David Reiland, formerly with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra, has been named music director of the Orchestre national de Lorraine from next season.

Reiland, 37, succeeds Jacques Mercier who has held the post since 2002.


press release:

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce it has received a legacy of £800,000 from a generous donor – one of the largest legacy gifts in the organisation’s 97-year history.

The legacy was left by a frequent CBSO concert-goer and supporting member who lived in Lichfield.  It will support the CBSO’s activity in the UK over an eight-year period, meaning that as the CBSO passes its centenary in 2020 he will have helped to ensure the CBSO continues to thrive for music lovers of the future.

CBSO Individual Giving Manager Eve Vines shares the story behind the gift:

“Our recent £800,000 gift was given by a gentleman who was very special to us, and who first started supporting the Orchestra in memory of his wife. In addition to coming to concerts to hear the full Orchestra perform he really valued the work which CBSO musicians did with young people around the region. I’m quite sure that it was this, together with his friendship with a number of the musicians, that inspired him to leave a legacy.”

Chief Executive Stephen Maddock OBE adds:

“This important legacy represents a significant contribution to the £15-£20 million we need to raise from the private sector over the next eight years.  Support from generous private funders enables us to maintain and build upon the CBSO’s world-class artistic standards and the breadth of its work in the local community.  Without such support every aspect of our work would be diminished beyond recognition. Gifts from generous individuals, companies and trusts are all part of the mix, and so too are legacies of all sizes.  I am always touched and humbled when I learn that someone has chosen to remember us in this way: in doing so they ensure we can continue to offer musical inspiration for generations to come.”

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has hired David Chambers as Vice President for Development, starting next month.

Chambers, Chief Development Officer of the Houston Symphony Orchestra for the past six years, has increased donations there by 50 percent and donors by 70%.

The funeral took place today of Nina Seregina, one of the most sought-after piano teachers in Russia. She died on Friday at the age of 61.

Nina had many students from western Europe and the US.

One of them tells us: ‘She lived for music and her students, many of whom are concert pianists.  Very few give of themselves to our art and to their students as she did.’


Message from the Oxford Chamber Music Festival:

Ibrahim Keivo, a highly regarded Syrian musician, has been refused a 5 day visa to perform at the international Oxford Chamber Music Festival.

Priya Mitchell, the Artistic Director, knows Ibrahim well and cannot comprehend what possible threat he might pose to security by coming to play in Oxford for a few days. Ibrahim has been granted asylum in Germany, where he works and lives with his family. He has impeccable references and is invited by the world famous musician Jordi Savall to tour Europe in 207-2018.

The Home Office has given no reason for its refusal to grant the visa. Ibrahim Keivo was scheduled to sing and play his stringed instrument, the oud in concert but is also going to to be part of an educational programme for children and young people in Oxford. Oxford Chamber Music Festival and Ibrahim Keivo thought they had satisfied all the requirements demanded by the Home Office in detail and with plenty of time to spare, a most painstaking and expensive procedure. So we were completely devastated by the Home Office’s decision to decline his visa.

It is particularly regrettable as the Oxford Chamber Music Festival has a long tradition of inviting international artists from many different parts of the world and has never until now had to cancel an invitation on the grounds that a musician is not welcome in the U.K. We fear that this is perhaps a foretaste of how hard it is going to be for artists to enter the UK once Brexit is completed. Even taking into account the threat of terrorism and the weight of responsibility carried by the Home Office, its decisions should not automatically exclude certain nationalities from short term contracts, especially in the field of art and entertainment. We see music as a universal language, without borders that brings people of all cultures, religion, color of skin, heritage or background closer together and we still hope that Ibrahim Keivo will be granted a visa in time and will feel as welcomed in our country as he should be.

The attack took place around the Terminal 1 check-in counters at 11 am this morning (Monday).

Six people are reported injured.

First reports say many passengers are suffering breathing problems. Police say the gas was sprayed by ‘an unknown person’.

