Musikverein today.

Photo: Dieter Nagl

l-r: Christian Thielemann, Prince Charles, Vienna Phil chairman Andreas Großbauer, Thomas Angyan, concertmaster Rainer Honeck.


Captions, please?

Looking back on 18 successful years as executive director of the San Francisco Symphony, Brent Assink tells SF Classical Voice of one notable omission. He confesses that:

‘We don’t have the resources or the energy, or whatever it is, to slot ourselves into a logical relationship with the African-American community, a relationship built on the kind of cultural tradition we have in other communities. If you don’t have that connection, the effort feels forced; it feels artificial, and then, I think, you’re worse off than if you didn’t do anything at all.’




Full interview here.


Dallas Opera is staging a reunion for participants in its increasingly influential course for women conductors.

The following conductors will be travelling to San Francisco next week, to take part in the 2017 Hart Institute Reunion:

  • Elizabeth Askren (U.S.)
  • Natalie Murray Beale (U.K.)
  • Mihaela Cesa-Goje (Romania)

  • Alexandra Cravero (France)
  • Jessica Gethin (Australia)
  • Stephanie Rhodes (U.S.)
  • Anna Skryleva (Russia/Germany)
  • Chaowen Ting (U.S./Taiwan)
  • Lidiya Yankovskaya (U.S./Russia)
  • Zoe Zeniodi (Greece)

Some of the others are already far too busy.

As of today, the Royal Flemish Philharmonic has changed its name to Antwerp Symphony Orchestra.

This new name emphasises the link to its host city and its new concert hall, and will help to strengthen the orchestra’s international profile, says the press release.

You weren’t aware it had an international profile? Maybe that was the problem.

Or maybe it’s because there’s no music director.

Under the leadership of Principal Guest Conductor Philippe Herreweghe and Conductor Laureate Edo de Waart, and previously Chief Conductor Jaap van Zweden and Principal Guest Conductor Martyn Brabbins, the orchestra aims to move and inspire the widest possible audience with top-class concert experiences.

What was that name, again?

Opening in November in Leipzig, where he was Gewandhauskapellmeister for 26 years.

Details here.

It will open on May 6 in the Bradford campus of the University of Pittsburgh, showing exhibits from the life and work of the great American mezzo.

The ground floor of the Seneca building has been renamed Marilyn Horne Hall.

Details here.

We hear that Veronica Kleiber, daughter of Erich and sister of Carlos, has died at the Casa Verdi in Milan, aged 89.

Veronica, who said ‘I am the only non-musician in my family’, was close to her brother and instrumental in his close friendship with Claudio Abbado, for whom she worked.

She shared a few of her memories in a 2010 RAI documentary on Carlos, which can be read and heard here.

photo: Marina Evreison Arshinova

The next chief executive of London’s South Bank Centre will be Elaine Bedell, head of entertainment at ITV for the past seven years, responsible for the X-Factor and Britain’s Got Talent.

She will form a three-person femocracy at the South Bank with artistic director Jude Kelly and chair Susan Gilchrist.

It’s a tough job she has taken on. The South Bank has lost profile and coherence under the outgoing chief exec, Alan Bishop. Its development plans have been put on ice. It remains the largest single recipient of Arts Council funding – but for what?

Theatres are dangerous places.

This is the UNC-Greensboro Opera Theatre during Tuesday’s dress rehearsal for Gian Carlo Menotti’s The Consul.

The stage curtain suffered serious damage and the theatre has been put out of action for at least a week.

photo: Savannah Woodruff

The numbers don’t lie.

For opera only, across the entire season, Vienna has hardly any unsold seats.


That must be why the government is bringing in a new Staatsoper chief.

Having wound up the New York Times through her PR to declare that she is finished with opera, the diva and the same PR have rowed back on retirement in an interview with Vanity Fair.

‘The rumor has taken on a life of its own,’ sighs Renée.

She will, in fact, ‘continue to sing full-time.’

That’s called having your cake and eating it.

After a week of procrastination, the Guardian has finally allowed 600 musicians to object to an article that rejected the teaching of musical literacy as elitist. You can read the full letter, with signatories, here.

Among the last signatories are the composers Brian Ferneyhough, Stephen Hough and Helen Grime.