The Creative Industries Federation has withdrawn from a general election event with Jeremy Corbyn and Tom Watson after the Labour Party refused to let them ask questions.

Their statement:

We had previously agreed with the four largest parties at Westminster – the Conservatives, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrats – that we would provide an opportunity for each to set out its stall on the creative industries, the arts and cultural education. This would include a short speech by a senior party representative and then a rigorous question and answer session with Fed members and partners.

The series began in London on Wednesday with Matt Hancock, the Digital and Cultural Minister, for the Conservatives. His appearance included nearly one hour of detailed questions on Brexit, the industrial strategy, education in schools, skills, intellectual property, the role of digital and more.

As Labour informed us that they were no longer able to devote a similar amount of time to questioning as the other parties have agreed to, we invited them to reconsider. When we could not agree, we had no choice but to pull out of the event.

Ding-dong, Seamus Milne.

Anneke Scott plays horn with Europa Galante, John Eliot Gardiner’s ORR and other early music ensembles across Europe.

She fears for her livelihood when Brexit comes around. So she’s taking a picture of every venue she plays and sending it to members of Parliament.

So far she has sent around 270.

Read all about it here.

The veteran Achim Dobschall, 60, will take over the management of all NDR orchestra, chorus and concert activities at the Elbphilharmonie. He replaces Andrea Zietzschmann, who is off to become intendant of the Berlin Philharmonic.

The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra itself will be managed by Sonja Epping, presently at the Gewandhaus.

She tells Ivan Hewitt of the Telegraph:

‘I loved the violinist Joseph Szigeti, when I heard his recordings of Mozart I was moved to tears. And the cellist Casals. The great piano God in Vienna at that time was Wilhelm Backhaus. I didn’t like him at all, but you couldn’t say that.’

Read the full, rare and frank interview here.

Enzo Turriziani, 27, won the audition today for principal trombone in the Vienna State Opera orchestra, making him a candidate member of the Vienna Philharmonic.

Enzo is principal trombone of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

He will start work in Vienna in September.




From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

When the English contralto Norma Procter died a few weeks ago at the age of 89, readers remembered seeing Kathleen Ferrier in her audience at Norma’s London debut, at Southwark Cathedral, in 1948. This was typical Ferrier. Six years before she had been a switchboard operator in Lancashire with no hopes of a music career. Now an international star, she took every opportunity to offer support and encouragement to others on the way up. Hearing that Norma was studying in London with her own teacher, Roy Henderson, Ferrier invited her to stay over at her own West Hampstead flat rather than catch the late train home to Grimsby.

Listening to these Ferrier tracks, newly retrieved from BBC broadcasts and never released before, I am struck over again by the great contralto’s overriding characteristic — her natural, unfettered generosity….

Read on here.

And here.

And here.

The city council took a decision on Wednesday to name the square after the long-serving Gewandhauskapellmeister.

The designated area is located between Augustusplatz and Universitätsstrasse.

Letter to the New York Times from the veteran theatre and opera producer:

There’s a saying in the theater that whoever occupies the star’s dressing room creates the atmosphere backstage. If you have a leading lady or gentleman who is easy to get along with, undemanding, friendly and charming, the cast follows suit, and you have few if any problems. If you have a diva or a narcissistic star, the atmosphere turns viral.

I’ve been thinking about that recently in terms of our national trauma, and I believe that the star in our dressing room has brought about the epidemic of dangerous mood changes, random episodes of violence and a general malaise in the lives of most Americans.

I’m more than observing it; I’m living it.


June Chu, Dean of Pierson College, has been sent on leave after students found online comments in her name that called restaurant staff ‘morons’ and diners ‘white trash,’

Pierson’s Head of College Stephen Davis said he was ‘grieving’ over the issue. ‘On Saturday evening, I found out that she was in fact responsible for multiple reprehensible posts, enough to represent a more widespread pattern,’ he told students in an email. ‘The additional posts that surfaced compounded the harm of the initial two, and they also further damaged my trust and confidence in Dean Chu’s accountability to me and ability to lead the students of Pierson College.’

This is preppy Yale.

Not an environment conducive to learning.

More here.

Benjamin Rous has been named music director of the Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia.

He succeeds Kate Tamarkin, who has served 11 years.



Of all the world’s musical trouble spots, Fort Worth has shown the highest burnout rate in the past year.

First, the orchestra got locked out of its hall for four months when musicians had the temerity to resist a deep cut in their wage packet.  The FWSO president Amy Adkins ordered them to play up or be replaced. Five months after the dispute was settled, she waltzed out of music to a better job.

In February, Fort Worth Opera fired its innovative general director. Overnight.

This week, Bass Performance Hall threw out the music director Miguel Hart-Bedoya for trying to smuggle in a child’s violin…

Instead of apologising, the Hall president said the maestro should have known better. Musicians complain they have no place of safety to keep their instruments.

Bass Hall is where the Van Cliburn Competition is taking place next month. When we described the temperature there as ‘frigid’, locals said that was an understatement.

Fort Worth is a tough town. Don’t take a handkerchief with you to the competition or you might get stopped. Any expectation of pleasure is being killed at the door.

That’s the atmosphere in which the Van Cliburn Competition opens next week.


The colourful Russian-based Greek conductor has been telling Ricordi about the new music he likes:

Which Russian composers of the 20th and 21st centuries are the most interesting for you and why?

A lot: Leonid Desiatnikov, Sergey Newski, Alexey Syumak, Dmitri Kourliandsky, Darin Sysoev, Boris Filanovsky… and many others. But I believe that it’s very important to return to the ritual art and musi for me is a ritual art, not an intellectual one. Composers need to have either very strong identity or very strong talent to take path. Because we live in the times when people have less and less opportunity to have a ritual life. So the rituality and spirituality are the things I am looking for in contemporary music.