The Big Ears Festival of Knoxville, Tennessee, is claiming the significant coup of luring out the recluvie UK composer Gavin Bryars to play an American venue for the first time with his own ensemble.


gavin bryars

Forget composer in residence. They also have Carla Bley, Meredith Monk and 2016 Pulitzer winner Henry Threadgill. And somebody has rewritten Gorecki’s 3rd symphony.

It’s the third week in March. Beats most other new-music fests for major headline acts.

(How come we’ve never been to Tennessee?)

Look who else is there:

American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Emilia Amper
Maya Beiser
Theo Bleckmann
Carla Bley Trio with Steve Swallow and Andy Sheppard
Carla Bley with the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Blonde Redhead featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Gavin Bryars Ensemble
Claire Chase
Jace Clayton presents Julius Eastman Memorial Dinner
Oliver Coates
The Crossing
Alvin Curran
DJ Rupture
Henry Grimes
Rachel Grimes “The Way Forth” Featuring Joan Shelley and Nathan Salsburg
Dave Harrington Group
Frode Haltli: The Border Woods
Yasmine Hamdan
Horse Lords
Michael Hurley
Philip Jeck
Jóhann Jóhannsson’s Drone Mass featuring American Contemporary Music Ensemble
Junun featuring Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express
Sarah Kirkland Snider Unremembered: DM Stith, Shara Worden, Padma Newsome
Knoxville Jazz Orchestra
Glenn Kotche
Julian Lage & Chris Eldridge | Aoife O’Donovan
Steve Lehman & Sélébéyone
The Magnetic Fields: Fifty Song Memoir
Matmos perform Robert Ashley’s Perfect Lives (Private Parts)
Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble: The Soul’s Messenger
Lisa Moore
Musica Elettronica Viva (Alvin Curran, Richard Teitelbaum, & Frederic Rzewski)
My Brightest Diamond
Nils Økland Band
On Fillmore
Shane Parish
Yuki Numata Resnick
Frederic Rzewski
Lætitia Sadier
Joan Shelley
Sir Richard Bishop
Six Organs of Admittance
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
Colin Stetson presents Sorrow: A Reimagining of Gorecki’s 3rd Symphony
Ståle Storløkken
Ståle Storløkken & Arve Henriksen
Theatre of Voices
Henry Threadgill’s Zooid
Richard Teitelbaum
Wu Fei
Xiu Xiu

One of the movers and shakers of British theatre, Colin George – who has died at 87 – was largely responsible for the creation of Sheffield’s iconic Crucible Theatre.

The space is designed for staged works, music and snooker.

Obit here.


From the parish magazine:

Christine Esmeralda D’Souza, a daughter of Judge Bernadette Gomes D’Souza and Dr. Terence C. D’Souza of New Orleans, was married Oct. 1 at her parent’s home to David Gelb, a son of Donna Daniels Gelb and Peter Gelb, both of New York. The bride’s mother, who sits on the Civil District Court of New Orleans, officiated.

The bride, 32,… is an agent in the film finance and distribution group at William Morris Endeavor Entertainment in Beverly Hills, Calif…. The groom, also 32, is a director and producer in Los Angeles who created, directed and is an executive producer of “Chef’s Table,” a series on Netflix.

We wish them every happiness.


The conversion of a disused 1859 Manchester church into a rehearsal, performance and education centre received planning permission today after a long process.

All the Halle needs now is to raise some money.


It’s widely known that the Apple founder was so enamoured of Gould’s recording of the Goldberg Variations that he arranged for executives to be lectured by experts on Glenn’s pianism.

Not everyone, however, is convinced by the legend.

Toronto psychiatrist Robin Roger has listened to one of the experts and found him wanting. She also has doubts about the meaning of Gould.


In a city that has a Glenn Gould School, a Glenn Gould Studio, a Glenn Gould Foundation, a Glenn Gould subway plaque, two Glenn Gould residential plaques, and a life-size statue of Glenn Gould, a speaker lecturing on this Toronto icon can expect an appreciative audience, especially when he presents him as a paragon of human creativity.  Indeed, unreserved enthusiasm was the response to Professor Joshua Cohen’s presentation: Glenn Gould’s Variations and the Human Qualities that Foster Remarkable Human Creativity, delivered at the Rotman School of Management and co-sponsored by the Glenn Gould Foundation.

This lecture, developed for executives who attend Apple University, a corporate training facility of Apple Inc, the world’s largest technology company, is intended to support that late Steve Jobs’ goal of studying what the best things are, so that the Apple culture will aspire to such heights….

Now read on here.

glenn gould piano stool

Alberto Menéndez Escribano was today named principal horn of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orch. Until today, he was principal horn of the BBC Philharmonic in Manchester. No reason has been given for the move north.

UPDATE: Alberto tells us he’s heading north to be with his partner, a principal in the Royal Scottish National Orch.

The press release (below) has misspelled his name.


BBC Scottish has also chosen Charlotte Ashton as principal flute.

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (BBC SSO) has appointed Alberto Menédez Escribano as its new Principal Horn and Charlotte Ashton as Principal Flute.

French Horn player Alberto Menédez Escribano has built up a career as a soloist and orchestral musician throughout Europe.

Speaking of his appointment, Alberto said, “I am delighted to be taking up the position of principal horn with the BBC SSO which I feel musically and personally very close to and I am very much looking forward to my first official concert: Mahler 4th Symphony with Maestro Runnicles.”

An august mezzo from the golden age has been added to the 2017 jury for BBC Cardiff Singer of the World, it was announed today. Amazing Grace will be 80 next year.

The rest of the panel is made up of conductor Xian Zhang, baritone Thomas Quasthoff, soprano Sumi Jo and Chair David Pountney.


The British pop musician has cancelled his Heinz Hall gig with this message:

I regret to inform you that our ‘Imperial Bedroom & Other Chambers’ concert at Heinz Hall cannot go ahead, as I am unwilling to cross an AFofM picket line during the current strike by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

I hope that the dispute will soon be settled honorably and amicably and that The Imposters and I will have the opportunity to perform at Heinz Hall before too long.

We send our apologies to ticket holders and all our friends in Pittsburgh with thanks for your understanding and support of live music wherever it is heard. Respectfully. Elvis Costello

The hall’s losses are mounting as a result of multiple cancellations.


The Heath Quartet, recent winners of a Gramophone chamber music award, have called off next month’s US tour for what are described as ‘personal reasons’.

The announcement was made last night by Carnegie Hall, not by the quartet or its management, AskonasHolt, which seems unusual.

The quartet have a college residency in Vermont and were due to play Seattle, Washington and Toronto.


Claudia Rosenthal was down to sing Annina in Pittsburgh Opera’s Traviata.

Then she got a call that Violetta was sick, could she step up to the lead? She sure could.

But Pittsburgh did not have an understudy for Annina so Claudia had to sing both roles – some of which involved sung conversations with herself.

Ever seen that before?

Either way, well done Claudia.

Read here.