10 Slipped Disc predictions for 2018

10 Slipped Disc predictions for 2018


norman lebrecht

January 02, 2018

1 Kaufmann will cancel.

2 Gelb will go.

3 Two new concert halls will shut for ‘essential maintenance’

4 Yuja Wang will catch cold

5 The CD will make a modest comeback

6 Leonard Bernstein will have a bumpy centenary

7 A prominent critic will be unwillingly retired (he has already been told)

8 Brexit will bite British orchestras

9 Bavarian State Opera will hire the wrong manager and conductor

10 #metoo will claim more maestros



  • Anon says:

    11 Placido Domingo will have his role debutes as Sarastro and Wotan.

  • David R Osborne says:

    12. Slipped Disc commenter will lose it with John Borstlap.

  • Theodore McGuiver says:

    I hope N°9 is wrong.

  • Sue says:

    The CD has already made much more than a ‘modest comeback’ in Europe. I have a Densen CD player and it was delayed coming out from Denmark because of the increase demand for players in Europe as a function of an increased interest in CDs.

    • Theodore McGuiver says:

      Well, that’s an encouraging development. The last specialist classical CD shop in our city closed, to be replaced by one selling vinyl, funnily. It would have been better had the music on those records been of the same ilk…

      • Nik says:

        Vinyl has made a comeback as a luxury object to be displayed on specially crafted shelves, the better to burnish your connoisseur credentials. CDs are unlikely ever to acquire this status.

        • wangbaba says:

          Audiophiles proclaiming the superiority of vinyl over CD are a bit like Donald Trump calling any reportage he doesn’t like “fake news”. If you say something completely ridiculous loudly and repeatedly enough, it magically becomes true.

          • Nik says:

            The point is that a CD is just one of many available devices for storing digital files. The exact same files can be played off a hard drive or streamed over the internet.
            Vinyl is something different. Whether it’s better is a matter of opinion.

          • Seth Lubin says:

            Vinyl remained because the sound is often superior to CD. Personally, I’d rather hear a click or two versus the deadly cold of the 16 bit RedBook CD.

            The digital file, is now superior to CD. While True Audio Blu-Ray and SACD are superior to CD, they have not sadly caught on.

            However, the 24 bit FLAC file downloaded to your computer is able to capture the sound of an original Analogue master tape. Sadly IMO, the general public is content with the convience of the CD and the low cost. The problem with hearing the true sound of vinyl is two fold. The equipment is far more costly than the average consumer CD player and secondly, the quality control of vinyl is not always superior.

  • Anon says:

    Not convinced British orchestras will see any real negative impact of Brexit in 2018. 2018’s programmes and touring were set up a long time ago, and the potential impact of any new border regulations won’t hit with any degree of force until 2019 (I think unlikely in any case). Not much to see on this one, I suspect.

    • FS60103 says:

      Assuming, of course, that there *are* any significantly different border regulations as a result of this process – something that’s never been particularly likely, and now seems less likely than ever. And let’s not forget that the Far East has for some years been a far more sought-after touring destination for UK orchestras than Europe – and it’s been the biggest growth market for UK music colleges too. There’s never been any noticeable shortage of US, South American, Israeli or Far Eastern musicians working in the UK, or indeed UK musicians working in these places.

      Classical music administrators in the UK by and large, hold pro-European (“metropolitan liberal”, if you prefer, though it’s a gross oversimplification) views (I’ve heard that one UK orchestral CEO actually emailed all his employees before the referendum urging them to vote Remain – a slightly questionable use of power within an organisation). Their Brexit doomsaying is grounded in that, rather than any really practical assessment of the impact on the sector – which in reality is likely to amount to a slightly increased quantity of form-filling by concert management (or tours) departments of major orchestras three or four time a year. And some agents may have to work slightly harder for their money, which some might argue is no bad thing.

