Antonio Mormone, well-liked president of the Società dei Concerti di Milano, has died at his villa on Lake Como at the age of 87. He had run the society for 35 years.


From BBC National Orchestra of Wales:

It’s with tremendous sadness that we share that our much loved colleague and friend Eva Stewart has passed away. Eva joined the Orchestra in 2002 as our Principal Piccolo and constantly amazed us with her wonderful musicianship and dedication. Her skill and sincere musicality were real gifts to be treasured and she will be greatly missed. Our thoughts go out to her partner Bill, and her family and friends.

UPDATE: We understand that Eva died while on holiday in Egypt.

From her bio:

Eva Stewart was born in Aberdeen, Scotland, and grew up in the Midlands…. Graduating from the Guildhall in 1993, she won the Lord Mayor’s Prize and joined the Northern Sinfonia, where for nearly ten years she enjoyed a great variety of music-making, with a particular focus on chamber music. During this time she discovered her love for community music-making, teaching and workshops. This led to the completion of an MA in music education in 2001. The following year she joined the BBC National Orchestra of Wales as principal piccolo. An enthusiastic teacher, she is a professor at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. In addition to orchestral playing, she has collaborated with singers, dancers and storytellers in mixed media and improvised performances.

The French opera world has been shocked by the sudden death of Pierre Vernes, founder of the Paris Competition which has yielded such talents as Julia Lezhneva, Omo Bello and Bogdan Volkov.

He appears to have suffered a heart attack in his sleep.

Nathaniel West has joined the double-bass section. Yu-Ting Chen and Jeoung-Yin Kim (pictured) are new members of the second violins.

All three are Curtis graduates.

After 12 years with Music Productions Ltd, the Singers have signed with Intermusica.

From the press release:

The King’s Singers say:

“We are thrilled to be joining the Intermusica family after a hugely successful relationship with Music Productions, who have guided us for over 12 years with great skill and care. Huge thanks are due to Claire Long and her team for the hard work that has put The King’s Singers in such a strong position going into our 50th Anniversary in 2018. In looking to the future we are excited to be working with an industry-leading team at Intermusica and know that the group is in very safe hands as we begin our second half-century.”


The violinist issued a statement today in Russian (loosely translated here), condemning the systemic faults in the arrest and prosecution of the opera director Kirill Serebrennikov:

I am deeply disturbed by the situation that led to the arrest of the original Russian artist Kirill Serebrennikov. The way it was conducted (night raid in a minibus, police in masks) is even more depressing.

Similar pressure is being applied to other suspects, to “ordinary” employees.

It’s easy to talk about this from afar … But it is quite obvious that the circle of people who are entrusted with administering justice is completely devoid of the notion of human norms. Judges per se are violators of the code of respect for rights, as well as being blind to the world of art.

Is this justice?

The trampling of elementary human rights has been and continues to be a sad tradition of Russian society… A creative person once again has been deprived of the right t work. Remember the recent premiere cancellation of the ballet Nureyev at the Bolshoi Theater, and the stopping of a film about Victor Tsoi in St Petersburg…

The very title of the artist suggests a certain morality, and I’m sure that Kirill Serebrennikov is its avatar.

The outstanding and extremely busy tenor Gregory Kunde, 63, is taking time out next season to conduct Rossini’s Barber of Seville in Venice.

He has previously conducted Donizetti at Bergamo.



The soprano Genia Kühmeier has pulled out of the Berlin Phil’s season-opening concert tomorrow and its tour to Salzburg, Lucerne and Paris. She’s unwell.

Her last-minute replacement in Haydn’s Creation is the young French soprano Elsa Dreisig.

Rattle conducts.

Reports are appearing of the death of Aloys Kontarsky, surviving half of the celebrated German piano duo. He was 86 and had been struggling in the aftermath of a stroke.

His brother Alphons died in 2010.

The duo recorded extensively for DG and other labels.


A chamber music play by Mauricio Kagel with the mime Rolf Scharre and the brothers Alfons and Aloys Kontarsky. Munich. 1964. Photograph by Franz Hubmann/Lebrecht

All the talk yesterday was about the visit of the French President and his intensive talks with three other EU leaders.

Was there a festival going on?

photo: Reuters

UPDATE: The Macrons did manage to attend the Argerich/Barenboim recital in the Grosses Festspielhaus last night.

The orchestra is looking to the future.

Gordon Hunt, the veteran principal oboe and one of the Philharmonia’s defining lights, will share his seat from now on with Tom Blomfield, fresh out of the Royal Academy of Music.

Tom, 22, is from north Wales. He recently guested as principal with the LSO and BBCSO before the Philharmonia moved in with a contract.

Gordon Hunt previously shared his title with Christopher Cowie, who has joined the Royal Opera House orchestra.


They are down to the last three in the Clara Haskil Competition:

Aristo Sham, from Hong Kong, a student of French and Economics at Harvard;

Alberto Ferro, runner-up at the Busoni competition; and

Mao Fujita, from Japan.