Bad day for conductors.

First Jaap is burned out of the NY Phil by a damaged shoulder.

Now Gustavo Dudamel cancels Boston Symphony: ‘It is with deep regret that I have to withdraw from the remainder of my appearances with the Boston Symphony Orchestra this week due to an aggravation of an injury from last December,’ said Dudamel in a statement. ‘I have thoroughly enjoyed the rehearsal process and performances of The Rite of Spring and Schumann’s Spring Symphony with the incredible BSO this past week and was so looking forward to this coming week’s performances of music by Desenne, Ginastera, and Estévez—three composers dear to my heart. With apologies to Boston’s wonderful orchestra and audience, I look forward to returning to Symphony Hall in future seasons to continue our fantastic music-making for all those devoted to this remarkable orchestra! I wish everyone in the BSO family the very best.’

Who jumps in?

Ken-David Masur.


The New York Philharmonic has informed us that its music director Jaap Van Zweden suffered second-degree burns to his shoulder last week, apparently from excessive use of ice packs.

He is replaced in Mahler’s 6th symphony by the excellent Australian Simone Young who, since she last got asked to conduct the NY Phil in 1998, has been music director of Opera Australia and Hamburg, Germany.


The highly-rated Kerem Hasan is flying out to Toronto to replace Louis Langrée at ths week’s concerts.

He will conduct Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune; Szymanowski’s 1st Violin Concerto with Christian Tetzlaff; and Beethoven’s Eroica symphony.

A protégé of Bernard Haitink, Kerem has already conducted the Concertgebouw, the St Petersburg Symphony and the LSO.

During the opening work of the Symphony of Southeast Texas Orchestra’s weekend concert, a member of the violin section, Yu Zhao Gu, keeled over and died. He was playing beside his wife, Ying Zhao, his regular stand partner.

Attempts by musicians and audience members to resuscitate him were of no avail.

The conductor Chelsea Tipton posted:

Last night during our final concert of the season we, unfortunately lost a Symphony of Southeast Texas Orchestra member during our opening work on the program. He was a valued member who has played with the orchestra for many decades along with his wife, and his presence will be dearly missed. Thank you to the doctors, nurses, and EMTs who came to his immediate aid on stage. And thank you also to the musicians and choruses for your work, love and support you provided last night and throughout the entire season. Please keep his family and friends in your thoughts and prayers.

A crowdfunding page has been set up for the family:

Yu Zhao Gu, beloved violinist, tragically passed away during our final concert of our season Saturday night doing what he loved, performing music alongside his wife, Ying Zhao. A dedicated member of the Symphony of Southeast Texas (SOST) family, Yu and Ying have been playing with the symphony for well over a decade and as regular members of the Galveston, Corpus Christi, Lake Charles, and Victoria symphonies. The first to say hello at rehearsal, Yu could always be counted on to greet you with a smile and a word of encouragement.

The passing of Yu is devastating for our orchestra and all those he has touched, as we truly are a family. We would like to come together in support of Ying to help cover these exorbitant and unexpected medical bills, funeral costs, and countless other expenses. While no amount of money will help ease this loss, we hope to at least be able to give Ying peace of mind that she is not alone and her musical family and community are here for her during her time of need.

The family had lived in the US for 20 years. Their son studies at the University of Houston.

A Moscow judge today set free Kirill Serebrennikov after almost two years of house arrest in which he was unable to communicate with the outside world.

The distinguished theatre and opera director had been charged with embezzlement, which he denies.

Many believed he was arrested for critisicing the Putin regime.

Serebrennikov, 49, is out on bail. He is prohibited from going beyond the city limits of Moscow.


Statement from the CSOA:

Contract negotiating sessions between the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association (CSOA) and the Chicago Federation of Musicians (CFM) resumed Friday, April 5 and continued through Sunday, April 7. The CSOA presented its last, best and final offer to the CFM late Sunday afternoon and the union is considering the offer.

Statement from the musicians:
After weekend-long negotiations, the Musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s negotiating committee will present results of the
talks to the membership tonight. Results of the meeting will be available at the conclusion of the meeting.

The Cuban-American soprano has won the 2019 Richard Tucker award, worth 50 grand.

Mini-grants of 10k each go to to sopranos Gabriella Reyes and Laura Wilde and baritone Will Liverman.

Here’s her lifestyle interview in Runners World.

One of the most successful musical cities in South America is in deep gloom after the governor, João Doria, ordered a statewide 23% cut in the art budget.

We hear that the São Pedro Theatre, the state opera house, will shut for half of next season and that OSESP, the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra, will make deep cuts.

There was a demonstration yesterday against the cuts on Paulista Avenue.

We’ve received an update on Franz Mazura, the world-renowned Wagnerian bass-baritone.

Franz is still working.  He’s playing Meister Hans Schwarz in Berlin’s Meistersinger under Barenboim next week.

The day after the run ends he will turn 95. And he’s still looking for roles.

It’s quite a season.

Cecilia Bartoli stars in Gluck’s Iphigénie en Tauride, directed by Zurich boss Andreas Homoki.

Swiss composer Stefan Wirth has a commission for Girl with a Pearl Earring, based on the Tracey Chevalier novel. Thomas Hampson plays the painter. Felicity Palmer, Laura Aikin and Lauren Snouffer complete the cast.

Evelyn Herlitzius takes the title role in Janáček’s Makropoulos Case.

Emmerich Kálmán’s Csárdásfürstin will star Annette Dasch and Pavol Breslik.

Richard Strauss’s Arabella will showcase Julia Kleiter, Julie Fuchs, and Josef Wagner.

Verdi’s I vespri siciliani has Maria Agresta and Quinn Kelsey.

Christof Loy directs Donizetti’s Don Pasquale.

Sebastian Baumgarten presents a staging of Handel’s oratorio Belshazzar, conducted by Laurence Cummings.

And there’s a children’s opera, Coraline, by the British composer Marc-Anthony Turnage.

Message from Marcelo Alvarez:

Dear Friends,

I am so sorry that I had to renounce to the last two performances of Manon Lescaut at the ‘Teatro alla Scala’ due to an allergic lung thickening caused by environmental pollution but now in the process of recovery. I hope to heal completely in the established healing times for this disease and return to sing as soon as possible.

With love


Two British string quartets swept the board at the Joseph Joachim chamber music competition in Weimar.

The Barbican Quartet made off with the 10,000-Euro first prize. The group – Amarins Wierdsma and Tim Crawford violins, Christoph Slenczka viola, Yoanna Prodanova cello – came together at the Guildhall School in 2014.

Second prize of 5,000 Euros went to the Marmen Quartet, also British.