The distinguished composer and organist Piet Kee died today.

He was organist of St. Bavo church in Haarlem from 1956 to 1989.

From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

In the hands of anyone other than Stephen Hough, this album would be either a horrible indulgence or a public act of psychoanalysis. Hough is far too fastidious a pianist to be suspected of such temptations. What we have here are morsels by composers great and (mostly) small, evoking a trance-like state between sleep and wakefulness.

I’m not sure about Hough’s opening setting ….

Read on here.



LudwigVan Toronto has a review of a new memoir by Charlie Harmon, one of Lenny’s limitless entourage.


Bernstein smoked too much — this is probably what killed him at the age of 72 — drank too much, took too many Dexedrine pills to keep going, and partied too much. Charlie Harmon gives us all the gory details, and probably more than most readers care to handle, especially those like myself for whom Bernstein was a childhood idol revealing the mysteries of classical music on television as few teachers had ever done before…

Read on here.


Message from Decca:

Sheku Kanneh-Mason wowed the world at the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last weekend, and now he’s dominating the charts on both sides of the Atlantic – hitting No.1 on the US and UK Amazon charts and No.1 on the US iTunes charts with his debut album ‘Inspiration’.

Sheku’s album is No.11 on the Official UK Album Chart – the highest ever chart position for a cello player – and it’s set to reach the Top 20 on the US Billboard Album Chart too, the first time a British cellist has ever achieved this feat. His classical album (which ranges from Shostakovich to Bob Marley) is vying for chart attention alongside major pop stars like Ed Sheeran, Taylor Swift and Kendrick Lamar. It is simultaneously No.1 in the UK Classical Chart, No.10 on the Scottish Album Chart and No.10 on the CD Albums Chart. He has over 355,000 new followers on social media platforms, which means he’s expected to enter in Billboard’s ‘Social 50’ chart, alongside the likes of Ariana Grande, Harry Styles and Dua Lipa.


Frank Byrne, who joined the Kansas City Symphony in November 2000 as General Manager and has been Executive Director since 2002, has decided to step down next year.

On his watch, Kansas City has risen steadily up the ranks. Its budget has swelled from $8 million to nearly $19 million and its artistic quality is high.

Frank Byrne with local gal

Message from Kent Nagano, music director of the Montreal Symphony:

I am honoured today to receive the Meritorious Service Decorations from the Governor General of Canada Julie Payette. I am proud to collaborate with exceptionally talented musicians and with a top-level Chorus, and I am particularly happy about the inauguration of the Maison symphonique in 2011, the acquisition of the Grand Orgue Pierre-Béique, and the projects and initiatives that bring us closer to the community, such as La musique aux enfants and the Classical Spree. Touring projects and large-scale event openings enable me to contribute to the Orchestra’s stature and influence in Canada, the Great North, the United States, South America, Europe, and Asia. This medal is a recognition I find deeply touching.


The conductor’s closing remarks to the Brussels audience, after a pro-Palestinian disruption last night:

Les musiciens ne sont pas des hommes et des femmes des mots mais des notes et de la paix, l’expression d’une opinion politique n’avait pas sa place ici ce soir.

Musicians are not men and women of words, but of notes and peace. The expression of a political opinion had no place here tonight.

That’s telling ’em.

A jury at Manchester Crown Court has found Jace Serafin guilty of raping a woman at the Royal Northern College of Music. The verdict was unanimous. Serafin will be sentenced today.

UPDATE: He received 14 years.

The court was told that Serafin had fled to France ahead of the trial and has not been traced.

Report here.

Philip Mann is leaving after nine years.

Hint: Hillary Clinton’s available.

A day after announcing the birth of her fourth child, the Portuguese conductor Joana Carneiro has told the Berkeley Symphony she won’t continue as music director. Next season will be led by guest conductors.

The Berliner Barock Solisten have chosen Reinhard Goebel as their artistic director, a post vacant for the past eight years.

The Solisten, members of the Berlin Philharmonic, started out with Rainer Kussmaul in the driving seat. Since 2010 it has got along with ad hoc leaders.

Goebel, 65, is a lifelong trailblazer in period instruments.


Winner of the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.