Norman Perryman has produced a canvas of the Birmingham music director to go beside his portraits of her predecessors, Nelsons, Oramo and Rattle.

Marcus Felsner, formerly European head of Opus3 Artists, today opened a new agency in Munich.

His headline artists are impressive: Andreas Scholl, Sergei Babayan, Boris Brovtsyn, Hee-Young Lim, Aaron Pilsan, Audrey Saint-Gil, Anna Skryleva (pictured).

Marcus says: ‘The organization has been founded in Munich in 2020 as a result of the major transformation which classical music performance is going through today. At the same time, and independent of the current challenges for the performing arts, the service needs for many of the world’s greatest artists are undergoing fundamental change.’


The DR Symphony Orchestra has extended its contract with Fabio Luisi until 2026. This Thursday, he will open the new season in the DR Concert Hall.

Luisi, 61, is also GMD at Zurich Opera and incoming music director at the Dallas Symphony.

He says: ‘I am extremely happy that my relationship with the DR Symphony Orchestra – a relationship that has flourished and developed wonderfully over the past four years – will continue further through the next many seasons. With its amazing curiosity and sharp focus, the orchestra is a source of great personal and artistic joy in my life.’


Press release:

Glyndebourne has announced plans for a ‘staycation’ series of socially-distanced indoor performances, starting on 10 October 2020.

The events are in place of the company’s annual autumn tour which was due to start at Glyndebourne on 9 October and visit Canterbury, Woking, Milton Keynes, Liverpool and Norwich before returning home for Christmas concerts. The ongoing restrictions on the size and scale of indoor performances mean that it is no longer possible to present the season as planned. Instead Glyndebourne will remain in Sussex with a programme of indoor concerts and small-scale opera in front of a reduced audience.

The autumn season opens with Glyndebourne’s new production of In the Market for Love, a new version by Stephen Plaice of Jacques Offenbach’s Mesdames de la Halle. It became the first full-length opera to be performed to a live audience since lockdown when it premiered in the Glyndebourne gardens at the start of August. It will be followed by performances of a reduced, semi-staged version of Mozart’s The Magic Flute and five festive Christmas Concerts.

Stephen Langridge, Glyndebourne’s Artistic Director, said: ‘For more than 50 years the Glyndebourne Tour has been a crucial part of our artistic programme, allowing us to bring world-class opera to thousands of people around the country, and continue our commitment to talent development. We are deeply disappointed that the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented us from going on the road this year, but we remain determined to find ways to keep performing. We have learned many useful lessons about how to present opera in a way that’s safe for audiences and performers throughout this summer’s special and memorable run of concerts and opera in our gardens, and now we are excited to be able to apply this knowledge and welcome audiences back into our beautiful opera house for the touring equivalent of a “staycation”.’

Good for them.


Two months after the 1929 Wall Street crash, most of America’s businesses huddled together for survival into two large corporations – Arthur Judson’s Columbia (CAMI) and David Sarnoff’s NCAC, with Sol Hurok as its prominent talent agent.

Between them, these musical versions of Hertz and Avis carved up America. If Ohio wanted an artist, it rang one or the other.

The dominant duopoly ran until the 1950s, when NBC lost interest and Ronald Wilford succeeded Judson. From then on, it was all Cami.

After Wilford’s death in 2015 Cami spiralled into decline, losing key players and Lang Lang’s manager.

Today, is its last day of business.

What happens now?

Musical America needs to rethnk its structures. In a global century, many of its orchestras hire direct from European agencies and many artists manage without an agent altogether. Where is the centre. There is no centre. Even Carnegie Hall is not the destination it was.

The question of how classical music survives in America needs to be addressed right now, and with some urgency. Any ideas?

(For the historical background, see my books The Maestro Myth and Who Killed Classical Music).


It is almost two decades since Greg Dyke, the last D-G but four, described the BBC as ‘hideously white’. Since then, not much has changed by way of internal procedures.

We have confirmed with musicians that, contrary to global practice, the BBC Symphony has refused to allow potential new players to audition behind a screen. In the absence of screen protection, like chooses like and the BBC Symphony remains as it is.

