He is the accompanist on our Lebrecht Album of the Week, a wonderful memento of a silvery soprano.

This posthumous album — curated by Sally, accompanied by her friend Richard Bonynge and produced by her husband Jeremy Silver — is a delight from start to finish…

Read the full review here.


And here.

The Non-Profit Quarterly has a remarkable story from inside the National Philharmonic, the Maryland orchestra that almost died.

It appears that one of the players offered to donate $275,000 on condition that his group took over the management of the company.

This did not go down well with the present management and the gift was rejected.

Jim Kelly, a local businessman who also plays in the orchestra, organized a bailout, but did so without engaging many members of the organization’s board. Earlier this week, according to Bethesda Magazine, he offered what he described as “an independent, comprehensive plan to ensure that the National Philharmonic keeps its doors open and moves forward on solid financial footing.” Along with other donors, he was prepared to give $275,000.

The donors placed an unusual condition on their gift, though: the donor group would take over the nonprofit’s leadership. Kelly and his group made the infusion of new resources “contingent on [Kelly] taking over as interim president of the organization and current board member Harris Miller ascending to interim board chair. National Philharmonic subscriber and supporter Julie Pangelinan would become vice chair and treasurer.”

Read on here.


Malcolm Archer, director of music at St Paul’s Cathedral from 2004 to 2007, was cleared today by a jury at Chelmsford Crown Court of two charges of indecent assault and indecency with a child.

Another man, Kenneth Francis, was convicted in the same trial.

Archer, 67, is a prolific composer who was director of chapel music at Winchester College from 2007 until his retirement last year.

He is an innocent man.


At 24, Geoffrey Lynn was the youngest player in the London Philharmonic when he won an audition in 1974.

Today is his last day in the first violins and they are giving him a video sendoff.

He has lived through the ages of Haitink, Solti, Tennstedt, Welser-Möst, Masur and Jurowski.

His final performance is Cendrillon tonight at Glyndebourne.

He has earned a rest.

Another tale of heartbreak from the unfriendly skies, this time from Rachel Hanlin Siu, a rceent graduate at Juilliard.

She tells Slipped Disc:

I was told to contact you about a massive issue I’ve just come across. I will be participating in the Carlos Prieto competition and I booked my two flight tickets through Delta Airlines about a month or two ago, one for myself, and one for my cello.

I called to make the booking, as per usual when booking for a seat for the cello. I called Delta today to confirm my booking, just to double check that everything would be ok. It seems now there has been a massive problem, where both my tickets were booked under my name, including my cello ticket, without the CBBG abbreviation to notify the airline that the second ticket is for the cello.

I have been on the phone with Delta for two hours. They say they can only refund my tickets and nothing else. My flight was supposed to leave early morning Friday, leaving me to book my tickets for a much much higher price, x2. They don’t even have a flight leaving the days I need, which also means I will be losing money on the hotel I booked, leaving me with no money to actually book these new flights. Can they do this?


The organ composer Anna Korotkina, a leading figure in Belarussian music, has died at an early age.

Originally from Vitebsk, she worked closely with the Belarussian Philharmonic Orchestra, with chamber groups, schools and church musicians.

Yusif Eyvazov should have been singing opposite his wife in Adriana Lecouvreur at Salzburg on Wednesday, but she dropped out with a cold and he was left to face an audience that had paid gala prices for an unflashy cast.

When Netrebko’s withdrawal was announced, the fat-cats yelled abuse at the festival management and particularly at the unfortunate Eyvazov. SN reports:

Es begann ein heftiges, laut brüllendes Buh-Konzert, mit deutlichen Verbalinjurien und Rufen, der Sänger solle doch heimgehen. Oder auch, er wäre am besten gleich zu Hause geblieben. Eyvazov, ohnehin gern als bloßes Anhängsel seiner berühmten Frau geschmäht, hatte spürbar keine guten Karten. Man wünschte zu diesem Zeitpunkt, der tapfer auftretende, gleichwohl hörbar angeschlagene Sänger möge diese unfairen Vorverurteilungen nicht hinter der Bühne gehört haben.

