UCLA’s emerging Herb Alpert School of Music has named Eileen Strempel as its inaugural dean.

A voice professor at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Strempel has sung roles with various opera companies, including Moscow’s Bolshoi Opera.


The US-Israeli conductor Steven Sloane is to be the next music director of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, starting mid-2020.

He succeeds the Frenchman Fréderic Chaslin.

Sloane, 61, was for 25 years General Music Director in Bochum, where he presided over the construction of an outstanding new hall. He lives is Berlin where he is professor at the University of the Arts.

When China announced a world-record $150,000 piano prize last month, concerns were raised that members of the jury, chaired by Juilliard’s Yoheved Kaplinsky, might favour their own students.

Today, the list of 22 finalists was released.

Among them are seven pianists who are, or were, students at Juilliard.

The competition has issued an assurance that no student of any jury member has been invited.

Here’s the list:


Alim Beisembayev (Kazakhstan)

Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory

Royal Academy of Music, London

Leonardo Colafelice (Italy)

Bari Conservatory of Music “N. Piccinni”

Anna Dmytrenko (USA)

Universität der Künste, Berlin

Royal Academy of Music, London

The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division

Giuseppe Guarrera (Italy)

Hochschule für Musik Hanns Eisler, Berlin

Barenboim-Said Akademie, Berlin

Anna Han (USA)

The Juilliard School

New Century Conservatory, Arizona

Honggi Kim (South Korea)

Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst, Frankfurt-am-Main

Hochschule für Musik und Theater Munich

Korea National University of Arts

Bowen Li (China)

China Conservatory of Music

Alexander Malofeev (Russia)

Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music

Mackenzie Melemed (USA)

The Juilliard School

Sandro Nebieridze (Georgia)

Tbilisi State Conservatory

Luka Okros (Georgia)

Royal College of Music, London

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Linzi Pan (China)

The Juilliard School

Curtis Institute of Music

Changyong Shin (South Korea)

Curtis Institute of Music

The Juilliard School

Dmitry Shishkin (Russia)

Gnessin Moscow Special School of Music

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Andrei Shychko (Belarus)

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Belarussian State Academy of Music, Minsk

Hans H. Suh (South Korea)

Hochschule für Musik, Theater und Medien Hannover

Columbia-Juilliard Exchange Program

Mannes College of Music Preparatory Division

Arseny Tarasevich-Nikolaev (Russia)

Moscow State Tchaikovsky Conservatory

Anastasia Vorotnaya (Russia)

Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía, Madrid

Central Music School of the Moscow State Conservatory

Rio Xiang (Australia)

Oberlin Conservatory

Tony Yike Yang (Canada)

Harvard University-New England Conservatory of Music Program

Oberlin Conservatory

Jialin Yao (China)

China Conservatory of Music

Tony Yun (Canada)

The Juilliard School, Pre-College Division

And the jury:
Li-guang Wang, president of the China International Music Competition, chairman of the Global Music Education League, and president of the China Conservatory of Music

Yoheved Kaplinsky, chairman of the jury of the First China International Music Competition, chairperson of the Piano Department and artistic director of the Pre-College Division, The Juilliard School

Dmitri Alexeev, piano professor at the Royal College of Music

Jan Jiracek von Arnim, artistic director and chairman of the jury of the International Beethoven Piano Competition

Lydia Artymiw, professor of piano at the University of Minnesota

Boris Berman, head of the Piano Department, Yale School of Music

Michel Béroff, pianist and conductor

Fabio Bidini, piano chair at the Colburn School

Warren Jones, pianist, conductor, and renowned operatic vocal coach

Katarzyna Popowa-Zydroń, jury chairman of the International Chopin Piano Competition

Arie Vardi, artistic advisor and chairman of the jury of the Arthur Rubinstein International Master Competition


The soloist in the world premiere of John Adams’s piano concert next month will be Yuja Wang.

The concerto is titled Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?

The conductor is Gustavo Dudamel.

First we saw the death of irony. Now parody has died, too.

Let’s confine comments to the question of whether it is wise to use a question mark in a music title.


Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider said today that the 2019 Carl Nielsen International Competition will offer ‘a platform and transparency.’ He is so keen for it to be clean that he has already published one disclaimer:
As transparency is essential to the competition, we wish to point out that one of the participants who has been selected for the violin competition is represented by Nordic Artists Management. However it is important to note that Nordic Artists’ involvement in the competition is limited to organization and they have no involvement or influence over the jury voting proceedings.

