The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra today appointed William Shaub as its new concertmaster.

William is 24.

Does any big-city US orchestra have a younger leader?

Born in 1992 in Canton, Ohio, William Shaub was a recipient of the Louis Persinger Scholarship as a student at the Juilliard School. He was a student of Cho-Liang Lin, Emilio Llinas, Stephen Clapp, and studied chamber music with Sylvia Rosenberg. He plays a Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin, made in 1865.

The Pacifica Quartet has been going through uncertain times since first violinist Simin Ganatra quit eleven months ago. Two others took academic posts. Violinist Sibbi Bernhardsson joined Oberlin Conservatory and violist Masumi Per Rosta signed on at the Eastman School in Rochester.

That left the quartet clinging by its teeth.

Today, it replaced Bernhardsson with Austin Hartman and Rostad with violist Guy Ben-Ziony (pictured).

Ben-Ziony said: ‘I think almost every violist has a secret dream from early on to become a quartet player, and I’m no exception.’


UPDATE: It’s slightly more complicated. Here’s a message from their PR:

Simin announced she was leaving last June but changed plans.

That decision last June was made by Simin to better balance the pressures of intense travel on the well-being of her two young daughters. Having lived with this decision for about five months while Simin continued to tour full-time with the Pacifica, Simin and Brandon – her husband and cellist in the Quartet – came up with a plan that allowed Simin to continue in her role as first violinist. (i.e: reliable, long-term childcare support and creative tour routing.)

Over the winter, Oberlin contacted Sibbi Bernhardsson. Gregory Fulkerson, a professor of violin for 35 years at the school was retiring at the end of the academic year. (Fulkerson happens to have been a chamber music coach to Sibbi when he was a young student.) For Sibbi, the unexpected offer to join the faculty was especially timely: this position would allow him to spend more time with his family; he has two very young children. At Oberlin, he could continue teaching which has long been a passion.  Sibbi has a strong connection to the Conservatory; he graduated from the conservatory in ’95.

Sibbi informed the Pacifica that he would be accepting the position at Oberlin and would be leaving at the end of the season, following their Beethoven cycle at Ravinia (5 concerts, Sept. 1-3). This news naturally led all the members in the ensemble to examine how best to move forward. Just a few weeks later, Eastman contacted (violist) Masumi Per Rostad about a faculty opening.  It was very serendipitous. Masumi decided to pursue the opportunity and accept the position after 17 years on the road with the Pacifica. He and his wife Sonia (a pianist) will relocate to Rochester, NY.  (Masumi is originally from New York City.)


The historic building was evacuated and a late-night techno event abandoned after parts of the ceiling crumbled onto dancers. A performance by Dixon and Job Jobse was cut short by two hours.

The hall management has posted this account:

Last night during a dance event in the Concertgebouw we found that grit had come loose from a plaster moulding above the stage in the Great Hall. We decided to end the event prematurely due to the safety of the visitors. The house is now clear. An inspection found that a small part of the stucco is damaged; this section has now been removed. No one is in danger.

‘It is being examined whether the damage is related to the event. The Concertgebouw hosts dance events a couple of times a year because we wish it to be accessible to as many people as possible. All upcoming concerts and rehearsals will continue.’

It is not clear whether the concert stage or auditorium has been affected.

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Great recordings are easy to review. Likewise bad ones. About 99.5 percent of all releases fall somewhere in between. Of these, four in five quickly outlast their initial attraction.

I had high hopes for …

Read on here.

 And here.

And here.

She’s playing Ariodante at Salzburg Whitsun Festival.

photos: Monika Ritterhaus/Salzburger Festspiele 

Suits you, sir!

The combative harpsichordist has been warned by Damian Thompson in the Spectator that he’s committing career suicide by picking fights.

The 33-year-old has been starting small wars since he launched himself a decade ago as the harpsichord’s global ambassador-cum-saviour. His modus operandi — damning his fellow musicians as racist snobs — is pointlessly offensive, but he can rely on the arts establishment for covering fire. A young Middle Eastern ‘baroquestar’ who supports #BlackLivesMatter? What’s not to like?

I have replied with a defence of Mahan:

The point about Mahan is that he will pick a fight in an empty room if he thinks it will make a passing telephone engineer pay attention to the harpsichord. He is determined to push the instrument back to front of stage for the first time in two centuries and if he has to shred a few tinklers to get there, so be it. In a milieu led by tweedy academics in a fine cloud of dandruff, Mahan is a blast of fresh air in a flatulent cloister.

Read the full article here.

Press release, just in:

All of Manchester’s communities stand together in strength, resilience and love.


In this most musical of cities, Manchester’s orchestral musicians from the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata will come together with The Bridgewater Hall for a concert in support of the families and friends of the victims of last Monday’s atrocity.


