The Sun Group, based in Hanoi, has announced the formation of the Sun Symphony Orchestra, designed (according to the website) ‘to give outreach concerts to various areas of Vietnam, to maintain an active Classics Season featuring the standard greats from the orchestral repertoire, and to bridge the gap between Vietnamese/foreign listeners from all backgrounds and the power of music’.

The inaugural music director is a Frenchman, Olivier Ochanine.

Olivier, 38, was previously music director of the Philippines Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Baltimore music director is putting up a house for auction sale with an opening bid of half a million dollars.

Ms Alsop bought the house in 2010 but now lives closer to town.

Take the photo tour here.


Peter Herrndorf will step down next summer after 19 years at the head of the National Arts Center.

Story here.

The federal culture minister Monika Grütters today activated a multi-million Euro fund to help orchestras improve their overall performance.

The first grants are awarded to the Südwestdeutsche Philharmonie Konstanz, the Bochum Symphoniker and the Jena Philharmonic. Ms Grütters said the aim was to improve diversity in the orchestral landscape.

More here.


There was a time when young talent, interviewed by a manager, would be told to get a name that is simple, memorable and no longer than three syllables.

That advice no longer applies.




To get ahead in music, you’re probably better off nowadays with a second barrel.

We have been informed of the death, from pancreatic cancer, of the Georgian tenor Zurab Sotkilava, a man of great renown in two very different arenas.

As a teenager, he played for the powerful Dynamo Tbilisi team and was at the start of an international career when an injury sustained in a match in Yugoslavia ruled out any further exertions.

He went to study singing instead, first at the Tbilisi Conservatoire, then at La Scala. In 1973, he made his Moscow debut at the Bolshoi as Don Jose in Carmen, and signed on as a member of the company. He was a regular guest at the Teatro Communale in Bologna, where he was regarded as a Verdi specialist.

Zurab taught many young singers at the Mocow Conservatoire. He celebrated his 80th birthday early this year.

Eternal rest.

Cosima Soulez Lariviere, who holds French and Dutch nationality, won first prize in the Bartók violin competition last night, emerging from a semi-final round in which all the winners were connected to members of the jury.

Cosima Soulez Lariviere, who is 21 and lives in London, is a student of juror Krzysztof Wegrzyn.

She wins 22,000 Euros and a host of performances, including an appearance at the next Budapest Spring Festival.