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Universal picks radio man as head of US classics

Graham Parker, general manager of New York radio station WQXR, has been appointed president of Universal Music’s classical labels in the US. Graham, 46, ran the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra for almost eight years before taking up the radio job in 2010. British-born, he entered the music industry through an assistant’s job with the New York […]

These 5 Slipped Disc readers win one year’s free viewing at Vienna Opera

We’ve got 230 names in the hat and are starting the draw for a free season’s livestreaming now.     The winners: 1 William James Dundas 2 Andrew Condon 3 Rosalind Porter 4 Cristina Monica Hauser 5 Alexandra Ivanoff Congratulations to the lucky winners. You will be contacted shortly by the Vienna State Opera with details of your free […]

Berlin Philharmonic warns of ‘cultural and political disaster’

Statement published just now by the Berliner Philharmoniker: The imminent disbanding of the European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) from 1  September 2016 due to lack of funding from the EU would symbolically be a cultural and political disaster second to none and a terrible indictment against a background of increasing nationalistic and anti-EU tendencies. As a result, […]

Who’s that blondie snogging Boris?

Someone in Bristol has a thing about politicians who can’t tell truth from lies. source: Bristol 24/7 The graffito went up overnight in front of the Carriageworks. It might possibly be the work of Banksy, who has been much celebrated in the city.

He’s 75 today

Don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to. portrait by Don Hunstein (c) LebrechtMusic&Arts

Pittsburgh has new chorus director

Matthew Mehaffey, associate professor of music at the University of Minnesota, has been named music director of the Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh, choral adjunct of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. He succeeds Betsy Burleigh and will shuttle between the two jobs.

Canadian singer has terminal brain cancer

Canada woke this morning to the sad news that Gord Downie, lead singer of Tragically Hip, has final-stage cancer. Downie, 52, is something of a heritage figure, celebrating all things Canadian in his songs. Very sad to share this news.  

Oedipe lives

Here's a gallery from last night's extraordinary opening of George Enescu's Oedipe at the Royal Opera House. It's not often that a "forgotten masterpiece" delivers its promise, but this one is a work apart. Opening tableau. Photo: (c)...Show More Summary

The publishing contract that J S Bach never saw

Sotheby’s are today selling the first contract for the publication of the St Matthew Passion. Not signed by the composer, who had been dead for 80 years by the time Mendelssohn rediscovered the work in 1829. Nor by his family. Our friend Stephen Roe reports: The document is completely unknown and unrecorded in the extensive […]

Welcoming Xian Zhang - BBC NOW 2016-17 season

Xian Zhang - photo B Ealovega BBC National Orchestra of Wales new season sees Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård returning, and Principal Guest Conductor Xian Zhang conducting her inaugural concert and a series of concerts celebrating important Welsh composers. Show More Summary

Exploring the Apollonian and Dionysian - premiere of Matthew T Hall's Cantata

Matthew T Hall Tomorrow morning (25 May 2016 at 11.50am), I will be taking part in the world premiere of Matthew T Hall's Cantata at Blackheath Halls. London Concord Singers will be be joining an instrumental ensemble of 16 studentsShow More Summary

US orchestra shuts down after 75 years

The board of the Middletown Symphony Orchestra, in Butler County, Ohio has announced that next season will be its last. The music director for the past 35 years has been Carmon DeLeone and the orchestra has 60 professional musicians on its books. Steve Ifcic, board chairman, said: ‘Although a decision of this nature never comes easily, […]

Swiss to vote on $250 million concert hall renewal

The Tonhalle in Zurich is literally falling to pieces. It needs urgent refurbishment. The gloomy public areas could easily be mistaken for the city morgue. But before anyone puts up a scaffold, the good people of Zurich get to vote on the expenditure in a referendum. The Swiss People’s Party have come out in opposition, […]

Sony signs someone

It has been a very long time since Sony Classical have added a new artist. It’s so long ago, the last one might have been Jonas Kaufmann. But never say never at Sony. Yesterday they brought out the fountain pen for the London-based German baritone Benjamin Appl, a member of the BBC New Generation artists scheme. […]

Celebrating a milestone - pianist Janina Fialkowska's birthday tour

Janina Fialkowska The Polish-Canadian pianist Janina Fialkowska was 65 on 7 May 2016, and to celebrate this milestone she is undertaking a year-long concert tour. Her official birthday concert (on 8 May 2016) was in Augsburg (birthplace of Mozart's father) playing Mozart with the Sacconi Quartet. Show More Summary

The “Ring” is over. Two critics weigh in.

Four operas, two critics: Anne Midgette and Philip Kennicott trade their views on the completed “Ring” cycle in DC.

Met picks principal second violin

22 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

We hear from Rob Knopper, who prepares players for audition, that Chinese-born violinist Shenghua “Simon” Hu is to be the new principal second violin of the Metropolitan Orchestra. Raised in Shanghai and finished off in Cincinnati, Simon is a prizewinner at several international competitions and a soloist with leading US orchestras.

English Chamber Orchestra gets an artistic director

22 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Quin Ballardie stays in control, but violist Lawrence Power becomes artistic director from next season. A small step for an orchestra that sometimes feels it’s from another era. Press release below. From Quintin Ballardie, ECO “In 1960 I founded, with my friend Dr Ursula Strebi, the English Chamber Orchestra as it is today.  I am very pleased […]

Breaking: Austria elects non-fascist president

News media are reporting that the green candidate Alexander Van Der Bellen is the new president, defeating Norbert Hofer in the count of postal votes. But was a close-run thing. Austria cannot go back to business as usual. not totally green, then…

How not to sell your orchestra

Message just in from the Concertgebouworkest PR, an infrequent communicant: !Contact.Engelse_Aanhef_brief__c}, Attached you will find the press release about the fact that Unesco has granted patronage to RCO meets Europe.   Kind regards, What’s wrong with this? 1 It assumes that we know (or care) about RCO meets Europe. 2 It assumes we don’t know (or care) […]

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