The Israeli novelist and thinker died today of cancer at 79.

Like Philip Roth, he wrote as he breathed. Both have died in the same bitter year, as did Aharon Appelfeld.

Like Philip, too, he never wrote an uninteresting book.

His autobiography, A Tale of Love and Darkness, reads like a psychological thriller.

May his soul rest among the righteous.



The orchestra has announced a plan to train young musicians in its particular style.

Watch video here.


Annual results are in for the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

In the course of 2018, the orchestra played to 97% of hall capacity (1,700 seats). Its headliners were series of Witold Lutoslawski and Bernd Alois Zimmermann.

The Helsinki public seems to trust conductor Hannu Lintu to take them on adventures.


Sky News reports that the HMV group, Britain’s biggest record retailer, has filed notice of intention to appoint administrators, the gateway to an orderly insolvency.

Sources said that the chain, which trades from 130 shops and employs about 2,200 people, had been in talks in recent days with leading names in the recorded music industry to seek financial support from them.

Another Amazon victim.

There used to be a bit of a blood-pressure rise as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra prepared to usher in the New Year with one woman on stage, maybe two, and a dinosaur conductor who made anachronistic advance comments.

All gone.

The orchestra these days has a dozen women in its ranks and this year’s conductor is Christian Thielemann who has learned never to say anything remotely controversial.

So are we on the edge of our seats?

You tell me.

From our Chile correspondent, Felipe Elgueta:

Chile has become a magnet for Latin American migrants in the last years. An independent initiative led by two women conductors will offer a welcoming gesture to the increasing number of newcomers.

This “Concert for Fraternity” will be performed under the baton of Alejandra Urrutia, the first woman conductor of professional orchestras in Chile. She studied violin and conducting in Chile and the USA, and currently is Iván Fischer’s Assistant Conductor at the Budapest Festival Orchestra.

An orchestra of 120 musicians will perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with a choir of 203 voices (including 44 migrants from 10 countries: Venezuela, Spain, Colombian, USA, Haiti, Argentina, Scotland, Ecuador, Cuba, and Germany). The choir is being prepared by the acclaimed Chilean choir director Paula Elgueta.

The concert will take place on 7 January 2019 at the historical Estación Mapocho Cultural Center, in front of an estimated audience of 5,000.

Alejandra with Arvo Pärt