Music Director Franz Welser-Möst and the Cleveland Orchestra have added Yann Ghiro to the clarinet section, playing bass clarinet.
Yann, originally from Nice, has been principal clarinet of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra since 1998.
photo: Roger Mastroanni
Edgar Krasa, who took part in the Verdi Requiem performance that the Nazi used to fool Red Cross visitors to their ‘model’ concentration camp in June 1944, has passed away in Boston, Mass..
Deported to Theresienstadt in 1941, Edgar was sent to Auschwitz after the Requiem and somehow survived.
After a decade in Israel, were he founded a school for cooks, he migrated to Boston, where he ran a restaurant.
He was not related to Hans Krasa, composer of Brundibar, though they were friends in Theresienstadt.
The Lebrecht Album of the Week draws your attention to the complete piano music of Vítězslava Kaprálová, whose tragic death in 1940, aged 25, ended a golden era in Czech music.
From the review:
Don’t look away just because the composer’s name is unfamiliar and has too many syllables. Kapralova (1915-1940) is a vital link in Czech music, her death at 25 the closure of a century of genius. Daughter of a Leos Janacek student and herself the secret lover of Bohuslav Martinu, Kapralova flowered in France and Britain in the last years before the Second World War. In addition to composing she was an active conductor, the first woman to raise a baton on BBC television….
The 2017 prize, worth 20,000 Euros, goes to the Montreal-born composer Samy Moussa. Based in Paris and Berlin, Moussa, 32, was among the last proteges of Pierre Boulez.
Past winners include Olga Neuwirth (1999), Matthias Pintscher (2000), Thomas Adès (2001), Jörg Widmann (2002), Lera Auerbach (2005) and Anna Clyne (2016).
The tenor has pulled out of today’s segment of his residency at London’s Barbican Centre, a public conversation with young singers. His next engagement is on Monday.
Here’s what the website says:
Jonas is sorry to disappoint the public, but has a cold today and has to cancel this afternoon’s event.
The day before Leontyne Price turns 90, the Smithsonian magazine has published a feature on Elizabeth Taylor Greenfield, a freed slave who made her New York debut in a hall built for Jenny Lind.
Greenfield’s tour did more than prove to white audiences that black performers could sing as well as their European peers. Her tour challenged Americans to begin to recognize the full artistry – and, ultimately, the full humanity – of their fellow citizens.
We regret to share news of the untimely death of Giannandrea Poesio, dance critic of the Spectator for several years and a noted authority on dance history.
Italian by birth, he moved to Britain in the early 1990s to complete his PhD. Writing in his second language, his reviews twinkled with wit and passion.
He served as choreographic consultant to the Royal Opera, the Royal Ballet School, the Paris Conservatoire, the Kirov Ballet, La Scala Theatre in Milan and the Accademia Nazionale di Danza in Rome.
Who knew Finns could be so funny?
We built walls… and we made the moose pay for them.
Peter G. Davis has written a fine obit of the late Nicolai Gedda in Opera News, reminding us of his extraordinary combination of virtues, allied to a profound personal introspection:
During a career that spanned nearly fifty years, Gedda was in demand the world over for the warm, sweet, silvery beauty of his voice, his patrician command of style, and an unshowy but dazzling technical virtuosity that was invariably in the service of the music.
Peter adds: ‘Gedda never generated the hysterical fan response of, say, Franco Corelli, but few left his finely nuanced, vocally secure, emotionally generous performances feeling cheated.’
As part of its season announcement yesterday, Welsh National Opera said it was starting a school for opera, in conjunction with the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
The idea it to enable emerging artists to train with outstanding guest singers and to train future conductors, directors, repetiteurs, stage managers and designers.
WNO’s artistic director David Pountney presented the school as part of a broad strategy for operating under limited means: ‘This all adds up to what I call – with perhaps some chutzpah – survival with brilliance. In a financially challenging climate we will survive, but survive brilliantly, and share that brilliance with our audiences. We recognise that culture is not everything in life, but assert that a life without culture is as nothing.’
The refreshing French pianist has given a characteristically frank interview to Elijah Ho for KQED in San Francisco. Here are some unpublished extracts, transcribed exclusively for Slipped Disc:
On fellow-pianists: ‘Today, you can come out on stage with a nice smile and the First Piano Concerto of Chopin and be considered a master of piano. For me, that’s totally meaningless. For me, it doesn’t mean anything to be a master of the piano. You can be a master of the piano without being a musician at all…I like Bebop very much – Charlie Parker, Bud Powell and all of these other musicians. Erroll Garner is a world by himself. I put them before some of the classical players. Some of the classical players can’t do anything but learn and perform – they do so very nicely, but they’re not full musicians.’
On a rumour that his parents were unsupportive of his playing: ‘That was terrible. I know I talk a lot, and sometimes I say some things. Maybe you’re a parent yourself, but imagine how my parents felt reading something like that? It doesn’t cost a journalist anything to write something like that, but it cost my parents a lot.’
On competitions and perfectionism: ‘This system of teachers presenting their students in competitions, being jury members at these competitions themselves, looking for certain ways to play, using references of playing instead of the score itself, it’s very painful for me. I would like to play more Liszt and more Chopin, but I feel desperate. Before I play one note, there are already so many people waiting to find something wrong with my playing. They will say, ‘Ah it’s not the way it should be!’ But for me, what should be is the music. It’s not my freedom, my original idea. I try as much as possible to be honest, to find the best way to express what the music has to communicate. With Scarlatti, for example, I don’t play just one way because he’s a Baroque composer. Baroque is a huge thing and you can’t possibly associate it with all people who lived in that time. We are living in the age of Trump – does that mean we must all be little Trumps ?””
On pop music: ‘Oh, I think there are a lot of very interesting and good things in pop music. I would not shit on pop music. I think there are strong composers, singers, strong drummers, etc. For me, the problem is not shit. There’s a lot of shit out there. The problem is we are not talking enough about what is good. There is a lot of good, but the accent is put on the shit. Look at cinema. There are a lot of good movies, but people are always talking about the bad ones. Why do we do this?’
On music critics: ‘Plenty of critics are probably frustrated people who can’t do 10% of what the musicians do. It’s too easy. It’s even strange that people who do these things don’t feel ashamed of doing so. Because there’s a lot to feel ashamed about when you live like this. So, whatever…’