We have been informed by local campaigners that the highly valued Performing Arts Library in Surrey is under threat of closure.

In brief: Surrey County Council, faced with a £100m deficit, will close Surrey’s PAL early next year unless the library can make cuts of £180,000 or find another organisation that is prepared to take it over.

Mark Welling, Chairman of  the campaign group FOSPAL, says: The Surrey Performing Arts Library is unique. It is not the same as other borrowing libraries. It has one of the best collections in the country of orchestral, choir and drama sets as well as CDs, DVDs, scores and books related to all the performing arts.  It is at the centre of an eco-system of choirs, orchestras, bands, drama groups, opera groups, music teachers, professional musicians and singers as well as individual users.  Thousands of Surrey residents participate in groups which rely on PAL, and many more thousands benefit indirectly as members of audiences of such groups.

The Library houses a unique collection of material and artefacts relating to composer Ralph Vaughan Williams who lived in Dorking and established the local Leith Hill music festival.


The Royal Opera House is planning to make some of its best seats available for the price of a large pizza.

The catch?

You’ll have to sit on the floor.

Oliver Mears, the RO’s director, is intent on reviving the old Midland Bank Proms, where rows of stalls seats were removed to make way for young operagoers, sitting on cushions and blankets.

Brilliant initiative, long overdue.

The Telegraph has an interview with Oliver this morning.


The president has flown off to New York and two principal players have mysteriously disappeared.

The indefatigable CK Dexter Haven attempts to get some clarity on the swing-door orchestra which ‘never comments on personnel issues’.


The biggest buzz of the past few months happened immediately after the Walt Disney Concert Hall season ended when the orchestra roster no longer included two principal players:  Carrie Dennis (viola) and Ariana Ghez (oboe).

There was no official press release regarding their departure, but the news spread like wildfire nonetheless.  In fact, I’ve never received so many questions about LA Phil personnel as I have over the past few months.

Read on here.

The Burgtheater’s new production of Midsummer Night’s Dream, due to open tonight, has been postponed.

‘For the final presentation of his directorial concept, Leander Haussmann and the ensemble need further rehearsals,’ a statement said.

Murray Lerner, producer and director of the Oscar-winning documentary, From Mao to Mozart: Isaac Stern in China, has died at the age of 90.

A pioneer in the art of making music documentaries, he got his start with Joan Baez and Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival.

The three contestants picked by Bruno Canino’s jury are:

Fabian Müller (Germany, 26)


JeungBeum Sohn (South Korea, 26)

Wataru Hisasue (Japan, 23)

All the eliminated semi-finalists were Korean or Japanese.


Müller is a 2013 Busoni prize winner.

The death has been reported of Derek Bourgeois, composer of a dazzling variety of scores.

Derek was head of the National Youth Orchestra from 1984 to 1993 and subsequently director of music at St Paul’s School for Girls, where he was proud to number Holst and Howells among his predecessors.

He wrote no fewer than 114 symphonies* but was probably best known for his TV scores, which included The Barchester Chronicles and Mansfield Park. He also wrote copiously for brass and wind bands.

*Alan Rusbridger, his former student, says the final tally is 116.