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Russia’s bid to reclaim Rachmaninov is halted

The bold attempt by Putin’s culture minister Vladimir Medinski to repatriate the body from a California cemetery was blocked by the composer’s descendants. A long-running initiative, backed by Putin himself in 2013, to purchase Rachmaninov’s Swiss mansion, Villa Senar, beside Lake Lucerne, has also got nowhere. The estate is still up for sale.   And no […]

What drones can do to dancers’ dangly bits

  Click on link to view. Dancers Hidden by DronesNaked Dancers Ingeniously Censored by Flying Drones  

And the next music director is….

Slipped Disc was the first to tip Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla as the next music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. We knew what the players wanted and we called it right. Now, with strong conviction but slightly less confidence in the outcome, we are happy to confide that, as of this moment, the favourite […]

Found in Translation - Club Inégales

Peter Wiegold and Notes Ine?gales by Frederique Bellec Composer Peter Wiegold's Club Inégales is an intriguing place, existing in the fascinating limnal zone between jazz, new music, classical music and many other things. Wiegold himself...Show More Summary

Chabrier's L'Etoile at Covent Garden

Chabrier's L’Étoile at Royal Opera House © ROH 2016. Photograph by Bill Cooper Chabrier L'Etoile; Kate Lindsey, Christophe Mortagne, Simon Bailey, Francois Piolino, Aimery Lefèvre, Hélène Guilmette, Julie Boulianne, Chris Addison, Jean-Luc...Show More Summary

Did this man get under Mozart's skin?

OK, I know this may cause a few splutterings and shouts of "preposterous" and "piffle", but this story has been bugging me like one of those planets you can't see, yet whose presence is indicated by the tugs of energy around the encircling orbs. Show More Summary


New and recent publications of interest. Ben Ratliff, Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty (FSG) A. O. Scott, Better Living Through Criticism (Penguin) Matthew Bribitzer-Stull, Understanding the Leitmotif: From Wagner to Hollywood Film...

New York names John Scott’s successor

Six months after the shock death of its revered music director, Saint Thomas Church on Fifth Avenue has filled his position as organist and music director. The new director has, like his predecessor, been recruited from England. Professor Daniel Hyde is Informator Choristarum, Organist, and Tutorial Fellow in Music at Magdalen College, Oxford and a lecturer in […]

Composer dies of heart attack, at 29

The promising film composer Shan Johnson was found dead in her room in Chennai, India, on Friday. She was in the middle of recording sessions for a Malayalam film, Vettah, on which she was singing the title song. Shan had given no sign of anything unusual the day before. An autopsy found she had died of […]

The day Chris Martin showed up at rehearsal…

Dudamel and his Yola kids are turned into Coldplay fans.

Artists rush to sign Save ENO petition

Some of the best-known names in British opera have joined a petition, launched last night, to save English National Opera from death by 1,000 cuts. Among the comments: Susan Bullock: Wake up ENO Board before it is too late and fight for the company you are supposed to represent. Anne Evans: Why are there now no […]

Airline softens ban on violins

One swallow does not make springtime, but we’ve received this encouraging report from Fiona Stevens, one of many travellers who are alarmed at Air Berlin’s ban on violins. Fiona writes: This morning my colleague Daniel Deuter flew from Munich to Berlin with Air Berlin and with a viola. He wrote to me: “When I had […]

Only in Berlin: Maestro and football boss warm up for big match

The Konzerthaus has just published an intercut video of the match-day routines of conductor Ivan Fischer and Herta Berlin chief trainer Dárdai Pál. Both work in neighbouring facilities and both are Hungarian, which is to say they appreciate the finer things in life without condescension.     Would never happen in Manchester.  

Vilde Frang, Jonathan Cohen and Arcangelo in Mozart Violin Concertos

Vilde Frang © Marco Borggreve Mozart Symphony No. 27, Violin Concertos Nos. 1 & 5, Haydn Symphony No. 47; Vild e Frang, Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo; St Johns Smith Square Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Feb 5 2016 Star rating: 5.0 Elegant...Show More Summary

Madam Butterfly is evacuated after bomb threat

We hear from cast members in Klagenfurt that the opening night of a new production of Butterfly was abandoned at the end of “un bel di” as the result of a bomb threat. The theatre was evacuated and the show was called off. The threat was a hoax.

Two Met gift shop sales staff release a cooler aria

Anastasia & Tais are opera students, aged 23, who met while working at the gift shop of the Metropolitan Opera.  They’ve recorded their own take on The Flower Duet from Lakme, based on vibes from the Brooklyn indie scene. See what you think. Click here for audio.  

What Bach sounds like on a Gibson blues guitar

John Svoboda is a classical guitarist. Then he started fooling around. Listen here.

All conductors are megalomaniacs! My encounter with conductor James Lowe

James Lowe by Trond Husebo The young British conductor James Lowe is best known in the UK for his work with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and for his tenure as the Artistic Director of the Halle Harmony Youth Orchestra. Show More Summary

Jonathan Plowright at Rhinegold Live

Jonathan Plowright at Rhinegold Live Brahms, Mozart, Paderewski, Chopin; Jonathan Plowright; Rhinegold Live at the Conway Hall Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Feb 4 2016 Star rating: 4.0 Powerful and thoughtful playing this early evening...Show More Summary

Worldwide fanfare for a very uncommon woman conductor

Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla. Photo: Nancy Horowitz Above, Mirga Grazinyte-Tyla, the 29-year-old Lithuanian conductor whose appointment as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra is being cheered across the globe, including in Los Angeles where she is assistant conductor at the LA Philharmonic. Show More Summary

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