From the Danish paper, Politiken (roughly translated):

Something unusual happened during a classical concert in Malmö on Thursday when a woman repeatedly crackled her sweets bag during the Adagietto of Mahler’s fifth symphony.

A man who had clashed with her before, took the bag from her hands and threw it on the floor. The woman stood up and squared up to him until they were separated.

More here.

UPDATE: It gets spicier.

The moment the music stopped, however, she took her revenge. 
“When the applause broke out, the woman turned towards the man and said something,” Britt Aspenlind, who was sitting two rows behind the pair, told the newspaper. “The woman gave the younger man a slap right in his face. He became angry and started fighting back.” 
Another witness said that the blow had been powerful enough to knock the man’s glasses from his face. The woman’s companion, an older man, then seized him by his shirt, and began to throw punches in his direction. 
Olof Jönsson, who was sitting in the row behind, described the onslaught as “a violent attack”. “It was very unpleasant actually. I’ve never seen anything like it,” he told Sydsvenskan. 
Read on here.

The Lucerne Symphony Orchestra, little known outside Switzerland, is the named beneficiary of a fund worth 15 million Swiss francs (US $15.1m), intended to secure its ‘continuous artistic and entrepreneurial development’.

It appears to be the single largest gift to a Swiss musical organisation.

The Michael and Emmy Lou Pieper Fund is endowed by the billionaire owner of the kitchen appliance giant, Franke.

The orchestra cannot touch the capital, but will build its new strategy off five percent interest, or $0.75 million a year. It also receives $6.8 million a year in public subsidy.

The orchestra’s music director is the American, James Gaffigan.

More here.

From the CIM:

Dear students, faculty, staff, alumni and Trustees,

As you may know from news reports, CIM’s head of trombone Massimo La Rosa was suspended in September from his position at The Cleveland Orchestra pending an investigation into claims of sexual misconduct.

This morning, as part of our own internal investigation, we suspended Mr. La Rosa from his CIM teaching duties until our investigation is concluded.

If you have information that may be helpful to this process, please contact one of the Title IX committee members, who are:
David Gilson, Associate Dean for Student Affairs ( | 216.795.3163)
Brian Sweigart, Senior Associate Dean ( | 216.791.4440
Tammie Belton, Director of Human Resources ( | 216.795.3119)
Maddi Lucas Tolliver, Interim Executive Director of Preparatory and Continuing Education ( | 216.795.3204)

If you have concerns to report or would like to access counseling resources, please visit this section on our website for more information, including CIM’s Title IX & Sexual Harassment Policy.

The Dean’s office is already working with CIM faculty and has communicated to our trombone students that Randall Hawes will lead the trombone studio on an interim basis. Mr. Hawes is CIM’s professor of bass trombone, distinguished bass trombone of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, and a consummate artist and pedagogue.

Paul W. Hogle
President | CEO

The Vienna State Opera is putting on a centennial exhibition of the life of Hans Swarowsky, a Jewish musician from Budapest who became the influential teacher of Abbado, Mehta, Sinopoli, both Fischer brothers and many more.

He was the go-to conducting teacher of the mid-century.

As a conductor himself, he was terrible.

I recall a Mahler 4th and 5th with tempi all over the place and a Brahms 4th on Supraphon that never really got going (a fuller account of his recordings can be found here).

A case of those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach?

The exhibition opens next Tuesday.


The London-trained Baroque conductor George Petrou has been named artistic director of the Internationale Händel-Festspiele Göttingen from 2021, succeeding the well-known Laurence Cummings.

Critics are complaining that Canada’s biggest opera premiere in years has fallen way short of the hype.

Joseph So, in Ludwig Van Toronto, would have liked more sex:

Given its gay theme, the COC printed dire warnings in its pre-show publicity material about “…nudity and sexual content…recommended for 18 or over.” Well, they needn’t have worried. There was no frontal nudity, and the sex scenes were tame. As tenor Isaiah Bell said when I interviewed him: “Nothing feels gratuitous…Any content that’s in there, it’s there to tell a story.”  That said, I did notice a few more empty seats after intermission, perhaps indicative of a certain discomfort given the gay theme?

Wainwright being a dyed-in-the-wool melodist, the score of Hadrian isn’t “new music” at all. There are dissonances, but over all it’s tonal, lyrical, and above all accessible. Structurally grounded in traditional opera, one hears arias, duets, even a trio, with moments of melodic inspiration. Naysayers would call his music derivative, but it’s suitably evocative. At one point I heard the opening notes of “Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen from Rückert-Lieder. Another place reminded me of “Abschied” from Das Lied von der Erde — perhaps Wainwright is a Mahler fan? …

Read on here.

Yes, that’s Thomas Hampson.

From the Musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra:

Dear friends,

The Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra went back to work today, rehearsing the beautiful music we love to perform. We are incredibly grateful for the positive public support from Chicago and the world. Now we have a favor to ask you.

Please come to the opera.

Come for the 50th time or the first time. Try a new opera or an old favorite. Come one more time than you normally would have attended. And bring a friend. Let’s fill this big old Civic Opera House and prove to the Lyric Opera management that opera is still relevant in the 21st century.