  • Thomas Silverbörg says:

    The Bavarian State Opera already hired the wrong manager, as far as I’m concerned. I don’t see how they can possible top this. A beautiful house, very sad on the inside. Need one despise arts and artist to run an opera house?

  • Thomasina says:

    1: He has a concert in Japan on January 4 but any notice of cancellation yet.

  • Don Fatale says:

    11. Classical LPs will have a resurgence, so I can make a few quid from my bloated collection!

    • Vaquero357 says:

      Anecdotal evidence: I was in the local Half Price Books (retail chain in the U.S. – name says it all – deals in remaindered & used books, CDs, LPs, DVDs, VHS, etc.) and as usual made a beeline for the used LP section to see if there were any new cheap, never-released-on-CD classical treasures. There really weren’t any, but what made me do a double take is the prices: fully TWICE what they had been less than a year before. My strike price was $4 an LP, and the lowest prices I was seeing was $8.

      Mind you, these are not collectible discs: just old LPs in good playable condition. I used to hit Half Price for fun, just to see if I could find a few treasures for cheap. Not any more.

      So yes, 2018 may be a good year to cash out the old LPs you don’t listen to any more.

      • Scott Colebank says:

        HPB prices on classical CDs/LPs can vary wildly from city to city, state to state, location to location. Always worth visiting in my opinion because you never know what you will find. Some locations are greedy when it comes to pricing, especially classical LPs, others just clueless and some nice bargains can be had.

  • John says:

    I predict that 2018 will see the fall of Alondra de la Parra – resigning once again in disgrace as another orchestra is taken to the brink of collapse.

    What saddens me most is that she will be scratching her head wondering why it has happened yet again.

  • Petros Linardos says:

    13. Slipped Disc will set an example by focusing on facts and avoiding rumors.

    • john kelly says:

      I wouldn’t bet on that

    • Dr Presume says:

      14: Slipped Disc will publish a story about a female singer/instrumentalist, and the picture illustrating the story will be cropped so that the thumbnail on the headlines page will be a close-up of her cleavage.

      • Alex Davies says:

        Not just female. The problem is that Norman just uses the default crop and that often happens to focus on the chest. You’ll find plenty of photos of male chests on Slipped Disc as well. I do agree, however, that it’s something that could be addressed.

    • Bruce says:

      “13. Slipped Disc will set an example by focusing on facts and avoiding rumors.”


    • musicologyman says:

      Sorry, Petros, but I believe you meant to post that on April 1!

      • Petros Linardos says:

        I know what you mean, but prefer to risk making a wrong prediction and ask Norman Lebrecht to stay true to his word:

        “In these extraordinarily dangerous times, when superpower leaders are wilfully blurring the line between truth and lie, there is a duty on journalists to stick to the facts, the whole facts and nothing but the facts.”

        If he falls short, it’s his problem and it’s on all of us to remind him.

        For now, let us be hopeful.

  • Susan Weiss says:

    Domingo will learn mezzo opera repertoire next; ’cause he’s singing low voice rep. I mean, after bass baritone and bass, what is left?

  • BillG says:

    WRT #3 And in Dallas, the Meyerson Symphony Hall will continue to demonstrate that art (architecture) AND Science (physics) can produce a magnificent performance space.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      Very safe prediction. Has been the case for more than a quarter century. I cherish my memory of visiting the Dallas Symphony Center in the mid 90s.

  • Frank Jaeger says:

    Hahaha!! No. 7 is a special treat and I think I already know his name…

  • Dave says:

    1. Is a given…

  • Marc Parella says:

    Oh I don’t know… how about a major scandal in the management world? Always a fun story to follow.

  • Cyril Blair says:

    Should Anthony Tommasini be worried…?

    And regarding colds, they are caught virally from other humans, not from wearing miniskirts….Yuja may catch a chill perhaps, but not an actual cold. At least not from her garb.

  • J. Froberger says:

    15. The Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra will be Royal.
    (100th anniversary…)