Denis Matsuev, the pianist closest to Vladimir Putin, was at Chelsea Football Club yesterday with soccer legend Andrei Shevchenko to make a recording for his video site.

Such a shame he had to see Chelski knocked out of the cup by a reinspired Man United.

Come on you Reds.

The family of Meribeth Dayme has posted news of her passing.

She was an acclaimed author, speaker, and master teacher—a pioneer in the fields of voice and the teaching of singing, speaking, and personal presence—bridging science, art, and spirituality through her CoreSinging method that was the culmination of a lifetime of tireless work. Her final wish was that her work might live on and continue to help people discover, embody, and live according to their true voice.

Originally from North Carolina, Meribeth lived in the French Alps and taught all over the world.


Ingrid Roose came first in the Concours international de jeunes chefs de chœur.

She draws big crowds.



We’re receiving reports from Brazil that Nelson Freire has fractured an elbow and shoulder bone in a street fall in Rio.

Freire, 75, will require surgery and will be out for the rest of the year. Among his cancelled engagements are Girona, Elmau, London, Amsterdam, Lyon and St Petersburg.

We wish him a full recovery.

Sir Simon Rattle has pulled out of the December 28 performance of Rosenkavalier at the Met.

His replacement is Gareth Morrell.


The award winning Jitka Šuranská died on Monday of cancer.

A violinist in the Bohuslav Martinů Philharmonic in Zlín, Jitka became a singing star on the world music scene with a series of albums of indigenous and inventive music.

She had her own trio and worked with a local women’s choir and natural sound recordings.

The 10,000 Euro Giga Hertz Grand Prize 2019 has gone to the composer Eliane Radigue, who is 87 years old and has lived in New York for 40 years.

The prize is notionally for her life’s work. It may also be an epitaph for mid-20th century experimentalism.

when the world was young

There was a concert last night at the Mariinsky in the memory of the great Russian mezzo Irina Bogacheva, who died five weeks ago.

Hours earlier, Irina’s daughter Elena Gaudasinskaya died of cancer at the age of 52.

Elena was head of the piano accompaniment department at the St Petersburg Conservatoire.


Our latest exclusive review from the CBSO100 season, feturing the UK debut of a rising conductor:

CBSO at Symphony Hall ★★★★

Bizet’s Carmen has an abundance of great melodies, the sort of tunes the milkman could whistle – when he had milkmen. So catchy and firmly embedded in our musical consciousness, that we don’t even require the singers, as the orchestral Suite No.2 showed. German conductor Anja Bihlmaier (pictured) has worked extensively in the opera house and was right at home here, coaxing some sparkling playing from the orchestra in the sultry Habanera and the whirling bacchanal of the Danse bohème. Alan Thomas’s cornet gave us the swaggering toreador Escamillo and guest leader Tamas Kocsis, a chaste but tenderly beautiful Micaela.

Gypsy music, of Hungary rather than Spain, was also the inspiration for Ravel’s Tzigane. What a performance from Renaud Capuçon. Dazzling, scintillating, coruscating – add further adjectives as required. The double stops whizzed by and the pizzicatos pinged as the Frenchman, supported with some lovely piquant orchestral touches, brought the fiddling wizardry of a bygone era back for ten minutes. Before the fireworks came Chausson’s Poème with Capuçon’s shimmering tone perfectly gauged for this study in silver-grey melancholy and restrained ardour.

Bihlmaier conducted a lively, colourful but oddly superficial performance of Dvořák mighty Symphony No. 7. Like a hasty charabanc trip through Bohemia we saw the sights – the woods and fields, a bit of folkloric dancing – but always glimpsed through a window. There was little of the symphony’s dark D minor depths. Bihlmaier needs to note that the furiant dance in Dvorak’s scherzo needs as much idiomatic rubato as does a Strauss waltz.

Norman Stinchcombe

The mezzo-soprano Giuliana Castellani has died in a head-on collision on an Austrian motorway.

Giuliana was 40.

Her dog, who was in the car, also died.

A cancer patient in her teens, Giuliana went on to a lively concert career, singing with Jose Carreras among others.

She is survived by her parents.


In somewhat heavy Dutch humour, the NY Philharmonic chief responds to a question as to whether he’s in the running for the vacant Amsterdam orchestra by referring to the original name for New York.

In the days of Stuyvesant and Co.

Read here.


The Association of Teachers of Singing (AOTOS) has conveyed news of the death of Tina Ruta, a much sought after voice coach at Trinity College of Music and the Royal Opera House.

She set a high benchmark for singing standards.