Nikita Abrosimov, 28, of Russia, was added today to the contestants in the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, May 25–June 10, 2017, at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall.

He replaces Mehdi Ghazi of Algeria and Canada, who has withdrawn from the competition. No reason given.

John Lubbock has a child with autism.

He has worked out ways to bring music into the lives of others with that condition.

In Australia, the head of the Sydney Symphony is taking over at the Opera.

In Finland, it was announced today that the general manager of Helsinki Philharmonic, Gita Kadambi, will take over the Finnish National Opera in January 2018 when Päivi Kärkkäinen retires.

No wonder outsiders think that classical music is a closed shop.

photo: Kalle Koponen/HS

Kimon Daltas has departed as editor of Classical Music magazine.

He will be replaced by celebrity guest editors.

Read the press release below:




Rhinegold Publishing appoints managing editors to consolidate and develop classical music magazine portfolio


Rhinegold Publishing Ltd, the UK’s leading publisher of classical music periodicals, is delighted to announce the extension of its partnership with the editorial consultancy C Sharp LLP to encompass a wider range of its specialist music magazine portfolio.


Ash Khandekar and Owen Mortimer, the directors of C Sharp, have been appointed as Managing Editors, overseeing commissioning and editorial content across five core Rhinegold titles: Opera Now, Classical Music,International Piano, Choir & Organ and Early Music Today.

With the departure of Kimon Daltas as Editor of Classical Music magazine (CM), Katy Wright, currently News Editor, will step up to the role of CM’s Deputy Editor.

Future issues of Classical Music magazine will be curated by Guest Editors who will be prominent figures with relevant expertise and experience, drawn from the classical music sector and beyond, putting the magazine at the heart of the music industry and its most pressing concerns.

The restructuring of Rhinegold’s magazine business will result in greater co-ordination across the company’s publishing portfolio, with a team of more than 50 specialist correspondents worldwide bringing their expertise to our print and online offerings. The new editorial framework also allows for more effective marketing and promotional partnerships within the music industry, as well as greater exposure for advertisers in a range of different media.

Derek Smith, the owner and Publisher of Rhinegold Publishing Ltd, said: ‘Our partnership with C Sharp has already achieved positive results, enabling us to stabilise and consolidate the success and reputation of Opera Now and International Piano. As we expand this partnership into other areas of our publishing business, we anticipate that a co-ordinated editorial approach, attuned to the needs of a fast-changing music industry, will help us to give the best service possible to our readers and business associates.’

Ash Khandekar, a former Deputy Editor of Classical Music magazine and Editor of Opera Now magazine since 1997, said: ‘This is a real opportunity for C Sharp to bring its editorial experience to bear in a range of Rhinegold’s publishing platforms, ensuring that we can serve the classical music sector as fully as possible. We aim to give Rhinegold’s specialist titles a united voice that will champion the classical music world, promoting its activities, addressing its challenges and capturing the passion of the people who work within it.’

Owen Mortimer, Editor of International Piano since 2015, said: ‘We are excited to be taking on a bigger role within Rhinegold and look forward to building on our success with Opera Now and International Piano. Inviting guest editors and writers from across the classical music sector, we aim to create informative, stimulating and entertaining content for dedicated music lovers, written by musicians and music industry experts. In particular, we plan to develop content and partnerships that will raise the already substantial online presence of Rhinegold’s titles, reaching new readers worldwide who share a love of classical music.’


press release:

New York, NY (May 18, 2017) – Five orchestra musicians will receive Ford Musician Awards for Excellence in Community Service from the League of American Orchestras for their important work in hospitals, correctional facilities, schools, museums, and more.

The five musicians and their orchestras are:
Mark Dix, viola, Phoenix Symphony (AZ):
Mind Over Music, B-Sharp Music Wellness, A W.O.N.D.E.R. Project Alzheimer’s Initiative (educational and health and wellness programs)

Michael Gordon, principal flute, Kansas City Symphony (MO):
Community Connections (free musical events in the community, including performances for the incarcerated at Lansing Correctional Facility via the Arts in Prison program)

Diane McElfish Helle, violin, Grand Rapids Symphony (MI):
Music for Health Initiative (a program engaging the healthcare community and introducing live music into music therapy sessions for patients)

Eunsoon Lee-Corliss, assistant principal violist, Knoxville Symphony Orchestra (TN):
Music and Wellness Program (live musical performances enhancing the healing process and benefiting patients, visitors, and staff in healthcare settings)

Peter Zlotnick, education manager/principal timpani, Greensboro Symphony Orchestra (NC):
Keep Kids in Tune education series, including Beginning Strings and OrKIDStra (music education and social programs which reach 50,000 children, including Head Start students, in four counties)

The award is $2,500 to each musician and $2,500 to their orchestra.