None of the injuries is believed to be serious.

UPDATE: The airport returned to normal at 12.30.

Another memory provoked by the death of Pierre Bergé.

In 2001, the fashion mogul co-financed the launch of the first dedicated online classical music site. It contained news, reviews, features, reference articles and even its own record label, mostly retrievals of historic broadcasts. Some of the content was memorable, some of the recordings indispensable. I particularly treasured a 1960 Vienna Philharmonic Mahler concert with Dmitri Mitropoulos.

No expense was spared. The design was exquisite. The site was run from offices in Paris and New York. For a year or so Andante seemed to be the future.

Then, without warning, Bergé demanded his money back. Maybe he read something he didn’t like. He was always short-tempered and capricious.

The Andante site was taken over by the Naive record label, with drastic cost cutting. In 2006, it was shut down.

All that remains are the recordings, if you can still find them.


The Lebrecht Album of the Week featured lost music by composers who were oppressed by the Nazis.

The pianist Vladimir Feltsman is working on retrieving the lost composers of Stalin’s Russia. ‘They are not known because they never emigrated from Stalin’s Russia,’ he says.

Who, for instance, remembers Sergei Protopopov?

Watch Feltsman discussed the lost Soviet generations.

The interview takes place around a PostClassical Ensemble concert and is conducted by PCE executive director, Joseph Horowitz.

From the Shanghai Daily:

The Gushan Pavilion at the Zhejiang Museum is displaying a series of Jin Dynasty carved bricks, through September 17. The bricks and other exhibits tell the story of the short but powerful dynasty.

The first section introduces a local opera named sanyue(散乐). It originated in the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BC), when it was only performed at the royal court. It developed during the Southern and Northern Dynasties (AD 420-589) as it spread through the temples. During the Song Dynasty (960-1279), it spread to cover both urban and rural areas.

Sanyue merged music with dance, and many of the carved bricks depict the instruments and the dancers.




More than 2,000 people have signed a petition urging the authorities to allow Zhebo, a composer and teacher from Mongolia, to remain in Leipzig, where he has lived and taught for six years.

Zhebo, 33, faces repatriation at the end of the year. His lifelong dream is to teach where Bach taught.

You can sign the petition here.

The ARD competition, Germany’s most-watched and prestigious music contest, fell to pieces last night.

In four categories – piano, violin, guitar and oboe – only one first prize was awarded.

In the other three categories, distinguished juries decided that no-one was a winner. In the oboe event, hopeful rumours of a first prize emerged from the jury room, only to be dashed by the wettest of washouts – the award of three second prizes, one for each finalist. A reminder of the old musical mnemonic, Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.

This is a massive, collective failure of a competition. Judges who cannot reach a decision should not sit in judgement. Candidates who are not worthy of winning should not be passed into the finals. Competitions that yield no result should be scrapped.

The ARD competition, founded in 1952, has something of a reputation for withholding top honours, but this year’s results are a travesty. ARD boasted a record intake this year of 640 applications from 53 countries. Surely among the 640 there must have been more than one possible winner? Dozens of young musicians leave Munich, their dreams dashed, their morale crushed.

Here are the final results:


1st Prize: not awarded
2nd: Sarah Christian (27), Germany
= 2nd: Andrea Obiso (23), Italy
3rd: Kristine Balanas (27), Latvia

1st Prize: JeungBeum Son (26), South Korea

2nd: Fabian Müller (26), Germany
3rd: Wataru Hisasue (23), Japan

1st Prize: (not awarded)
2nd: Junhong Kuang (17), China
= 2nd: Davide Giovanni Tomasi (25), Italy
3rd: Andrey Lebedev (26), Australia

1st Prize: (not awarded)
2nd: Juliana Koch (29), Germany
= 2nd: Thomas Hutchinson (24), New Zealand
= 2nd: Kyeong Ham (24), South Korea