Musicians have been called out onto the streets to usher in the New Year, but the city has made it illegal to pay them.

Read here.

The baritone Bryn Terfel has been knighted and percussionist Evelyn Glennie made a Companion of Honour (CH) in the UK list of New Year’s Honours.


The conductor Jeffrey Tate also received a knighthood, as did Barry Ife, outgoing head of the Guildhall School.

There are OBEs for City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra chief exec Stephen Maddocks and LSO outgoing chairman Lennox Mackenzie.

The countertenor Iestyn Davies gets an MBE.

Elsewhere, the tenor Michael Schade has been made an Honorary Officer of the Order of Canada.


A stage show of the Disney musical Frozen was disrupted when the orchestra conductor Giacomo Loprieno announced to the young audience, ‘Father Christmas does not exist’.

He was dismissed on the spot.

His integrity intact.

Read here.

Has anyone tried it on humans?

From the last Lebrecht Album of the Week of 2016:

This release is the first fruit of the artist’s new contract with Sony, following a close personal and creative friendship with EMI/Warner and its sensitive chief, Alain Lanceron. It would not surprise me to learn that Lanceron’s lack of enthusiasm for this odd project was the cause of their separation.

Read the full review here.

And here.


A tribute by members of the Orchestre de Paris.

Vicens Prats is the soloist


The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra has commissioned new tails from Vivienne Westwood.

A free encore for those who stay awake through the whole (short) video.


A resignation letter from Jan Chamberlin, a five-year member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir:



Dear President Jarrett and Choir,

Today is my birthday. (Happy Birthday to you, happy birthday to you………..)

It is with a sad and heavy heart that I submit my resignation to you and to Choir. I’m am praying that Jesus will help me get through this email before I totally break down.

I thank you all for 5 very meaningful years. There are many memories and experiences which I will cherish and hold dear in my heart.

Since “the announcement”, I have spent several sleepless nights and days in turmoil and agony. I have reflected carefully on both sides of the issue, prayed a lot, talked with family and friends, and searched my soul.

I’ve tried to tell myself that by not going to the inauguration, that I would be able to stay in Choir for all the other good reasons.

I have highly valued the mission of the Choir to be good- will ambassadors for Christ, to share beautiful music and to give hope, inspiration, and comfort to others.

I’ve tried to tell myself that it will be alright and that I can continue in good conscience before God and man.

But it’s no use. I simply cannot continue with the recent turn of events. I could never look myself in the mirror again with self respect.

I love you all, and I know the goodness of your hearts, and your desire to go out there and show that we are politically neutral and share good will. That is the image Choir wishes to present and the message they desperately want to send.

I also know, looking from the outside in, it will appear that Choir is endorsing tyranny and facism by singing for this man.

And Choir’s wonderful image and networking will be severely damaged and that many good people throughout this land and throughout the world already do and will continue to feel betrayed. I believe hereafter our message will not be believed by many that have loved us and adored what we have stood for.

I know that I too feel betrayed.

Tyranny is now on our doorstep; it has been sneaking its way into our lives through stealth. Now it will burst into our homes through storm.
I hope that we and many others will work together with greater dilligence and awareness to calmly and bravely work together to defend our freedoms and our rights for our families, our friends, and our fellow citizens. I hope we can throw off the labels and really listen to each other with respect, love, compassion, and a true desire to bring our energies and souls together in solving the difficult problems that lie in our wake.

In the show Wicked, the Wizard makes a really interesting statement. He says “ I create conflict to stay in power.” This scenario can keep us perpetually distracted and at odds with each other and keep us from working together to solve important issues. This also allows those in office to do whatever they want to unchecked. I believe this has been done to us, both cunningly and intentionally. I believe we have a lot more in common than we have in difference, and if we will listen to each other, we can learn a great deal from one another.
And we can learn to work together to defend our freedoms with sensibility and integrity.

When I first auditioned and entered Choir, it was to follow deep personal impressions, and to honor my late father, who was among the best of men. Now I must leave Choir for the same reasons. My father ( who was an expert airforce bomber) hated tyranny and was extremely distraught over the holocaust. He and Mom both loved people greatly.

I have deep patriotic feelings for this country and for the freedoms of people everywhere throughout the world. I am troubled by the problems we face which seek to destroy our love for liberty and respect for humanity internationally.

History is repeating itself; the same tactics are being used by Hitler (identify a problem, finding a scapegoat target to blame, and stirring up people with a combination of fanaticism, false promises, and fear, and gathering the funding). I plead with everyone to go back and read the books we all know on these topics and review the films produced to help us learn from these gargantuan crimes so that we will not allow them to be repeated. Evil people prosper when good people stand by and do nothing.

We must continue our love and support for the refugees and the oppressed by fighting against these great evils.

For me, this is a HUGELY moral issue. “ as he died to make men holy, let us live to make free” ( The first time I heard this beautiful piece, I was 11 years old; my brother Jim was singing in Honor Choir. IT”S message sent inspirational electricity through my soul and penetrated every fiber of my being. THIS is Choir’s true message, and we don’t want it lost by giving the opposite message).

James 1:27 “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” This scripture has been resonating with me a lot lately.

I only know I could never “throw roses to Hitler.” And I certainly could never sing for him.

Much love to you all. I wish you all blessings and happiness.

My heart is shattered and broken…………. but my conscience is clear. And THAT, really is all that matters.


Jan Chamberlin

Further to yesterday’s adventures of Eliane Rodrigues with a broken Steinway pedal, the Vienna-based pianist Albert Frantz was reminded of an incident involving a master of the instrument:

Paul Badura-Skoda once stepped onstage to perform a Chopin concerto. Since his plane had arrived late, he missed the rehearsal. The orchestral introduction was his only opportunity to try out the piano… and he discovered that the sustain pedal didn’t work! As he’s (seriously) a certified Steinway technician, he crawled under the piano during the performance and tried to fix it before the first solo entrance. They did end up having to stop the performance and call in a technician, but it left a lasting impression on the audience.

We asked Albert to check a few details, so he called Eva Badura-Skoda, 87, who said the episode happened in Sweden, many years ago. She reports:

that he was in fact able to repair the pedal! Apparently it was the connection that had become undone probably when they moved the piano onstage, so it wasn’t a major repair, but certainly a happy surprise for the audience.


In the week of the biggest boardroom clear-out anyone has seen in Toronto, interim president Gary Hanson took time out to consult with Walter Homburger, managing director of the orchestra in its glory years.

Walter was the best classical impresario Canada has ever seen. He discovered and managed Glenn Gould, launched an international artists touring series and ran the Toronto Symphony with grace and good judgement from 1962 and 1987. In retirement, he discovered and launched the violinist James Ehnes.

Now 92, Walter keeps a keen eye on musical affairs. His is exactly the kind of voice that needs to be heard as Toronto emerges from prolonged mire.

Hats off to Luke Turrell, who has passed his trial and been awarded tenure in the Dresden Staatskapelle.

Luke, who is ex-Menuhin School, completed his studies in Berlin.

Fresh out of Curtis, Robert F Cole played flute in Ormandy’s Philadelphia Orchestra from 1949 to 1962.

He went on to teach at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s School of Music and to play in the Madison Symphony.

He was a founder of the National Flute Association and its fifth president.

Robert F. Cole died on December 23, aged 93.


Full life story here from his grandson, Nathan Cole.