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First sight: Taylor Swift makes video with Yundi Li

We like Taylor Swift. She might be a mass phenomenon, but she makes donations to her local orchestra and she keeps her music clean. Now she has hooked up with the hottest classical pianist in China to make a motor ad. You see it here first.

The music director became a US citizen. Then they did this to him …

18 Apr 2015 Rogue Valley Symphony surprised recently naturalized American citizen, Music Director Martin Majkut, with a surreptitiously planned & rehearsed audience-flag-waving rendition of “God Bless America” at their concert in Ashland, OR on April 17, 2015. Kudos to organizer Tom O’Rourke & tip of the cap to arranger Bruce Dresser. h/t: Galen Johnson

Personal to "Girona Balie"

1. I'm not publishing your comment.2. The first reason is that it's off-topic. A post noting that Julia Wolfe won the Pulitzer in the here and now is just that.3. The second reason is I'm not debating someone's bullshit view of feminist scholarship on this blog. Show More Summary


Eric Owens, singing Philip II in Philadelphia, asks a blunt question in a Musical America interview: "How would a white person feel being the only white person around constantly in their careers?"

Composer’s daughter is jailed for mother’s murder

Heather Mack and Tommy Schaefer, of the Chicago area, were sentenced today in Bali for the murder of Sheila von Wiese-Mack, whose body was found in an abandoned suitcase in August last year. Schaefer, 21, got 18 years. Heather Mack, 19, went down for 10. The victim, Sheila von Wiese Mack, 62, was the widow of […]

British baritone is ordered ‘complete vocal rest’

The Vienna Opera has announced that Simon Keenlyside is out of its Rigoletto revival in June. He is replaced by Dmitri Hvorostovsky and Paolo Rumets. Keenlyside, 55, was forced to withdraw on the opening night of Pierre Audi’s production last December and has scarcely been heard since. Vienna said he had been prescribed ‘a period of […]

Another Publicity No-No

Email from a prominent opera company dropped into my inbox yesterday, among other things announcing their next season announcement and changes and additions to this season's casts.The problem is that the document containing changes and...Show More Summary

Director Patrice Chereau Dead at 68

 "A director should love all of his characters. Even if the character is a murderer or a monster, you have to love them. You have to accept them, and ry to understand how they managed to do what they've done."

Schoenberg Conducting Mahler 2nd

One commenter proclaims that it sounds the way Boulez would do it? Do you agree? 

Stephen Sondheim Trashes Diane Paulus "Upgrade" of 'Porgy and Bess'

Via a tweet from Alex Ross of a NYT Artsbeat post about an Arts & Leisure  article by Patrick Healy after which Stephen Soundheim unleashed one of the most convincing dissings of Regietheater I’ve ever seen. 

Copenhagen's "Ring": Why "Eurotrash" Isn't the Whole Story

Or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Regietheater Bomb. I sympathize with people who spend hundreds of bucks on tickets and end up with a two-headed Wotan, an Alberich who’s a gaudy pimp or Supreme Court Justice Fricka. But consider this: you can stage these things in your mind, and I don’t just mean closing your eyes in the theater.

Glenn Gould is named as Apple’s executive role model

It may come as a surprise to find an pill-popping artist who worked at night and slept by day being employed as a teaching aid at Apple HQ, but it appears the late Steve Jobs was a devotee of the Goldberg Variations. So Boston Review editor Joshua Cohen has been hired full time by Apple […]

Maltese tenor mourns his teacher

Joseph Calleja has reported the death of  Paul Asciak, his teacher, aged 92. He writes: ‘His is a death that I won’t really accept or register for a long time. His trumpet like voice is legendary but it is his gentlemanly demeanour and caring tuition and mentoring that I shall miss most.’ Paul Asciak was […]

10 reasons why Daniel Barenboim would be wrong for the Berlin Philharmonic

Since there is a head of steam building up behind Daniel’s candidacy, here are a few counter-arguments. 1 He’s too busy, too distracted… with East-West Diwan, Mideast politics, world events. 2 He’s too well-known in Berlin… as music director of the Staatsoper since 1992, there would be no novelty value. 3 He’s been everywhere, done […]

Just in: Scottish Opera names music director

The company is part-time and severely depleted. It has just presented Stuart Stratford, a hard-working stalwart of the UK circuit, as the new music director. The last man in the job, Emmanuel Joel-Hornak, resigned after just 58 days...

Where Mahler kept his cigarettes…

Following our mini-feature on composers who smoked, it turns out that a reader happens to own Gustav Mahler’s initialled cigarette case. He was never, by all accounts, a heavy smoker, but he clearly needed to have a pack at all times about his person.

‘He should have got the Berlin Phil in the first place…’

The Spectator magazine thrives on turning the clock back. Here’s its associate editor, Damian Thompson: …who knows what might have happened if the Berlin Philharmonic hadn’t chosen Rattle instead of Barenboim? Sir Simon is coming back to London in 2017. And bear in mind that Claudio Abbado gave the greatest concerts of his career as […]

Sao Paolo orch holds one minute’s silent protest in mid-concert

Musicians of the Ribeirão Symphony of Sao Paolo haven’t been paid in four months. Their orchestra, one of the oldest in Brazil, is facing closure. So on Saturday night they stopped the concert and warned the audience of the likely consequences. Report and video here.

MIT study: What gives a Strad its power

‘MIT researchers and violin makers at Boston’s North Bennet Street School have analysed measurements from hundreds of Cremonese-­era violins, identifying features that contribute to their acoustic power, or fullness of sound. ‘…The researchers...Show More Summary

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