Operanostalgia reports the death on November 26 of the great Italian tenor Umberto Borso. He was 95.

After early successes in Italy, Borso made his Metropolitan Opera debut in La Gioconda in 1962.

In a long career he performed He sang 153 times in Aida, 135 Il Trovatore, 78 Andrea Chénier, 66 Tosca, 44 Forza del Destino, 39 Otello.

Anne Midgette has shepherded into the Washington Post a fine piece by Jennifer Gersten, winner of the 2018 Rubin Institute for Music Criticism prize.

Jennifer argues that the music industry does us all a disservice by pitching classical as background music. Some will, inevitably, attempt to deny that this is so. But where I live Classic FM exhorts listeners day and night to relax, as if they are about to undergo some horribly invasive medical procedure and need music to anaesthetise them.

This is what Jennifer hears:

If classical music really sounded the way it’s described in radio ads, composers would have fallen asleep while writing it. “You’ve found an oasis — a place where you can get away from all the craziness,” intones WCLV, a station in Lorain, Ohio, in a recent promotion. “Take some time to relax.” “Calming and refreshing,” KBAQ, a Phoenix station, declares. “Rise above it all,” the District’s own WETA proclaims. These stations regularly offer more raucous selections than these exhortations suggest, but they are advertising themselves as musical sanitariums. The San Francisco-based station KDFC even offers a daily “island of sanity,”including slow pieces by Mozart, Debussy and Bach, in the interest of tempering rush hour woes….

Read on here.

She’s right.


From the Lebrecht Album of the Week:

Contemporary composers are not, on the whole, the most considerate members of the human species. Their time is spent writing music, promoting it, and making a living at some more profitable form of musical activity, like banking a university salary. Whatever time they have left is treated as me-time, understandably so.

All the more reason, then, to remember Oliver Knussen, who died earlier this year, for his vast generosity in conducting works by other composers — time that he might otherwise have spent finishing his own works. Ollie was a perceptive interpreter and naturally communicative conductor. He brings to life here

Read on here.

We reported earlier the tragic death of aspiring young agent Anna Lucia Kim.

Her father and sister cannot afford the costs of getting to the funeral.

Please help if you can here.

Stanford University is investigating the discovery of a huge swastika that had been engraved into the lid of a grand piano at Bing concert hall.

The piano was last played on November 18 and it is thought it may have been vandalised while in storage.

The swastika is described a being the size of a dinner plate. The word ‘Natzis’ had been etched beside it.

Report here.

We are shocked to learn of the death of Anna Lucia Kim, an intern with Charlotte Lee at New York agency Primo Artists.

Anna, who trained as a soprano, switched happily to the music business and was devoted to her work with her Chopin competition-winning compatriot Seong-Jin Cho.

Primo Artists have posted this:

With a heavy heart, we mourn the loss of a member of the Primo family. Our intern Anna Lucia Kim was tragically killed in a car accident yesterday, November 30th in Berrian County, Michigan.

Anna was a recent graduate of Andrews University and lived near the campus in Berrian Springs, where she was interning remotely for Primo Artists for the Fall 2018 semester. Her passion, positive spirit and verve for life and her work was an inspiration to us and all those around her.

A tribute to Anna can be found here. Thoughts and condolences can be shared here or at the following site: https://www.andrews.edu/agenda/51534.

We will miss her dearly. Rest In Peace, sweet Anna.

프리모 아티스츠는 무거운 마음으로 프리모의 일원이 세상을 떠났음을 애도합니다. 저희의 인턴 안나 루시아 킴이 어제인 11월 30일, 미시건 주의 베리안 카운티에서 차 사고로 세상을 떠났습니다.

앤드류스 대학교를 최근에 졸업한 안나는 캠퍼스가 있는 베리안 스프링스 근교에 살며 2018년 가을 학기에 프리모 아티스츠를 위해 원거리에서 인턴으로 근무했습니다. 그녀의 열정, 긍정적인 영혼, 삶과 일에 대한 에너지는 프리모의 모두와 안나의 주변인들 모두에게 늘 큰 자극을 주었습니다.

안나를 애도하실 수 있도록 프리모 홈페이지에 추모 페이지 https://www.primoartists.com/news/anna를 마련하였습니다. 추모 메시지는 이 포스팅이나 다음의 웹페이지에 남겨주세요: https://www.andrews.edu/agenda/51534.

우리는 안나를 그리워할 것입니다. 안나의 명복을 빕니다.

UPDATE: Help Anna’s family get to her funeral.