Catriona Morison, winner of the BBC Cardiff Singer of the World competition, had failed to be spotted by the music business. She is listed only with a boutique firm – CMC – Cecilia Music Concept GmbH – in Cologne. International agents will be pursuing her first thing tomorrow. She will not want for suitors.

By contrast, her UK colleague Louise Alder is listed with AskonasHolt.

The US finalist Anthony Clark Evans is represented by CAMI.

The Australian Kang Wangis is with IMG.

The Mongolian baritone Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar is with the Wild agency.

On this result, the competition did exactly what it is meant for – it discovered new talent and put it on the world stage.

After an unexpectedly tight and high-quality final, the Scottish mezzo-soprano Catriona Morison was declared winner of the competition. Morison, 31, carefully avoided familiar crowd-pleasers in her final selection – with the exception of Dido’s Lament from Purcell’s opera, in which she gave a heartfelt performance. Morison, a Scot, is a member of the ensemble at Wuppertal Opera in Germany. Her next appearance there is as Maddalena in Verdi’s Rigoletto.

Two male singers – the Mongolian Ariunbaatar Ganbaatar and the Australian Kang Wang – seemed likelier winners, but the jury called it for the Scot.


The English soprano Louise Alder won the audience prize.

UPDATE: Agents in scramble to sign surprise winner.

UPDATE: Has the BBC lost interest in Cardiff Singer?


Friends and students are sharing their sorrow at the death of Joan Krueger, owner of a private coaching studio in New York. Joan died today, aged 64, after a 13-year struggle with cancer.

At New York’s Mostly Mozart Festival, she worked with Cecilia Bartoli, Sumi Jo, Vinson Cole and more. She was also assistant conductor at Sarasota Opera and music director for NYU’s Opera Workshop.

Our sympathies to her family.

In an ever-deepening morass, the Fort Worth Symphony has called in one of America’s wisest orchestral sages to dig it out of the doldrums.

David A. Hyslop, head of the Minnesota Orchestra in its happiest times, has previously helped the Dallas Symphony in distress. He’ll be 75 this month and he’s seen it all before.

His first task will be to restore player morale after a bitter strike, then to find a capable president.

His appointment was leaked out last thing on Friday.

photo: Ellen Pesavento

David has posted the following on social media: The Fort Worth Symphony has asked me to help them during an important transition period for the organization.  In the past few years I have had interim tenures in the area with both the Dallas Symphony and Dallas Summer Musicals and both Sally and I have become very fond of the DFW region. I look forward to working with all of Fort Worth Symphony family in working together to make great music
for its audiences.

Ulyana Lopatkina, prima ballerina of the Mariinsky Theatre, has announced her retirement on the company’s website. She has not danced at all in the past season due to injury.

Lopatkina, 44, one of the tallest ballerinas of modern times (175 cm), has appeared on all the world’s great stages.


We had been looking forward to an audition season at the Bremen Philharmonic, where 16 guest conductors – some fabulously promising – had been booked to compete for the podium vacancy.

But that was too much uncertainty for the music biz to bear so the orchestra has got pushed into making an early choice. Marko Letonja, a 55 year-old Slovene, has been named music director from September 2018.

Letonja is already music director of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg and artistic director of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. Bremen is just another notch on his bedpost.

UPDATE: The original position of GMD der Stadt Bremen has been split in two – GMD of the Bremer Philharmoniker (Letonja) and Music Director of the Opera House, which is the Israeli, Yoel Gamzou. Both will work as guests with the other side.

We’re not quite sure what to make of this electronic painting venture by the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras, but (as Mahler said of Schoenberg) maybe it’s the future.

See what you think.

Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestras from Isobar U.S. on Vimeo.


Alexander Papp, 16 has won Scotland’s national orchestra’s Notes From Scotland, its annual competition for 12-18 year olds. His work, titled Progeny, was inspired by Glen Coe.

Alexander is in Year 11 at Bedford School in the Home Counties, studies violin at Junior Guildhall (JGSM) in London and is an Associate Composer with the Britten Sinfonia Academy. In September, he will take up a scholarship at the Purcell School at Bushey, on the outskirts of London.


photo: Martin Shields/RNSO


Trump complains that the Castro regime used this violinist for propaganda purposes:

From the performer’s biography:

Grammy-award winning conductor and violin virtuoso, Luis Haza is in his second year as Music Director and Conductor of the Coastal Symphony of Georgia and, for the prior 4 years, the Music Director and Conductor of the Coastal Youth Symphony.

News clips from a concert in Krasnoyarsk show the great baritone singing through injury.

The video was posted on June 3.

The following day, he was interviewed on Russia 24 television.

Dmitri Hvorostovsky is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.

The great violinist was awarded the $1 million Genesis Prize last year.

He promptly set about giving it all away to music and disability causes.

These decisions proved so inspirational that supporters have now raised an extra $2.17 million to further the inclusionist aims that Perlman has promoted.

Details here.

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Never heard of Carbonelli? Don’t feel too bad about it. The Vivaldi scholar Michael Talbot writes that he ‘has remained unknown, even to specialists’. Listen to the music, though, and you will wonder how work of such quality and intricacy could vanish so comprehensively into the mists of history….

The restoration of Giovanni Stefano Carbonelli could be the musical rediscovery of 2017.

Read on here.

And here.

And here.