Details of the Hall’s opening gala:

We are excited to inform you that legendary jazz artist Chick Corea will join Lang Lang as featured soloists in a two-piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as part of the Opening Night Gala concert on Wednesday, October 4.

Also performing at the keyboard with Lang Lang during the piece will be 14-year-old pianist Maxim Lando, an alumnus of the Lang Lang Foundation’s Young Scholars Program. Lando will partner with Lang Lang, as he continues to recover from an inflammation of his left arm.

Why is Yannick playing along with this charade?

The RPO have chosen Nicolas Fleury as their new principal horn. He starts next week.


The swing-band vocalist Bea Wain, who put words to Debussy’s Reverie to the horror of the composer’s estate, has died at a great age.


The Venezuelan government has turned against the country’s most successful musician, refusing to allow its youth orchestra to tour the United States with Gustavo Dudamel.

President Maduro has claimed that Dudamel owes everything to El Sistema, which his government owns, and will be punished for his dissent.

There has been no response to the Dudamel sanctions from the Sistema founder, Jose Antonio Abreu.

Or from Sistema graduates with international careers in Europe and the US.

Or, shamefully, from Sistema’s adulators and partners in other countries.

Not a word from Julian Lloyd Webber, for instance, the organisation’s chief promoter in the UK.

Or from Sir Simon Rattle and Daniel Barenboim, Dudamel’s good friends. (Let alone Jeremy Corbyn, the Maduro regime’s biggest supporter).

Or from Sistema’s apologists in the US, Tricia Tunstall and Eric Booth.

This is not a time for silence.

Musicians who believe in justice and human rights need to make their voices heard.


The opera and musicals singer Gregory Cross has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He has been given eight months to live.

His only hope is an experimental form of cancer surgery called IRE (Irreversible Electroporation/NanoKnife), which uses electrical impulses to shrink tumours and is being developed in the UK and Germany.

Friends are raising funds in an effort to fly him next week to the UK. He is still $28,000 short.

You can help here.

No, it’s not the Hilton or the Marriott.

Ace, which is slightly counter-cultural, wants us to know that all of its hotels in eight US cities and a ninth in London will be playing nothing but John Cage on September 5, the composer’s 105th birthday.

‘We will be broadcasting a wide selection of works from across Cage’s career, curated by the label Mode Records. Selections will be playing in a random order at each property for 24 hours, starting at midnight local time,’ say Ace. ‘We invite guests to immerse themselves in a day-long sonic experience.’


From Lyor Cohen, Youtube’s global head of music:

 It’s not enough for YouTube to say that it’s paid over $1 billion to the industry from ads. We (the labels, publishers and YouTube) must shine a light on artist royalties, show them how much they make from ads compared to subscriptions by geography and see how high their revenue is in the U.S. and compared to other services.

For instance, critics complain YouTube isn’t paying enough money for ad-supported streams compared to Spotify or Pandora.  I was one of them!  Then I got here and looked at the numbers myself.

At over $3 per thousand streams in the U.S., YouTube is paying out more than other ad supported services.

Are you getting $3 per 1,000 clicks?

Heather Main, a former opera singer, now trains horses to win races.

She believes that teaching Mozart to her four-legged friends helped her to win 440-1 treble at Chepstow.

Full story here.

photo (c) Mirrorpix


The controversial director Kirill Serebrennikov has been arrested in Moscow for questioning over an alleged one million US dollar fraud. He is expected to be charged.

Opera houses in Stuttgart and Berlin, where Serebrennikov has forthcoming productions, have raised the alarm.

Suspicions have been raised that the charges are politically motivated.

UPDATE from Meduza: After three months of raids and interrogations, a prominent Russian stage director is in police custody. In the early morning hours on August 22, federal investigators detained stage director Kirill Serebrennikov in an ongoing fraud case. According to officials, the celebrated director organized the theft of “no less than 68 million rubles [$1.2 million]” allocated to the “Platforma” theater program. Police detained Serebrennikov in St. Petersburg on the set of his new film about Soviet rock legend Viktor Tsoi. The director was then taken to Moscow. In May, police raided Serebrennikov’s home and theater, the Gogol Center. Timeline of events in this case, in English

Martha Rowan Hyder, who has died at 89, did more than anyone to make Van Cliburn Piano Competition international.

A member of the competition’s executive committee of the competition from 1962 to 1993, she toured the world forging relationships with performing and academic institutions to ensure that Fort Worth got a good flow of talent.

She sat on the boards of the National Symphony in Washington, New York City Ballet and the Friends of Carnegie Hall.

The death has been announced of Wilhelm Killmayer, a post-War private student of Carl Orff who persuaded him to devote his life to composition. Living in Munich, Killmayer was music director of the outstanding ensemble of Bavarian State Opera from 1961 to 1964.

His works include three symphonies and much vocal music.

He died on August 20.

Appreciation here.