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Sicklist: Last-minute pianist switch at New York Philharmonic

Jonathan Biss has pulled out of tonight’s Brahms piano concerto, and the rest of the weekend, ‘due to an arm injury suffered in a recent accident.’ He is replaced by Kirill Gerstein.     The concerts mark conductor Susanna Mälkki’s debut with the NY Phil.  

Just in: Pirates beats Met to steal cinema record for live opera

Tuesday’s live broadcast from English National Opera of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance has just blown a big hole in the opera streaming business. Pirates, in Mike Leigh’s production, took £600,000 at the UK box office at a single screening, reaching an audience of over 40,000 people. The previous UK best was the Metropolitan […]

Scotland’s first cellist talks up Sistema

Sistema Scotland has received an ‘extremely positive’ report from the Glasgow Centre for Population Health, which says it has ‘the potential to significantly enhance participants’ lives, prospects, health and wellbeing.’ Sistema’s Big Noise has been teaching children in Raploch since 2008 and Govanhill since 2013. The First Minister is a fan. Nicola Sturgeon and Fiona […]

Women on the podium in a Seattle celebration

We love today’s tribute to a growing trend on Seattle Opera social media. How many can you name? You can see a slightly larger version here.

In Germany, culture defines nation. In Britain, it defines nothing.

I have written a reflection on the failed Berlin Philharmonic election for The Spectator, a few thoughts on cultural attitudes as well as orchestral politics. The intense focus on the Berlin Philharmonic election was triggered by the emergence of a German candidate as music director, the first since Wilhelm Furtwängler in 1922 (Furtwängler’s 1955 successor, […]

Breaking: International string quartet breaks up

After 15 years, the Dutch-based Rubens Quartet is calling it quits:     “We, the members of the Rubens Quartet, after having enjoyed a rewarding and intensive international career, have decided that we will end our collaboration as a quartet at the end of the 2015/16 season. The quartet has been at the center of […]

‘Be glad for Gergiev that he can earn 340 million’

Reactions in Russia to the latest glasnost on cultural earnings has been a curious mixture of envy and pride. According to Valery Gergiev’s tax declaration, he owns three plots of land, six apartments, one cottage and two cars, in addition to a tax-year income of 340m rubles, just under seven million US dollars. Some politicians grumbled […]

Just in: Domingo cancels Vienna

The baritone has pulled out of tomorrow’s Nabucco ‘for serious family reasons’. He is replaced by Zeljko Lucic. He’s due at Covent Garden next week.

Contemporary Music in a Georgian pool with the Red Note Ensemble in Bath

Cleveland Pools The Scottish contemporary music ensemble Red Note is returning to the Bath Festival on 24 May 2015 when they will be performing a programme of contemporary and renaissance music for brass. Rather intriguingly, the concert...Show More Summary

Bryan Hymel - Heroique

Rossini, Verdi, Berlioz, Meyerbeer, Gounod, Reyer, Massenet, Bruneau, Rabaud; Bryan Hymel, PFK - Prague Philharmonia, Czech Philharmonic Choir of Brno, Emmanuel Villaume; Warner Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on May 19 2015 StarShow More Summary

Why do US orchs have to call in the Feds to talk to their musicians?

The Utah Symphony has signed a three-year contract with its musicians. That’s nice. But they could only do so with the help of a federal negotiator. ‘I’m proud of the successful outcome of these efforts and grateful for the musicians’ cooperation and support in ratifying this agreement early,’ said Melia Tourangeau, outgoing USUO President & […]

Jazz suffers two heavy losses

Bruce Lundvall died yesterday. A record-biz lifer he rekindled the jazz market in the 1980s by reviving the Blue Note label with such talents as Dianne Reeves, Norah Jones and Bobby McFerrin. A member of the CBS Masterworks team for two decades until then, he was a music-loving, self-effacing, talent-seeking kind of guy, the best […]

Breaking: German orchestras win pay rise

The result of yesterday’s wave of brief strikes was a swift agreement today to award all musicians in state orchestras and stage staff at opera houses a pay increase of 2.1 or 2.4 percent. ‘We always wanted them to get a well-deserved pay rise,’ said an employers’ spokesman. ‘The strikes were unnecessary.’ Read here (auf […]

Meet Dr Lang Lang

As of today, the Chinese pianist is an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts of New York University. The point being? To devalue the credibility of an NYU PhD. What in socks has he done to earn a doctorate?

What you think you heard them sing

Tim Page has started a compulsive thread on his Facebook page, calling in song lines that you totally misheard. Tim heard, ‘You’re like a maggot. I’m like a piece of meat.’ The real lyric is ‘You’re like a magnet. I’m like a piece of steel….’ (Not sure which is preferable.) I well remember a pop […]

Breaking: Met grabs harp from Paris Opéra

The wonderful Emmanuel Ceysson, principal harp at the Bastille for the past decade, has won the audition at the Metropolitan Opera for the seat left vacant by the death of Deborah Hoffman in February 2014. He starts in Tannhäuser this September.     Here‘s how he describes the audition process: I loved the fairness of […]

Bass player, 36, is new Philharmonic manager

Word just in: the Antwerp Philharmonic has turned to Joost Maegerman to be its new intendant. Joost has been a member of the Rotterdam Philharmonic double-basses for the past few years, and chairman of the orchestra’s musicians board. Rotterdam colleagues consider him a brilliant all-rounder. Yannick will be sorry to lose him.  

Maestro stays (but moves)

The Minnesota Orchestra has renewed music director Osmo Vänskä to the end of the decade, by which time he will have been in charge for 16 years. It has also signed a new deal with the musicians, raising minimum salaries to $2,127 a week by 2020 and increasing the number of players from 78 to 88. […]

Sicklist: Berlin Phil hit by Four Last Songs withdrawal

Angela Denoke has pulled out of Gianandrea Noseda’s Berlin Philharmonic debut this weekend with a sick note. Due to sing the Strauss Four Last Songs, she is replaced at very short notice for the three concerts by the Finnish soprano, Camilla Nylund, a Philharmonie regular who happened to be in Berlin, rehearsing Ariadne at the […]

Just in: Opera seeks drag queen to play Salome

It’s the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, and it’s a dazzling opportunity for an over-the-top cross-dresser. Click here for details. Apply now. Competition will be tough. photo: Adrian, 1965, in New York’s 82 Club production

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