That leaves Toronto with two section vacancies, as Kent Teeple is retiring after 40 years.
In the last few minutes, the president of Radio France, Mathieu Gallet, was removed from his job by the broadcasting council following a conviction two weeks ago for showing favouritism in a previous public office.
Gallet, 41, will step down next month.
The seven members of the broadcasting council will publish their reasons later.
They had been under pressure from the Minister of Culture Françoise Nyssen, who had called for Gallet to resign or, failing that, be sacked.
Gallet was a strong supporter of the radio orchestras, which are facing merger threats from the ministry.
Kenny Bosco, a gifted American luthier, has lost his life in a car smash.
The symphonic rock violinist Mark Wood writes:
It is with utter disbelief and immense sorrow that we share the news that our beloved Kenny Bosco was killed in a tragic car accident late last night. Kenny had just lost his grandfather and we sent him home from the NAMM Show to be with his family. After a long exhausting day of helping his Mom with funeral arrangements, he was on his way to visit his fiancé when the accident occurred… . There are just no words in our language to adequately convey what Kenny meant to us… we are utterly heartbroken… He was a treasured member of our family, ever since he started working at Wood Violins, and was just a treasure of a human being on all levels.
Kenny loved life. He elevated everyone around him. He was relentlessly positive and infectiously joyous, and maintained a a very special sense of humor, despite every challenge he ever encountered. He was creative, innovative, caring, and deeply committed to the highest standards of quality, both in work and in life.
Kenny was the heart and soul of Wood Violins. He is forever ingrained in OUR hearts and souls. We are utterly and thoroughly broken by this horrific news…
A fundraiser for funeral expenses has been set up here.
We have obtained from inside sources the letter of resignation by music director Daniel Harding that was read out yesterday to musicians of the Orchestre de Paris. It is a positive, upbeat letter. He is leaving on good terms.
The main reason for his resignation is, briefly, that he came to the conclusion that if he proceeded with his plans for the orchestra he would risk changing its character – and that is the last thing he wanted to do. As one friend puts it: ‘If he had stayed it would have been a kind of reconstructive surgery on something that really doesn’t need it, that is already a supreme example of its own style.’
This is a principled resignation for purely artistic reasons. His letter to the orchestra is unspun and from the heart. You read it here first.
I have enjoyed immensely my time with you so far. Every week has taught me something; primarily musical, but also to admire and respect you as a group of musicians and professionals. Some of those weeks have been unforgettable and count amongst my strongest musical experiences to date. Amongst those I feel compelled to mention the Dream of Gerontius last December, during which your commitment and dedication to the music, the beauty of your playing and the sensitivity of your accompaniment and storytelling will remain with me always.
We also have a great number of projects to come about which I am very excited and am sure will provide many moments of unforgettable music making.
When I am back I will be more than happy to talk with any of you who wish to discuss my reasons for this decision, for now let me keep it brief.
I don’t see this in any way as a negative decision. I came to you when we were largely completely unknown to one another. Getting to know you is a fascinating and inspiring process. My strong feeling is that the best of our collaboration is an exchange of different musical backgrounds, and a discovery together of new repertoire for the orchestra and some different perspectives on more familiar repertoire. You are a supreme expression of a musical culture that is not mine. For this reason I think that a number of years together will be very productive and inspiring. Beyond that I would find myself wanting to turn the Alps into the Grand Canyon, because I came looking for something other than is your nature. Far better to have a wonderful time discovering that which you are, and seeing what I can offer you as observation to help you on your journey: and then to move on with happy memories. To change your musical nature would be an act of destruction, and I will not do it.
I have offered to Bruno (already when I first spoke to him about this decision) that I stay in the season subsequent to my contract (19/20) for 4 or 5 weeks and perhaps a tour. I will relinquish my title, but will be there to help with anything you may wish of me and to show you and the outside world that there is no rupture or problem. My intention is to continue making music withyou regularly for as long as you wish that to be the case.
Hans Abrahamsen is the 2019 winner of the Denmark-based Sonning Award, succeeding Maris Jansons.
