From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Jan Ladislav Dussek could have been a contender if only Mozart had been born somewhere else and at another time. Dussek (1760 to 1812) has the wrong dates and the wrong skill sets. Two bars into every movement he picks a note that you know Mozart would have declined for a better choice and, while Dussek may recover quickly and deliver a passage that could pass for Clementi at his best, your ear is already tensed for the next false turn.

Of the three concertos on offer …

Read on here.

And here.



A NY Phil debut has just been announced for New Zealand-born Gemma New, 31.

She will conduct the first Young People’s Concert of the season on November 17.

The Austrian composer Thomas Larcher, 55, has been awarded Monaco’s Fondation Prince Pierre composition prize for his second symphony.

It’s only 75,000 Euros.

Hardly worth turning up.

The composer Matthew Aucoin, 28, and the LA Philharmonic violinist and social activist Vijay Gupta, 31, are among the winners of this year’s $625,000 MacArthur grant.


The money is doled out over five years.

The Canadian violinist, 41 this month, was awarded the Avery Fisher prize last night at Lincoln Center.

She’s doing well on the prize circuit. This is her second Avery Fisher (the last was 1994), added to a MacArthur Fellowship, a Cummings Fellowship, and more.

The death has been announced of Stéphane Cardon, conductor, composer and close associate of Olivier Messiaen.

Associate conductor of the Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, he also directed Massenet’s Cendrillon at Wexford.


It’s part of the new online strategy:

The last year has seen big changes to the ROH’s overall marketing approach, again driven by data. This has meant a radical reduction in spend on paid-for media (press, radio, outdoor, printed brochures), where results can’t be tracked, and instead focussing virtually all investment on digital marketing, where return on investment can be closely monitored. 

The new strategy leveraged previously under-utilised channels such as PPC (pay per click), retargeted display and paid social on Facebook and Instagram. The team has also launched a big change in its digital content strategy, focusing on video over the written word, and has embarked on rebuilding the website.

Lucy says: “Previously, social media was delivering great reach and PR but not converting to sales.” They are now using sophisticated analysis to track posts and put money behind content that gets a good reaction, then automatically ‘throwing good money after good’ – the opposite to what often happens in arts marketing, where spend is usually focused on difficult-to-sell inventory.

The paid Facebook activity alone is now regularly achieving over 1000% return on investment (ROI). For every pound they spend, they sell £1,000 of tickets…

Read on here.

Yesterday in Tel Aviv:

She has told Munich she won’t sing Elisabetta again in Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux.

Her replacement next March will be the veteran Edita Gruberova. She’s not dropping anything.

The Caravan Orchestra, a hybrid of Haifa University’s music department and Yiddish Summer Weimar has won the Shimon Peres Prize of the German Foreign Ministry for ‘outstanding contribution to the shaping of German-Israeli relations’.

Abigail Wood, head of the music dept writes: ‘The Caravan Orchestra, a collaboration between our Music Department and Yiddish Summer Weimar – and one of the most exciting, creative and exuberant music projects I’ve ever been involved in, mashing up Arab music, klezmer and pretty much anything in between – has won the prestigious Shimon Peres Prize of the German Foreign Ministry and the DIZF for ‘outstanding contribution to the shaping of German-Israeli relations’. Kudos especially to Andreas Schmitges without whose hard work, vision and supreme organisational skills none of this would actually happen, to Ilya Shneyveys and Jeries Murkus Ballan for making the music fly, to all the brilliant young musicians who have taken part in Caravan during the last two years, and to all those in Haifa and Weimar who have supported and enabled the project to happen. I’m amazed that such a fantastic project grew out of a (seemingly) one-off seminar with Alan Bern and Andreas in Haifa back in 2016… Proud to represent my Department and the Caravan team at the ceremony in Berlin next week along with Andreas, Alan, Ilya, Jeries and a few musicians.

Our diarist Anthea Kreston is leaving the Artemis Quartet next year. Others might panic. Anthea sees a bevy of opportunities. So many things a violinist can do.

“I really don’t know what I am going to do next year.” Normally a statement like that might instill fear, especially if the person thinking it is supporting a family, not in her native country, and will, in 9 months time, of her own choosing, be entirely without an income. So – what does that person do? She makes lists. Lots of lists – things she is good at, things she likes to do, things she doesn’t like to do, things she has never done before but bets she would be pretty good at, things she has never done before and has no idea how to do but would really like to try, places she would like to live, things that are important for her and for her family. These lists are usually found in the inside covers of various books in bookshelves around the house, by accident in the hands of a friend (I normally leave a rotating pile of free things in our front entrance and more than once someone has written to me “there seems to be very important notes written in the back of this book you gave me!”), on hotel stationary crammed in my backpack. I write and write, and when I am home, I mull and mull, and plan, and search, and talk to my lovely husband over a glass of something tasty after the kids are peacefully snoring upstairs.

They do ask me – “mom – what are we going to do next year?” They are sometimes worried, but immediately we calm when we talk about all the things that we could do – all the exciting places we could go, or what our lives might look like here, in Berlin, but with more Mom around. With Jason I talk about the Big Issues – how we want enough money to be able to visit our kids anytime we want when we are old, environmental/political concerns, who wants to be the next bread-winner, education for our daughters. Whether we want to live somewhere hot or cold, or close to the water or mountains, or in a city or the country.

And so I have subscribed to lists that come into my mailbox – openings for concertmaster, university positions, artistic director of a festival or concert series. And I think of crazy stuff like – how about a radio show? How about leading musical tours? Writing a book? Strangely, Jason is completely not worried. Not in the least. He is, and always has been, so confident in my abilities, or maybe in my ability to land on my feet. I am bizarrely financially conservative – we have a big buffer, I am good at being very poor (I haven’t upgraded my lifestyle even though we could have these last years, we are just living the way we always have). For my birthday yesterday they gave me dried beans, spices and quinoa – they know what I like!

And so – off I go – just kicking the ball into outer space – I will audition for concertmaster of Oslo, principal violin of St Paul Chamber, send in a couple of applications for University positions, and continue to explore and expand the roots which have grown and deepened here in Germany these past 3 years. I don’t really have time to practice all that orchestra stuff, and I haven’t really ever taken an orchestra audition, but I suppose I will just go, play with honesty, and see where it all leads.

Anyway – I still have 9 months. Plenty of time.


Yolanda Bruno, 28, has won the hot seat at the Kingston Symphony Orchestra.

She’s a chamber music partner of Pinchas Zukerman’s and is married to the Kremerate Baltica bassist, Iurii Gavryliuk.