From the ever-attentive Ismene Brown:

Pavel Dmitrichenko, the Bolshoi dancer convicted and jailed (in 2013) for ordering the infamous acid attack on his boss at Russia’s chief ballet company, is reported to have been back in the Bolshoi doing ballet class for the past month, hoping to return to the stage.

An anonymous source, claimed to be another soloist, is quoted by the newspaper Moskovsky Komsomolets describing the reaction of most of the dancers and theatre staff as welcoming, mostly considering that he has served his term and earned his right to have his life and career back.

Ismene rightly demands to know how such a crime can quickly be forgiven. Read here.

Perhaps the Bolshoi Theatre would like to clarify?

Pavel Dmitrichenko Angelina Vorontsova

It is eighteen years since the Croatian pianist made his last recording for Deutsche Grammophon.

Apparently, they had a difference of opinion. Pogorelich, a my-way man, was prepared to wait.

Today he released a Beethoven recording on the digital channel Idagio.

Here’s their take on it:

Berlin, October 31, 2016 – The legendary pianist Ivo Pogorelich has just released his first recording since 1998, including Beethoven’s Piano Sonatas No. 22 in F Major Op. 54 and No. 24 in F-sharp major Op. 78. As announced by the Berlin-based classical music platform Idagio, the recording will be available from November 2nd 2016 exclusively on and on the Idagio iOS App. This release marks out Pogorelich as the first classical star to make a recording available exclusively in digital form.

According to pianist Ivo Pogorelich, “In order to reach younger generations, we need to distribute art through the platforms that they use. Idagio offers me as an artist the opportunity to make my recordings available worldwide in a fraction of a second. I find it alarming that young people are constantly staring at their smartphones and speaking through headsets; however, they are also developing excellent instincts in the virtual world and following their intuition. They are an unbiased and attentive audience with great potential for classical music.” Idagio founder, Till Janczukowicz, commented: “Idagio is proud to welcome one of the world’s most significant soloists to its community of partners, which already includes orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic and the Israel Philharmonic. As a purely classical platform, our aim is to combine high quality and human curation with technology, thereby helping musicians, promoters and labels to be better heard in the digital space.”

Ivo Pogorelich’s unique career began almost overnight in 1980 when he was not admitted to compete in the finals of the Warsaw Chopin Competition. The pianist Martha Argerich angrily withdrew from the jury with the words “he is a genius”. Since then, Pogorelich’s interpretations have set worldwide standards.

The classical music streaming platform Idagio was launched in 2015 at the Salzburg Festival and offers access to a constantly growing catalogue of high-quality recordings and tens of thousands of hours of music. Idagio is currently available in every country worldwide except for the USA. Through specially developed classical music search functions and curated playlists, as well as an easy-to-use interface, classical music can be enjoyed by aficionados and beginners alike.


Ivo Pogorelich bowing after concert, 1 March 2013

About Idagio:

The classical music platform Idagio was launched in 2015 and offers access to a constantly growing catalogue of high-quality recordings and tens of thousands of hours of music. The company is managed by Till Janczukowicz (founder) and Christoph Lange (co-founder). The two combine years of experience in artist management, production and the development of exclusive concert series, together with an expert knowledge of the startup scene in regards to music streaming services. With a team of 18, they are programming and creating “the new way to listen to classical music” in the European capital of classical music and startups, Berlin. IDAGIO is currently available in every country worldwide except for the USA. For additional information:



Meet the Symphoniacs. (Right-click to see larger image).

They have been pulled together by Berlin producer Andy Leomar, released on Universal Music and are all over the German talks shows this week.

Just another crossover stunt?

Wait til you see their pedigree. The boys are:

Violinist Yury Revich, aged 25, from Vienna

Cellist Konstantin Manaev, 33, Berlin

Violinist Tom Suha, 30, Budapest

Pianist Evgeny Genchev, 27, Plovdiv (Bulgaria)

Pianist Oscar Micaelsson 26, Gothenburg (Sweden)

Cellist Colin Stokes, 29, New York

Violinist Johannes Fleischmann, 32, Vienna.

Serious people.

Play it, boys.

Aurora, one of the livelier London start-ups, has filled one vacancy with two foreign cellists:

We are thrilled to announce that following a two-year international search Aurora has appointed two new Principal Cellists. Torun Sæter Stavseng and Sébastien Van Kuijk will share Aurora’s Principal Cello chair as joint appointees, joining the orchestra’s core group of seventeen members.

Torun is Norwegian, Sébastien is French.

The Brexiteers will not be pleased.


Musicians in the Metropolitan Opera orchestra have demanded an urgent meeting with Peter Gelb, we hear, over the security breach that allowed a deluded opera fan to scatter his friend’s ashes into their playing space during the second intermission of Saturday’s William Tell.

The fourth act of that opera was cancelled as a result, along with the evening’s Rossini opera.

The musicians are angry and concerned that their space was invaded so easily. Singers who were cancelled at short notice are resentful. And audience members would like to know why a man from Dallas who had told those around him that he planned to scatter human ashes was not reported to house security, and why security did not intervene. The man, Roger Kaiser (pictured), has been a compulsive pseudonymous contributor to an online opera fanzine.

Many operagoers would like to see him prosecuted for the offence and banned from attending opera.

