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David Cameron gives his views on music education

Speaking tonight on Classic FM, the prime minister talks up his government’s work on music education: ‘As a government we’ve put something like £390m into music education. We’ve created these hubs around the country so that more children get the chance to learn a musical instrument. I think it is important. There’s more to be […]

Sad news: A Paris conductor has died

The New Zealand-born conductor Gary Brain has died in Paris, aged 72. Gary was a percussionist in Wales, Ulster and at the Royal Opera House, London. He became principal timpanist with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra but on a flight to the US a suitcase fell from an overhead locker and crushed his wrist beyond repair. He retrained […]

‘Air France broke my cello’

The cellist Aristide de Plessis informs us: A colleague of mine recently acquired a 200-year-old cello. She headed to Zurich from Johannesburg to do an audition. Being a student, she had no choice but to check it in as hold baggage as she could not afford a second seat from one hemisphere to another. Not […]

RVW at the London English Song Festival

William Vann's London English Song Festival is returning on 3 June 2015 with eight concerts which really live up to the festival's name as during these concerts all of RVW's original songs are being performed. Thus giving us a chance to assess the lesser known works alongside the better known ones. Show More Summary

Sicklist: Midori cancels London violin festival

She’s unwell again and has been advised not to travel, the LSO has announced. Her replacement this Thursday is Baiba Skride.

‘Tragically, Debussy never lived to hear this arrangement’

He can rest easy now.   ‘Passepied’ by the Punch Brothers, courtesy of friend Greg Shea at WGBH. Chris Thile leads on mandolin.

Appearance

On May 1 I will appear with the Portland ensemble Third Angle, reading some texts in support of a program devoted to West Coast composers, from Henry Cowell to John Luther Adams.

FAZ: German singers shun London opera awards

That’s what is says in the Frankfurter headline. Three winners failed to show respect.

Boy of 11 is awarded music degree

The devaluation of music education took a fresh descent today when a boy of 11 was awarded the Licentiate of Trinity College London (LTCL), equivalent to the final year of a first music degree. The boy, Curtis Elton, has been playing piano since he was 3. He has twice appeared as a contestant in Britain’s Got […]

Chopin Competition 2015: a juror's words...

Professor Andrzej Jasinski. Photo by Marek Ostas The preliminary rounds of the International Chopin Competition in Warsaw have been and gone. Three Brits are through to the contest proper: Ashley Fripp, Kausikan Rajeshkumar and Alexander Ullman. Show More Summary

Struggling to plug the Nelsons gap

Edward Gardner was to have given his last concert as principal guest conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchetra, but we hear he’s agreed to extend his commitment for another year to give the orchestra more time to choose a new music director. Andris Nelsons is proving a hard act to replace. Boston may […]

The absolute must-have Martinu record

A man sidled up to me last week at an operatic season launch and gave the secret sign. I twitched my trouser leg and wiggled my elbow. One cult member had found another. Those who like the music of Bohuslav Martinu don’t just like it. We are passionate devotees of some of the most compelling […]

Greeks go mad for Berlin Philharmonic

We hear that tickets for this Friday’s Europa Concert in Athens sold out within half an hour. The concert is the one date in the year where players of the Berlin Phil get to choose the venue. By picking Athens, they have sent a message of solidarity to austerity -hit Greeks and, perhaps, of dissension […]

Which Philharmonia Orchestra was playing last night?

11 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

At last night’s Royal Festival Hall concert, there were no fewer than eight so-called Guest Principal players in the Philharmonia Orchestra. The concertmaster, Vijay Gupta, was imported from the LA Phil. The flute, Philippa Davies, outstanding in the Dvorak 8th solos, is one of the best session players in town. But eight substitutes on the […]

Wierd op-ed of the year: Let’s welcome a really dull BBC Proms

11 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The headline reads ‘A run-of-the-mill Proms is just what we need’. The Telegraph commentary is by Michael White. Probably won’t make many people exercise their click finger.

The most-watched Tchaikovsky concerto on Youtube

11 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Someone mentioned that a violinist I was chatting to at dinner was a Yotube sensation with her 2011 recording of the Tchaikovsky concerto, conducted by Yuri Temirkanov. Sure enough, Sayaka Shoji has racked up almost six million views for a performance that is intense, individual, exceptional in every desirable way (though I suspect she’d rather be […]

Sisters at the piano: The Labèque sisters ‘Round Moondog'

12 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Moondog Philip Glass, Moondog, David Chalmin; Labèque Sisters, UBUNOIR; Kings Place Reviewed by Hilary Glover on Apr 17 2015 Star rating: 4.0 Exploring the music of Moondog and its influence on Minimalist composers As part of Kings Place's...Show More Summary

Maestro stays: Some stability for Paris

12 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Our copains at resumusica report that Philippe Jordan has renewed at the Opéra until 2021. That’s a relief, given that Paavo Järvi is leaving the Orchestre de Paris and the future of the two radio orchestras is in doubt. Like Antonio Pappano in London, Philippe seems bedded in for the long term.

Young Brit wins German conductors award

12 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Leo McFall, London born, is winner of the 2015  Deutsche Dirigentenpreis, the kickoff of several good careers. Leo had been one of two runners-up at the 2014 Nestle Salzburg competition. He is presently first Kapellmeister at Meiningen and assistant conductor at the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. Go, Leo!

The International Opera Awards 2015

12 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Richard E Grant, Joyce Kennedy, Sir Antonio PappanoRichard Strauss Anniversary Production Award The International Opera Awards 2015; Savoy Theatre, London Reviewed by Robert Hugill on April 26 2015 Live performance, and awards for achievement;...Show More Summary

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