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It’s official: Eschenbach gets retro Berlin

Christoph Eschenbach, 77, was installed this morning as chief conductor of Berlin’s Konzerthausorchester, succeeding Ivan Fischer. When we first foretold the move, many regarded at as wierdly regressive. He won’t come cheap, either. Eschy’s last Washington DC pay packet was close to $2.5 million a year.  

Bach's Christmas Oratorio concludes BREMF 2017

Bach Christmas Oratorio; Hannah Ely, Rebecca Leggett, Hugo Hymas, Simon Wallfisch, BREMF Singers & Players, John Hancorn; Brighton Early Music Festival Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Nov 12 2017 Star rating: 3.5 An excellent team of young...Show More Summary

Illuminating the text: predominantly youthful cast in BREMF's staging of Monteverdi's first opera

Monteverdi: L'Orfeo - Brighton Early Music Festival (Photo Robert Piwko) Monteverdi L'Orfeo; Rory Carver, Helen Charlston, Jenni Harper, Richard Moore, Andrew Robinson, dir: Thomas Guthrie, musical dir: Deborah Roberts, Oliver Webber;...Show More Summary

Too much rape at the ballet?

The Telegraph has cobbled together a story from comments by disparate critics (though not its own) that rape scenes have become too prevalent in ballet. Since the traditional ballet audience is made up largely of grannies and their little charges on a birthday treat, this might be a bit close to the bone. But there […]

Rare audio: Proust’s lover sings

The Venezuela-born composer Reynaldo Hahn was close to Marcel Proust from 1894 to his death in 1922. He was widely esteemed as a composer of upmarket chansons for the bourgeois salon. This unexpected find shows he had a sweet singing voice, though no lower register. After the Second World War, Hahn was briefly director of […]

Another US music college quietly sacks professor for abuse

We have information that a well-known instrument professor was fired by Cincinnati School of Music last October after allegations of misconduct with female students and applicants. One auditioner was aged 16 at the time. The teacher was also suspended from a New York institution, while continuing to teach elsewhere. We have withheld his name because no […]

Fulcrum Point New Music Project Concert Wednesday, November 15 at 6:00

I am very excited to hear Stephen Burns and Kuang-Hao Huang play my Trumpet Sonata this Wednesday in Chicago. The concert is part of Fulcrum Point's "Hear and Be Heard" series, where people play new music and then members of the audience...Show More Summary

'The quintessence of German Romanticism' - Schumann's Liederkreis from Ailish Tynan & James Newby

James Newby (Photo Ben Mckee) Schumann Liederkreis Op.24 & 39; Ailish Tynan, James Newby, Nigel Foster; London Song Festival at Hinde Street Methodist Church Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Nov 10 2017 Star rating: 4.5 Vivid story-telling...Show More Summary

Bolshoi’s former ballet chief dies

The dancer and choreographer Stanislav Vlasov, a former artistic director of the Bolshoi, has died in Moscow after suffering a heart attack in Cyprus. He was flown home at the expense of the Chechen dictator, Ramzan Kadyrov. Vlasov died in a Moscow hospital. He was 84.

A major international piano competition is distorted by its chairman

Concerns are being raised about the forthcoming Bonn Beethoven Telekom International Competition, where the chairman is, as ever, the distinguished pedagogue Pavel Gililov. The competition was founded by Gililov in 2005. The rules state clearly that ‘pupils of a jury member at the time of application, or those who have been pupils of a jury member […]

Reading Russell Platt? If Not, You Should Be.

The New Yorker is lucky enough t have two first-class classical music writers on board. I'm sure you know Alex Ross's work, and his books, and I hope you're also reading writer, editor, and composer Russell Platt, whose short articles appear on line, but not in the printed New Yorker. If not, you can start here, and I'm sure you will like what you read.

Death of an organ legend, 87

The great French organist Michel Chapuis died today. He officiated at many of the important churches in Paris: at St. Germain l’Auxerrois 1951 to 54, St. Nicolas des Champs 1954 to 72, Notre Dame 1955 to 64, and St. Séverin from 1964.  From 1996 to 2010, he was organist at the Versailles Royal Chapel.

Itzhak Perlman: I would not meet Trump

From a Billboard interview with Toby and Itzhak Perlman: Toby Perlman: There were surprises in that time. We didn’t know that we’d be having tea with the prime minister of Israel [Benjamin Netanyahu]. That was also problematic because [of his politics]… How do you negotiate a time like that? Toby Perlman: Be polite — and he has a dog; […]

Desperate Mozarteum pays quarter of a million Euros for new Rector

The Salzburg Mozarteum has, for reasons you will have read about in Slipped Disc, got through three rectors in as many years. It re-advertised the post at a salary of 140,000 Euros – respectable for a campus of its size. The successful candidate was Elisabeth Gutjahr, 57, conservatory chief in Trossingen (look for it on the […]

Death of an international Hungarian soprano, 64

Operanostalgia reports the death of Julia Kukely after a long illness. A member of Hungarian State Opera from 1978 to her death, she also sang major roles in Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, Frankfurt, Leipzig, Paris, Wiesbanden and Zurich. Her signature roles were Donna Anna, Despina, Tosca and Bess  (in Gershwin’s opera).

Nightafternight playlist

New and recent releases of interest. — Jürg Frey, Collection Gustave Roud; Frey, Stefan Thut, Dante Boon, Andrew McIntosh, Regula Konrad, Stephen Altoft, Lee Ferguson (another timbre) — Björk, Utopia (One Little Indian) — Berlioz, Les Troyens; Joyce DiDonato, Michael...

So what exactly is an haut-contre?

Samuel Boden (Photo: Marco Borggreve) The haut-contre, that high tenor voice so necessary for French baroque repertoire, is a fascinating and relatively rare thing. So it was particularly interesting to be able to get up close, so to...Show More Summary

An appealing surface with friction underneath: composer Marcus Paus on the music on his new disc

Marcus Paus The Norwegian composer Marcus Paus has a new CD out. On Sheva Contemporary, it is entitled Odes & Elegies and features instrumental solo and concertante works with Tom Ottar Andreassen (flute), Jan Bertelsen (oboe d'amore),...Show More Summary

Waddesdon Imaginarium, Winter Light at Waddesdon

Waddesdon Imaginarium (courtesy of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama) At dusk on Sunday 11 November 2017, a ten-minute light and sound performance will be projected onto Waddesdon Manor (the National Trust house near Aylesbury, and former home of the Rothschild family). Show More Summary

Marin Alsop becomes a Fellow

The Baltimore music director has been made an Honorary Fellow of Newnham College, University of Cambridge, to acknowledge the exceptional contribution she has made to music. At Newnham, an all-women’s college, she took questions from students. Here’s one answer: ‘I would rather be respected than liked or feared. Some orchestras want you to demonstrate your expertise, […]

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