He is the first Dane to win in a decade.
HarrisonParrott, the London talent agency, has opened a Paris office.
From the press release:
The office is headed up by Moema Parrott as President who is also CEO of PolyArts and Board Director of HarrisonParrott. François Guyard newly appointed as General Manager (France) has well-established experience in artist management having worked with the Jacques Thelen and Solea agencies as well as with Universal Music.
Toby Spence has been talking to the Times this morning about his five-year struggle with advanced thyroid cancer, and how Freudian psychoanalysis helped him cope.
Working in New York, he set up his laptop behind his head to skype his (unseen) therapist, getting up at “unbelievable hours” because of the time zone. “I would see the sun coming up on those days and I would just talk.”
The viola player Christopher Goldscheider is suing the Royal Opera House, his former employer, for damage to his hearing caused by rehearsing in front of a large brass section during Wagner’s Ring.
The ROH maintains it took all necessary precautions and provided ear plugs.
Christopher Goldscheider is claiming £750,000 in lost earnings and further damages for a diminished lifestyle.
The defence statement by David Platt, QC, contains these words:
The operas of Richard Wagner often provoke strong emotions.
Whilst probably the greatest musical theatre ever written, they have been appropriated by German nationalism and engender controversy to this day.
Nevertheless it is unprecedented for it to be alleged that they cause actual injury to its participants….
The music of Richard Wagner is not to blame.
David Platt QC also said the Royal Opera House is ‘one of the great national and international cultural institutions of this country, and the case could have ‘significant implications’ for all UK orchestras.
Since the case continues, we refrain from comment.
The composer Thea Musgrave, who turns 90 on May 27, will mark the day with a concert at the Church of St. Mary the Virgin, New York City.
Thea has written more than 160 works, including 13 operas, and she’s not done yet.
The concert will include the world premiere of La Vida es Sueño, sung by the Mexican baritone, José Adán Pérez, and the US premiere of Dawn, performed by Nicholas Daniel.
Is anyone in Britain marking Thea’s 90th?
A message late last night from Peter Gelb, General Manager of the Metropolitan Opera:
We send our condolences to the family, friends, and the global artistic community who admired and loved Robert Rattray, the Met’s Assistant General Manager responsible for Artistic Administration. Robert suffered a stroke on Sunday, while enjoying a day off at home, and died earlier today. He was 67 years old.
Robert joined the Met in 2014 after an illustrious career in artists management in the UK. As Joint Chief Executive of Askonas Holt, one of the leading classical music agencies, from 1998 until his retirement from the firm in 2013, Robert was one of the top agents in the field, managing the careers of some of opera’s most illustrious talents. Amongst the legendary artists who Robert worked with are Janet Baker, Anthony Rolfe Johnson, Felicity Lott, Charles MacKerras, Thomas Ades, Simon Keenlyside, and Ian Bostridge. In collaboration with his fellow Joint Chief Executive, Martin Campbell White, Robert also was involved in the management of some of the most important conducting careers of recent times, including Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, and Yannick Nezet-Seguin.
Robert was born and raised in England, attending Eton prep school, St Edwards School, Oxford and Edinburgh University, before beginning his career as a trainee artist manager with the firm of Ibbs and Tillett in 1973. He joined the company that would become Askonas Holt in 1977.
As Assistant General Manager of the Met, Robert oversaw artistic operations. Working together with Artistic Administrator Jonathan Friend, Robert was responsible for the forward planning, scheduling, and casting of more than 200 opera performances each season, involving thousands of performing artists.
Robert had planned on retiring from the Met within the next two seasons to return to England to be with his family and to help look after his beloved parents, Noelle and Robin, who are both in their 90’s.
We will honor Robert’s memory by dedicating the opening performance of Parsifal on February 5th to his memory. We will also be planning a celebratory event in his honor for later in the season.
Peter Gelb, General Manager
Photo by Tristan Cook/Met Opera
The Munich Philharmonic has locked down its chief conductor for the long term under a new deal signed today.