Along with most leading orchestras even the Vienna Philharmonic, pictured below, now uses screens.

But the BBC remains stuck myopically in  the last century.

A new D-G starts today. Will he do anything about it?

The Italian conductor and counter-tenor Claudio Cavina has died at 58, four years after suffering a stroke.

Co-founder of the La Venexiana ensemble, he performed with many early music groups. His own recordings appears on the on the Opus 111, Cantus and Glossa labels, notably nine books of Monteverdi madrigals and three operas.

On Christmas Eve 2016 he suffered a stroke at home. Living alone, it was days before he was found and the effects proved irreversible.

The one and only Björling sings Beethoven. Wait for the soft falsetto.


Always good to have a second string to your bow.

He sings the Gaoler in this recording.

Happy 75th birthday, Itzhak Perlman.


For once, the festival’s closing report is really pertinent. Salzburg was the first to break the clone that shut down other summer fests.

‘In this special festival year at the festival, we all created something together, which hardly anyone could expect a few weeks ago: that with a very thoughtful, smart yet no one overloading safety concept music, theatre, concerts, opera, all these wonderful things again can be possible. The tension before August 1. was very high and the six rehearsal weeks before that were quite a challenge. Who could have imagined that in Corona times an Elektra, Così would be possible again? Who could have imagined that this gathering of people would be possible again? We have told all our artists again and again that if we manage to get this summer across the stage as we imagine, we will only make it together. The behavior of the audience, which has increasingly internalized our security measures during the festival, has also contributed to this. Thus, the signal emanating from Salzburg will be the strongest, most vital and most essential to send to the world,’ says Director Markus Hinterhäuser.

‘The fact that the Salzburg Festival could even take place in 2020 was the greatest anniversary present. We were allowed to set a sign of the power of art in powerless times and were able to revive the founding idea in the most meaningful way. The Salzburg Festival was founded in 1920 in a time of great need as a courageous project against the crisis. Max Reinhardt was convinced that only art could reconcile the people who were ravaged by war against each other, yes nations. – Art not as decoration, but as food. We are overjoyed that the festival has been able to prove itself as meaningful and employer in the world that is too deeply unsettled by Corona,’ says Festival President Helga Rabl-Stadler.


From the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic:

Today we’ve been reached by the sad news that our beloved colleague and friend – former solo horn player Ib Lanzky-Otto – has passed away. Ib was a legend, admired all over the world for his great musicality and unique personality. His beautifully shaped tone, his deep musicality and dazzling technique, left a deep impression on both audience, conductors and soloists visiting the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra during Ib’s 46 year era as its member. His contributions, as an orchestra musician and as a soloist, have become a model for horn players all over the world. Ib’s warm and generous personality, combined with his lightning-fast humour, blessed us with an abundance of wonderful stories and anecdotes that we recall with the greatest warmth on a day like this. The Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and all friends at Konserthuset Stockholm mourn an icon, and above all a dear and beloved friend and colleague.


Message received:

On September 6th, STAATSOPER FÜR ALLE will take place on Bebelplatz.

Due to the current security regulations we unfortunately had to limit the concert to a seating capacity of about 2,000 people this time. Therefore, access is only possible with a ticket, thanks to BMW Berlin free of charge as always, and they were sold out in minutes! With this concert, we and our Partner BMW would like to especially thank people who, through their work in system-relevant areas such as health care, retails and logistics, support our society to a great extent. We are very much looking forward to welcoming many of them to STAATSOPER FÜR ALLE – through an extra ticket contingent that was provided to them in advance.‬

‪The program, under the musical direction of Daniel Barenboim, is all about Ludwig van Beethoven – in addition to Beethoven’s Romances for Violin No. 1 and 2 with Anne-Sophie Mutter as soloist, the “Egmont” Overture and the 9th Symphony, the “Ode to Joy”, will be performed, with Julia Kleiter, Waltraud Meier, Andreas Schager, René Pape and the Staatsopernchor.‬ ‪Those who did not get a free ticket have the opportunity to watch the concert on livestream.