Sovrintendente and Artistic Director Nicola Sani was fired today at the Teatro Communale di Bologna.

The official wording is that Sani, a composer, will be ‘consensually replaced’ by his deputy,  Fulvio Macciardi.

The Sani regime was criticised too much contemporary music and not enough full houses.

Report here.

Friends are reporting the death last night of Eric Salzman, a formidable presence in US music for 60 years.

He co-founded the American Music Theater Festival and the Center for Contemporary Opera.

An influential music critic and well-known broadcaster, he produced major recordings for Nonesuch, was editor of Musical Quarterly and wrote several books.

His scores include Jukebox in the Tavern of Love, Cassandra Ground Zero and Civilization & Its Discontents.

His death today was reported by the CCO dramaturg, Eugenia Arsenis.

Eric was 84.


Our sympathies to his wife, Lorna, and their daughters.

The Cathedral Choral Society of Washington DC has name Steven Fox as Music Director from 2018-19 sea. He will succeed Dr. J. Reilly Lewis who led the chorus from 1985 until 2016.

Fox is artistic director of the Clarion Orchestra and Choir in New York City, and founder of Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg, Russia’s first period-instrument orchestra.

Press release follows.



Washington, D.C. – November 14, 2017 – Yesterday evening, the Cathedral Choral Society announced the four-year appointment of Steven Fox as Music Director beginning with the 2018-19 season. As its third Music Director, Fox will succeed Dr. J. Reilly Lewis who led the chorus from 1985 until 2016. Fox will serve as Music Director Designate for the 2017-18 season.

“We are excited to announce Steven as our next Music Director,” said Thomas Mugavero, Board President and Search Committee Chair, “Steven is a tremendously gifted and engaging conductor. His knowledge and passion for music were evident throughout each stage in our search process.” Fox was selected following a nine-month search process that included 78 national and international applicants.

Chris Markus, member of the Search Committee and chorus member said, “we all agree that Steven is a great fit as the next music director of the Cathedral Choral Society. In addition to his expertise and creative vision, there was an expansiveness in his expression from the podium that showed he would serve as a compelling leader.”

Fox is the Artistic Director of The Clarion Orchestra and The Clarion Choir in New York City, and Founder of Musica Antiqua St. Petersburg, which he established as Russia’s first period-instrument orchestra. A 2017 GRAMMY® nominee, he has appeared as a guest conductor with many renowned ensembles including Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, Juilliard415 at Lincoln Center, the Charleston Symphony Orchestra, the Quebec Symphony Orchestra, l’Opéra de Québec, Music of the Baroque in Chicago, and the Tucson Symphony Orchestra.

Recognized as a leader in his generation of conductors, Steven has been called “an esteemed director” by The New Yorker and “visionary” by BBC Music Magazine. Of a recent performance with The Clarion Choir, The New York Times praised his “deft guidance” and wrote: “an inspired interpretation. Mr. Fox revealed the drama of the score with vivid dynamic shadings. Intonation and pacing were exemplary throughout the performance.” Fox was named an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music, London, in 2010 “for significant contributions to his field in music.” He has given master classes and clinics at Dartmouth College, Juilliard School, and Yale University, where he served for two years as preparatory conductor of the Yale Schola Cantorum.

“To be asked to serve as Music Director of the Cathedral Choral Society is a great honor,” said Steven Fox. “I feel that there is a strong and positive connection with this chorus and I am personally drawn to both Washington National Cathedral and Washington, D.C. I believe that we will make great music and I am excited to begin our work together.”

As Music Director, Fox will be charged with the continued development of the Cathedral Choral Society as one of the nation’s finest symphonic choruses. Fox’s premiere performance with the Cathedral Choral Society will take place on October 21, 2018. He will divide his time between Washington, D.C. and New York City.

… yeah, the Germans always win….



A combined Berlin Phil and Dresden Staatskapelle XI beat the plucky Shanghai Symphony by 4-0.

The Berlin Phil’s principal clarinet Andreas Ottensamer scored a hat-trick.


Some of the Berlin players forgot their protective gear.

