From the CSO:

Esteban Batallán was the selected candidate after the final round of auditions for CSO principal trumpet in Chicago in June. As part of the audition process, he is required to perform in the orchestra for two weeks this coming season with Music Director Riccardo Muti conducting, before a final decision is made.

Esteban, 35, this week gave up his principal seat with the Hong Kong Philharmonic.




The home of Italian opera has put up a short tribute to Valentina Cortese, the film star who died today aged 96.

A leading actor in films by directors as Michelangelo Antonioni, Federico Fellini and François Truffaut, and curiously cast as Herodias in Zeffirelli’s miniseries Jesus of Nazareth, Valentina was a regular operagoer in glamourous gowns, happy to pose with great singers and conductors.

From an interview with AFP:

When Peter Gelb took over New York’s legendary Metropolitan Opera in 2006, one of his jobs was to organize a farewell for Placido Domingo…. ‘Since it was unimaginable that he could possibly be singing for much longer after an unmatched Met career that was soon to span four decades of starring roles,’ Gelb told AFP, ‘one of the responsibilities I was preparing for was Placido’s farewell.’

With many singers’ voices withering by the time they hit their 40s, the unfailingly modest 78-year-old has somehow managed to keep performing at the top level. ‘Instead of retiring, Placido apparently discovered his own fountain of youth, reinventing himself as a baritone… ‘This past season, we held ceremonies for Placido on several occasions in honor of his five decades of leading roles on the stage of the Met — an accomplishment that is impossible to imagine ever being achieved again….’

Read on here.



The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra has made two appointments for September 2019:

François López-Ferrer will be the Assistant Conductor for the CSO and May Festival.
Wilbur Lin will be Assistant Conductor for the Cincinnati Pops and Conductor of the CS Youth Orchestra Philharmonic.

François López-Ferrer is the son of the late Jesús López-Cobos, who was music director in Cincy from 1986 to 2001. He died in March 2018.


Tributes are pouring on for Aaron Rosand who died last night of pneumonia, aged 92.

Stephen Waarts: ‘Thank you Mr. Rosand for your incredible influence in my life and contribution to the world of music. I feel so grateful for all the time, wisdom, and generosity you shared with me through the years.’

Robert Koenig: ‘I’m so saddened and heartbroken to hear of the passing of legendary violinist Aaron Rosand. As a young student at the Curtis Institute of Music, I was so enthralled to be working with his long list of incredible students and spent countless hours in his studio. I could never have imagined that I’d have the opportunity to perform and tour with him and will always cherish that time together. RIP, dear Maestro….You will never truly know the gift that you have given me.’

Brinton Smith: ‘One of the greatest is gone.’

Quinton Morris: ‘My mentor, former teacher and a man who inspired and challenged me to think outside the box and dared Me to be different. A legend has passed – Mr. Aaron Rosand. He was one of my confidants who insisted on me getting a lesson at his home before I played any recital at Carnegie Hall, which consisted of a coaching…followed by smoking cigars, drinking scotch and reading duos half drunk at his house. We had a bond and a very special relationship. He called me SONNY, which was followed by a cough and a chuckle by me. I will miss him dearly. Thank you, Mr. Rosand for your contributions to the music world and teaching inspiration worldwide. I will miss our phone chats immensely.’

Hugh Sung: ‘I owe this maestro more than I can put into words. He opened my ears to a whole world of artistic individualism while at the same time taking me – quite literally – around the world with performances and recordings. ‘

Kimberlee Dray: ‘oday we learned of the passing of an iconic violinist, Aaron Rosand, whose recording of the Arensky Violin Concerto I listened to in tears while sitting right next to him. He leaves an incredible legacy and I will always be grateful he took the time to encourage a Mom who really loves to play. I think that says a lot about him.’



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I have some deeply saddening news to share with you. My teacher Aaron Rosand passed away last night. I learned so much from him; his pure, beautiful sound that would shimmer and cry when being drawn from the instrument; his gruff laugh that would often be accompanied by some sort of rebuke telling me that I wasn’t sustaining the line enough, or that I needed to “find my own sound”. He was tough on me, but only because he believed in me. There’s not one day that goes by when I don’t think about the things he said to me during our time lessons. I’m still learning every day thanks to you Mr Rosand. We will miss you, but your legacy lives strong in the wonderful musicians you’ve produced. Photo: Pete Checchia c. 2007 at the Curtis Institute of Music

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The most sought-after tenor on the opera stage marks a fresh milestone this morning.

Having managed his ascent with immense patience, spending almost a decade as a company member at Zurich Opera, he is now on the verge of his first Tristan and he still has half of the Ring to sing. But he’s in no hurry and is no chaser of Domingoesque operatic records. Munich born, he lives close to his roots, and to his local opera house. Singers say he’s the best of colleagues.

Married for a second time and with a baby in arms, he seems to be in a good place in life, and on stage.

Happy birthday, Jonas.

And a remembrance of much-missed friends.

An Tianxu, the Chinese pianist who was derailed by an official screw-up in the Tchaikovsky final by a change of concerto, has been called in to play the Rachmananiov Paganini Variations with the Philadelphia Orchestra on July 23.

Details here.

We have been informed of the death last night of Aaron Rosand, one of the last lions of the American violin. He was 92 and had been suffering from pneumonia.

Born in Hmmond, Indiana, he studied at Curtis with Efrem Zimbalist and taught there from 1981 until his retirement three months ago. When he sold his 1741 Guarneri del Gesù in 2009 for $10 million, he donated $1.5m to Curtis, where his pupils included Ray Chen, Benjamin Schmid and Alexander Kerr.

Curtis Institute President Roberto Díaz called him ‘the greatest violin teacher of his time.’

Although he performed and recorded extensively, Rosand resented what he saw as the iron grip that Isaac Stern exerted on the American violin scene. In an article for Slipped Disc, and an ongoing debate, he accused Stern of sabotaging his career.

Yet he was not a bitter man, and his many students remember his warmth, his expertise and his personal charm.

As for his art, he was a late romantic of limitless expression.

Tributes here.

The American mega-soprano has quit Columbia Artists for  Adam Cavagnaro’s San Francisco-based Promethean Artists.

Voigt aims to do less opera in the years ahead, more song recitals. Still, the walkout stings Columbia which is suffering a string of losses.

photo Heidi Gutman


The composer and journalist Rolf Urs Ringger died in Zurich on June 26.

He supplemented a considerable compositional output with work as a reviewer and journalist for the Neue Zürcher Zeitung and others.

We can’t decide whether to applaud New York promoter Andrew Ousley for his latest venture, or sue him for stealing our title.

Death of Classical brings together ‘unexpected concert experiences, reaching new and broader audiences, and giving a voice to underrepresented composers and performers’.

Get spooked here.