From a shrinking, increasingly mean and intolerant island:

Four students at Newark’s world-renowned violin-making school face deportation from the UK.

Lingtzu Chen and Meng-Hsiu Tsai, from Taiwan, Daniel Chick, from Australia, and Yasuhiro Nakashima, from Japan, are due to be deported after July 31 because their international visas have been cancelled by the Home Office…

Read on here.

As of today, you can watch concert videos on the Concertgebouw site after the orchestra decided there was no point in charging for them.

The RCO has also abandoned all further releases on RCO editions, according to its press release.

You can watch the free videos here.

They include concerts by Jansons, Gatti, Fischer, Nelsons and Blomstedt.

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Of the two UK finalists in BBC Cardiff Singer of the World last weekend, many felt the English soprano Louise Alder stood a better chance than the Scottish mezzo Catriona Morison. Alder commanded the stage with unfeigned confidence, a breeziness that shines through this, her well-timed debut recording.

Songs by Richard Strauss are not for wallflowers. Everything has to be just-so, shimmering on the surface and hinting at Freudian urges below. Louise Alder, who made an opera debut as Glyndebourne’s stand-in Sophie in Der Rosenkavalier in 2014, sounds undaunted by anything Strauss can throw at her….

Read on here.

And here.


This morning’s buzz over Alan Gilbert’s appointment as music director in Hamburg is confined strictly to the music business and few media strap-hangers. Gilbert is a decent conductor, in his fifties. Hamburg has a fine hall. But will anything change? Has word of the announcement made your blood race?

What was the last time you leaped up shouting ‘eureka!’ at a music director appointment?

Kirill in Berlin? Mirga in Birmingham? These are rare exceptions.

Mostly, the negotiations take so long and are so leaky that the actual announcement is greeted with ‘yeah, right…’ or ‘same-old, same-old…’

There has to be a better way of introducing a change-maker.

UPDATE: A tweet from the two orchestras concerned:

We hear that Demarre McGill, who failed to retain his seat as acting principal flute in the Met orchestra at a recent audition, has been offered his old job back as principal in the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.

We don’t yet know if he has accepted.

The Vienna Opera has announced the death of Jan Stripling, head of the State Opera Ballet from 1993 to 1995.

Jan died in London on June 22, reportedly of the effects of Parkinson’s Disease. He was 75.

His choreography for Aida remains in the Vienna repertory.

l-r: Jan Stripling, Reid Anderson, Birgit Keil in Voluntairies (1973) Ch: Glen Tetley.
photo (c) Hannes Kilian/Stuttgarter Ballet

An incident at the Toronto Symphony on Wednesday seems likely to end up in court.

A man was removed from a performance of Carmina Burana after persistently directing abuse at a person in an adjacent seat. The offender was white and middle-aged. The victim was Aisha Ahmad, who describes herself as ‘British-born Canadian Muslim. PhD. Security specialist. Professor. Boxer.’

Professor Ahmad lectures on international security at the University of Toronto.


She tweeted: ‘Got chopped in neck and called a “bitch” by old white man at @TorontoSymphony @roythomsonhall. Other patrons backed him & I had to leave.’

She added: ‘As the people around centred their aggression on me, I felt too uncomfortable to stay, so I got up and left.’

The orchestra tells us that hall staff intervened at intermission and removed the disrupter. He has been banned for life from attending Toronto Symphony concerts.

We understand that Toronto Police are investigating the incident with a view to prosecution.

The TSO has issued this statement:

The TSO has zero tolerance for abusive, violent and disrespectful behaviour. We regret this happened and take this situation very seriously. The offender was ejected from the hall and is no longer welcome at the TSO. The matter has been turned over to the Police.

This is the full sequence of Ms Ahmad’s tweets:
– Got chopped in neck and called a “bitch” by old white man at . Other patrons backed him & I had to leave.

-Was sitting with friend. We were told not to take flash photography, so I turned off flash to take one picture before the show started. /2

– Man behind me chopped me in the neck, said “put that away”. I replied “you have no right to touch me; that’s assault.” /2

– He then called me a “child” and a “bitch”. The other older people in the area then turned in support of him.

– As the people around centred their aggression on me, I felt too uncomfortable to stay, so I got up and left.

It sounds like a dispute on concert etiquette raged out of control.

More here on Musical Toronto.

Live on social media, the NDR Elbphilharmonie of Hamburg has just announced a successor to Thomas Hengelbrock, starting in 2019.

The new music director will be, as we predicted, Alan Gilbert.

The Hamburg announcement comes weeks after Gilbert’s festive departure from the New York Philharmonic after seven years as music director. The Elbphilharmonie is portraying the appointment as a musical upgrade for the city, which does always attract music directors of international reputation.

Gilbert, 50, has plenty of time to repair the damage that the New York Philharmonic inflicts on its chief conductors. He also has a tremendous opportunity in a new hall where, up now now, 90 percent of ticket buyers have been first-time concertgoers. His contract is for five years. He will conduct a minimum of 12 weeks a year.

The deal was struck by NDR’s director of music, Andrea Zietzschmann, who is heading off to become general manager of the Berlin Philharmonic, where she intends to maintain Gilbert as a guest conductor.

The other candidate considered for was, we hear, the Polish conductor of the Indianapolis Symphony, Krzysztof Urbański.

UPDATE: ‘I wasn’t looking for a new place’

UPDATE: When were you last excited by a new music director?