Ian Bousfield, former principal trombone of the LSO and the Vienna Philharmonic will chair the first brass section of the Tchaikovsky Competition.

Other judges are the Croatian horn player Radovan Vlatkovic, Mariinsky trumpet Timur Martynov, and the Paris based trumpet virtuoso Sergei Nakariakov.




Sarah Buchanan of the Amati auction house has posted the following petition to the UK Parliament:

Musicians, music shops & auction houses are going to be severely affected by a new requirement to register bows of stringed instruments under the Ivory Act. The practicalities of doing so, along with the cost will make it very difficult – and in some cases impossible – to buy and sell antique bows.

We fully support the ethics behind this act – endangered species and ecosystems must be protected. But these legitimate goals cannot be achieved by clamping down on antique instruments & bows. Musicians now face prosecution if they buy or sell a bow that doesn’t conform to the expected registration. Many professional instrument bows will be left worthless and untradeable. This petition applauds the Ivory Act principles, but just asks for this one practicality to be changed for it to be workable.

Sign here.


England’s Opera North has just announced new productions next season of Bohuslav Martinů’s The Greek Passion and Kurt Weill’s Street Scene, two mid-20th century masterpieces that don’t get seen nearly often enough.

Opera North has been without a music director since the disappearance of Aleksandar Markovic in April 2017.


A new biography of the Dutch conductor Anton Kersjes suggests that he was running neck and neck with Bernard Haitink for public acclaim at the Concertgebouw in the 1960s.

Kersjes (1923-2004) founded his own orchestra, the Kunstmaandorckest, later known as the Amsterdam Philharmonic. He said of Haitink: ‘He stimulates me to work harder.’ He invested heavily on Dutch talent through a fund established with his wife, Margaret, who inherited a cocoa fortune.

It may be that great wealth took the edge of Kersjes’s ambition. He conducted less as he grew older and lost his fame.

Bernard Haitink, still conducting, will turn 90 next week.

The orchestra has just put out its 2019-20 season.

These are the guest conductors from whom the next music director will likely be chosen.

A great many renowned guest conductors are leading the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2019–20. Daniel Harding gets the ball rolling with Act 2 of Wagner’s opera Tristan und Isolde. The festive RCO Opening Night on 13 September features Franz Welser-Möst conducting works by Tchaikovsky, including the Violin Concerto with Janine Jansen as soloist. Another guest conductor featured this season is Christian Thielemann, who is returning for the first time since 2002 with Bruckner’s Fifth Symphony.

Herbert Blomstedt, for his part, will be conducting the Fourth. Mariss Jansons leads the orchestra in two programmes with works including Richard Strauss’s Also sprach Zarathustra. Under the baton of Jaap van Zweden, the orchestra is performing Stravinsky’s Le sacre du printemps and Willem Mengelberg’s 1924 version of the Adagio and Purgatorio from Mahler’s Symphony No. 10.

Myung-whun Chung is leading the orchestra in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony on subscription concerts and the Third and Ninth Symphonies at the 2020 Mahler Festival organised by the Concertgebouw. Emmanuelle Haïm is conducting a captivating Baroque programme, and Thomas Hengelbrock is leading the orchestra in works by Handel, Rameau, Beethoven and others. Sir John Eliot Gardiner is conducting Schumann’s Szenen aus Goethes Faust. Elim Chan is leading the orchestra in a Children’s Concert, while this season’s conducting masterclass is presided over by none other than Iván Fischer (pictured right).

An extensive tour of Taiwan and Japan with conductor Paavo Järvi is planned for November. 


The BBC’s ailing classical music channel – down 20 percent in two years – has signed saxophonist Jess Gillam, 20, as presenter of a Saturday show, This Classical Life.

The plan is that she will interview musicians of her own age. Among those lined up are Isata Kanneh-Mason, double bassist Sam Becker, sound artist Belle Chen and TV composer Ollie Howell.

Gillam, who is a bright spark with a Decca record contract, will go far. But the gambit of hiring a young musician presenter with a view to attracting young audiences has been tried over and over on Classic FM without in any way denting the station’s mature age profile – except perhaps to alienate some of the diehards.

We expect nothing original of Radio 3 these days.

Ludwig Göransson won an Oscar at the first attempt for his soundtrack to Black Panther.

He defeated favourites Alexandre Desplat and Terence Blanchard.

Göransson, 34, had an orchestra work premiered by the Norrkoping Symphony Orchestra when he was 17. He studied jazz at the Royal College of Music in Stockholm and  is married to the American violinist Serena McKinney.

We have been asked by trusted sources to help with a crowdfunder for the principal flute of the  Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Maria Gabriela Rodriguez.

She writes:

My name is Maria Gabriela Rodriguez, I’m 42 years old and I live in Caracas, Venezuela. In December, 2017 I noticed a small lump in my left breast and my doctor referred me urgently to the mastologist. He then ordered a series of tests (mammogram and a breast puncture). On February 15th, 2018 I was diagnosed with breast cancer (ductal carcinoma).  

Despite of being a working professional since I was 15 years old, I am forced to ask for help and the collaboration of all of you because no medical insurance will cover my operation and treatment for this illness. The coverage is barely enough for one or two blood tests. Due to the terrible financial situation happening in Venezuela at this time, it is impossible for me to assume the costs that come with cancer, which turns my condition, and not only mine but that of many people, into a humanitarian drama. 

You can read on and donate here.

Yo soy licenciada en Música. Soy flautista solista de la Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, la orquesta más antigua de Venezuela y la única mujer que ha ocupado el cargo de principal desde su fundación, hace 87años. Soy profesora de flauta en la Escuela de Música “Mozarteum de Caracas” y en el Sistema Nacional de Orquestas y dirijo la Orquesta Nacional de Flautas de Venezuela. Soy una una aprendiz de proteccionista de animales y lucho para alimentar a los que están en situación de calle. 

No estoy lista para irme. Tengo demasiadas cosas por hacer y a pesar de que me siento muy consternada quiero ganar esta batalla para seguir tocando, para seguir mostrándole el camino de la música a mis alumnos y por sobre todo trabajar en la reconstrucción de mi país.
Cuento con el amor y el apoyo de mi familia y de mis maravillosos amigos y por eso quisiera contar con ustedes también para recolectar $ 51000 para cubrir los gastos de mi operación, radiación y la medicación necesaria y poder así alcanzar mi total recuperación. Quiero ser un testimonio de vida y poder ayudar a los demás mientras dure mi lucha contra el cáncer.