news release:

New York, NY (October 6, 2016) – This month Manhattan School of Music (MSM) and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) launch their first annual Conductors’ Project, a “podium partnership” that will see two recent MSM conducting graduates chosen as Conducting Fellows to work with DSO Music Director Leonard Slatkin, the MSM Symphony Orchestra, and the DSO in a two-week, home-and-home educational exchange.

The first week of this ambitious project takes place at MSM from October 24 to 28; the concluding week moves to Detroit and the DSO from January 10 to 15, 2017.

This comprehensive conducting initiative – effectively an extended, two-city master class in conducting – is the brainchild of Mr. Slatkin, whose artistic leadership will be central to the effort.  In fact, concurrent to the launch of the MSM/DSO Conductors’ Project, MSM President James Gandre is announcing the appointment of Maestro Slatkin as Distinguished Visiting Artist in Conducting and Orchestral Studies, a new and ongoing post at the School.

Mr. Slatkin, who has served on MSM’s Board of Trustees since 2009, will work with MSM Director of Orchestral Activities George Manahan and colleagues in the DSO to provide the project’s two “Conducting Fellows” and the student musicians in the MSM Symphony Orchestra with a wide-ranging learning experience.


The two inaugural Conducting Fellows are Toronto Symphony Orchestra Resident Conductor Earl Lee and conductor and Hudson Valley Philharmonic Principal Percussionist Kyle Ritenauer. Lee graduated from MSM in 2013 with his Master of Music in conducting; Ritenauer earned two degrees from MSM, graduating with a Bachelor of Music in percussion in 2011 and a Master of Music in contemporary conducting in 2015.






The Korean violinist Kwon Hyuk Joo, winner of the 2004 Nielsen Competition, has been found dead in the back of a cab that was taking him to his hotel in Busan, where he was due to perform the next day.

The taxi had picked him up from a party.

UPDATE: Cause of death.



From a typically honest interview with Peter Donohoe:

What have been the greatest challenges of your career so far?

1 Taking the plunge in my early 20s and deciding after all to be a solo pianist.
2 Maintaining the natural sense of British taste and reserve at the same as learning to be emotionally open, and keeping the balance between the two.
3 Playing Bach.
4 Standing in for Daniel Barenboim playing Bach.

Read the full interview here.

peter donohoe

A selection of rare, original recordings. Just because…