IMG’s Nick Mathias has signed the Santa Cecilia concertmaster Roberto González-Monjas to his conductor list.

Roberto has been spending his summers conducting ensembles in Verbier and Nick has been working overtime to replace lost revenues.


The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Players’ Association agreed today on a three-year contract extension, six months ahead of schedule.

The players will get a three percent pay rise annually over the three years.

An anonymous donor apparently made the deal possible.

The ASO has also agreed to fund 11 more seats in the orchestra, restoring a full complement of 88 musicians.

The deal draws the line beneath the residue of a bitter lockout of the musicians four years ago.


Opera Tampa has shared with local media the reason that Daniel Lipton left his job last year.

‘He caught up to me and he kissed me and tried to force his tongue in my mouth,’ says one singer.

Read full story here.


Germany’s equality commissioner has asked for the noun ‘Fatherland’ to be removed from the national anthem, along wth the adjective ‘brotherly’.

Kristin Rose-Möhring says these are patriarchal terms that have no place in an egalitarian state.

She proposes to replace Vaterland with Heimatland and brotherly with bravely.

E. Randol Schoenberg, the composer’s grandson, has found a wonderful letter from the old man, declining a chance to introduce one of the Oscar winners in 1938. The winner in question was Charles Previn, for Best Original Music Score, One Hundred Men and a Girl

The letter reads as follows:


Mr. Donald Gledhill, Executive Secretary
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science
1680 North Vine Street
Hollywood, California



I deeply regret that illness during the past two nights will prevent me from attending the banquet tonight. Please express my disappointment and offer my apologies to your board and the guests. I add the remarks which I had planned to deliver and which I should like to have represent me on this important occasion.

It seems to me one of the most estimable traits of mankind, that men like to find out, who are their best. And, that mankind always is ready to venerate outstanding persons in every field, symbolizes to me the tendency of mankind toward progress, toward development, toward improvement, toward a better future.

As almost my whole life as an artist has been devoted–scarcely to the present,–but distinctly to the future, I use with pleasure this occasion to express the hope: there will soon come a time, when the severe conditions and laws of modernistic music will be no hindrance any more toward a reconciliation with the necessities of the moving picture industry.

By its use of music as a means of stimulation, the movie industry has already succeeded in making the people music conscious. Step by step it will educate them also to ideas and ways of expression, which they cannot appreciate today.
Because of this effect, in time to come, every outstanding man in this field will deserve the title of pioneer of culture.
Therefore I congratulate most heartily the man whose Universal Picture Company picture “One Hundred Men and a Girl” has been chosen by so great a majority of votes to be recognized as the author of this years best musical score.


Arnold Schoenberg

116 N. Rockingham Ave.
West Los Angeles.
Telephone: W.L.A. 35077

Given her predilection for cutting-edge contemporary, her Vienna debut opera is rather retro.

Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod will celebrate its première in a new production by Josef Ernst Köpplinger at the Wiener Staatsoper on Saturday, 24th March 2018. To celebrate the 100th birthday of the composer, the work with which he achieved his international breakthrough at the Salzburg Festival in 1947 will return to the Wiener Staatsoper….

In an interview for the State Opera magazine “Prolog” Mälkki describes von Einem’s style: “He was very assured of what we would call “style” and saw it as a crucial element of composition […] In this opera, he introduces a French sound, followed by dramatic and abstract ideas. He doesn’t simply combine these however, in order to create variety, rather it is important for the development of the drama. […] Danton is a piece of theatre in the best possible sense. He simply has a feeling for cause and effect, for theatre itself.”


Friends remind us that today would have been the 70th birthday of Richard Hickox, felled in 2008 by a heart attack while conducting on a Sunday in Swansea.

Richard was at once the most enterprising of British conductors and the least pushy.

He founded the City of London Sinfonia and the baroque Collegium Musicum 90, recording extensively for EMI, RCA and Chandos, championing the works of British composers from Purcell to the present day.

After holding posts with the London Symphony Orchestra and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, he was, when he died, music director of Opera Australia, a livewire to the last. The shock of his untimely death remains fresh.

He is the only conductor ever to have programmed the complete symphonies of Ralph Vaughan Williams.

photo (c) Lebrecht Music&Arts

Brazilian musicians are in mourning for the French-born bassoonist Noel Devos, who died at the weekend, aged 89.

Devos (born Calais, October 8, 1929) was brought to Rio in 1952 by Eleazar de Carvalho, with aid from Unesco, to play in the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra.

He inspired works from dozens of Brazilian composers and played with such conductors as Heitor Villa-Lobos, Isaac Karabtchevsky, Zubin Mehta and Daniel Barenboim.


The international period music performer Andrew Arceci has sent us these pictures of his viola da gamba, smashed to bits by United Airlines handlers at Boston-Logan airport.


Andrew tells Slipped Disc:

I often buy a seat for the instrument. I didn’t this time, but I’ve gate-checked with no problem for nearly 10 years, until Friday 26 January, with United Airlines. 

I was forced to check the instrument (Italian: viola da gamba; English: viol) at the United Airlines ticket area in Boston-Logan Airport. Two United Airlines employees would not let me walk to security/gate with the instrument. When I arrived in Baltimore, the viol and case were severely damaged. 

UPDATE: A friend of Andrew’s adds:  Andrew is a father of two young children; this instrument is his livelihood and United has taken it away from him. The customer service team at United Airlines has been horrible. Big companies like this will only listen if we all share this and force them to respond.

PLEASE SHARE! Especially if you have ever found yourself turning to music and art in your own time of need.

The Academy Award for best original score went to Alexandre Desplat for The Shape of Water.

Desplat recorded the score with the London Symphony Orchestra and, its chairman tells us, no fewer than 12 flutes.

Anybody care to name these Oscar winners?


OK, here goes:

Gareth Davies, Sharon Williams, Alex Jakeman, Julian Sperry, Patricia Moynihan, Fiona Paterson, Sophie Johnson, Sarah Bennett, Luke O’Toole, Yvonne Robertson, Helen Keen, Ileana Ruhemann, Claire Wickes, Harry Winstanley and Camilla Marchant.


Amir Mandel in Haaretz has the background story of a young man’s vertical ascent.

He follows a simple rule:  ‘If it sounds good, don’t interfere. My responsibility as a conductor is to ensure that the orchestra sounds good according to my understanding, not to impose myself. I have to intervene in places where I want to emphasize something, change something, go deeper into certain details in the musical text that perhaps we didn’t dive into, or perhaps to reexamine something we’ve grown accustomed to out of habit and that’s worth reconsidering.’

His childhood teacher says: ‘He demonstrated unequivocal musical talent, but he was also an individualist and not terribly diligent, and because he played everything easily from hearing it, he found learning the notes fatiguing. He was incredibly unexcitable and in fact not ambitious. Success, failure – nothing disturbed his calm.’

Read on here.