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Verbier Festival replaces departing chief

Kim Gaynor, the festival’s managing director for the past 11 years, is leaving next week to become head of Vancouver Opera. Her replacement was announced today. She is Laurence Marchand, head of production at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris for the past 17 years. Martin Engstrom, the founder, stays on as executive director.


REMAIN is the only sane choice for anybody in today's ever-more-international arts world.Don't forget to place your vote for the UK to REMAIN in the EU. Otherwise on Friday we become nothing more than a sunk island. (Reminder of some of the reasoning.)

Itzhak Perlman says life will be ‘impossible’ under President Trump

The violinist, in Jerusalem to receive the Genesis Prize, has told AP of his shock at the candidate’s mocking gesture at a disabled newspaperman. “Horrible, horrible, horrible … That was a mindless kind of decision,’ said Perlman. ‘It was terrible. You don’t do that … it’s so outrageous.’ Read more here.

Listen up! London Gay Men’s Chorus cut single for Orlando

After singing at the Orlando vigil two days ago, the chorus have rush-released a two-track single, all proceeds to the Orlando victims and Galop (an anti LGBT-hate crime charity). Watch those diverse faces in the choir. About London Gay Men’s Chorus ­ In 1991, nine friends came together to sing a few Christmas carols at […]

Warning of Brexit blight on British opera

Richard Mantle, general director of Opera North says: ‘I think you can certainly see over the last 40 years the real value of being part of an enormous talent pool which is Europe… This natural exchange of ideas, of people, of talent that has gone on over 30 or 40 years has really strengthened and enriched […]

Who’d pay a maestro a loyalty bonus?

The official Dallas Symphony explanation for paying Jaap Van Zweden more than five million dollars in salary for 2013/14 is this: The Music Director’s salary for 2013 was $1,788,997, with the bulk of the remainder being a signing bonus for a long-term contract extension executed in 2013… The long-term contract extension now goes through the […]

Rossini's Le Comte Ory makes a rare appearance in London

Rossini's Le comte Ory in 1830 When was Rossini's last comedy, Le Comte Ory last staged in London? Glyndebourne last staged it in 1998 and performed it at the BBC Proms in 1997. Despite the popularity of his Italian comedies, Rossini's French comedy just does not seem to have achieved the popularity it deserves. Show More Summary

Brahms and Bruce - music for clarinet and string quartet

David Bruce Gumboots, Johannes Brahms Clarinet Quintet; Julian Bliss, Carducci Quartet; Signum Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Jun 11 2016 Star rating: 4.0 David Bruce's evocative modern classic alongside Brahms' autumnal masterpiece...Show More Summary

St John's Smith Square - 2016/17 season launch

Christina McMaster at St John's Smith Squarephoto Amy Ryan On Monday 20 June 2016, St John's Smith Square launched its 2016/17 season with an event at the hall which not only included an introduction to the season from the hall's director, Richard Heason, but also gave us a chance to hear performances from members of the Young Artists Scheme. Show More Summary

Unevenly spread - King Arthur reimagined

Purcell, Peter Wiegold, Martin Butler - King Arthur; Notes Inégales, Academy Inégales, Alya Marquardt, Iestyn Morris, Peter Wiegold; Spitalfields Festival at Wilton's Music hall Reviewed by Ruth Hansford on Jun 15 2016 Star rating: 3.5...Show More Summary

The most expensive batons in America

The new list of maestro earnings from Drew McManus reveals the following pay scale. 1 Jaap Van Zweden, Dallas, $5m (see here) 2 Riccardio Muti, Chicago Symphony $2,309,837 3 Christoph Eschenbach, NSO, $2,274,151 4 Alan Gilbert, NY, $1,751,570...Show More Summary

Bombshell: The top-paid US conductor of all time is…

The annual survey of conductor salaries compiled by Drew McManus on Adaptistration is about to blow the socks off the music industry. Drew’s pay list for 2013/14, which goes live in the next hour, will reveal that compensation at the Dallas Symphony that year went way off the scale. The music director Jaap Van Zweden, […]

Cellist is arrested in Moscow, charged with ‘organising a rally’

More signs of nervous crackdown in Russia. A cellist, Semyon Lashkin, was sitting on a street bench practising a few summer riffs with a couple of pals when police seized him and his cello and swept them off to the cells. Semyon has been charged with organising a public rally (Art. 20.2.2, p. Ako 1) […]

Two Walks through the End of Time...

I've been rewriting A Walk through the End of Time, my two-hander play introducing the Messiaen Quartet for the End of Time. It's needed doing for a while. Forever, really. But it is now nine years since I first wrote it and one thing...Show More Summary

Musicians Union says: Here’s why you should Vote Remain

The following notice went out today to all UK members: Musicians are better off in a Britain that is part of the European Union (EU).  That’s why we’re calling on all Musician Union members to vote to remain in the EU. Over the last few weeks, we’ve had debates, flotillas and angry jibes traded over […]

Another opera joins the dirty-overcoat brigade

This is Carmen, currently at Opera Australia. The role is sung by the French mezzo Clementine Margaine, reckoned to be one of the most seductive interpreters of the moment. So why kit her out in a full-length overcoat?

What US orch chiefs are paid (and it’s less than you thought)

Drew McManus has produced his indispensable annual account of orchestral salaries, based on IRS returns. The 2013/14 list has more coherence than some past charts in which orchs tried to bury the cash by means of creative accounting and privacy claims. Some hidden benefits may still be excluded. The top pay chart looks like this: […]

Scots will open Parliament to new score

This we like: James Nicolson wins Scottish Orchestra’s national competition for composers aged 12-18 years. Fellow competitor Tom Aitken’s work to be performed at the opening of Scottish Parliament in July. Would never happen at Westminster.  

Six women make the cut for elite conducting course

Dallas Opera is setting the pace for young women conductors. Out of 156 applicants for the next course, six have been selected. They are: ELIZABETH ASKREN (USA) Elizabeth Askren has worked as Assistant Music Director in leading European venues (Théâtre des Champs Elysées, The Concertgebouw, etc.) and has guest conducted orchestras such as the London […]

‘Opera in 21st century America seems a defiant anachronism, a magnificent corpse that, inexplicably, still breathes’

A must-read critique by Andrew Grossman in, inexplicably, a site called Pop Matters. The headline is: Why is Opera so Derided in America? Sample: The very existence of opera in 21st century America seems a defiant anachronism, a magnificent corpse that, inexplicably, still breathes. Whatever cultural capital opera retains in Europe or Russia is nowhere […]

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