Martin James Bartlett, who won BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014, has been signed by Jessica Ford at the London agency, Intermusica.

You wonder what took them so long.

Martin, 20, is a finalist in the coming Van Cliburn competition.

Our diarist Anthea Kreston made her debut last week in the viola section of the Berlin Philharmonc Orchestra. Here’s how it felt from her seat.

I am waiting to board my flight to Krakow – one of the many quartet concerts which sprinkle throughout this loose six-month sabbatical. And it does feel like a sabbatical of sorts – the flexibility of schedule allows for a great variety of activities – musical and other. This week we got the keys to our new home – a newly refurbished home built in the 30’s, nestled among a lush green landscape – apple trees in the backyard, a line of raspberry bushes bordering the side of the property. In the back, down a small path, is a little lake, a wooded park, a horse farm. We can travel together by bike through this park to school, or to the S Bahn station which can get us to the heart of the city in 20 minutes. This may be the little link to our bucolic past which will allow us to breath fully, expand into endless hours of magical play in the woods. 

My week with the Berlin Philharmonic is at an end, and I am still riding the high of the performances, the happiness of meeting new people and finding  inspiration from that undulating, breathing organism made up of 120 of the most talented musicians from every corner of the planet. Although I have been kindly asked from not commenting on my time within the orchestra, they have allowed me to give a reaction to the performances – a kind of internal concert review. 

To look around the orchestra during performance – to see the concentration, delight, and passion on the faces and in the movements of the musicians was a thing to behold. I have seen many great orchestras perform before, but the freedom of movement, the dedication to line and nuance, far surpassed any experience I have had. Under the baton of Semyon Bychkov, the orchestra was in turn tightly controlled, as well as allowed to roam free – with the internal hierarchy of concertmaster/leaders of sections communicating with one another to create a flow which was generated from within. People’s eyes were trained on the concertmaster (the American Noah Bendix-Balgley, pictured below), the leaders of their sections, the constant weavings of solos coming from every corner of the orchestra. They breathed together, allowed for breath to happen. 

The soloist in the Shostakovich Cello Concerto was Gautier Capuçon, a cellist with remarkable strength – both of character and physical control. He is a regular Schubert Quintet partner of my quartet, but my first meeting with him was thwarted this season because of upheavals in Istanbul, where our concert was scheduled. His encore – Casals’ Song of the Birds, played together with the cello section of the Philharmonic, was ethereal and transportive – the sounds of cellos working as one was felt deeply in our chests, as we sympathetically resonated together. 

Heldenleben was the meat of the meal, ingested with hungry ears and hearts after a generous intermission. Again – a freedom of line prevailed – and the ensuing passion driven by the orchestra, supported by our director firmly yet with a large degree of trust, allowed the orchestra to soar.  To feel the trust of the conductor – to know they believe in you, and not only allow but encourage individual expression – this is what laid the groundwork for a living, breathing interpretation of this tone poem – the semi-autobiographical “Hero’s Life” – gargantuan in scope as well as the demands on every member of the orchestra.

At the end of Ein Heldenleben, with the final chord by the brass and winds coming to a stop, there was a silence, a long silence, in which the conductor seemed as if unable to return to this world – he had taken us, or rather we had gone together, to a magical place, and no one was ready to come back. The audience was with us – every seat filled and rows of standing listeners. We stayed, all together, slowly returning to this world, and a thunderous and sustained applause brought us all back – here we are, in Berlin, 2017, and we have indeed all gone together to a different place, and have experienced something that could not have been experienced anywhere else. What a glorious time. 

The concert can be seen in full on the Digital Concerthall. 

The Conservative Party manifesto contains a pledge for a Great Exhibition of the North and a new concert hall in the Scottish capital, ‘reaffirming Edinburgh as the UK’s leading festival city and a cultural beacon around the globe.’

Nothing for London.

The high-living director general is facing a staff rebellion.

In an open letter, employees of the opera house express ‘profound indignation’ at the bad image Dorny has projected onto the company by means of his inflated expense account, and at his failure to address allegations of sexual harassment by some of his executives.

Nous constatons que malgré les promesses et les engagements de la direction, des salariés, notamment parmi le personnel féminin, sont victimes de harcèlements réguliers de la part de certains cadres dirigeants.

Read the full letter here.

The irreverent Moldavian-born violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja has been named among the winners of the Swiss federal government’s Grand Prix Music, worth 25,000 Swiss francs.


Other music winners are the flautist Andres Bosshard and composers Helena Winkelman and Jürg Wyttenbach.