Serguei Azizian, professor of violin at the Royal Conservatory in Copenhagen, has suddenly died.

An Armenian who became concertmaster of the Leningrad Philharmonic from 1980 to 1993, he moved to the Copenhagen Philharmonic as concertmaster, retiring in 2011.

Serguei was an important figure in Danish musical life, winner of the 2009 Carl Nielsen and Anne-Marie Carl Nielsen Award.

The Spanish soprano Maria Bayo has won her case against Bilbao Opera for being sacked as Donna Elvira from a production of Don Giovanni in February 2017.

According to El Pais, she was fired at the first rehearsal by conductor Keri-Lynn Wilson, who said she lacked volume.

Bilbao was ordered to replace her lost earnings.

Ms Wilson is married to the general manager of the Met.

In the small print of the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s condemnation of Dutoit’s sexual harassment of a temporary staff member, the orchestra has clawed back the Koussevitsky Award it gave to Dutoit just two years ago.

The BSO maintains that it knew nothing of allegations against Dutoit before Slipped Disc published Fiona Allan’s account. Ms Allan, however, reported her distress to a BSO executive at the time. That contradiction remains unresolved in the independent investigator’s report.

The executive concerned retired from the BSO in the past two years.



The BBC Concert Orchestra found itself stuck in snow last week at the Crown Hotel in Skegness.

Reece and Lisa Brown were getting married there on Thursday. Many of the guests couldn’t make it, but 10 members of the orchestra turned out to play the wedding music.


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Marin Alsop and the Baltimore Symphony have announced the world premiere in March 2019 of a work by the London-based composer Roxana Panufnik.

Also on Baltimore’s season schedule is the US premiere of a piece by UK composer Helen Grime.

The Korean viola player Kyoungmin Park joined the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra on February 15, we hear. She is on a two-year trial and appears to be the first Korean ever to play in the elite ensemble.

Kyoungmin Park came second in the 2013 ARD competition and was offered principal viola in Frankfurt’s hr-sinfonieorchester, turning it down so that she could continue her studies in Berlin.

OperaNostalgia reports the death of Virgilijus Noreika, Lithuania’s foremost tenor of the second half of the 20th century.

After six years in the ensemble of the national opera in Vilnius, he became a regular at La Scala, singing Pinkerton, Cavaradossi, Otello and many other leading roles.

He was a favourite at the Bolshoi and a regular in Paris. In 2015, he was awarded Russia’s Pushkin medal.

On Friday, a young conductor called Thomas Guggeis took over a production of Salome in Berlin after Christoph von Dohnanyi fell out with the director, Hans Neuenfels.

Today, it is announced that Thomas, 24, is the new Kapellmeister in Stuttgart.


Peter Gelb has issued the following notice about the death of Jacqueline Desmarais, Canadian philanthropist and Yannick’s chief champion.

The Metropolitan Opera mourns the passing of Jacqueline Desmarais, the extraordinary French Canadian philanthropist and longtime Board member of the Metropolitan Opera. Ms. Desmarais generously supported the Met’s Live in HD transmissions to Canada and funded Met productions, including our recent new staging of Tosca.

In her native Quebec, Ms. Desmarais championed the careers of young artists and provided financial support to some of Canada’s most important cultural institutions. We will dedicate the remaining performances of Elektra, conducted by Yannick Nezet-Seguin and our live global cinema relay and radio broadcast of Rossini’s Semiramide on Saturday, March 10th to her memory. We send our condolences to her family, friends, and countless admirers around the world.

Peter Gelb, General Manager