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A musical explorer is felled by a stroke

I am bereft by reports of the death of Sue Steward, a formidable writer on world music and a fantastic photographer. Sue was among the first people I hired at the former Evening Standard and her reports and reviews always brought a smile to the page. She was warm, witty, charmingly naive and incredibly humane. […]

Editorial: Why Gustavo Dudamel changed his tune

Anyone who has spent time with Gustavo Dudamel is left in no doubt that he is a true believer He believes in the power of music to relieve social injustice. He believes in the ideals of the Sistema programme from which he emerged, in the genius of its founder Jose Antonio Abreu and in the […]

Major comeback for the tangent piano

Never heard of it? Mozart called it the Spattisches Klavier, after a maker of his time. The Italians knew it as the cembalo angelico. Now, the Russian pianist Alexei Lyubimov has recorded a set of solo works by C P E Bach who is believed to have written specifically for a Spath piano. It’s not the first […]

Death of an ECM star

The death is reported of the US guitarist and composer John Abercrombie, an understated niche legend who made two dozen albums for the boutique Munich label, ECM. He was 72. His debut album Timeless is an epic of progressive jazz.

A powerful, compelling and satisfying opera: Tristan und Isolde from Bayreuth

Wagner: Tristan und Isolde (Act 2) - Bayreuth Festival 2017 - Stephen Gould, Petra Lang (Photo Bayreuther Festspiele/Enrico Narwath) A powerful, compelling and satisfying opera: Tristan und Isolde; Wagner: Tristan und Isolde - Stephen...Show More Summary

Lang Lang will open Carnegie Hall with a support pianist

15 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

Details of the Hall’s opening gala: We are excited to inform you that legendary jazz artist Chick Corea will join Lang Lang as featured soloists in a two-piano arrangement of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with The Philadelphia Orchestra, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin, as part of the Opening Night Gala concert on Wednesday, October 4. Also performing at […]

Royal Philharmonic name French principal horn

15 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The RPO have chosen Nicolas Fleury as their new principal horn. He starts next week.  

Debussy’s vocaliser dies aged 100

21 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The swing-band vocalist Bea Wain, who put words to Debussy’s Reverie to the horror of the composer’s estate, has died at a great age.  

The shocking silence of El Sistema

21 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The Venezuelan government has turned against the country’s most successful musician, refusing to allow its youth orchestra to tour the United States with Gustavo Dudamel. President Maduro has claimed that Dudamel owes everything to El Sistema, which his government owns, and will be punished for his dissent. There has been no response to the Dudamel […]

Canadians fly singer to London for experimental cancer cure

23 hours agoMusic / Classical : Slipped Disc

The opera and musicals singer Gregory Cross has been diagnosed with Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. He has been given eight months to live. His only hope is an experimental form of cancer surgery called IRE (Irreversible Electroporation/NanoKnife), which uses electrical impulses to shrink tumours and is being developed in the UK and Germany. Friends are raising […]

A chain of hotels is playing 24 hours of John Cage

No, it’s not the Hilton or the Marriott. Ace Hotels, which is slightly counter-cultural, wants us to know that all of its hotels in nine US cities will be playing nothing but John Cage on September 5, the composer’s 105th birthday. ‘We will be broadcasting a wide selection of works from across Cage’s career, curated by […]

What does Youtube pay musicians? Its boss comes clean

From Lyor Cohen, Youtube’s global head of music:  It’s not enough for YouTube to say that it’s paid over $1 billion to the industry from ads. We (the labels, publishers and YouTube) must shine a light on artist royalties, show them how much they make from ads compared to subscriptions by geography and see how […]

The horse singer: Ex-diva trains gee-gees to win

Heather Main, a former opera singer, now trains horses to win races. She believes that teaching Mozart to her four-legged friends helped her to win 440-1 treble at Chepstow. Full story here. photo (c) Mirrorpix  

Human rights alert: Opera director is arrested in Moscow

The controversial director Kirill Serebrennikov has been arrested in Moscow for questioning over an alleged one million US dollar fraud. He is expected to be charged. Opera houses in Stuttgart and Berlin, where Serebrennikov has forthcoming productions, have raised the alarm. Suspicions have been raised that the charges are politically motivated.

Death of Van Cliburn’s rocket launcher

Martha Rowan Hyder, who has died at 89, did more than anyone to make Van Cliburn Piano Competition international. A member of the competition’s executive committee of the competition from 1962 to 1993, she toured the world forging relationships with performing and academic institutions to ensure that Fort Worth got a good flow of talent. […]

Carl Orff’s chosen one has died at 89

The death has been announced of Wilhelm Killmayer, a post-War private student of Carl Orff who persuaded him to devote his life to composition. Living in Munich, Killmayer was music director of the outstanding ensemble of Bavarian State Opera from 1961 to 1964. His works include three symphonies and much vocal music. He died on August […]

Korean tenor wins Oslo

Winners of  the Queen Sonja International Music Competition: 1 Seung Ju Bahg (South Korea, 40,000 Euros) 2 Giovanni Sebastiano Sala (Italy, 10,000) 3  Alexander Roslavets (Belarus, 5,000) All three will be offered dates at Norwegian opera and orchestras.  

A Cavalli opera for our times?

From Dutch National Opera: The young French director Thomas Jolly will stage Eliogabalo, Francesco Cavalli’s last surviving opera, at Dutch National Opera in October 2017. The spoilt teenage emperor Elagabalus made a complete farce of his four years (218—222 AD) as master of Rome. Ring any bells?

Islington Music closes after 30 years

Islington Music, the music shop in Shillingford Street, Islington is closing in October after 30 years. They are having a grand clearance sale of music, from Tuesday (29 August). Head over to their website, so see the wide range of music available:

Venezuela isolates Dudamel

The Maduro regime has cancelled Gustavo Dudamel’s September concerts with the National Youth Orchestra of Venezuela, upping the pressure on the conductor to toe its political oine. The Venezuelan president issues a personal attack on the conductor at the weekend. It seems Dudamel is now classed as a semi-dissident. The LA Phil has announced a […]

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