The great Janacek authority John Tyrell died this morning. He was 76.

John was the supreme source on Leos Janacek, author of the definitive two-volume biography and the vital correspondence with Kamila Stosslova. He knew all there was to know about Czech music and he shared his knowledge willingly.

Born in what is now Zimbabwe, he studied at Cape Town, Oxford and Janacek’s town, Brno.

He is an irreplaceable source.


From Chicago Classical Review:

With just three days before Lyric Opera opens its season with Puccini’s La Boheme, the company is going down to the wire in its contract negotiations with musicians unions.

While rehearsals have been taking place as scheduled, the company has not yet come to an agreement with either the Lyric Opera Orchestra or the Lyric Opera Chorus, represented by the Chicago Federation of Musicians and AGMA, respectively. The current three-year contracts for each expired last month…

Read on here.


Richard Morrison waxes hyperbolic about Omer Meir Wellber in the Times:

Confident, cultured and charming, Omer Meir Wellber is arguably the most inspired musical appointment the BBC has made for years. I’m surprised such a characterful conductor got through the vetting process.

Tomorrow the 36-year-old Israeli will be announced as the new chief conductor of the Manchester-based BBC Philharmonic, despite having conducted the orchestra for the first time only in March this year (he’s back doing Mozart and Wagner this month). Was it love at first sight?

“We had a small flirt and it went well,” he says….

Read on here.

Sovritendente Fortunato Ortombina says the Venice opera house will reopen tonight with Barber of Seville after being given the after-fire all-clear by all relevant authorities. He speaks English in the second half of the statement.

The Finnish conductor, presently occupied with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London and a Ring cycle in Helsinki, has taken an extra job in his home town, Los Angeles.

Esa-Pekka, 60 will join the Colburn School faculty to develop and direct a pre-professional conducting programme acros the road from the LA Phil, where he used to be music director.

His students, known as Salonen Fellows, will receive full scholarships to cover tuition, room, and board at Colburn, along with personal mentoring in maestro moves.

‘It’s been a long-term hope of mine to develop something that offers hands-on experience for young conductors. What makes this special is the collaboration between the Philharmonia and the School, bridging the gap from Conservatory to professional music-making,’ says E-P.

The composer Ben Daglish died suddenly on October 1 after the return of lung cancer.

He was a pioneering figure in games music, writing for Amiga, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC in the 1980s and others in more recent times. His best known work was for The Last Ninja.

The BBC Philharmonic has named Omer Meir Wellber as its next chief conductor, starting September 2019.

Wellber, 36, will makes his BBC Proms debut with the orchestra next summer. He succeeds Juanjo Mena, who has led the orchestra for seven years. Wellber said: ‘I first worked with the BBC Philharmonic in March and knew straight away that they were a very special group of people and exceptional musicians. Manchester and the whole region is an incredibly rich area culturally, so I can hardly wait to start planning seasons to come.’

He is presently Principal Guest Conductor at Semperoper Dresden and Music Director of the Raanana Symphonette. In January 2020 he will become music director of the Teatro Massimo di Palermo.

UPDATE: Most inspired for years?

Samuel Aguda, 20, was part of the Manchester Camerata Youth Forum at the Royal Northern College of Music. He had a place to study music at the University of Leeds when he shot a man in a drugs-related dispute.

Samuel, who had given up classical music for rap, was jailed in Manchester for 24 years.

Report here.

The tennis star sings in tune.

This Breast Cancer Awareness Month I’ve recorded a version of The Divinyls global hit “I Touch Myself” to remind women to self-check regularly. _ Yes, this put me out of my comfort zone, but I wanted to do it because it’s an issue that affects all women of all colors, all around the world. Early detection is key – it saves so many lives. I just hope this helps to remind women of that. _ The music video is part of the I Touch Myself Project which was created in honor of celebrated diva, Chrissy Amphlett, who passed away from breast cancer, and who gave us her hit song to remind women to put their health first. The project is proudly supported by @BerleiAus for Breast Cancer Network Australia. _ Visit the link in my bio to find out more. #ITouchMyselfProject #BerleiAus #BCNA #DoItForYourself

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The gifted Czech conductor Bohumil Kulínsky, jailed in 2009 for sexual abuse of 23 underage girls, will be buried today in Prague.

Among other posts, Kulinsky was chief conductor of the National Teatre opera orchestra from 1997 to 2002, and of the Bambini di Praga children’s choir, which was founded by his parents.

Freed from jail after two years, he returned to running the Bambini while also driving a taxi.

The English bass Matthew Rose, recently named Artistic Consultant to the Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program, is unable to sing Colline in Bohème.

He is replaced by Ryan Speedo Green, who is presently in Aida.


The conductor, who is in Tel Aviv to open the Israel Philharmonic season tonight, has given details of the medical condition that has sidelined him for almost a year.

Initially described as a shoulder operation, it was  cancerous tumour. ‘It was my first illness, except for meningitis at the age of six, I was always healthy,’ he told La Repubblica in Rome.

‘I was full of confidence in the doctors and my wife, Nancy, helped a lot, convincing me that the disease could be defeated, said Mehta, 82.  ‘A medical team in Los Angeles says that my body is now clear of the tumour.’