Former president of the American String Teachers Association, and professor of cello at the University of Texas at Austin for half a century, Phyllis Young has died at the age of 92.

Born Phyllis Casselman and raised in Kansas, she studied with Horace Britt at UT Austin and completed her studies at the Paris Conservatoire and the Chigiano Academy in Siena.

She taught at UT from 1953 until 2007, one of the first women there to be promoted to full professor. In addition to private cello tuition, she founded the Texas Cello Choir and directed the UT String Project.

Here are her tips on vibrato technique.

A pupil’s fond tribute here.


A new Government policy document proposes a meter between the Orchestre de Paris and the hall it plays in, the Philharmonie de Paris, saving dozens of jobs.

Also on the cars is a ‘reconfiguration’ of the national radio orchestras (and we all know what that means).

Read here.


ENO’s forthcoming world premiere, Marnie, is by an American composer, Nico Muhly.

Its title role is sung by an American, Sasha Cooke.

The director, Michael Mayer, is American.

As is the set and projections designer, Julian Crouch.

And the costume designer, Arianne Phillips.

And the lighting designer, Kevin Adams.

In short, the entire production team are US imports apart from the music director, Martin Brabbins.

Why not just rename it the American National Opera?

It’s a madly insensitive act of team selection at a time when ENO is arguing it remains essential to UK culture.

A statement signed by 653 female opera singers in Sweden maintains that they suffered harassment and sexual misconduct by powerful men in the classic music industry.

The offences range from verbal aggression to attempted rape.

The signatories include Anna Larsson , Katarina Dalayman, Erika Sunnegårdh, Miah Persson (pictured), Iréne Theorin, Elin Rombo, Katija Dragojevic, Ida Falk Winland, Kerstin Avemo and Lena Nordin. Swedish Radio is preparing to broadcast a program that will name two prominent teachers at the Royal Academy of Music as persistent offenders.

All information, so far, has been in Swedish.




The Wigmore Hall has just published a shortlist for next year’s  International String Quartet Competition.

Just look at those names below. The Tchalik Quartet? Viano? Vera?

Are those indelible names?

Somebody needs to teach new quartets about branding.


Callisto Quartet          USA

Eliot Quartett              Germany

Esmé Quartet              Germany

Gildas Quartet             UK          

Goldmund Quartett    Germany

Idomeneo Quartet      UK/Switzerland/Spain

Marmen Quartet        UK          

Quartet Amabile         Japan

Quatuor Tchalik          France   

Solem Quartet            UK          

Vera Quartet               USA        

Viano Quartet             USA


The Loesje Sanders agency has shared the sad news that Paul Brown died yesterday at his home in Wales.

Paul, who was 57, was the director Graham Vick’s regular design partner; teir last production together was Mahagonny in Copenhagen.

Paul also collaborated frequently with Jonathan Kent at Glyndebourne and Covent Garden.

He will be widely missed.


The Hungarian-born violinist who taught in St Petersburg from 1868 to 1917 is generally acclaimed as the ‘father’ of the Russian school of violin playing.

But was he?

In a challenging new essay, the young violinist Yevgeny Chepovetsky, himself a student of an Auer-linear teacher, asks as uncomfortable question. Why is it that from 1868 to 1903 Auer did not produce a single star pupil?

From 1868 to 1903, Auer was completely unknown as a teacher beyond Russia’s border.

So what changed in 1903?

He met an 11-year-old child named Mischa Elman. It happened at one of those godforsaken outskirts of Russian Empire within a Jewish Pale of Settlement where Elmans lived for generations. Auer accepted the child into his class in St. Petersburg.

Sixteen months later Mischa made his sensational debut in Berlin, the most important musical city of that time. Elman started concertizing internationally right after,  never returning to Auer’s class…

Read on here.

Ahead of its first European tour this month, the Orchestre Métropolitain is getting branded up with Quebec labels, who are kitting out the musicians in new gear and shoes.

‘Yannick wants the orchestra to look modern,’ says Marie Saint-Pierre, the costume designer.



Shoes are supplied by Aldo.

This orchestra is going to look chic and neat.