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Met musicians mourn veteran cor

Richard Nass, who played English horn (cor anglais) at the Metropolitan Opera, for forty-eight seasons until his retirement in 1999, has died at the age of 96. Before the Met, he played six seasons for Fritz Reiner in Pittsburgh. Richard is survived by his wife, Met cellist Marian Heller, and three children. Tributes here.

Austrian Airlines broke my contrabass

The latest summer victim of airline maltreatment is the distinguished NY-based French bass player, Joëlle Léandre. Joelle flew Austrian to the avant-garde Nickelsdorf Konfrontation festival last week when this happened. She won’t be flying Austrian again any time soon. Show More Summary

Sad news: Chicago maestro dies

Founder of the Chicago Sinfonietta and a widely known guest conductor, Paul Freeman has died at 79. Born in Richmond, Va., Paul conducted more than 100 orchestras in over 30 countries and made around 90 recordings, many of them in London and Prague. He retired four years ago in declining health. His papers are held […]

Kirill Petrenko: ‘I am very shy at the beginning’

The Berlin Phil have posted a subtitled interview clip from 2012 with their incoming chief conductor. Asked how he gets his particular sound in each piece with an orchestra, he tells clarinettist Alexander Bader: ‘I work on it a lot at home. When I study a score I learn it page by page and I sing […]

How to get your instrument past the ivory police

The ivory ban imposed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and followed by some other nations has left many musicians in a state of high anxiety about getting their instruments through airports.   Joey Grimmer, incoming principal bassoon of Kennedy Center and Washington National Opera orchestra, has compiled an indispensable guide to instruments and ivory. […]

International pianist vanishes from university roster

  Alexander Toradze, the Georgian pianist and Valery Gergiev pal, has been a professor at Indiana University South Bend since 1991. They haven’t seen him since last August and have no idea when he’s likely to return. ‘It’s a personnel issue and we can’t comment on it,’ says the college. More here.

Pianist has instruments seized in noise row

John Hudspith, a retired hotel manager in Coventry, got into a row with his neighbours. After a lot of slamming doors, he bought an amplifier and started playing classical pieces very loud. Last week, enforcement officers seized his keyboard, organ and amplifier after his third alleged breach of a noise abatement order. Full, sad story here.

UK conductor quits US orch

Alastair Willis is leaving the Illinois Symphony Orchestra midways through his contract in order ‘to balance the demands of his international performance schedule’. Alastair, US born, was raised in Surrey and went to university in Bristol and Kingston. He’s associate conductor of the Seattle Symphony.  

Want to own Maria Callas’s car?

It’s on sale next Monday in Monte Carlo. Details here.

Liszt’s last piano goes on show

Or so they say. The 1862 Erard was in Liszt’s apartment in the Vatican at the time of his death in 1886. It lay untouched for more than a century until its rediscovery in the 1990s by the Italian pianist, Carlo Maria Dominici. Newly restored, it is going on public display this week for the first […]

Death of a principled clarinettist

Jessica Duchen reports the death of her neighbour, John McCaw, at the age of 96. Jack, a New Zealander, was principal clarinet of the New Philharmonia and the London Philharmonic in the glory days. He was old-school London muso, hard-working, unassuming, dazzling on his night. He played the first Nielsen concerto I ever heard.   […]

Bayreuth gets an American Isolde

We’re excited to report that, at the dress rehearsal of Katharina Wagner’s new production of Tristan und Isolde, the part of Isolde was sung by Linda Watson, deputising for an unwell Evelyn Herlitzius. Linda had flown in just a day earlier from California. Evelyn is expected to reclaim the role on opening night, but insiders tell […]

Mahler portrait is stolen

We reported yesterday that a portrait of Gustav Mahler, inscribed by him to Arnold Schoenberg, had been put up for sale on ebay. The ownership looked a bit suspicious. It now appears to be decidedly questionable. We have received the following message from Larry Schoenberg, the composer’s son: ‘It is clear to me that the […]

Young artists L'enfant et les sortileges in the North East

Samling is an organisation dedicated to supporting and nurturing young singers. In 2012 Samling Academy was established to benefit young musicians aged 14-21, with an intensive coaching programme in voice, acting, languages and through performance. Show More Summary

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Will Todd Alice's Adventures in Wonderland; Fflur Wyn, Magid El-Bushra, James Cleverton, Robert Burt, Victoria Simmonds, Keel Watson, John Lofthouse, Opera Holland Park, cond: Matthew Waldren; Signum Records Reviewed by Robert Hugill...Show More Summary

Supporting the launch of Mc|Master records

Christina McMaster I recently interviewed pianist and curator Christina McMaster, and one of the projects which she talked about was her debut disc Pinks and Blues which features a mix of classical, contemporary, jazz and blues including music by contemporary composers Freya Waley-Cohen and Richard Bullen. Show More Summary

Farewell to a wonderful clarinettist

The clarinettist John McCaw, always known personally as Jack, has died at the age of 96. He lived opposite us.We had no idea, when we moved to our house back in the last century, that he was there. Virtually every clarinettist I've come across since then had at some point been to our street for lessons with him. Show More Summary

I Am Just a Bit Ahead of John Marcher.

He hit a thousand posts this week, a major milestone.Here's the post count for this blog:

The Price of a Concert Hall

Found in the NY Times obituary for Vera Stern, arts administrator, widow of Isaac Stern, and one of those who saved Carnegie Hall back in 1960:When Carnegie Hall was threatened with demolition, to make way for an office tower, Mr. Stern...Show More Summary

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