A combative message from the pianist:

Sacre causes scandal, AGAIN! Just like at the premiere in 1913, when catcalls and near-riot conditions erupted, Stravinsky’s iconic work is still causing tidal waves of controversy over a century later. My colleague Martin Grubinger and I have been notified that the Stravinsky estate will not allow our upcoming performance of “Sacre” in the adapted version in Europe, due to a potential infringement of copyright. We are very disappointed to learn this news, but have to respect their wishes. Unfortunately this means we have to cancel our upcoming performances in Dortmund and Luxembourg. The concerts in Ann Arbor and at Carnegie Hall in New York will go on as planned. We both deeply regret the position of the Estate and Publishers, but look forward to performing together in North America very soon.


The Munich Philharmonic is marking an anniversary with a performance of Mahler’s 8th.

It’s not really an anniversary since the orchestra had a different name and ownership 125 years ago – and, anyway, what kind of anniversary is 125?

A centenary I can celebrate.

150 years – just about.

But 125 is a symptom of all that is wrong with classical planning and marketing, clutching at numerical straws because they have run out of ideas.

Rabbi David Posner, spiritual leader of New York’s Temple Emanu-El for forty years, died yesterday at 71.

Author of a doctoral thesis on ‘Reviving a Lost Art — Piano Music of Russian-Jewish Origin’, Posner kept a grand piano in his office and one congragrant remembers seeing the Liszt sonata open on its rack.

Not many rabbis can play that.

Obit here.


Princeton Symphony Orchestra has named Nell Flanders assistant conductor.

She will serve as cover conductor for PSO Music Director Rossen Milanov and be an integral member of the PSO artistic team, it says in the press release.

Flanders, a New Yorker, teaches at Manhattan School of Music.

Same rules as the conductors who matter: I heard these pianists live in concert, not on record or radio, and they changed my outlook in some way.

These players:

1 Emil Gilels

2 Sviatoslav Richter

3 Arthur Rubinstein

4 Martha Argerich

5 Daniil Trifonov

6 Daniel Barenboim

7 Vladimir Ashkenazy

8 Claudio Arrau

9 Mitsuko Uchida

10 Magda Tagliaferro

See also: The maestros that matter.

UPDATE: Perahia and Pires came close.

Horowitz I never saw.

And when he stopped playing the piano for a living, Gary Graffman became, with his wife Naomi, the best talent parent America has ever seen.

Happy 90th, Mr G.