We gave you early warning that a star is born.

Now here’s the video.

Asmik Grigorian.

Remember the name.

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Opening on October 23rd, 2018, Guarneri Hall NFP is planned as a not-for-profit classical music incubator in Chicago that will present events in a new, acoustically engineered and technologically advanced 85-seat performance space on the third floor at 11 East Adams in the Chicago loop. The live stream of events will be accessible on guarnerihall.org.

Guarneri Hall Not for Profit presents live classical music performances in Guarneri Hall and elsewhere in the city of Chicago and sponsors music education programs in the Chicago community, with a special focus on reaching young people with limited access to classical music.

Guarneri Hall NFP aims to be a leader in the field of music education, providing advanced teacher training for professional ensembles, soloists, music educators, and students, as well as curriculum support for classroom teachers through teacher training initiatives that promote best practices. Guarneri Hall NFP also makes educational resources such as print material and tutorial videos available online to the Chicago community and beyond.


An English immigrant to New Zealand has seen his 123 year-old piano vandalised by customs officials in search of illegal ivory.

University of Auckland professor Julian Paton, had the key tops of his piano removed by the Department of Conservation.

‘We were diligent,’ said Paton. ‘We went out of our way to make sure we could legally import the piano to New Zealand. We absolutely deny any wrongdoing whatsoever.’

Read on here.

Name the best-known New Zealand movie? Yes, it’s The Piano.

The most astonishing vocal classic in the whole of rock music.

All the latest cancellations:

Denis Matsuev, Putin’s favourite pianist, has withdrawn ‘due to health reasons’.

He was due to perform two Prokofiev concertos. The first will go to Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, making his Verbier debut. The second will be played by Daniil Trifonov, who is already in residence on the slippery slope.

Also out is the violinist Pamela Frank, a Verbier fixture. She has given up all concerts and masterclasses this summer ‘due to health reasons’. Her chamber music appearances will be taken over by Hanna Weinmeister, concertmaster of Phiharmonia Zürich, and Mihaela Martin, leader of the Michelangelo String Quartet.

See also: No major cancellations at BBC Proms

The next director of Spain’s Palau de Les Arts de Valencia is to be Jesús Iglesias Noriega, head of the artists department of Dutch National Opera and Ballet. We wish him luck.

The Palau is a hive of political meddling that cannot keep its head forn very long. The last to walk out, in December, was the capable Italian Davide Livermore.

If Jesus cannot save it, the Palau is surely doomed.


Florida Grand Opera has shared the resignations of Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan, co-artistic directors of its Studio Artist Program:

From Diana Soviero and Bernard Uzan
‘It is with great sadness that we submit our resignations as volunteer, non-contracted, Co-Artistic Directors of the FGO, Studio Artist Program. It has been our great pleasure to work with such a fine group of Studio Artists during the past year. We wish this year’s Studio Members the very best in their coming year and in the future.’

Uzan was named by four women in last week’s Washington Post feature on sexual assault in classical backstages. Soviero is his wife.

The Post has updated its article to take account of the daily repercussions, including the Cleveland latest.



Asmik Grigorian, who took Salzburg by storm this weekend as the new Salome, is a Lithuanian soprano who has sung at the Theater an der Wien, the Berlin Komische Oper and Covent Garden. Last summer, she was a highly creditable Marie in Salzburg’s Wozzeck.

As of this morning, she’s a world star.

Asmik, 37, is the daughter of the late Armenian tenor Gegam Grigorjan, one of the earliest pillars of Gergiev’s Mariinsky ensemble, a performer who neither sought the limelight nor ever gave less than his all. Gegam died in 2016 and is sorely missed.

Asmik’s mother is the Lithuanian soprano Irena Milkevičiūtė.

photo: Salzburg Festspiele

The makeshift Verbier Festival has persuaded Sir Simon Rattle to step in for one of Ivan Fischer’s concerts next week, after the Hungarian cancelled for health reasons.

Fischer’s other two concerts will be taken over by Gábor Takács-Nagy, music director of the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra, and – enterprisingly – the François López-Ferrer of the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Chile. François is the son of the much lamented Jesús López-Cobos, who died in March this year. Like Rattle, he will be making his Verbier debut.

While all other summer festivals are proceeding more or less as planned, Verbier has suffered a string of late pullouts.

The latest is Ivan Fischer, citing health reasons.

He will be replaced next week by three jump-ins, so no great harm done.

But questions are being asked why Verbier is easier to cancel than, say, Salzburg, Lucerne or the Proms.