Here’s the list of violin finalists – 15 women, 9 men:

Yurina Arai (24 Japan)
Ava Bahari (22, Sweden)

Elina Buksha (28, Latvia)
Jiwon Choi (20, South Korea)
Wonbeen Chung (21, South Korea)
Johan Dalene (18, Sweden)
Anna Agafia Egholm (22, Denmark)
Kornelia Figielska (22, Poland)
Michael Germer (16, Denmark)
Ariel Horowitz (22, USA)
Marie-Astrid Hulot (21, France)
Hayato Ishibashi (27, USA)
Karen Kido (24, Japan)
Paul Kropfitsch (18, Austria)
Heemyeong Lee (26, South Korea)
Kunwha Lee (25, South Korea)
Hina Maeda (16, Japan)
Seina Matsuoka (25, Japan)
Michiru Matsuyama (27, Japan)
Kyumin Park (22, South Korea)
Sueye Park (18, South Korea)
Dmitry Smirnov (24, Russia)
Belle Ting (18 Canada)
Arata Yumi (26 Japan)

There’s an almost even gender split among the 24 contestants – 13 women, 11 men.

The youngest is 17, the oldest 29.

Tomer Amrani (24, Israel)
Rafael Adobas Bayog (21, Spain)
Sirius Chau (24, United Kingdom)
Lívia Duleba (29, Hungary)

Matvey Demin (25, Russia)
Sung Hue Kim (24, South Korea)
Yerzhan Kushanov(29, Kazakhstan)
Andrei Krivenko (22, Russia)
Stephanie Kwak (27, USA)
Erika Macalli (23, Italy)
Héléna Macherel (23, Switzerland)
Mael Marcon (22, France)
Ruofan Min (24, China)
Ingrid Soefteland Neset (26, Norway)
Joséphine Olech (24, France)
Aleksandra Pleterski (25, Slovenia)
Tomasz Sierant (23, Poland)
Evgeniya Spalinger (28, Russia)
Maria Storm Steinaa (25, Denmark)
Henry Williford (28, USA)
SooJung Yoon (18 South Korea)
Chaeyeon You (17, South Korea)
Yuan Yu (17, China)
Marianna Julia Żołnacz (19, Poland)

They showed a 20-second snatch last night of an upcoming documentary on the great tenor.

Some desiccated pop star in the middle tells us ‘the reason he was great’.

Oh, so that’s why.


The death has been announced of Andrew J. McMullan Jr. music director and general director of Maine Opera . Before that he was principal horn of the Portland Symphony Orchestra.

Throughout his career, he ran a clothing business on the side.

The Metropolitan Opera will announce its season very shortly.

One of the highlights to leak our way is the Met debut of the Lithuanian soprano Asmik Grigorian, who took Salzburg by storm last summer as Salome in the Richard Strauss opera.

Grigorian, 37, will make her Met debut as Salome, followed by a second appearance as Madam Butterfly.

Also on the leak:

Joyce DiDonato will sing Handel’s Agrippina.

Eric Owens and Angel Blue will open the season as Porgy and Bess.

Disclaimer: Since Slippedisc.com is on Peter Gelb’s personal blacklist, there is no way this information could have reached us from any source close to him, now could it?

You never see the classical Grammys on TV.

In a good year, they turn up at the back of the LA Times website, among the used floss and hairballs.

This year, the NY Times ran a list, somewhere.

It makes no difference. Orchestras will not stab each other in the eye with oboe reeds in a frenzy to sign the next concerto by Aaron Jay Kernis (pic), winner of two Grammys for his violin concerto, nor will the charts explode with sales of the Boston Symphony’s Shostakovich series, winner of best orchestral, excellent though they might be.

The classical sector as dismissed the Grammys long ago as irrelevant.


Here’s the latest list of sorry winners:

Best Engineered Album, Classical: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Shawn Murphy and Nick Squire, engineers, Tim Martyn, masteering engineer

Producer Of The Year, Classical: Blanton Alspaugh

Best Orchestral Performance: Shostakovich: Symphonies Nos. 4 & 11, Andris Nelsons, conductor

Best Opera Recording: “Bates: The (R)evolution Of Steve Jobs”

Best Choral Performance: “McLoskey: Zealot Canticles,” Donald Nally, conductor

Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance: “Landfall,” Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet

Best Classical Instrumental Solo: “Kernis: Violin Concerto,” James Ehnes

Best Classical Solo Vocal Album: “Songs Of Orpheus–Monteverdi, Caccini, D’India & Landi,” Karim Sulayman; Jeanette Sorrell, conductor, Apollo’s Fire, ensembles

Best Classical Compendium: “Fuchs: Piano Concerto ‘Spiritualist’; Poems Of Life; Glacier; Rush,” JoAnn Falletta, conductor; Tim Handley, producer

Best Contemporary Classical Composition: “Kernis: Violin Concerto,” James Ehnes, Ludovic Morlot & Seattle Symphony