The seven worst news topics of 2016

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  • There is plenty of upside with great musicians or institutions that don’t necessarily generate headlines, like Marlboro Music or Menahem Pressler.

    Moreover, reports of the death of the record industry are always exaggerated. Every year leaves us at least a few great recordings. Kiril Gerstein’s recording of Liszt’s Transcendental Etudes comes to my mind. Even Norman Lebrecht gave five stars to some new recordings.

    • …and Karel Husa (I see someone mentioned him below). I worked with him briefly at the Eastman School, playing his trio for violin, clarinet and piano with two fellow students. Lovely man!

    • Let me “second” that: perhaps the greatest musician, nicest and smartest and most genuine person to ever play in the Boston Symphony. And, without stretching the point a whole, you could include the entire USA. Unconscionable to have forgotten Joseph Silverstein among 2016’s “departed”, especially as he was still contributing so much to the world!

      • Great man and musician! Met him in several occasions and played for him at a master class once. But he died in 2015.

        • You’re absolutely right, Ricardo: it doesn’t seem like that long ago, but it is. As the kids say, “may bad”–and apologies to NL.

    • Belonging to the short list of top 20th century concertmasters both as superb fiddlers and excellent leaders including: Piastro, Dicterow and Mischakoff, but whose influence on the profession far exceeded theirs.

  • Karel Husa, a giant figure in the land of his birth (Czechoslovakia–yes, that’s what it was then) and his adopted country. It is said that Music for Prague, 1968 is among the most widely performed works of the mid to late 20th century (and into the 21st). Of course, this is little known, as it is a piece for wind band.

  • Another sad topic of 2016 — cancellations; particularly by Jonas Kaufmann whose career as a great operatic singer unfortunately seems to be essentially over.

    • Isn’t that a bit too pessimistic? Vocal cords are like bicycle’s inner tubes, when patched-up, they will last again for a considerable time, especially with a young bicycle.

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