The event details are:


  • Thursday 1 June at 8pm
  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Sir Mark Elder and Stephen Bell will conduct members of the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and BBC Philharmonic orchestras
  • Performances by Clare Teal, Alice Coote and Guy Garvey


The evening will include inspiring and uplifting classical music, a performance by Alice Coote – one of the world’s finest mezzo sopranos – as well as songs from international jazz star Clare Teal and award-winning singer-songwriter Guy Garvey.

Everyone involved with the event are giving their services free. Tickets for the concert are free, but you MUST have a ticket to gain entry.

We are asking people, if they are able, to make a donation to the WeStandTogetherManchester Justgiving page at

You can get the latest information, details on admission and book tickets by

Wuilly Arteaga was filmed in tears after government forces grabbed the violin he was playing at a mass protest and returned it to him in pieces.

Watch videos here.

Support has been rallying online.

The trumpet star has withdrawn from the scene to have a baby.

Here’s who her recording label is pushing up the ladder.

press release:

Lucienne Renaudin Vary will be joining the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Cambridge Corn Exchange to take on Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto on Saturday 17 June. At 18, Lucienne has a bright future ahead of her, currently still a student of the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Paris, she will take a short break from her exams in order to make her first appearance with the RPO. She is the first student at the conservatoire to have ever been accepted on both the classical and jazz course at the same time, and notably also the youngest and first female student to do so.

Lucienne was hailed ‘Revelation of the Year’ in the 2016 Victoires de la Musique Classique(the French Grammy Awards), performing live at the ceremony to a televised audience of 1.5 million. Lucienne had already appeared at the Victoires three years earlier, at the age of 14, in an tribute to French trumpet legend Maurice André. In addition to a sterling classical technique, Lucienne is also a prodigious and passionate jazz trumpeter, having studied both styles in parallel. For her forthcoming debut album on Warner Classics, titled A Voice, she will move effortlessly between the two in wide-ranging repertoire inspired by and featuring the human voice.  Future dates include her debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra and a return to the London Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Vladimir Ashkenazy. Next season will also see orchestral debuts with the Munich Symphony Orchestra, Hong Kong Sinfonietta, Les Violons du Roy and Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, as part of their rising star series.

Inside the police cordon after the Arena bombing, students of Chetham’s School of Music sang the Oasis song that has become the city’s response to violence.


We’re barely into Panama hats and Holland Park Opera is already pushing out 2019.

Here’s the programme:

  • Puccini’s Manon Lescaut
  • Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera
  • Cilea’s L’arlesiana 
  • Double bill of Wolf-Ferrari’s Susanna’s Secret and Tchaikovsky’s Iolanta

Manon Lescaut was last staged at OHP in 2006, Iolanta in 2008 and Un ballo in maschera in 2009. Susanna’s Secret is a first for OHP and is eagerly anticipated following a warm reception of another of Wolf-Ferrari’s little-known operas in 2013, I gioielli della Madonna.

Cilea’s L’arlesiana – the third new production of this opera at OHP in 21 years – was the first of his operas to bring him fame, although today he is better known for Adriana Lecouvreur. L’arlesiana (The Girl from Arles) never actually appears in this tale of jealousy and descent into madness. The opera is a far truer example of ‘verismo’ than Adriana, and features music of exquisite pastoral beauty, gorgeous choruses and realistic human characters. The tenor aria ‘È la solita storia del pastore’ (Federico’s Lament) is one of the most famous in all late Italian opera.

Un ballo in maschera, last produced at OHP in 2009, is one of Verdi’s most celebrated scores. Along withManon Lescaut it gives OHP’s 2019 season a grandiose, emotional start. Further news on Manon Lescaut will follow soon.

Wolf-Ferrari’s delightful one-act comedy about marital misunderstanding, Susanna’s Secret, is in stark contrast to the epic I gioielli della Madonna which OHP presented to startled London audiences in 2013. The opera for which Wolf-Ferrari became most famous, its score is rich and sumptuous. It is paired with Tchaikovsky’s one-act masterpiece, Iolanta, a fairytale about a blind princess who finds love and regains her sight. The opera is among Tchaikovsky’s most beautiful scores and features aria after aria, and a searing duet between Iolanta and her lover Vaudémont.

James Clutton, Director of Opera and Michael Volpe, General Director issued a joint statement:

“The 2019 season promises to be another deliciously varied programme demonstrating what Opera Holland Park does best: offer high-quality, enjoyable opera to the public whilst extending the repertoire. We are excited to be able to share the news of future seasons earlier than ever before so that audiences can really sense our direction of travel for the coming years.”

The current issue of Das Orchester magazine has advertisements for concertmaster vacancies in the following premier-league orchestras (most of which employ four leaders):

Berlin Staatskapelle

Bavarian Radio Symphony

Bavarian State Opera

Munich Philharmonic

Stuttgart Opera

Hamburg Opera

Frankfurt Radio

Saxon Staatskapelle

Berlin Konzerthaus Orch



DSO Berlin

Deutsche Oper Berlin

RSB Berlin

and more.

Go for it!