The film’s composer was Ennio Morricone, but the main theme was supplied by his friend Alessandro Alessandroni, who also played guitar on the soundtrack.

Alessandroni, who died this week aged 92, was the expert whistler on several Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns, notably on A Fistful of Dollars.

On his own account he wrote scores for many films, none of them immortal…. Johnny Hamlet, The Virgin of Bali…



Music director Andris Nelsons has four weeks of concerts coming up, four weeks of the highest talent.

Mitsuko Uchida plays a Mozart concerto as prelude to a Bruckner symphony.



Radu Lupu makes one of his rare appearances.

Anne-Sophie Mutter plays Tchaikovsky and Takemitsu.

Kristine Opolais features in Mahler 4, in a concert that also features Leif Ove Andsnes.

When did the NY Phil last have a music director or manager who could summon such a concentration of talent and such a focus of content?


This is Sergeant Jim Quackenbush of Portland Police Bureau, Oregon.

He will arrest your attention.

Jim has participated in master classes with Lazar Berman, Gyorgy Sebok, John Browning, and Christopher O’Riley.

The Forge in Camden Town, RIP.



Co-founder Adam Caird said: “The directors of The Forge have decided to close the venue from 1st April 2017. Running a music venue in these times is exceptionally tough and we have reached a point where it is time to close the doors and move on to new challenges.
“We are immensely proud of what we have achieved over eight wonderful years and our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has contributed to and enjoyed this unique venue. We always strove to be as diverse, inclusive and welcoming as we could and we hope that these values have touched as many people as possible and will continue to do so.”
All current ticket-holders will receive full refunds for cancelled events by the end of this week.



A compulsory new lecture course, ‘The Cultural Policies in Russia’, was added to the Moscow Conservatoire syllabus this year.

From the beginning, there have been complaints that it amounts to state propaganda with Stalinist overtones.

A few days ago there appeared on Youtube a student reading aloud a list of ‘state enemies’ and ‘fifth columnists, among them some promnent cultural ersonalities.

He was reading it under the orders of professor Farida Kulmuhametova.

The student and the class tried to make light of the list, but the teacher’s intention was serious.

We understand that Ms Kulmuhametova resigned yesterday and has left the institution.

Musical Toronto has the story of how the town of Stouffville, Ontario, is trying for the longest musical event in the Guinness Book of Records.

Classical guitarist William Beauvais is among those taking part.

He writes: ‘I had just hit the coda, and doing a quick calculation in my head reckoned to be about thirty seconds from the end of the piece. The music unfolded and the ending arrived. Loud cheers from the stage manager, and those close to her, as much from relief as at the vigorous end to the piece. Going overtime would have meant the end of the record-breaking attempt. To that point, it had been an eight and a half day continuous concert with various artists.’

More here.

They’ll rename the town Stiffville when it’s over.

The baritone Simon Wallfisch staged the first chorus this morning of what is intended to be a monthly reminder to Parliament that half the country does not want Brexit.

Simon and friends sang Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, a joy that for many is fast receding.

Simon is appealing for supporters to join him at 10 am on the first Monday of every month.

Contact him on Facebook.

Executive director Gail Samuel will take over as acting president and CEO of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra when Deborah Borda leaves for the New York Philharmonic in a couple of months.

Samuel covered for Borda last year when she took a sabbatical at Harvard.

It’s a big job but she can make it her own.

Here’s a new wheeze from the São Paulo Municipal Symphony Orchestra in Brazil.

After the final work, the conductor comes back on stage with a microphone and invites the audience to use their smartphones, sharing the results on social media with the hashtag #EunoMunicipal (Me at the Municipal).

And the conductor, Wagner Polistchuk uses a Selfied-Stick to film himself, the orchestra and the audience:

Min Kym’s violin was stolen from her while she ate a sandwich at London’s Euston Station in November 2010.

Three years later, it was recovered by police and returned to her, amid great joy.

‘All my life my Stradivarius had been waiting for me, as I had been waiting for her . . .’ writes Min, in a memoir, Lost, to be published next month by Penguin.

But before 2013 was out, she sold the violin for £2.25 million in an online auction.

Guess we’ll have to read the book to find out why.
There’s an accompanying record release from Warner.


From the secretary of the Swedish Academy, Sara Danius:

In a few days Bob Dylan will visit Stockholm and give two concerts. The Swedish Academy is very much looking forward to the weekend and will show up at one of the performances. Please note that no Nobel Lecture will be held. The Academy has reason to believe that a taped version will be sent at a later point. (Taped Nobel lectures are presented now and then, the latest of which was that of Nobel Laureate Alice Munro in 2013.) At this point no further details are known.

The good news is that the Swedish Academy and Bob Dylan have decided to meet this weekend. The Academy will then hand over Dylan’s Nobel diploma and the Nobel medal, and congratulate him on the Nobel Prize in Literature. The setting will be small and intimate, and no media will be present; only Bob Dylan and members of the Academy will attend, all according to Dylan’s wishes.


Fouad Fakhouri, music director of Michigan’s Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra since last year, has been announced as new music director of the  Wichita Falls Symphony Orchestra in Texas.

Fakhouri, 44, is collecting quite a portfolio. He was also music director at Fayetteville.