As long as humans have a need to hear beautiful voices. Have a need to laugh and cry. Have a need to feel part of something bigger than themselves—opera will still be relevant. Culture is what keeps us human, and we need it more in the 21st century than ever before.

And when you come to the opera house, please step to the edge of the pit and wave to the orchestra. We will smile, wave back, and perform beautiful music for you.


The Musicians of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra


The Greek baritone Vasilis Giannoulakos died on Sunday in Athens.

Winner of Decca’s 1961 International Song Competition in Vienna, he was engaged by opera houses across Germany and was a favourite in the 1970s at the Vienna State Opera.

In the US, he appeared at San Francisco Opera and Philadelphia.

His major roles were Don Pietro (Fidelio), Dutchman (The Flying Dutchman), Amfortas (Parsifal), Scarpia (Tosca) and Joknaan (Salome).

Message from Antonio Pompa-Baldi, professor of piano at the Cleveland Institute of Music:

Something extremely disturbing is happening on YouTube.

Like many musicians, I have a YouTube channel. I upload videos, mostly of my own playing. I would never upload something played by someone else and try to pass it for mine. Unfortunately, those kinds of people do exist, we know, but I never have, and never will.

We know that YouTube, like Facebook, has a very dumb software that “recognizes” the music played, to see if one is infringing on copyrights. We know this software is dumb because, while it recognizes the piece, it does not distinguish performances. That’s why, often, a Facebook live broadcast gets stopped, or a claim is put on a YouTube video by mistake. Usually, one appeals, and the claim is removed.

However, for three of my own videos (Mozart Sonata K332, Beethoven Emperor, and Rachmaninoff Second Piano Concerto) Sony Music Entertainment claims I am using other people’s performances. In other words, they claim I used commercial recordings. That is absolutely false, of course.

The disturbing things here are: 1) If there is a dispute, why would YouTube allow one of the two parties to decide? That’s like having prosecution and defense lawyers, but no judge, and only the prosecution gets to decide if the defendant is guilty or innocent. It’s nonsense. Should there not be a third entity making the decision, one that is not partial? Well, YouTube says SME decides whether the claim they put on my video is valid or not. 2) How can SME claim I’m using Badura-Skoda’s Mozart Sonata, when all they’d have to do is listen for a few seconds and they would immediately know it’s not the same recording? Does that mean they don’t even listen? 3) Perhaps the worst part: after SME rejected my statement that the video is mine, YouTube let me know that, if I appealed again, I risked a “copyright strike”.

Three copyright strikes means your account is terminated. It is all completely unfair, and it is crooked, too. SME is monetizing my video, saying that they own the rights to it, when they do NOT. I am going to watch what happens after my second appeal, and then, if this does not get properly rectified, I am going to start a movement. I am going to call on everyone who is, or has been in a similar situation, to go after YouTube, together. Yes, not after SME. After YouTube. It’s their platform. If there is a dispute, they should be the judge, not me nor SME!

Our social affairs correspondent writes:

On Saturday, in the Teatro Rossini of Lugo, near Bologna, the Baroque director Rinaldo Alessandrini married Massimiliano Marsili, an IT specialist.

The marriage, celebrated by Mayor Davide Ranalli, took place during the Purtimiro baroque music festival, of which Alessandrini is music director.

Not many marriages are solemnised on a Monteverdi set in an 18th century theatre.

The ceremony was private, for family, colleagues and friends.

(Rinaldo Alessandrini is third from left in the picture.)


The composer has something to say about streaming:

‘We’re talking about who owns the music, to put it crudely. Then that person can do whatever they want with it. They want to stream it, they want to give it to the world if that’s what they want. There are people that do want to do that and I respect that. “I want my music to belong to the world and I’m going to give it away.” That’s great. Maybe they have parents that take care of them. I don’t know where they get their money from. Maybe they rob banks or maybe they just work as janitors or taxi cab drivers and they just want to share their work with the world. Then it’s something that we can honor.

‘My personal position was that I had wonderful parents. Really wonderful people. But my mother was a school teacher. My father had a small record shop in Baltimore. They had no money to support my career. I began working early. You’re too young to know this, but when you get your first Social Security check, you get a list of every place you’ve worked since you began working. It’s fantastic! I discovered that I was working from the time I was 15 and putting money into the Social Security system from that age onward. I thought it was much later. No, I was actually paying money that early.

‘The point is that I spent most of my life supporting myself. And I own the music. I never gave it away. I am the publisher of everything I’ve written except for a handful of film scores that the big studios paid. I said, “Yeah, you can own it. You can have it, but you have to pay for it.” They did pay for it. They were not gifts….

‘When my father had a record shop, we didn’t let people steal the records. My brother and I were supposed to watch people when they came in and make sure they didn’t put the records into their raincoats, and they did. I’m talking about the big 12” LPs. They would put it in their pants and then walk out the door. We were taught as kids in Baltimore that they weren’t allowed to do that. How’s that for a point of view?’

Read on here.