What a marvellous composer Nino Rota was, as early as 1936 when he was just 25.


There’s a new festival in Lausitz, where Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky will play tonight in a restored Jewish sanctuary at Görlitz.

The synagogue in Görlitz is one of the most exciting cultural monuments in Germany. It is not only an Art Nouveau building of exceptional and deeply moving beauty by the Dresden architects William Loosow and Max Hans Kühne, who succeeded in combining contemporary building technologies with tradition, but also has an eventful history. Because it is one of the few synagogues in Germany that did not fall victim to the pogrom night of 1938. Despite its 33m high tower, it stood as a mute memorial, a vacant space in the middle of the city, until eight years ago when it was added to the list of national valuable cultural monuments and has been extensively restored since then.
Martha Argerich and Mischa Maisky have a special affinity for this unique place and will bring the former synagogue to life almost six months before the planned reopening as a cultural center after a long renovation period.


The pianist has expressed his views on a Russian chat site:

“You and I are of the same blood – you and me!”   (Kipling. “Mowgli”)  Life brings surprises every now and then. I never thought that I might have a desire to quote Vladimir Ilyich, but now – well, my hands are just itching to do it!   Recently, my colleague Yusif Eyvazov posted on his Instagram page a photo of Ilham Aliyev with the inscription “ WE ARE PROUD OF OUR PRESIDENT ” and numerous icons of gratitude and love, as well as the following text (I keep the author’s spelling and punctuation):   ” My dear compatriots! My dear Azerbaijani people! For several days now our Motherland has been living in war conditions and of course we are all waiting for all this to end and when justice will prevail and Our lands will be returned!

But this post is not about that .. this post is about YOU MY DEAR AZERBAIJANIS AND CITIZENS OF AZERBAIJAN AND ALL THOSE WHO LIVE AS IN AZERBAIJAN and beyond … we are close to each other as never before … I simply do not have words to express my endless gratitude to you all, for being Azerbaijanis, for the fact that we are all of the same blood, for the fact that you are brave and truthful, for the fact that you are honest and generous … I know that everything will be fine,and I really look forward to meeting all the guys who on Instagram express their positions in order to hug each of you, look into the eyes of the Great Citizens of the Great Country, Representatives of the Great Azerbaijan Nation! I love you very much !!! 🇦🇿❤ ”.

For reference: according to the Economist Intelligence Unit Democracy Index for 2019, Azerbaijan is an authoritarian regime and is ranked 146th in the world out of 167 countries in terms of democracy (below Zimbabwe, Russia, Venezuela, Cuba, etc.), and according to the organization ‘ Reporters Without Borders for 2020, in terms of press freedom, Azerbaijan ranks 168th out of 180 countries in the world (below Russia, Belarus, etc.).   And such a state, Mr. Eyvazov calls a “great country”, its subjects – “great citizens”, and is proud of its dictator!

   I really don’t want, of course, to stoop to personal insults, especially to a colleague, but here I just can’t help remembering (as not an insult, but just a reminder) the famous words that the great Baku resident Lev Landau, being in Stalin’s prison, loved to quote to his cellmates, who praised the “ leader and teacher ”: “No one is to blame if he was born a slave; but a slave who not only shuns aspirations for his freedom, but justifies and embellishes his slavery <…> such a slave is a lackey and boor who causes a legitimate feeling of indignation, contempt and disgust. ”


UPDATE: Yusif responds to Kissin – ‘sod off!’

Or in his own words: ‘I would never have thought that Evgeni would need an ad with my name on it.Well, well. I will not answer, my position stays the same.’

The message was later taken down.

A fund-me site is up and running for the jazz pianist Tadataka Unno who was attacked last month by eight teenagers who were blocking the turnstile at the West 125th St subway station.

Tadataka suffered a broken collarbne.

The fund has so far raised $129,000.


The composer Jukka Tiensuu won 150 000€ international Wihuri Sibelius prize.


Tiensuu, 72, never talks about his music.

Past winners of the 150,000 Euro prize are:
2000 György Ligeti
2003 Magnus Lindberg
2006 Per Norgård
2009 Kaija Saariaho
2012 György Kurtág
2015 Harrison Birtwistle
2017 Unsuk Chin


Among today’s handouts to help the arts avoid bankruptcy, two stand out like boils on a bald head.

The artists agency Intermusica Artists Management Ltd has been awarded £198,000 of public money.

IMG Artists (UK) Ltd received £100,000.


This is outrageous in more ways that I can describe.

First, it’s unfair. Other agencies – Askonas Holt, HarrisonParrott, Rayfield Allied and more – are all in the same boat, but two agencies have been singled out for preferential treatment. How on earth is that justified.

Second, what is the public benefit? If an agency goes bust, another will arise in its place. These are not essential services.

Third, what do they contribute to the economy? Apart from a handful of jobs, zilch.

