She will sing Danny Boy at the farewell on Saturday.

More here.


From the Chicago Symphony memorial to James Mallinson, who died yesterday:

Lady Valerie Solti shared her thoughts. “I was so very sad to hear of James’ passing. What a fantastic amount of iconic recordings he masterminded that were such a very important part of not only the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s legacy but also Solti’s own personal catalog. I especially remember him working so hard to get the breathing right in Tippett’s extraordinary Fourth Symphony and the balances in Schoenberg’s Moses und Aron, and the wonderful Brahms symphonies. James was a man of great skill and diplomacy, always so calm and self-effacing, one of the great unsung heroes.



The mezzo Katherine Ciesinski lost her soprano sister Kristine in an air crash ten weeks ago.

The sisters were close and the shock still resounds across the music world.

Today we learn that Katherine has been named inaugural professor of voice and opera at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music.

Life goes on.

St Asaph Cathedral in Wales has made its music team redundant ‘due to financial pressures’.

The director and assistant director of music lose their jobs.

The Dean says the savings will go towards sustaining the singers in the choir, who are generally volunteers.

St Asaph is said to be the smallest cathedral in Britain.

Final results from this year’s festival:

The 2018 programme of the Salzburg Festival included 206 performances at 18 performance venues.

With a 97% ratio of occupied seats and 260,875 tickets issued, ticket revenues of 30.3 million Euros exceeded last year’s. These results, say the festival, should not distract from the major financial problems it is facing due to the overall renovation of the Großes


The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra tour of South America has been disrupted by BDS protests.

One Santiago poster displayed a blood-spattered portrait of the conductor Yeruham Scharovsky, who is originally from Argentina.

Report here.

There was consternation when Keith Cerny walked out as chief exec of Dallas Opera just before Christmas, without apparent reason.

He popped up instantly in the same role at the much-smaller Calgary Opera in Canada.

Last night he was announced as chief of the long-troubled Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, back in good old Texas.

Its board chair Mercedes Bass said: ‘Patience and perseverance proved us right in finding the perfect candidate to lead the FWSO into the next chapter. Keith’s varied experiences with different organizations in multiple capacities prove that he is indeed highly qualified to be leading the FWSO. We are confident that the Board, Music Director, staff, and musicians will enjoy working with Keith when he joins us in January, and it is indeed a great pleasure to welcome Keith and his wife Jennifer to the FWSO family.’

Keith Cerny said: ‘While it is has been an honor to serve as General Director & CEO of Calgary Opera, the travel demands of this leadership position have put a greater than anticipated strain on me and my family back in Texas. ‘

So that’s why.

We read on the wires that, in tonight’s closing performance of Tristan und Isolde, the male lead will be sung by Andreas Schager, the Austrian tenor who was this summer’s Parsifal.

That’s thinking out of the box.


The star German violinist, who has been out since the start of the year, has announced his return in a flurry of interviews.

Garrett, 37, will ease back with an East European tour in October before hitting the circuit again in 2019.

‘I do not want to dramatise it – it was a herniated disc,’ he says. ‘Very unpleasant, caused by decades of wrong practice.’



There’s an icebreaking concert coming up at Jerusalem’s International Chamber Music Festival – artistic director Elena Bashkirova – in which the National Library musicologist Gila Flam has unearthed the lost music of Jewish gangsters in old Warsaw, before the War.

It includes burglar songs, brothel songs, prison songs, all human life.

Who knew?


The recording world has been shocked by reports of the death yesterday of James Mallinson, a Decca graduate who won the first-ever Grammy for a classical producer and went on to win 14 more. In the early CD heyday of 1982, he won four Grammys at a go.

We hear that James was taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead suffering from pneumonia and other complications, and sadly failed to pull through. There has been no confirmation yet from his family.

UPDATE: Decca have announced: We’re very saddened today to hear of the passing of James Mallinson, legendary Decca producer of the 1970s-80s. His 191 recordings included all of Mackerras’s Janacek operas, the Haydn symphony cycle with Dorati, many of Solti’s Chicago Symphony Orchestra recordings and much more. An amazing legacy.

James Mallinson was a legend in studio. I have seen him stand up to the most fearsome conductors and face them down. He worked with Solti, Barenboim, Itzhak Perlman, Colin Davis, Prince Charles, you name it, he never backed down. He would rather lose a lucrative client than approve an unsatisfactory performance.

I first watched him at Gil Kaplan’s original Mahler Second in Cardiff, shepherding an avowedly amateur conductor through one of the biggest, toughest symphonies and doing it with such tact and precision that they remained friends ever after.

James was the originating producer of LSO Live, followed by Mariinsky Live and CSO Resound. He invented own-label orchestra recordings. We may not see his like again.

UPDATE: On behalf of his family, the LSO has regretfully to announce the sudden and unexpected death, last Friday, of James Mallinson, one of the leading record producers of the last 40 years. 

James learnt his trade with Decca, whose exclusively contracted artists in the 1970s included Benjamin Britten, Luciano Pavarotti and Joan Sutherland, among many others. During his years with Decca he also recorded the first ever complete Haydn symphonies (all 104 of them) with Antal Dorati and a major series of works by 20th century composers including Messiaen, Ligeti, Cage and Maxwell Davies as well as Harrison Birtwistle and Philip Glass.
After he left to go freelance in the early 1980s he worked with all of the major record labels and with virtually every major classical artist of the late 20th century. By his own reckoning the only international name that he never actually recorded was Pierre Boulez. His recordings were highly respected, winning innumerable awards including no less than 16 Grammies. As the recording world changed at the end of the 1990s and into this century, James was already ahead of the curve, not only musically but technically. While he was instrumental in setting up the extremely successful orchestra-owned record labels including LSO Live, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Resound label and the Mariinski Live label with Valery Gergiev in St Petersburg, he also pioneered the use of SACD and other higher resolution recording and Surround Sound to get ever closer to the sound of a live performance. His most recent project was an ongoing Beethoven Symphony cycle with the Britten Sinfonia and Thomas Adès. 


James was a loving father to Jonathan, and a lifelong partner to Michelle. He loved them both dearly and continues to inspire them daily.