Agency report: Ljubljana, 5 December – Members of the Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra will go on strike today to protest against the disrespectful and offensive attitude of director Damjan Damjanovič and conductor Uroš Lajovic (pictured).


We understand that the players want the conductor’s contract to be terminated with immediate effect.

We’d appreciate it if they told us why. UPDATE: Here’s why.

The Slovenian Philharmonic is a good orchestra in a town with a long tradition. Gustav Mahler had his first conducting post in Ljubljana, then known as Laibach.

UPDATE: Lajovic, 72, is a Slovenian who, according to his Wikipedia entry, ‘is considered to be one of the most successful European conductors of his generation’.

UPDATE2: Carlos Kleiber, whose wife was Slovene, conducted this orchestra on June 6, 1997.

press release:

Louisville, KY (December 5, 2016) …The Louisville Orchestra is delighted to announce that Teddy Abrams – the “energetic young maestro” (New York Times) who at just 29 is the youngest Music Director of a major American orchestra – has renewed his contract for a further three years. Each season through 2019-20 he will not only conduct the orchestra for a full twelve weeks, but also undertake an additional six weeks of community engagement and administration – more than is offered by any other conductor of a top metropolitan or regional orchestra nationwide.

teddy abrams keyboard

Friends are reporting the death of Vincent Titone, tenor, music director at two churches and allround opera fan who travelled to world to hear great voices.

Vincent, who was 73, had been principal tenor at Amato Opera and organiser of New York City’s Sicilian Food, Wine & Travel Group.

The soprano Aprile Millo writes:

This beautiful tenor voice, great lover of opera and cuisine especially of Italy, Vincent Titone is now in Paradise…. A friend for over thirty years, he traveled so many places to hear me sing…. Italy, for the gala with Luciano, which he filmed sitting next to my momma…. the early Caracalla triumphs literally in Aida, never missed a performance in New York, my first Munich Forza with Sinopoli…. He sang for many years with the Amore Opera (recte: Amato Opera), and had a real lyric tenor voice of beauty and old fashioned delivery. I know you went to where all our beloved music is from, and you are chatting with all the greats…. and our amazing Randy newly crossed and Russell Oberlin…. How do I say thank you? We sat together in the company box the nights all rules were relaxed because Renata Tebaldi was in the house….and you filmed it all….Thank you for loving art and music and especially opera as much as you did and do…. you will be in every emotion, every sweeping gorgeous phrase, everywhere someone sings from the heart, there shall you be forever now, untouched by pain, and regret, or fear, or desire….you have it all now…. I shall miss you very much…



photo: Stephanie Argerich Blagojevic

‘Without a pre-school rivalry we might not have been honoring Martha Argerich,’ quips the President.

We have been asked to clarify that the Kennedy Center Honors are bestowed by the Kennedy Center’s Chairman, David Rubenstein. The President and First Lady host a reception at the White House for the honorees; this took place yesterday before the tribute performances for all 5 honorees at the Center.


We have been informed of the death last weekend, aged 92, of Maisie Ringham Wiggins, principal trombone of the Halle Orchestra from 1946 to 1956, an era when women were seldom seen in brass sections, let alone on trombone,

After leaving Barbirolli’s orchestra to raise a family, she continued playing and teaching into her 90s, receiving the MBE from the Queen for her services to music.


Here’s a tribute from Dudley Bright, principal trombone of the LSO.

And a Maisie recording from 1955.

The Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse in Paris has announced the death of its president, Rémy Pflimlin.

Appointed head of France Télévisions by Nicolas Sarkozy, he stood down last year after protracted battles with the Hollande regime, moving to the less heated environment of the conservatoire.

Rémy Pflimlin was passionate about contemporary music, president of the Musica festival from 2001.


The strike has deepened the anticipated $1.5m deficit and cuts have to be made.

The CEO has told the local newspaper that the orchestra has not achieved a balanced budget in nine years. She has begun to tackle the overheads by cutting ten jobs, including Declan McGovern, vice president of orchestra operations and general manager, achieving an $800,000 saving.

McGovern is a former head of the Ulster Orchestra and RTE National Symphony Orchestra,

More here.


That’s the subject of a paper presented by Eriko Aiba, of the University of Electro-Communications in Tokyo, at the 172nd Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America this weekend in Hawaii.


Aiba (pictured) began learning to play the piano when she was five years old, and quickly realized that musicians might be roughly divided into two groups: sight readers and those who play by ear.

“When considering a human brain as a computer, playing a musical instrument requires the brain to process a huge amount and variety of information in parallel,” explained Aiba. “For example, pianists need to read a score, plan the music, search for the keys to be played while planning the motions of their fingers and feet, and control their fingers and feet. They must also adjust the sound intensity and usage of the sustaining pedal according to the output sound.”

Such information processing is too complicated for a computer, so how do the brains of professional musicians handle such complex information processing?

Read more here.


The long troubled band has an AGM this week to elect a new chair.

Sir George Bain, 77, is stepping down after five nail-biting years.

The Belfast audience base remains weak. The future is nebulous.

Ulster Orchestra main image

The December issue of the German magazine Das Orchester presents three contrasting viewpoints on the prospects for subscription series. In the US, the model is on its last legs as concertgoers shift to last-minute purchases.

In Europe, according to Das Orchester, it has always been resented as an American gimmick and is now dying in many cities, except for Berlin where late tickets can be hard to land.

So what’s next?

You’ll have to buy a copy of Das Orchester. The content is not online.

new york audience 1940s