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Exclusive: An open letter from Kasper Holten on William Tell

We have received, within hours, the following response from Covent Garden’s artistic director to an article by opera singer Catharine Rogers, arguing that the rape scene in William Tell was excessive and unnecessary. Dear all, Let me first of all emphasise that of course the reaction of Catharine and of many others make a strong […]

Covent Garden’s William Tell is ‘inexcusably nasty’

First broadsheet review of last night’s storm-tossed production pulls no punches. Richard Morrison writes on the Times site: photo (c) Donald Cooper/ROH   With one inexcusably nasty five-minute sequence, rightly greeted with a performance-stopping...Show More Summary

The critic who ‘never liked to write anything bad’

15 minutes agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

We’ve received sad news of the death of Edward Greenfield, two days before his 87th birthday.   Ted was music critic on the Guardian for 30 years (1964-1993) and senior reviewer on Gramophone magazine for longer still. His agreeable, authoritative, unfailingly gentle style gave him huge industry clout; one DG executive told me, only half […]

La gazza ladra - Rossini's last Italian comic opera

Rossini La gazza ladra; Giulio Mastrototaro, Luisa Islam-Ali-Zade, Kenneth Tarver, Maria Jose Moreno, Bruno Pratico, Lorenzo Regazzo, Mariana Rewerski, Stefan Cifolelli, Classica Chamber Choir Brno, Virtuosi Brunensis, Alberto Zedda;...Show More Summary

The Bear at the Proud Archivist

For their next opera production, Operaview is moving to a gallery. At the Proud Archivist gallery in Hackney they will be staging four performances of William Walton's one-act opera The Bear in the context of a photography exhibition by Yiannis Katsaris. Show More Summary

Pop up: L'Italiana in Algeri... Or the showgirl in Vegas

Rossini - L'Italiana in Algeri - Pop-Up Opera - Picture credit: Richard Lakos Rossini L'Italiana in Algeri; Helen Stanley, Oskar McCarthy, Oliver Brignall, Bruno Loxton, dir: James Hurley; Pop-Up Opera at the Brunel Museum Reviewed by...Show More Summary

A competition remade in Gergiev’s image

A final comment on the Tchaikovsky Competition from our observer, Marina Evreison Arshinova:   A few days ago,  one could read in «Izvestia», the biggest Russian newspaper: It’s a matter of fact that Tchaikovsky Competition has become The Star Factory. A winner takes a tremendous prize – $130,000 and gives his life for the hard work […]

West Green House Opera

The auditorium at West Green House Opera Started by Marylyn Abbott, who lives at West Green House, West Green House Opera performs an annual season in the stunning garden's of the house with performances of an interesting range of operas but always with Mozart at the core. Show More Summary

Two Russian Tchaikovsky winners are trained by an American

12 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Dmitry Masleev, winner of the piano competition, and Sergei Redkin, who came third, both studied with William Naboré, an African-American expat at the International Piano Academy Lake Como. Just so you know.

Moscow critics give their award to the last-placed pianist

13 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Many thought the French pianist Lucas Debargue was the brightest talent at the Tchaikovsky Competition. But the piano jury placed him last. The Moscow Music Critics Association decided this was an injustice. They award a prize is ‘to the pianist whose performance at the Competition has become an event of genuine musical significance, and whose […]

Dreary outcome at the Tchaikovsky Competition

13 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

There were four exciting finalists in the piano contest, the only one that really matters. The winner was not one of them. He ticked all the boxes, was a safe choice, and Russian besides. He never set the hall or the audience alight. Results: I prize and gold medal: Dmitry Masleev     II prize […]

Train to Concord Back on Track

13 hours agoMusic / Classical : PostClassic

I am thrilled to report that the University of Illinois Press has officially confirmed that they are going to publish my book Essays After a Sonata: Charles Ives’s Concord. Here’s what happened. Yale UP doesn’t have a music series anymore. Nevertheless, a humanities editor there liked it and accepted it, some three years ago. Naturally, he […]

Watch: Tchaikovsky soloist is bemused by bird on stage

23 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

As the German violinist Clara-Jumi Kang began her round 3 performance of the all-important Tchaikovsky concerto, a small bird – possibly a sparrow – flew above the stage, circling the oloist for a while. Clara-Jumi seemed perturbed at first but discipline and nerve prevailed. The bird kept flyng back into her view but she played on, […]

The forgotten accompanist, 100 today

23 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Albert Hirsh, born July 1, 1915, has a new website. Albert shared the stage with Nathan Milstein, Yehudi Menuhin and Itzhak Perlman. He was Piatigorsky’s regular partner. He died, aged 88, in December 2003. Here’s a reminiscence by Robert Hairgrove.

Summer woes: Martha cancels major festival

The biggest draw of the Schleswig-Holstein Festival has pulled out at two weeks’ notice. Martha Argerich says she has to return ‘to my homeland, Argentina, for personal reasons’. Ich bin sehr, sehr traurig, dass ich die Konzerte beim Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival absagen muss. Ich bitte um Verständnis, aber persönliche Gründe veranlassen mich, in meiner Heimat […]

Meet Scotland’s new doctor of music

It’s Dr Susan Boyle. ‘This is an atrocity,’ comments one eminent opera singer. The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland has published a list of her academic merits: Over 680 million YouTube views of BGT Audition Clip Over 22 million albums sold globally Six albums released in five years making Susan the most successful act to come […]

At the Tchaikovsky showdown, it’s not Lucas vs Lukas any more

Our observer Marina Evreison Arshinova has been watching the third round of the piano competition with mounting excitement. In her expert view, there are now only two likely winners left in the pack. Here’s her midnight report at the end of the third round, ahead of the judges’ decision tonight.   In the smell of fire […]

Handel's L'Allegro, il Penseroso ed il Moderato

Handel L'Allegro, il Penseroso, ed il Moderato (1740); Gillian Webster, Laurence Kilsby, Jeremy Ovenden, Ashley Riches, Peter Harvey, Gabrieli Consort and Player, Paul McCreesh; Winged Lion Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Jun 19 2015 Star rating: 5.0 Combination of musicology and musicianship in this delightful disc. Show More Summary

St John's Smith Square 2015/16 season launch

Tabea Debus at the St John's Smith Square season launch 2015/16 On Monday, St John's Smith Square had a launch for its action packed 2015/16 season. We heard from chairman Martin Smith and artistic director Richard Heason, who introduced the season. Show More Summary

Enlightenment: searching for a way out

Ligeti Quartet at New Dots - photo Cathy Pyle George Crumb, Anna Meredith, William Dougherty, Ji Sun Yang, Wadada Leo Smith, Tom Green; Ligeti Quartet; New Dots at Hoxton Basement Reviewed by Hilary Glover on May 31 2015 Star rating:...Show More Summary

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