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Sir Peter Hall: ‘I can read a score, up to Verdi’

The great director, whose death was announced today, talks about his work in opera: ‘I spent three and a half years learning the Ring… Wonderful to be in that place (Bayreuth) but it was a bit like going through a war.’ Watch here.

Four Berlin festivals get lots more money

The International Literature Festival will get an extra quarter of a million Euros in public subsidy. The August dance festival gets a 150,000 boost, Young Euro Classic is up by 85,000 Euro) and the poetry festival receives an extra 50,000 Euros. It’s part of a strategy by culture minister Monika Grütters and Berlin’s Kultursenator Klaus Lederer […]

English festival seeks new boss

Meurig Bowen has stepped down from the Cheltenham Music Festival after ten years to work for the BBC in Cardiff as artistic planning manager at the National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales. He will also help out with planning at St George’s, Bristol. press photo  © mcphersonstevens.com   UPDATE: Message from Meurig: So my news today is […]

Sony grabs rights to Maria Callas doc

This will not please Warner, which owns the diva’s audio recordings. Press release: NEW YORK (September 12, 2017)?– Sony Pictures Classics announced today that they have acquired all rights in North America, Australia and New Zealand to the Maria Callas documentary MARIA BY CALLAS: IN HER OWN WORDS.  From first time director Tom Volf, MARIA BY CALLAS: IN […]

A golden age opera conductor has died, aged 94

We have been informed of the death of Siegfried Köhler, music director at Cologne (1957) Saarbrücken (1964), Wiesbaden (1973) and the Royal Swedish Opera in Stockholm (1989). He revived defunct operas by Siegfried Wagner and premiered new ones by Volker David Kirchner, among others. A modest man of conservative tastes, he had a high reputation among […]

Reports: New York Times loses its culture editor

We’re hearing that Danielle Mattoon, appointed to the senior position with great fanfare in March 2013, left the newspaper very quietly two weeks ago. Ask not for reasons why. The Times is notoriously non-transparent when it comes to its internal affairs. Under Mattoon, the Arts and Leisure sector grew buzzier, less PR-driven, less old boys […]

A top Russian conductor, imitating Putin, strips off

Recognise him? This is Vladmir Spivakov, filmed on his 70th birthday three years ago by fellow-Putin insider, Denis Matsuev. If the video does not automatically show, please click here. Matsuev, sober, reposted it today.

God bless, Peter Hall

The death has been announced of the great theatre and opera director, Sir Peter Hall. Peter was 86 and had been suffering for several years from dementia. He was Britain’s greatest theatre engine of the 20th century. He founded the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960, took over the faltering National Theatre in 1973 and turned […]

Oh, for fff’s sake: ‘An opera made of orgasms’

This is a promo by Stockholm’s Folkoperan (Volksoper) for its upcoming production of Turandot. The company is trying to rebrand itself as the Stockholm Fkoperan. Seen first on Forumopera.  

Putin grants state honour to Dmitri Hvorostovsky

The Russian president has awarded the great baritone the Order of Merit for the Fatherland of the IV degree. The honour is part of a batch of awards to senior Russian artists. Hvorostovsky, who is suffering from a brain tumour, is remarkable in that he has stood aloof from Russian politics and resisted the embrace of the […]

The Art of Dancing

Toby Young, Geoffrey Gordon, Deborah Pritchard, Nimrod Borenstein; Simon Desbruslais, Clare Hammond, English String Orchestra, Kenneth Woods; Signum Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Sep 9 2017 Star rating: 4.0 An imaginative group...Show More Summary

Artists coming together to support the Refugee Council

A group of artists are presenting a concert at the Royal Festival Hall on Monday 15 January 2018 to raise money for the Refugee Council. Edward Gardner conducts violinist Hilary Hahn, soprano Sophie Bevan, mezzo-soprano Alice Coote,Show More Summary

Julien Van Mellaerts wins 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition

Julien Van Mellaerts and Gamal Khamis during final of Wigmore Hall Song Competition (Photo Benjamin Ealovega) The 2017 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition concluded on Thursday 7 September 2017 with the top prize...Show More Summary

An ‘Aida’ that aspires to give street cred to grandiosity

The street artist Retna can’t tone down the earnestness of singing in WNO’s production.

Belgian conductor gets French orchestra

David Reiland, presently with the Luxembourg Chamber Orchestra, has been named music director of the Orchestre national de Lorraine from next season. Reiland, 37, succeeds Jacques Mercier who has held the post since 2002.  

Mirga’s orchestra receives huge anonymous gift

press release: The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) is delighted to announce it has received a legacy of £800,000 from a generous donor – one of the largest legacy gifts in the organisation’s 97-year history. The legacy was left by a frequent CBSO concert-goer and supporting member who lived in Lichfield.  It will support the CBSO’s […]

Chicago snatches Houston Symphony’s fundraiser

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has hired David Chambers as Vice President for Development, starting next month. Chambers, Chief Development Officer of the Houston Symphony Orchestra for the past six years, has increased donations there by 50 percent and donors by 70%.

Death of a leading St Petersburg piano professor

The funeral took place today of Nina Seregina, one of the most sought-after piano teachers in Russia. She had many students from western Europe and the US. One of them tells us: ‘She lived for music and her students, many of whom are concert pianists.  Very few give of themselves to our art and to […]

Britain bans Syrian refugee from chamber music festival

Message from the Oxford Chamber Music Festival: Ibrahim Keivo, a highly regarded Syrian musician, has been refused a 5 day visa to perform at the international Oxford Chamber Music Festival. Priya Mitchell, the Artistic Director, knows Ibrahim well and cannot comprehend what possible threat he might pose to security by coming to play in Oxford […]

Breaking: Tear-gas attack at Frankfurt airport

Six people are reported injured. The attack took place around the Terminal 1 check-in counters at 11 am this morning (Monday). First reports say many passengers are suffering breathing problems. More follows.

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