Fourth, IMG’s co-owner (pictured) is a convicted fraudster.

Fifth …. oh, don’t get me started.

This money was meant to be spent on keeping the arts and artists alive, not feeding a bunch of marginal, non-creative career managers.

This is an appalling allocation and it needs to be raised in Parliament.



We have been alerted to the death yesterday of Vasile Cazan, music director of the State Philharmonic in Târgu Mureș, Romania.

He was 68 and widely respected far beyond his home country. ‘Good orchestra, lovely man,’ says a guest conductor.

Several other ensemble members are in hospital with the infection, as is the conductor’s son.

The winner of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Competition in Frankfurt is Tianyi Lu, 30, from New Zealand.

She won the Cantelli competition in Novara last month and holds the odd position of Female Conductor in Residence at Welsh National Opera.


We have been notified of the death of Marta Maribona, an exceptional concert pianist and international teacher. No cause has been disclosed.


‘First details of the dishing out of £257 million of Rishi’s cash reveals:

£1 million for Wigmore Hall, which has listed 100 events between now and Christmas. ‘We are working very hard to bring artists and audiences back to Wigmore Hall and this government injection of funds is a great first step for our national cultural life which is so much part of our national identity. However, this crisis could go on and on. There is no end yet in sight and further help for the arts will be needed right through the UK, especially for freelance musicians and artists who have lost so much.’ John Gilhooly, Director, Wigmore Hall


£846,000 for the  London Symphony Orchestra to deliver ‘phased return to full-scale performance’. Sir Simon Rattle, Music Director of London Symphony Orchestra said: “We have refused to let live music be silenced, but it cannot survive on energy and optimism alone. Today’s announcement is incredibly important for orchestras and the whole live music sector, threatened with devastation by the effects of the pandemic. We need, and are grateful for this support as we take our first steps in public performance once more, enabling us to show the full power of our creative community’.

£996,702 for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

£967,413 for the Philharmonia Orchestra.

£650,000 for the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

£950,000 for Snape Maltings.

£843,000 for the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

£748,000 for the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to provide ‘a short, physically distanced programme’ for streaming.

£740,000 for Manchester’s Hallé Orchestra ‘to help it live stream fortnightly concerts from the Bridgewater Hall’.

£961,455 for London’s Young Vic Theatre.

£955,192 for Theatre Royal Bath.

£585,064 for the Hackney Empire to support ‘a new model of responsive programming’.

Half a million for Birmingham Royal Ballet ‘to offset losses’.

£227,147 for St John’s Smith Square.

There were 1,385 lucky receipients. Thousands of other applicants were unsuccessful.

From one of our Dutch moles:

Last week, the hyper-sensitive Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman played Beethoven’s five concertos with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, conducted by Gustavo Gimeno. I was present at two of the three concerts yesterdy. Shortly after the start of the third concerto, a mobile phone went off. Given his reputation, I was afraid that Zimerman was going to walk off, but he didn’t.

The reaon might have had something to do with what happened at Friday’s concert. This is from a review in ‘De Parool’:

Krystian Zimerman kwam op met een zwart mondkapje op en realiseerde zich bij het Pianoconcert nr. 4, dat met een pianoinzet begint, pas op het allerlaatste moment dat hij dat kapje nog op had toen hij wilde gaan spelen. Tamelijk hilarisch was ook dat daarna uit een telefoon een muziekje klonk – dat bleek zijn eigen mobieltje te zijn. (‘Sorry, that was me.’)
Krystian Zimerman came on stage wearing a black face mask and was about to play his first chord, when he realised at the very last moment that he was still wearing the face mask. Also quite hilarious was that shortly thereafter a mobile phone went off – it was his own (‘Sorry, that was me’). 
UPDATE: The online version of Het Parool has changed its story, presumably at the request of Zimerman’s people. It now reads:
Daarna ging ook nog een telefoontje af, een stukje klassieke muziek. Zimermans reactie was ad rem en superieur: ‘Sorry, it’s me that starts.’
After that, a mobile phone went off, a piece of classical music. Zimerman’s reply was sharp and superior: ‘Sorry, it’s me that starts.’

The pianist Denis Matsuev has reported the death from Coronavirus of his friend Evgeny Ivanovich Shestakov, music director of the Tyumen Symphony Orchestra in Siberia since 2015.

Matusev writes: It’s hard to comment on something in such moments, because inside is a complete emptiness. Literally, we just recently discussed and approved the program of our festival for December this year. This news with his powerful Siberian energy and health in my head is never going to be in my mind. He has a young wife, a little daughter and another child who should be coming soon.

Tragedy. Tragedy for our Russian culture, culture of Tyumen and Siberia. Tragedy for the whole team: I can’t even imagine how they feel right now. Tragedy for the spouse. An evil coronavirus that spares no one. No one would have thought that such a healthy person would leave so suddenly.