure for Salt Lake City.

The board, saying they were seeking ‘radical change’ conducted a staff-wide audit and sacked anyone whose job they felt duplicated another person’s.

Meecham was already doing two jobs – that of president and general operations manager.

His successor will probably face the same double role.

But he or she will, at least, enter a lean operation and have a chance to hire their own people.

At this point, there is only one senior administrator left – the VP of Development. The Board Chair is acting as interim executive director. And, we hear, has been forced to dip into the endowment to meet the payroll.


marin baltimore chi-chi


It has been quietly announced that Leon Botstein is to be artistic director of the Grafenegg Festival in Austria.

Grafenegg is under-exposed. Botstein, 69, is the opposite.

President of Bard College since 1975, he has been music director of the American Symphony and the Jerusalem Symphony, among other posts.

He is also editor of Musical Quarterly.

Leon Botstein

UPDATE: He has been named artistic director of the Grafenegg Campus and Academy, NOT the Grafenegg Festival.

The Arts Council of Northern Ireland has been trimmed by half a million pounds on its £10.95 million budget.

That reduction will impact directly on its largest single dependent, the Ulster Orchestra, which relies on £1.8m a year from ACNI.

Bad times ahead for the orchestra, and no EU aid possible.

Ulster Orchestra main image




A busy morning in academe:

Jesus College, Cambridge is pleased to announce that Mr Richard Pinel will take up the post of Director of Music and Fellow at Jesus College on 1st January 2017, following the appointment of Mark Williams as Informator Choristarum, Organist and Tutorial Fellow at Magdalen College, Oxford.

Richard Pinel enjoys a distinguished reputation as a musician, currently holding the post of Assistant Director of Music at St George’s Chapel, Windsor Castle. Educated at Northampton Schools for Boys and Oxford University, he has held positions at St Albans Cathedral, Perth Cathedral, Australia and Magdalen College, Oxford in the past, and has been awarded several prizes in international organ competitions.

richard pinel

Lynne Williams, director of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art since 2008, has been named successor to Barry Ife as principal of London’s Guildhall School of Music & Drama.

Ms Williams had announced her intention to leave NIDA at the end of this year.



from the press release:

About Lynne Williams
In a career spanning over 40 years, Lynne Williams has developed a significant breadth of arts practice, pedagogy and cultural entrepreneurship across not-for profit, government and commercial sectors. Williams has been the Director/CEO of Australia’s National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) since 2008 where she has led transformative change including a reinvigorated teaching and learning environment, self-accrediting authority for the institution and international creative industry and education partnerships. The construction of the NIDA Graduate School, recently opened by the Prime Minister of Australia the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP, and the launch of a new suite of Master of Fine Arts courses, is the realisation of her vision for an international centre to drive future-focussed performance practice, training and research. 
Prior to NIDA, Lynne held many arts and cultural leadership positions in the UK where she was resident for 21 years. She led the development of the Culture, Ceremonies and Education Programme for the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG), following her contribution to London 2012’s successful Olympic Bid as a Cultural Advisor/Creative Producer. Lynne was also Artistic Director of Cardiff 2008, the company bidding for Cardiff to be 2008 European Capital of Culture. She was responsible for developing a new cultural strategy and leading a team in a bid on behalf of Wales.
Her experience in performing arts began in Australia where she studied and performed as a professional singer specialising in contemporary music and music theatre. She has a deep commitment to arts education and increased public access and has developed and promoted work across the full spectrum of the arts. She served on the Arts Council England Touring Panel and advised on a number of national audience development initiatives. She was also an Arts Council England advisor for contemporary music, opera, theatre and dance. She has served as a chair, a board and committee member of a variety of arts companies in both the UK and Australia including Arts and Kids, National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), and Performing Lines (Australia). 

Love this.

New opera. Instantly accessible. Familiar situation.

Jari Piper is an American cellist who moved from Alaska to Istanbul in 2014.

He plays there in the Borusan Philharmonic orchestra and earns extra money playing for commuters on the ferries that criss-cross the Bosphorus.

There’s a nice piece about him in the Guardian today (except the journo neglects to mention his orchestra work).

jari piper

The work will be premiered at Carnegie Hall on his birthday,  January 31, 2017.

He only started writing symphonies in 1992, inspired by David Bowie’s album, Low.

glass bowie

Gérard Bourgeois, who was 80, captured for all time the summer of 1964.

L'actrice Brigitte Bardot en maillot de bain sur un bateau Riva devant la Madrague a St Tropez, 1973 --- French actress Brigitte Bardot wearing a swimsuit on a Riva boat in front of the Madrague, Saint Tropez, France, 1973