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Death of a daring electronics pioneer

55 minutes agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The sound engineer and avant-garde composer Eugeniusz Rudnik, one of the first electronic exerimentalists in Eastern Europe, has died at 83. As a sound engineer at Polish Radio, he began to produce atmospheric background music for programmes in the late 1950s. This led to more daring tapes, some of which could not be played in his […]

British ex-wunderkind is Canada’s new conductor

The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra has named Alexander Prior to succeed Bill Eddins as music director, it has just been announced. Prior, 24, made his name a decade ago, composing in a late-romantic style and conducting his works in Russia. I wrote about him at the time. Since then, the going has got a lot harder. […]

Meet Barrie Kosky: a kangaroo with a nose for opera

I'm off to see Shostakovich's The Nose at the Royal Opera House tonight. It's directed by Barrie Kosky, the wonder-worker behind (among much else) Glyndebourne's award-winning Saul, an internationally sought-after Magic Flute and, imminently, Bayreuth's new Meistersinger, for next summer. Show More Summary

Hot quartet switches leader

We hear that Philipp Bernhard is leaving the Quator Modigliani, one of the go-to quartets of the moment. He’ll be replaced by Amaury Coeytaux, formerly with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

Chicago sells more tickets, loses more money

Tough truths from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra accounts, posted today. 1 Ticket sales reached $22.2 million for 218 CSO concerts. The CSO Main series netted $15.4 million. Single-ticket sales hit $6 million. All these figures are all-time records. But… 2 The CSO had a $1.1 million operating deficit. Income was $71.9 million, expenses, $73 million. […]

French mezzo quits Chicago ‘for personal reasons’

The French mezzo-soprano Sophie Koch has walked out of the Chicago Lyric production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens for unspecified personal reasons. Rehearsals start today. She has been replaced by local favourite Susan Graham. Press release...Show More Summary

Boston chief retires after closing the Conservatory

Richard Ortner, president of the Boston Conservatory who merged his institution with Berklee College of Music, has announced his retirement in June 2017. Presumably, there’s no job left for him to do.

Busoni competition refuses to pay prizes after contestants cry fraud

This is one of those tales of misery that arise from time to time in the lower reaches of the competition industry. We have received this complaint from a scandalised Korean contestant, Jehi Bahk and post his account verbatim. It should serve as a warning to young hopefuls never to attend an unonwon competition, no […]

Concertmaster waves Zubin’s baton to save the night

Two hours before Sunday’s concert with the Maggio Musicale orchestra, conductor Xu Zhong called in sick. Concertmaster Pierangelo Conte arrived at the theatre with an hour to go and no conductor to be found. Conte is also artistic coordinator of the Florence opera company. He was asked if he could conduct. Conte said he hadn’t brought a […]

Top-20 US orch seeks chief exec

Trey Devey has stunned Cincinnati by stepping down as president of one of the biggest US orchestras to take over a camp where his kids spent the summer. Trey, 45, is to be president of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. He has been notably successful in Cincy, balancing the orchestra’s budgets for eight successive […]

Dude mourns concertmaster

Sunday’s LA Philharmonic matinee concert was dedicated by Gustavo Dudamel to the memory of Barry Socher, a violinist in the orchestra for 35 years and a life-force in the area. Barry had died the day before, at 68, of cancer. In a busy career, he also served as concertmaster for the Los Angeles Master Chorale Orchestra, […]

A Celebration of Shakespeare: Anne Sofie von Otter, Julius Drake and Henry Goodman

Anne Sofie von Otter - © Mats Ba?cker Purcell, RVW, Britten, Schubert, Korngold, Debussy, Berlioz, Sibelius, Tippett, Wainwright, Cole Porter; Anne Sofie von Otter, Julius Drake, Henry Goodman; Temple Music at Middle Temple Hall Reviewed...Show More Summary

Considering Matthew Shepard

Craig Hella Johnson Considering Matthew Shepard; Conspirare, Craig Hella Johnson; Harmonia Mundi Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Oct 11 2016 Star rating: 3.5 A lyrical musical response to a difficult subject On 7 October 1988 Matthew Shepard (then 21 years old) was attacked by two men, who targeted him because he was gay. Show More Summary

New electronic opera, Heresy, premieres in Dublin

10 hours agoMusic / Classical : Planet Hugill

Heresy - Roger Doyle Heresy, a new opera by Irish composer Roger Doyle and librettist Jocelyn Clarke, premieres on Friday 28 October 2016 at the Project Arts Centre: 36 East Essex Street Temple Bar, Dublin 2, Ireland. Doyle can be considered...Show More Summary

A Qasim Naqvi moment

Chronology by Qasim Naqvi Qasim Navi's album Chronology is will be out next week on New Amsterdam.

Lyric Opera Cast Change Announcement

I don't have the press release, but we'll assume that the Chicago Sun-Times isn't lying: Sophie Koch, scheduled to sing Didon, has withdrawn from the upcoming production of Les Troyens.You can keep breathing: stepping in is Susan Graham.Graham was magnificent last year in SF, but I must admit that I was looking forward to Koch, about whom I have heard only good things.

National Symphony Orchestra executive director to step down

Rita Shapiro, the NSO’s longtime chief, will leave her post at the end of the year.

Possibly my best interview ever

I've been away in Prague to meet the harpsichordist Zuzana Ruži?ková [from whose name a few accents are probably still missing]. She will be 90 in January and her recording from the 1960s-70s of Bach's complete keyboard music is being...Show More Summary

NSO executive director to step down

Rita Shapiro, the NSO’s long-time executive director, will step down at the end of the year.

Abba announce a reunion

It will be strictly virtual, but they’ll capture a whole generation once again. Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad broke up in 1982 and have never sung together since. The new project, involving the Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller, will be a ‘groundbreaking venture that will utilise the very latest in digital […]

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