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Manchester's newest concert hall opens

The Stoller Hall, Chetham's School of Music Manchester's new concert hall, the Stoller Hall, opens on Friday, 21 April 2017 with a whole weekend of events. The 482 seat auditorium, part of recent developments at Chethams School of Music, was designed by Stephenson Studio architects with Arup Acoustics. Show More Summary

"Climbing up the Stairs," an alternative to the "Monkey Song" for beginning violinists

I wrote this little piece for a beginning violin student, and thought I'd share it here. It is filled with all sorts of practical "word painting."Like the "Monkey Song," you "climb" up the A string, but after the half-step interval of C-sharp and D we have the word "kiss." I like to refer to half steps as "kisses" with beginners. Show More Summary

Chicago soloist: ‘I used to get beat up by other kids’

The American violinist Jennifer Koh speaks movingly about growing up as the child of North Korean refugees in rural Illinois. ‘It was not fun to have eggs cracked into my hair every morning on the bus. I used to get beat up by other kids in my school, all the time.’ Jennifer began to understand […]

Watch: A choir film to break your hearts

As a special Easter treat, we bring you Kristof Deák’s Sing, the Best short film Oscar winner of 2017.  A childhood drama set in 1990s Budapest, it follows an award winning school choir and the new girl who uncovers its ugly secret. Sing (Best short film Oscar winner 2017) + subtitles from lasliem on Vimeo.

A beautifully fluid accout of Durufle's Requiem to bring St John's Holy Week Festival to a close

New London Singers Tavener, Poulenc, Duruflé; New London Singers, Martha McLorinan, Susie Winkworth, Ian Tindale, Ivor Setterfield; St John's Smith Square Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Apr 15 2017 Star rating: 4.0 Duruflé's wonderful Requiem brings St John's Holy Week Festival to a fine conclusion St. Show More Summary

16 crosses that sopranos have to bear

They are the most put-upon, misunderstood, undervalued, empathetic and altogether quintessential members of the operatic ecology. So why don’t we try harder to be nice to sopranos? Think what they have to put up with. Click here for the 16 stations of the soprano world.

A gay Russian violinist comes out on social media

Artem Kolesov, first violinist of the Chicago-based Yas Quartet, has been outraged by reports of gay oppression in Chechnya. So he decided to publish a video testament on being young, Russian and gay. Artem, 23, has addressed his statement in Russian (with English subtitles) to his homeland, aware that in doing so he could face […]

Willa Cather explains why we go to the theater

Jim Burden, the narrator of Willa Cather's My Àntonia takes his friend Lena to a performance by a traveling New York theater company of La Dame aux Camélias in Lincoln, Nebraska. The actress who played Marguerite was even then old-fashioned, though historic. Show More Summary

Sicklist: Met loses Brit conductor

Robin Ticciati sicked out of last night’s Eugene Onegin.   He was subbed by staff conductor,  Joel Revzen.  

Does Mikhail Pletnev know ‘Happy Birthday’?

His Russian National Orchestra gave him the big 60th birthday greeting in Bogota, Colombia, a few hours ago. But the Russian pianist and conductor did not show a trace of emotion or recognition. Does he know the tune? Is he playing poker?

Social and personal: Power couple splits up

The violinist Nicola Benedetti has told an online chat session that she is no longer together with the cellist Leonard Elschenbroich after a ten-year relationship. The pair became friends as teenaged fellow-pupils at the Yehudi Menuhin School.   They are still touring together. We wish them both well.  

Rub your eyes: Martha Argerich is the substitute

We are used to others covering for Martha’s occasional cancellations, but this substitution may be unprecedented. She has agreed, at three days’ notice, to take over for an unwell Maurizio Pollini at Renaud Capucon’s Easter festival in Aix-en-Provence. Incroyable…  

Verse of the day: The pianist upstairs

From Erika Funkauser’s poem, in The Atlantic: The world’s at war and he breaks into Brahms tonight—an intermezzo one might hum to lull a child or coax to life numb nerves after a round of deafening bombs… … Read the full poem here.   And send a copy to your elected representative.

The composer who writes one work a year

Brian Elias, 68, is emerging from the shadows. He has been a presence in British music for much of my life but his self-discipline is such that he will only write a piece of music when he feels it has to be written. Which is usually no more than once a year, and sometimes less. […]

Nimby uprising over mooted Britten car park

Retired residents of Aldeburgh don’t want more visitors, apparently.

Yannick gears down for Wagner debut

The designated music director of the Metropolitan Opera will conduct his first Wagner opera in the house on April 25. It is a fairly low-key Flying Dutchman revival with Michael Volle as the Dutchman, Amber Wagner as Senta and Jay Hunter Morris as Erik. The opera has not been seen at the Met for seven years.

Russia’s most elusive artist turns 60

He has never been one for giving interviews. Such public comments as he utters are often disparaging. He is an intensely private artist who has preserved some kind of individualist integrity in Putinist Russia. He was caught once as a hostage in a war of oligarchs; he is more careful now. Mikhail Pletnev turned 60 […]

Lucrezia Borgia's Daughter: Princess, nun and musician

Leonora d'Este Musica quincum voce; Musica Secreta, Celestial Sirens, Deborah Roberts, Laurie Stras; Obsidian Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Apr 9 2017 Star rating: 4.0 A window into the mesmerising world of music in 16th century Italian...Show More Summary

Symphony No. 1 (1948-49/77/03). George Rochberg #crazy #colorful

last weekMusic / Classical : aworks

"This is the craziest music I have ever seen!" Naxos. It's not actually that crazy now, but maybe back in 1948... "The second ("Night Music") and third ("Capriccio") movements have had, at times, a life of their own away from...

The Red Pony Suite (1948). Aaron Copland

last weekMusic / Classical : aworks

I just listened to Enrique Batiz conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. A 2013 recording. Or is it in fact a re-release of an old recording? Discogs says this is a 1995 recording. Does anybody still play and record this work?

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