Many of them left noisily, tearing up their tickets. The houses was far from full during the performance.


Among the summer’s departures, the London Symphony Orchestra has said goodbye to Jonathan Lipton, its longest-serving 4th horn.

A New Yorker by origin, Jonathan served 32 years in the seat, after spells in Birmingham, Belfast and Cardiff.

Read more here.


The vice-president of Columbia’s opera department, Damon Bristo, has quit to become director of artistic administration at Opera Theatre of St Louis. He starts work next month, leaving a raft of premier singers semi-agentless at the shedlike company.


Also on the move is former Doug Sheldon artist Nelson Freire. He has gone to Opus3.

In other St Louis news, the soprano Patricia Racette joins Opera Theatre as artistic director of Young Artist Programs.

From our violin diarist Anthea Kreston:

I arrived four days early in Chengdu, China, for the music festival – four days to adjust and sightsee. It’s like every movie or photo you have ever seen, but tangible, tasteable – greying, multi-story housing blocks with sagging balcony/cages clinging precariously to the side – strung with drying clothes, right next to ancient and fully functioning Buddhist complexes and gleaming skyscrapers, and air that is visibly thick with smog, the humidity thickens in our throats. The waves of intense cicada choruses roll down the streets – starting and stopping on a dime. Chanel next to a series of decrepit shacks, people chopping vegetables or stuffing dumplings with wooden spatulas, and motorcycles with 6 layers of crates tied on with string.

Chengdu has 14 million residents, a medium/large city in the middle of China – not normally on the top of the list for foreign visitors, and we have not seen any non-Asians, save for the airport and a smattering at the Giant Panda Breeding Center. This means people wave to us, point and stare, and the girls’ cheeks are regularly pinched – freckles marveled at and hair touched with wonder. An old colleague and friend, originally from a town outside of Chengdu, was charmingly and persistently aggressive with his invitation to join the faculty this year, and so here we are, enjoying extravagant meals – from street foods to those giant lazy-suzanne style dinner tables, and tonight at a world-renowned Hot Pot restaurant, owned by a friend of the festival (Chengdu is also known as the center for Sichuan cuisine).

In a couple of days, we head 90 minutes out of town to the location of the festival, where I will direct the chamber music and Jason will conduct the 40 piece cello ensemble, as well as playing a variety of concerts. Last night we had our first faculty dinner meeting – mainly professors at the conservatory in Chengdu, our common language more often German than English. I was trying to refrain from drinking, realizing that I was probably going to be carrying one of our daughters home, asleep, after the long dinner, when Jason turned to me and said “you at least have to fill your cup for the toasts!”. And toasts there were – I finally gave up and just kept the bottle of whatever I was drinking next to my setting. The speeches didn’t let up, each one accompanied by everyone standing, and nodding and murmuring to people who seemed to be a mile away, across from the steaming plates of eel, sea-cucumber, tureens of soup – each dish a flourish of creativity, and in its own, specially designed serving vessel. I vaguely counted (in my double-whammy fog of the 9-hour Jetlag and alcohol) more than 27 dishes, and I was giddy from eating so many different meats – I have been a strict vegetarian for over 20 years, and I decided this trip was going to be a meat-vacation, no guilt, no rules. The texture of meat in my mouth – the fibers separating and the sensation of chewing off the bone – has been as thrilling as the overwhelming cultural differences.

Our friend has been regaling us with stories of his youth, growing up in a small village. When he was the age of my daughters, his mother would send him at midnight to the rice fields with a torch, to catch eel, which would emerge from their burrows after dark. He would stand still, waiting for the feeling of the eel against his body, and then pounce. The rice shoots were young, and the water would reach well up his small frame – he would fashion a trap from bamboo sticks, or just grab the eel by the hands, trying (not always successfully) to avoid being bitten. A flashlight would have been more convenient, but finances made that out of the question. The next day, the eel would provide the much-needed protein in the soup pot. Later in life, his abilities on his instrument made study in the USA possible, and our subsequent friendship – and now this amazing, hand-curated experience in his home country.