The Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra has named Richard Egarr as its next music director, succeeding Nicholas McGegan, who steps down in 2020 after 35 years.

Egarr is presently  music director of the Academy of Ancient Music in the UK.

The Philharmonia Baroque is based in San Francisco. Something will have to give.



Friends have notified us of the death of Uzi Wiesel, winner of the 1953 Piatigorsky Prize and an international soloist, specialising in 2oth century concertos.

He was a dedicated teacher at Tel Aviv University.

May his memory be a blessing.

The New York Philharmonic chief has given an interview to the irreverent, provocative Van magazine.

Unfortunately, it’s the softest interview Van has ever published. This may be the most challenging question:


I think the audience is always on our mind and in our heart. Without them we do not exist. So it’s a part of my score with the audience. But of course if you want to reach different audiences that are not so familiar with us you need to bring some other music and you need to give, especially in Phil the Hall concerts, a blueprint of this orchestra and its history.

C’mon, guys.

Read here.

The Haifa Museum of Art is attracting international attention for showing McJesus, a sculpture of a crucified Ronald McDonald by the Finnish artist Jani Leinonen.

Someone firebombed the museum at the weekend and local Christians have staged peaceful protests.

The Israeli culture minister has threatened to kill the museum’s state subsidy.

And the artist himself has asked for the object to be taken down as he supports the BDS boycott Israel group.

If you can’t please all the people all of the time, you might as well annoy them.


Read on here.

Jani Leinonen, McJesus (2015). Photo by Vilhelm Sjöström, courtesy of the artist and Zetterberg Gallery.

Message received:

On May 2, 2019, the Vienna Philharmonic will open a Bruckner cycle in Berlin under the baton of Christian Thielemann

Christian Thielemann has been musically associated with the Vienna Philharmonic since 2000. On 1 January 2019, Thielemann conducted the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert for the first time.

On May 2 he will conduct the orchestra in a performance of Anton Bruckner’s 2nd Symphony that will take place in the Berlin Cathedral. It is the beginning of a project that will last until Bruckner’s 200th birthday in 2024.

All of Bruckner’s symphonies will be performed under the baton of Christian Thielemann. Contemporary works that have a thematic connection with the symphonies will also be performed. In order to come as close as possible to Bruckner’s concept of sound, the performances will take place in European cathedrals.

From an ongoing correspondence in the Times newspaper on ENO’s antediluvian adherence to singing in English.



Sir, Roslyn Pine’s assertion (letter, Jan 15) that operas sung in their English translation “jar and are not enjoyable” is undoubtedly true. The reason is that the “translations” are inaccurate owing to ENO’s miserable attempts to include some poetry and rhyming in the lyrics. This results in an amateurish, incongruous style similar only to Alfred Bestall’s Rupert Bear nursery stories. Neither Welsh National Opera nor Scottish Opera consider it necessary to translate operas into their native Welsh or Gaelic, and ENO should follow suit.
Peter Froggatt

Dorking, Surrey

Rebecca Saunders has been named as the winner of the Ernst von Siemens Musikpreis 2019.

The organisers helpfully point out that she is ‘the first female composer’ ever to take this prize.

Is she also the first to wear glasses?

While British by birth Saunders, 51, lives in Berlin and composes German post-Rihmisms.