The Hungarian conductor is having an online 70th birthday on Wednesday with three orchestras, the Budapest Festival Orchestra which he co-founded, Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Berlin’s Konzerthausorchester.

You can watch the concert from 2030 central Europe time here. 

Elyen, Ivan!


The Italia writer Alberto Cantu died yesterday of an unknown cause.

He was music critic of il Giornale from 1976 to 2006, taught history at the Como Conservatorio and was a preeminent authority on the history of the violin.



The music director of the Metropolitan Opera has published an eve-of-inauguration letter to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

Much of his letter is pure flannel, given that the inauguration is taking place without a single artist of the classical arts, and that the Biden team have more burning isssues on their agenda.

However, he does make one strong point: the arts in the US need a champion at Cabinet level. Will Biden be the one to open that door?



The Incorporated Society of Musicians has partnered with Viva La Visa to offer its members free visa and work permit advice in the EU.

ISM are entitled to free 30 minute phone consultations with Viva La Visa experts in worldwide visa and work permit procurement.

ISM Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts said:

‘We recognise the significant need for clear advice for our members who are working in the EU. International touring represents an essential part of many musicians’ livelihoods, with 44% of musicians earning up to half of their income in the EU before the pandemic. We are very pleased to be partnering with the experts at Viva La Visa, who, as well as working with us to create this much needed advice line, also offer a generous discount to our members on its comprehensive visa and immigration services.’

Dr. Jake Kohut, a National Guardsman protecting the United States Capitol, is a music teacher in private life at Canterbury_Wood Elementary School in Fairfax County, Virginia.

While waiting on the Hill for the presidential inauguration, Jake is teaching flute and oboe to the kids back home.

Watch here.


The death has been announced of Nelita True, the sensitive and sought-after professor of piano at the Eastman School, Interlochen and worldwide.

After making her debut at 17 with the Chicago Symphony, she toured all 50 states of America and was professor in both Russia and China.

She was married to the Portuguese pianist Fernando Laires, who died in 2016. They are survived by three daughters.


From today’s list of questions in the House of Lords:

Lord Berkeley of Knighton to ask HMG whether an offer was made by the European Union to the United Kingdom for visa-free touring for musicians in European Union member states; and if so, why any such offer was declined.


Grange Park Opera has found a new backer in the Romanoff Foundation.

From the press release:

The Romanoff Foundation is making an initial grant to support the live filming/streaming of Ivan the Terrible by Rimsky-Korsakov in the 2021 season (19 June – 14 July), making it accessible to those unable to attend in person.

In the lead up to the performances, the Foundation will also host a series of live and recorded events with the aim of increasing historical and cultural awareness of the reign of Ivan the Terrible and Russia’s relationship with the Tsar’s English contemporaries, Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

Photo: Grange Park’s Don Carlo

The effects of yesterday’s fire at the Beaux Arts (Bozar) concert hall are now being assessed and the damage is extensive.

The hall director Paul Dujardin was on the radio this morning saying that the steel and glass roof is unstable and could cave in after last night’s heavy rain.

The composer Bernard Foccroulle, former director of the Théâtre royal de la Monnaie, writes: ‘According to my information, the ceilings of some exhibition halls have collapsed, the great hall could be closed for months, or even years. The organ (where I was to record a CD in three weeks) is out of order.’

He is furious that Belgian national media barely reported the disaster. ‘What does it take today for cultural life to be at the heart of media, political and civic attention?’

Two firefighters were injured in the blaze.