A bold initiative by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, announced tonight:

The Orchestra is passionate about sharing the experience of exceptional live orchestral music-making and inspiring new generations of classical music lovers. The 2017/18 Season reinforces this by offering all 18 year olds and under free admission to Season concerts. In addition, teachers accompanying pupils to concerts can attend free of charge. The SCO will also continue to offer Under 26s and unemployed £6 tickets, making concerts accessible and welcoming to all.

The prodigiously talented British singer has been describing how her label dropped her with a seven-line email.

‘I didn’t see anyone, I didn’t hear anybody’s voice. I just read words. It felt so cold and cruel,’ she said.

Laura, who is classically trained, is now composing incidental music for Antony and Cleopatra at the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Tributes are being paid to Kati Gerson, who taught hundreds of violinists and teachers at Queen College, CUNY, and at The School for Strings. She died this morning, of cancer.

The School for Strings writes: ‘Katherine was beloved by generations of students and teacher trainees. She was a selfless and tireless advocate of Suzuki education, a musical mother to her students and an inspiration to young violin teachers.’

Isabelle van Keulen is the new artistic director of Kammerakademie Neuss, in the Rhineland.

She succeeds Lavard Skou Larsen, whose contract has expired after 12 years.

The Academie, a chamber orchestra which specialises in little-known music, is also looking for a chief executive and an upgrade in its media profile.

From a rare new interview with the Russian pianist and conductor:

Do you read reviews of your concerts?

– No.

Why do you prefer to sit in a chair at the piano and not on a stool?

– Back ache. If I get tired – I can lean back and relax a bit.

Do you go to concerts of other artists? If so, which ones?

– I do not go.

– Did you watch the last Tchaikovsky Competition?

– No.

Full interview here (in Russian).


Reinhold Würth, 81, is known in Germany as King of the Screws.

He makes small bits of joinery on a massive scale. He’s also an epic art collector with an estimated private worth of $10.4 billion.

What to do with all those screws? Herr Würth and his wife Carmen are starting an orchestra in Baden-Württemberg.

Kent Nagano will conduct the opening concert, it was announced today.

Rosemary Siemens was playing a concert in Manitoba and having it filmed for future reference when she saw a man in a white suit coming down the gangway towards her….


Do not try this at a symphony concert. Please.



A rare picture of the great violinist visiting Israeli in 1950, seen here at the home of its first prime minister, David Ben Gurion.


The tour ended in near-disaster when Heifetz was physically attacked by a man who objected to him playing music by Richard Strauss, former head of the Nazi Reichsmusikkamer.

Heifetz did not return to Israel for almost 20 years.

Online auction starts tonight here.

The diva has reached the time of life for downsizing.

She is leaving her White Gates mansion in Westchester County and is selling the contents, which include – according to the auction catalogue – ‘artwork, furniture, decorations, silver, books, autographs and stage jewelry’.

The online auction is on March 29.



Gold, Green and Red Indian Enamel and Diamond Bangle Bracelet from the Jessye Norman sale, estimated price $2-3k

France Musique will play recordings by the great cellist and conductor from 7 am to 11pm on its webradio, on what would have been his 90th birthday.

He’s sorely missed.


The ousted director of English National Opera has formed a joint venture with Loretta Tomasi, the company’s former chief executive with whom he fought hammer and tongs over spending plans, precipitating first her departure and then his own.

Their company, Opera Ventures, will do pop-up co-productions, the first being Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Greek with Scottish Opera at this summer’s Edinburgh Festival. Funds have been raised and the plans are bold.

Friends say Berry and Tomasi are singing loudly off the same hymn sheet, harmoniously too.

We wish them well.

Tomasi, Damon Albarn, Berry, Rufus Norris in happier times. photo: PA/ENO