Syrian sculptor Nizar Ali Badr has been capturing the story of refugees from his country, using pebbles from his local beach. His art has become the inspiration for a unique film — the concept of Latvian violinist Gidon Kremer, who asked Georgian animator Sandro Kancheli to bring the stone figures to life along with his music. (RFE/RL’s Georgian Service; producers Eka Kevanishvili and Toma Begiashvili)

In a homicide capital, a globetrotting cellist plays peacemaker and educator.

Read and watch here.

The pianist, out with a left-arm injury for the past three months, has returned to the stage for the state celebrations of the 20th anniversary of the return of Hong Kong to China.

But he played right hand only, we’re told, with an unnamed child covering the left hand part.

Gianandrea Noseda, who underwent back surgery this week, has withdrawn from Wolf Trap performances at the end of next month. The concerts would have marked the start of his music directorship with the National Symphony Orchestra.

According to the press release, ‘the following cancellations announced by Maestro Noseda are his first cancellations in 20 years.’ He will, however, be fit to conduct two weeks later at the Edinburgh Festival.

Gianandrea writes:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

First of all, thank you so much for all of the love and support I have received from my many friends and colleagues around the world.

I am saddened to have to cancel all of my performances until the middle of August. However, Lucia and I have decided to follow very carefully the advice of Prof. Naddeo and that it would be best to take this time for me to make a full and complete recovery so I am physically prepared for the Teatro Regio Torino’s historic residency at the Edinburgh International Festival in the second half of August and to start my new position as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. 

I cherish my relationships with the White Nights Festival in St. Petersburg, the Verbier Festival, the Ravinia Festival, and the Mostly Mozart Festival and look forward to returning to those festivals in the coming seasons. I was very much looking forward to my debut at Wolf Trap with the National Symphony Orchestra as well as my inaugural concert as music director of the National Symphony Orchestra on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. next month. Together with my colleagues in Washington, D.C. we will present a special free public concert at a later date. 

Once again, Lucia and I are grateful to all of our friends and colleagues all over the world and look forward to seeing you again soon. In the interim, I wish you all a wonderful summer of music and cannot wait to make music with all of you very soon. 

With deep gratitude and respect,

Gianandrea Noseda

The local hero has been quick to scotch suggestions that he might switch from the Orchestre Métropolitain to the international Montrea Symphony Orchestra when its music director departs in 202o.

Yannick tweeted:


So who, then?

Arthur Kaptanis suggests one of three recent visitors: Vasily Petrenko, Juanjo Mena and Miguel Harth-Bedoya.

Small problem: none of them speaks French.

How about Ludovic Morlot? He comes free at Seattle around the right time.


The East Neuk Festival 2017 is just finishing off its sand sculpture of Franz Schubert to tie in with this year’s Schubertiade.

Created by Claire Jamieson and Jamie Wardley of ‘Sand in Your Eye’ it was sculpted from 20 tonnes of sand on Crail High Street in the East Neuk of Fife in Scotland.

Photos (c) Colin Hattersley


The Festival runs until Sunday 2 July

From the Lebrecht Record of the Week:

In May 1933, the composer Paul Frankenburger left Munich for Tel-Aviv, where he Hebraised his surname and became teacher of the first generation of Israeli-born composers. An austere man, steeped in German Bildung, Ben-Haim grew excited by the microtonal singing of Jews from Arab lands and accompanied the Yemenite performer Bracha Zefira at the piano on extensive concert tours. His orchestral music, however, remained strictly tonal….

Read on here.

And here.

And here.

photo: Israel National Library

Mike Roddy has seen a fine cycle in the Hungarian capital, but hears executive fears that they cannot afford a repeat performance.

‘I am looking for especially German sponsors because it’s part of the German cultural heritage but it’s very difficult to catch them,’ says one of the organisers.

Read here.

UPDATE:  Müpa Budapest has asked us to clarify that it never planned nor announced a complete Ring for 2018. As regards funds, Müpa Budapest CEO Csaba Káel referred to future fundraising opportunities but the Budapest Wagner Days has never financially been in danger.

The prelude to my sermon in this week’s Spectator:

Amid the general political turmoil, a flutter of hope has greeted the arrival of Sir Nicholas Serota as chairman of Arts Council England, an organisation of fading relevance. Sir Nick, grand impresario of the Tate galleries, started life as an Arts Council gofer in 1969, taught to hang pictures by the flamboyant David Sylvester, friend of Lucian Freud, Bacon and Giacometti. Sylvester was one of many outsized brains that fuelled the quango in its heyday. Think Stuart Hampshire, Alan Bullock, Marghanita Laski, Richard Hoggart. No one like that left now. Might Serota signal a revival?

The omens are not auspicious…

Read on here.

The prime minister of Malta was called in to calm things down at the national orchestra after music director Brian Schembri was replaced at the season’s final concert.

Schembri says he had been ready and willing to conduct. The board replaced him with a fly-in.

The PM’s intervention failed. Chaos all round.

Read here.


Nowhere in the world does unfair dismissal cases like Australia:

A music teacher who described her principal as “a maggot in the ground who deserves to be stomped on” and implied that her colleague was faking a disability to get out of playground duty has failed in an unfair dismissal claim against the NSW Department of Education….

The previous principal was “a big f—ing dyke who I hated as well, but nowhere near as much as [I hate] Kay,” she told a colleague in May 2012, a few weeks before she resigned.

She sounds nice. Read on here.

This just in from Just Flutes, in Croydon:

Unfortunately we were the latest victim of the gang targeting music shops last night. They cut off the front grille and broke in through our toughened glass at 3:30am. Four instruments were stolen from our front display as follows:

JP045BS Alto Sax #0452008
JP045R Alto Sax #04540232
Yamaha YAS480 Alto Sax #M47014
JP251SW Trumpet #25120087
Plus two Mahalo MR1 ukuleles

All were taken without cases or mouthpieces. Fortunately they didn’t get to our main showroom. Please share this in case these instruments surface.