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Lifetime honour for the world’s best-loved pianist

We are thrilled to report that Echo Klassik will give an award for lifetime achievement next month to Menahem Pressler, pianist of the Beaux Arts Trio for 55 years and now an international soloist. Menahem, 91, is revered by four generations of musicians as a teacher, a thinker and a life-enhancing friend. You can hear […]

A pianist spat

A Russian pianist who lives in Italy and refuses to play in the UK has refused an honour in Cremona because it was previously awarded to Norman Lebrecht. Some websites seem to think this is a news story. The organisers of the award have clarified their position here. Our response: The pianist is entitled to […]

International soloist: Why I slept on airport floor

We have received a full account from Rachel Barton Pine on why she and her family spent the night on an airport floor after US Airways refused to board her precious Guarnerius violin. Rachel is at pains in her email to point out that the US Airways attendants were never rude. Just bloody unhelpful. Read […]

Legendary label chief announces his withdrawal

Very few label founders can claim to have changed the face of modern music. Bob Hurwitz can. The Nonesuch president – the label is now owned by Warner – changed the face of contemporary music by making it unexpectedly popular. He backed the Kronos Quartet, Steve Reich, Chris Thile, Henry Mikolai Gorecki, John  Adams and […]

Chicago ups the ante on orchestra pay

In the 1990s, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was the first to offer a $100,000 starting wage, setting off an inflationary spiral across the sector. Now the CSO has bucked the current trend of tight settlements and, in a deal brokered by federal negotiators, conceded a 5 percent pay increase over the next five years, a […]

Poetic return for Ulysses at the Barbican

Claudio Monteverdipainted in 1630 by Bernardo Strozzi Monteverdi, Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria; Ian Bostridge, Barbara Kozelj, Elizabeth Watts, Academy of Ancient Music, Richard Egarr; Barbican Hall Reviewed by Robert Hugill on SepShow More Summary

And So It Begins

5 days agoMusic / Classical : Sounds

We recently posed the following hypothetical: What damage, if any, would be done to world culture were it the case that in no competent public...

Soloist sleeps on airport floor after US Airways refuses her violin

Rachel Barton Pine, was trying to fly home from Phoenix, Arizona, when a flight attendant decided that her 1742 Guarneri del Gesú would not fit in the overhead bin. The result was that Rachel and her family had to sleep the night in the airport, waiting for another plane. Don’t we just love US Airways? More […]

Major label sale is finalised

Harmonia Mundi will be under new ownership from Thursday. Press release: London, September 29th 2015 – [PIAS] one of the  world’s leading independent music companies has announced the acquisition of harmonia mundi the respected classical, jazz and world music specialists. Show More Summary

These songs are so much better without words

From my Album of the Week on Given the music industry’s preoccupation with complete sets, it’s remarkable how few recordings exist of the eight books of Songs Without Words for piano by the great early-Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn seems to have dashed the Songs off in spare moments between 1829 and 1845, sending […]

Concertmaster gets loaned a Guadagnini

Andrew Haveron, concertmaster of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra has been given a 1757 Guadagnini violin to play, purchased at his selection by SSO supporter, Vicki Olsson (pictured), and given to the orch on longterm loan. Andrew says: ‘I arrived at the showroom of the first dealer I’d contacted and he had six instruments on the table for […]

A nervous peace in Chicago

Union negotiators for musicians of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra have reached what is described as ‘a tentative agreement’ on a new contract after federal mediators got involved. The deal still needs to be ratified by the muscians themselves. More here. press release: WASHINGTON, D.C. — Allison Beck, Director of the U.S. Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service […]

Gustavo Dudamel: I am not a politician…

The Los Angeles Philharmonic music director is frequently under pressure over his perceived alignment with the radical regime in his native Venezuela. In an article for the Los Angeles Times today (click here), he declares both his patriotism and his political neutrality: As a Venezuelan and a public person, I often end up in the center […]

Handwriting and the Bow Arm

Isn't it interesting that we all have personal ways of expressing ourselves through handwriting? Some people who grew up in the middle of the 20th century keep the classic models handed (oy--no pun intended) to them by their early training,...Show More Summary

Da Capo Performs Double Centennial Concert

5 days agoMusic / Classical : Sequenza21

On Thursday October 1st, the Da Capo Chamber Players commemorate the hundredth anniversaries of two recently deceased American modernists: Milton Babbitt and George Perle. They will perform Babbitt’s When Shall We Meet Again and two works by Perle: Sonata a Quattro and Nightsong. David Fulmer, a Babbitt student, contributes the world premiere of Cadenza, a […]

Sokolov refuses Cremona prize

Almost unbelievably, this happened the other day: Grigory Sokolov writes (translation) 'Dear Mr. Bianchedi, ladies and gentlemen of Comitato Artistico di Cremona Mondomusica e Piano Experience. I refuse to receive the prize, Cremona Music Award 2015. Show More Summary

Through a romantic lens - Baroque Inspirations

Tartini, Vivaldi, Stamitz, Vitali, Kreisler; Hideko Udagawa, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Nicholas Kraemer; Nimbus Alliance Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sept 18 2015 Star rating: 3.5 Baroque music seen through a more romantic lens, including...Show More Summary

Festal Festival Finale - Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival

Stephen Cleobury, Choir of King's College Cambridge, Haydn Chamber Orchestra at Hatfield House Chamber Music Festival 2015 Haydn, Charlotte Bray, Mozart; Choir of King's College Cambridge, Haydn Chamber Orchestra, Stephen Cleobury; Hatfield...Show More Summary

The Schorske century

A Cultural Comment on the late Carl Schorske.

Intense drama, but where was the caustic scherzo - Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk at ENO

Rosie Aldrige, Patricia Racette, Peter Hoare & ensembleLady Macbeth of Mtsensk at English National Opera, photo credit Clive Barda Shostakovich Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk; Patricia Racette, Robert Hayward, John Daszak, Peter Hoare, dir:...Show More Summary

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