Peter Gelb has questions to answer, as well as the cost of cancellation. His glib response – ‘We appreciate opera lovers coming to the Met. We hope that they will not bring their ashes with them’ – has not gone down well.



press release:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — The San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM), the Rubin Institute for Music Criticism, and the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation today announce a pilot program establishing a new model for supporting music journalism, in partnership with The Boston Globe.

The three San Francisco-based organizations will provide funding to support a 10-month position at the Globe for Zoë Madonna, winner of the 2014 Rubin Prize in Music Criticism.


On Monday, October 31, 2016, Madonna will begin her new post as classical music critic for the Globe corresponding with a short-term leave by staff classical music critic Jeremy Eichler, currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University. The Rubin Institute for Music Criticism at SFCM seeks to prepare superb young writers as music journalists.

Through a generous gift from the Ann and Gordon Getty Foundation, the partnership with the Globe will test a concept whereby a non-profit consortium can team with a major news outlet to create a financially sustainable model for the work of music journalists. In such a program, news outlets will retain complete editorial control over assignments and content and they will provide some funding as well. The model is designed to facilitate part-time work by critics and will not be used to supplant existing full-time positions.

Stephen Rubin, president and publisher of Henry Holt & Co., and benefactor of the Rubin Institute, praised the new partnership: “The Boston Globe is one of the great American newspapers. That it has chosen to engage with us in this groundbreaking endeavor is particularly meaningful to me as a former journalist. It is also thrilling to see a winner of the Institute’s prize gainfully employed writing music criticism at a Pulitzer Prize-winning paper. I hope the Globe’s willingness to partner with us will be a model for other newspapers across the land.”

And here’s the paper’s sin on it.



Hats off to Jonah Hertzman, a young guy with a heart.

Instead of saving up his barmitzvah money for the latest games console or designer trainers, he’s asking people to give their money to the tormented Pittsburgh Symphony.

On a crowdfunding site he has set up for that purpose, Jonah explains:

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra helps the economy—it makes people want to live here. It provides entertainment for a lot of people. And there wouldn’t be as much music education in Pittsburgh if it weren’t for the PSO. That’s why I chose supporting the PSO for my Bar Mitzvah project.

The PSO management is currently asking the musicians to take a 15% pay cut (among other things) because they say they are facing a future funding deficit. I’m afraid that if this happens, some musicians will go to other orchestras and the quality of the PSO will decline….

I want to use this fundraiser as leverage to encourage management to negotiate with the musicians and end the strike. As soon as the strike ends, I will donate all the money I’ve raised here directly to the PSO itself. In the meantime, I want PSO management to know how important the musicians are to me and to my friends and family. Thanks!

You can read more and support Jonah’s Barmitzvah project here.


His latest mini-lecture addresses conflicting perceptions in Beethoven’s opus 10/3.

Barenboim argues that these two irreconcilable views encapsulate the futility of ascribing meaning to a piece of music. But if music has no meaning except sound why would it occupy the human mind?

Surely music must mean more than the notes on the page?



Steven Sharp Nelson has written an open letter about the heartbreaking open-country search for Annie Schmidt, daughter of a fellow-member of the Piano Guys:

This has been a week I never want to remember, nor forget.

My heart is broken in two.

I can’t adequately express the anguish I felt as I watched my friend, my brother, run up river, fighting against an ice cold current, shouting his daughter’s name at the stoic river banks on each side—straining his voice above the din of the white water.

White noise from rushing water typically calms and lulls the mind. But instead, for us, it stirred up intense anxiety. A panicked helplessness. No one should ever have to feel this way. Especially a father desperately searching for his daughter.

img_0446-jpgOur search started on trails but quickly transitioned off trail, where we soaked ourselves in rain-encumbered underbrush — often above our waists. Many scaled up and down cold, unforgiving slopes. There was an urgency — we had to shake off the sense that everything started to look the same. The sheer vastness of the area threatened to overwhelm our senses. With Annie’s precious life on the line we couldn’t leave one stone unturned. But there were so many stones to turn. Worn down by weather, strain, sleeplessness and unease, we plowed through rocks and trees one agonizing step at time…

Read the full letter here.

The Nobel Committee has finally succeeded in contacting the elusive singer, it announced.

‘The news about the Nobel Prize left me speechless,’ Dylan told Sara Danius, Permanent Secretary of the Swedish Academy. ‘I appreciate the honor so much.’

It is not clear if he will bother to attend the ceremony.

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 13:  Musician Bob Dylan performs onstage during The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards held at Staples Center on February 13, 2011 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Bob Dylan



The death has been reported of Georges Jouvain, a star trumpet player and composer of the mid-20th century.

He recorded more than 70 albums and was appointed chevalier de la légion d’honneur in 1994.

William Tell was cut short and L’italiana in Algeri cancelled yesterday after a man threw white powder into the orchestra pit during the second intermission, sparking a major security alert at the Met.

The man told people around him that he was scattering a friend’s ashes in a well-loved place.

He has been named by police as Roger Kaiser, 52, a jeweller from Dallas.


Two questions:

– Why was he allowed into the auditorium, let alone into the pit area, with a package?

– Why would any sane person find it acceptable to dispose of human remains in a place where living humans – musicians – work day and night for their livelihood?

Read a detailed firsthand account from a Musicaltoronto colleague who was there. Click here.