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Maestro swoop: Yannick’s assistant gets an agent

AskonasHolt, who manage the Philadelphia conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin, have quietly signed up his assistant Kensho Watanabe after the young man’s heroic jump-in last April.  

Sicklist: Young maestro has ear operation

The Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare has cancelled Cologne with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra next week to undergo ear surgery. He will be replaced by Lorenzo Viotti.    

University pays sacked maestro $90,000 for his silence

The Register Guard of Eugene, Oregon, reports that the University has agreed to pay Matthew Halls $90,000 after brutally sacking him as artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival. The deal is that neither side will say bad things about the other for two years and that both will give 24 hours’ notice before speaking to […]

Contemporary festival collapses, 100 musicians unpaid

The Newport Contemporary Music Festival, which was meant to feature Philip Glass, Andre Previn and Howard Shore this summer, fell apart in mid-movement and has left an army of furious musicians. The festival was the brainchild of a 25 year-old impresario, Paul Van Anglen. He blames the collapse on donors who failed to cough up. Musicians […]

New York Philharmonic drops principal horn from its all-stars

Meet the New York Philharmonic All-Stars, an online campaign to engage concertgoers with the top players. Missing from the set is the principal horn, Phil Myers. Phil has been principal horn since January 1980 and is still listed as such on the NY Phil website. The orchestra has refused to comment on reports of a […]

Late extra: Liverpool wins in added time

The music director of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko, was named Artist of the Year at the Gramophone Awards last night. He almost didn’t make it to the gala dinner after his flight from Moscow was cancelled at the last minute. But some really nifty footwork from the Liverpool midfield and a rerouting via […]

Vienna Opera boss: I never paid for a singer’s taxi

The former director of the Vienna State Opera, Ioan Holender, has given a grouchy interview to Die Presse in which he insists that he never rode in taxs or stayed in five-star hotels. Singers who asked him to pay their taxi ride from the airport were bluntly refused. He maintains the top nightly fee at […]

Judges fix the finals of the Bartók competition

Our observer at the Bartók violin competition, held at the Liszt Academy in Budapest, was encouraged to see several unfancied outsiders get through to the semi-finals. That was before the judges woke up. In the final, all the contestants are students, or past students, of members of the jury. Gabor Hamoki, Hungary, attended Liszt Academy […]

New music for choir and ancient instruments

James McMillan, John Kenny, Stuart MacRae, Bill Taylor, Francis Grier, Stevie Wishart, Stephen Bick; Choir of Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge, Geoffrey Webber Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 12 2017 Star rating: 5.0 The imaginative...Show More Summary

National Youth Harp Orchestra premieres Patrick Hawes' St George and the Dragon

The National Youth Harp Orchestra The National Youth Harp Orchestra is celebrating its 15th birthday with a new commission. The 30 young players in the orchestra will be performing at St James's Church, Piccadilly on Saturday 16 September and giving the first performance of Patrick Hawes' St George and the Dragon. Show More Summary

Turkey bans Chopin at military funerals

The increasingly Islamist and authoritarian regime has ordered the replacement of Chopin’s funeral march with one by an Ottoman composer which has lyrics from the Qur’an. More here.  

Mourning for a revered Beatles oboist

We hear that the prodigious Michael Winfield, who played oboe on Strawberry Fields Forever, has died. Mike played oboe and cor anglais in the Halle and London orchestras for almost half a century. He taught oboe at the Royal College of Music, in London, and was hugely influential on three generations of players. The funeral […]

Maestro swaps podium for college lectern

After 18 years as music director of the Vancouver Symphony, the British conductor Bramwell Tovey is to be Director of Orchestral Activities at Boston University School of Music, starting this month. He succeeds succeeds David Hoose, who ran the program from 1987 to 2015. Announcement here.

Malta sacks its maestro

Brian Schembri has been dumped as artistic director and principal conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. He was replaced in the last concert of the season after allegedly failing to show up for rehearsal. Schembri has reacted on social media: ‘This decision is an absurd contradiction with the general consensus that the unquestionable and notable […]

Mozartian influences: Salieri's La scuola de' gelosi from Bampton Classical Opera

Saleri: La scuola de' gelosi - Matthew Sprange, Rhiannon Llewellyn, Alessandro Fisher, Nathalie Chalkey, Thomas Herford - Bampton Classical Opera (Photo Anthony Hall/Bampton Classical Opera) Salieri La scuola de' gelosi; Matthew Sprange,...Show More Summary

Czech out these two contenders

Jakob Hrusa and Tomas Netopil are local favourites to succeed the late Jiri Belohlavek as music director of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. They met last night in Prague for the first time in years.  

Dame Kiri says she has sung her last

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, 73, has told the BBC Today programme she will never sing in public again. She said she stopped performing a year ago, but had not announced her retirement until today.

Which music festivals spend the most money

The Revopera site has come up with a table of the biggest spenders in Europe. The top five are: 1 Salzburg – 62.5 million Euros 2 Verona – 44.3m 3 Glyndebourne – 31.1m 4 Bayreuth – 23m 5 Aix-en-Provence – 22.5 million Then there’s a huge drop to the next batch, spending nine million Euros […]

Sad news: Sacked US music professor dies of drugs overdose

A tragic tale from Duluth, Minnesota. Tina Thielen-Gaffey, former associate music professor and choral director at the University of Minnesota Duluth, died of what her family believe was an ‘accidental overdose’ of prescription drugs. Tina, 50, ‘struggled at times with depression after an acrimonious end to her 16-year career at UMD in 2015. She was overusing sleep […]

University of Oregon breaks silence, says nothing

The University that fired Matthew Halls as artistic director of the Oregon Bach Festival has finally come out from its nuclear bunker to make a public statement. Unfortunately, the statement is less than truthful. Halls says he was fired and doesn’t know why. The UO says it is ‘disappointed and saddened’ that his relationship with […]

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