The Guardian’s subhead reads: Cuts to courses could endanger the supply of performers and teachers and make music elitist again



Sample text:

Sheku’s school, along with many others across the country, is being forced to make budget cuts – and music is often first in line. In addition, the government’s decision to exclude arts subjects from the Ebacc – the GCSE subjects by which school performance is judged – has made them a lower priority, music teachers say.

It means talented students such as Archie Ttwheam, whose teachers predict he will get 99% for composition in his music GCSE this summer, are being forced to drop the subject. Archie, who wants to study music at university, has been told by his Wiltshire school that the A-level will not be offered in September, nor at other local sixth forms.

Music A-level was one of the subjects with the biggest falls in popularity last year, down from 7,089 UK entries in 2016 to 6,428, a fall of 9.3%. Over the past decade entries have plummeted by 39%, while GCSE entries fell by 31% over the same period to 42,507 last year….

Read on here.

The crisis is real.

See also: Barenboim warns music education has all but disappeared from school curriculum

Message received:

Welsh National Opera is aware of some of the challenges faced by women entering into a conducting career, and we are keen to find ways to re-address the gender balance across the industry.  We are delighted to announce the launch of a new programme, specifically for women that offers one aspiring conductor, age 19 – 35 years, a residency post with WNO. The residency will include mentoring with another established female conductor working in the UK and mentoring support from different departments within WNO, an opportunity to work directly with WNO Orchestra across different repertoire (main scale, youth and community and family concert projects). 

 Franz Welser-Möst has withdrawn from his July 6 and 7 Cleveland concerts due to a bacterial infection in his right hand.

Cleveland Orchestra Assistant Conductor Vinay Parameswaran will conduct the July 6, Star-Spangled Spectacular.  Jahja Ling will conduct the July 7, Blossom Music Festival Opening Concert.


In an address to the European Parliament on  the dangers of populism, Daniel Barenboim calls for a return to ‘a fact-based culture’.

He adds: ‘I must take this opportunity to express my sadness at the fact that music education has all but disappeared from the regular curriculum in schools – all over. All over.’

The Russian soprano Olga Peretyatko has announced on her Facebook page that she has filed for divorce from the Italian conductor Michele Mariotti.

She makes the statement beneath a sheet of a Liszt song that she now finds unbearable to sing.

As a footnote, she is also cancelling Don Giovanni.

Queste strofe si può tradurre come “cerca di amare, finché puoi, ama finché puoi amarlo”. È quello che ho cercato fare da settembre. Ultimamente prendo tutto sul livello molto personale: cantando questo pezzo a Barcellona, ho cominciato a piangere, nel concerto, perché mi tocca troppo (spero, che non succede alla Scala dopodomani)… Come tutto, che canto adesso, Contessa nelle Nozze, qualsiasi aria, che canto.. posso dire, che sono diventata migliore, come artista, nell’ultimo anno, grazie alla sofferenza e al dolore. Voi sentite le voci nel giro, ma non è stato fatto un annuncio ufficiale, ma ho chiesto il divorzio, ormai mesi fa. È stato
un anno di merda. Proprio non posso descriverlo. È difficile di non riconoscere la persona che amavi. Sono una donna che ha bisogno del rispetto ai miei confronti. Non posso vivere nel compromesso del cazzo. Per che cosa poi?… qui chiudo. E viva la musica, che è sempre sincera e che ci salva.
PS e si, ho cancellato il Don Giovanni a Bologna dicembre prossimo, non penso proprio che mi devo fare questo

A well-known musician has been suspended by the University of Stavanger after the Norwegian broadcaster NRK reported seven cases of sexual harassment of students.

The law prohibits NRK (and us) from naming the man, who is a professor at the major conservatoire in his home country and a regular performer in the UK. He is not a Norwegian.

He is accused of inviting female students to his room and plying them with alcohol before making sexual advances, repeating the process with those who first refused.

‘The person was immediately suspended from the post after the reports,’ says Stavanger Rector Marit Boyesen. He has subsequently resigned.

Report here (in Norwegian).

principal cellist with the Vienna Philharmonic was fired on similar grounds two months ago by the University of Music. He now awaits the results of an investigation by the State Opera, which will determine whether he can continue to play there.

After a brief return at Florence last week, the veteran conductor has been ordered to stay off the podium for the summer months.

His remaining Israel Philharmonic concerts will be taken over by the German, Karl-Heinz Steffens, who has local family connections.

Mehta, 82, hopes to return in October.

The South African soprano Pretty Yende has pulled out of the Munich Festival production of L’Elisir d’Amore next week.

Her replacement is the Ukrainian Olga Kulchynska.

No reason given.

From a current review of the Schubert string quartet in G major:

I love quartets. Four people: two violins (Alex Redington and Jonathan Stone), a viola (Hélène Clément), and a cello (John Myerscough), just playing their fucking guts out. Thousands of combined hours of practice, lessons, sheet music, and sheer fucking agony put into a single hour. The amount of pressure that’s put on these players to perform and practise all in the goal of “perfection”. Then, some asshole critic could listen to it once while taking a shit and say, “Well, the viola seems a bit anachronistically insouciant for my taste.” Huh? What the fuck are you talking about you shitting critic I just made up? The quartet world is a strange world.

Some say Schubert couldn’t hold a candle to Beethoven. Well, Schubert was literally a torchbearer at Beethoven’s funeral, so fuck that noise. Schubert is the bomb. If Beethoven thought this, so can you….

Read on here.

This review has given the Doric String Quartet greater uplift than anything in Gramophone.


Now, why would an absolute genius of a composer, known for his love of dirty fucking sluts, suddenly stop writing a quartet halfway? I feel like the answer is simple but nobody wants to say it. But I will. I think D703 is halfway finished because ….

Go on, you know you want to.

Tomas Netopil, one of the two principal guests and heirs apparent at the Czech Philharmonic, has switched global management from IAAC in Vienna to Jennifer Spencer, working with IMG.