Press release, just in:

Monteverdi Choir and Orchestras announce the appointment of Dinis Sousa as Assistant Conductor. Sousa’s appointment represents a significant landmark for the ensembles, which have been solely directed by John Eliot Gardiner since he founded the now world-renowned Monteverdi Choir 54 years ago. This new role was created to give a young conductor the opportunity to work alongside John Eliot Gardiner and his three ensembles, and to be involved in the process of musicological research, preparation, and rehearsing associated with all MCO projects and tours.

Not much more to say. Sousa, who is Portuguese studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Sian Edwards and Timothy Redmond. He is founder and artistic director of Orquestra XXI, an orchestra of Portuguese musicians living abroad.

Stephanie Childress was twice a finalist in the strings section of the BBC Young Musician of the Year, in 2016 and 2018.

She has also been concertmaster of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.

But Stephanie, 19, has another string to her bow.

Today, she signed on as a conductor with Linda Marks at HarrisonParrott.

It’s easier to sell a young conductor at the moment than a young violinist.


Open letter from Olivia S. in Konstanz, Germany:

Dear Mr. Gelb, I am deeply shocked about the transmission of the Aida last Saturday. Montserrat Caballe,one of the best singers of the 20 Century died- and there was no announcement, no minute of silence! It is a shame! She had sung at some of the greatest moments in the History of the Metroplitan Opera House! Is this Style? Honor? Class? I am so angry about this disgrace!

An artist gave her soul, her life, her personality, to fulfil the composer’s ideall. It is YOUR JOB to to that! You, as General Manager are responsible for the behavior of the Opera House. At La Scala, in Madrid, Vienna, even in Basel, Bremen, Saarbrücken, at the BOLSHOI!!! there was a minute of silent. Not to mention the tactful and grateful tribute at the Website of La Scala! Its a shame! I am so angry about this! And i do hope, that you get information about this letter. With greetings from Germany Olivia S.‎

UPDATE: The Met issues belated regrets

The diva is being laid to rest today in Barcelona.

From the Croatian bass, Goran Jurić:

12:00 flight FRANKFURT – ZAGREB
Hello Zagreb, hello Croatia! What a well deserved mini vacation after my Lohengrin at the Staatsoper Stuttgart, yay!!!
But, as I was getting off the plane, I got a call from my agent:
17:55 flight ZAGREB – BRUXELLES

Today: I learnt the staging of a 4-hour opera.

Tomorrow: I jump in Lohengrin as KÖNIG HEINRICH at the Opera Vlaanderen!!! 👑⚔️

And, yes, a glass of Cedevita and 2h spent at the Zračna luka Zagreb – Zagreb Airport count as a mini vacation! 😎🏖️


It’s a great honor and inspiration to sing this piece in Antwerp, cause that’s where the plot of this opera happens!

Almost 200,000 people have signed an online petition to stop the facade of the most famous building in the southern hemisphere falling into the hands of powerful online betting firms.

Sign here if you agree.

photo: Racing NSW

UPDATE: From Leo Schofield:

I have just heard Gladys Berejiklian (premier of NSW) on ABC Radio in shrill defence of the indefensible. She claimed there had been many promotions on the sails of the Opera House, Bullshit. I sat on the Board of Trustees of the Opera House for nigh on a decade and we NEVER sanctioned COMMERCIAL advertising. There were occasions when art-based projects were permitted but under the strictest creative control and relevant to events in the House or to occasions of national celebration…

The Dutch broadcaster NOS is running a programme about Pieter Jan Leusink, conductor and owner of the Bach Choir and Orchestra of the Netherlands. He is accused by four women of sexual molestation. One said he told her she would ‘end up as a teacher’ if she resisted his advances.

Leusink denies the allegations.

Story here.


The chance discovery of an old concert flyer has prompted Leonard Slatkin to look into the forgotten life of Frieda Belinfante, founder of the Orange County Philharmonic in a conservative part of California at a time when women – let alone lesbians – were never put in charge of an orchestra.


Frieda, who died in 1995, aged 90, grew up in Holland and formed a chamber orchestra at the Concertgebouw. Hermann Scherchen called her out as top in his masterclass. During the war, she went underground. Eventually, she made it to America.

Anyone know more?


Ian Pace informs us:

The Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse has opened a call for core participants as part of the investigation into residential schools. This includes a section on music schools, which reads as follows:

‘Residential music schools
15. Instances of child sexual abuse in music schools have been widely publicised. The Chair and Panel wish to explore whether there are any factors which are peculiar to residential music schools which give rise to opportunities for abuse of children.
16. The Inquiry will consider evidence in relation to the following institutions:
a. Chetham’s School of Music (Manchester),
b. The Purcell School for Young Musicians (Hertfordshire),
c. Yehudi Menuhin School (Kent),
d. Wells Cathedral School (Somerset),
e. Ripon Cathedral Choir School (North Yorkshire),
f. Westminster Cathedral Choir School (London).
17. The Inquiry will also be seeking and considering evidence from the Choir Schools’ Association, institutions which regulate the sector, CPS, police and academics who have an interest in the sector.’

Ian adds:

Please can everyone concerned about this issue share this as widely as they can. This is something of a victory – the inquiry were supplied by me several years ago with an extensive document about abuse in music education which I believe has played a part in making this a part of the inquiry.