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The Last of the BBC Proms?

In my monthly essay for Standpoint magazine, I assess the bleak future for the Proms and two of the BBC orchestras as new management and financial assaults dismantle the old defences. Proms controllers for the past quarter-century — John Drummond, Nick Kenyon, Roger Wright — fought to protect the festival’s unique character from interference by […]

Why critics split over new operas

Thoughtful piece by David Patrick Stearns in on this summer’s two US operatic premieres. Everyone raved over George Benjamin’s post-modern opera, Written on Skin. Stearns could not see the point. Most reviewers cavilled at Jennifer Higdon’s traditionalist Cold Mountain. Stearns liked it. So why is that? Read here.

The other Chailly draws a line in the sand

This is a new video from Cecilia Chailly, a formidable harpist and composer, Riccardo’s younger sister. Enjoy.

BBC Proms–Young and Younger Composers: Yiu, Matre, Firsova, and INSPIRE

9 hours agoMusic / Classical : Sequenza21

Raymond Yiu’s Symphony, a sort of Mahlerian song-cycle, which received its first performance on the Prom on August 25 by counter-tenor Andrew Watts and the BBC Symphony conducted by Edward Gardner, is a big piece, ambitiously conceived and handsomely realized. It is some indication of its success that most of the criticism one might have […]

For Nikolaus Lehnhoff

The sad news came yesterday of the death, at the age of seventy-six, of the opera director Nikolaus Lehnhoff. Lavishly cultured and innately musical, Lehnhoff occupied a middle ground between traditional and radical approaches to directing opera. Schooled in that...

Watch Leonidas Kavakos at the Annecy Festival live, here, today, free

Temirkanov, Kavakos: Beethoven, Prokofiev powered by, the leading online channel for classical music.This concert comes to you live from the Annecy Classic Festival, courtesy of JDCMB is delighted to share this streaming. Show More Summary

Oslo Phil recruit English principal cello

15 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The excellent Louisa Tuck, principal cello of the Northern Sinfonia, has won the top seat in the Oslo Philharmonic. She starts in November. We congratulate them both.

Handel House Talent and Composer-in-Residence showcases

21 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

The members of Handel House Talent The first year of the Handel House Talent scheme is coming to an end, with the young instrumentalists and singers performing, researching and collaborating at the Handel House Museum and there is a final chance to hear them during September and October. Show More Summary

Christian Thielemann: ‘I don’t do it for the money’

21 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Early in his career, the controversial German conductor gave an insight on his priorities to our featured interviewer, Bruce Duffie. This is the second in a short series of Duffie interviews. ‘Opera conducting is more an adventure than concert conducting.  And don’t forget a concert usually is from 8 to 10.  An opera like Rosenkavalier […]

Death of a maestro

22 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

George Cleve, who conducted all the major US orchestras and was music director in San Jose until the symphony went bust, has died at the age of 79. Vienna born, his middle name was Wolfgang. He told the local newspaper: “Orchestras are dying left and right, and I don’t really know what the end is going […]

Joshua Bell and Sir Neville Marriner with Academy of St Martin in the Fields

23 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Sir Neville Marriner and the Academy of St Martin in the Fields Joshua Bell celebrates his fifth season as music director of Academy of St Martin in the Fields, performing Tchaikovsky's Violin Concerto (with Prokofiev and Mozart symphonies),...Show More Summary

A Copland moment

One of Copland's finest, most richly expressive pieces — why is it not heard more often?

Sad news: Death of a brilliant German director

The family of Nikolaus Lehnhoff has announced his death, after a long illness, at the age of 76. Many productions come to mind, but none more vivid than his Janacek cycle at Glyndebourne. His last production, in May this year, was Turandot at La Scala. He stood aside from the fashionable forms of German Regietheater. […]

Jonas Kaufmann defeats himself

Remember that touching message from Jonas, asking you to buy his new Sony album rather than the recycled one from his former label, Decca? Well, Decca’s Age of Puccini is topping the German charts this week, leaving Sony’s release puffing some way behind at number 2. Funny, that.

Free Kavakos!

Yuri Temirkanov (left) and Leonidas Kavakos (right) can be heard live from Annecy right here, tomorrow Free Kavakos? Why are they holding him?OK, just kidding. But you can indeed watch and listen to the fabulous Greek violinist Leonidas Kavakos for free on JDCMB tomorrow. Show More Summary

Claudio Abbado: ‘In Italy, they know opera by instinct…’

In the first of our late-summer series of interviews from Bruce Duffie’s bottomless archive, here’s the late Italian conductor reflecting on the differences between audiences: In Italy, for instance, they know opera by instinct — not because they’re well prepared and not because of the education.  Education is very low.  There’s not a good education […]

SF Opera Magic Flute Cast Change Announcement

Received from SF Opera communications: San Francisco Opera today announced a cast change for its upcoming Company revival of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Mexican-American baritone—and 2015 Adler Fellow—Efraín Solís will make his role debut...Show More Summary

Breaking: Iran tells Berlin orchestra not to come

Musicians in the Staatskapelle Berlin were told last night that they won’t be going to Teheran any time soon. The orchestra, with its conductor Daniel Barenboim, had been on standby to travel with Chancellor Angela Merkel at a date yet to be announced. But the Iranians have now told the orchestra that the planning time […]

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