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Roger Sessions, Guest Blogger

I picked up a copy of Roger Sessions's The Musical Experience of Composer, Performer, Listener at a library sale last month. It is a collection of six lectures that Mr. Sessions gave at the Juilliard School of Music in 1949. I thought that, being a small book, it would be something I could read on an airplane. Show More Summary

Great Britten

Delighted to hand the floor today to our young correspondent Jack Pepper today for a look at why we need a new Britten in Britain for the 21st century, and what conditions might be necessary for one to emerge. And no, it's not just the mainstream media. Show More Summary

WMOHAW Syndrome

That would be: War Memorial Opera House Acoustical Weirdness Syndrome. Everybody seems to suffer from it from time to time.For example, here's a bit from my account of the Elektra prima, back in September of this year: Okay, so my reservations are largely nonmusical. Show More Summary

Friday Photo

Yuppie beverages as far as the eye can see at Woodland Market near my office. San Francisco, September, 2017 Kombucha in bottles to nitro cold brew in cans, via ginger-tumeric almond milk. Nicely bottled, all very expensive. Compare with 79 cents for a half-pint of old-fashioned chocolate milk.

Voyages: Mary Bevan in Duparc, Faure, Schubert, Debussy & more

Voyages - Duparc, Faure, Chabrier, Schubert, Deodat de Severac, Pierre de Breville, Debussy, and Maurice Rollinat; Mary Bevan, Joseph Middleton; Signum Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Nov 7 2017 Star rating: 4.5 A voyage to exotic...Show More Summary

Breaking: Mirga makes a double record debut

All year, record labels have been trying to sign a deal with Birmingham’s explosive music director Mirga Gražinyt?-Tyla – and this is not it. The conductor has decided to make her first record together with the young cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, showcasing his extraordinary promise. As for the labels, they can wait a bit longer before she […]

Musikverein is empty after star cancels

Vienna’s large Musikvereinsaal will be dark on Saturday night after the mezzo-soprano Elina Garanca pulled out late from a long-planned Lieder recital. No refunds. The recital has been rescheduled for April.  

Met singer: I would stand there in my street clothes

From Slipped Disc reader comments on Peter Gelb’s demolition of the wigs and makeup department: … The old Zeffirelli production of La Traviata is in a dumpster somewhere, and the new one is a sea of cheap polyester black suits from the men’s warehouse (for the women too!). The ballet doesn’t exist anymore. The new […]

Peter Frankl steps down at 82

The London-based Hungarian pianist is giving up his teaching post at Yale after 30 years. It’s proving to be a fond farewell: “I was 52 years old,” he explained. “I had the impression that the young generation of pianists were more interested in reaching technical perfection than in involving themselves in the emotional and spiritual […]

Little-known British composer is £60,000 richer

If the name Laurence Crane does not spring instantly to mind, do not feel too bad about it. Crane, 56, has been composing minimalist music for much of his life without ever making it onto the nightly news. Tonight, he received a Paul Hamlyn Foundation award worth £60,000.   Recent and forthcoming work includes: In […]

Choir college sale shadows Trump’s China visit

Reports that Westminster College Choir is to be sold to a Chinese company have cast a shadow over the bilateral summit in Beijing, according to this detailed article in the South China Morning Post. Westminster is America’s foremost choir school. Rider University wants to get shot of it.

David Bowie’s cellist has died, at 71

The death is reported of Paul Buckmaster, who made the orchestral arrangements for Bowie’s Space Oddity and played on several of his albums. Trained at the Royal Academy of Music, he also worked with the Rolling Stones and conducted for Elton John.

Death of a trailblazing American tenor, 96

Long before American singers were staples of the European circuit, Louis Roney was singing major roles at Italian and German opera houses. He prided himself on being the first Yank to sing at the Maggio Musicale in Florence. Before that, he served five years as a gunnery officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. […]

Basques call orchestra strike

The Orquesta de Euskadi (Basque National Orchestra) has called a strike for November 18. The players are aggrieved at numerous unfilled vacancies – and that the bosses are filling them with unpaid conservatory students. The next independence referendum?

Birthday concert for a very special composer tonight

Nicola LeFanu.Photo: Michael Lynch Please come along to The Warehouse, Theed Street SE1, tonight to hear Lontano and Odaline de la Martinez give a special concert devoted to the music of Nicola LeFanu, celebrating her 70th birthday. In a 'Meet the Composer' session I'll be the lucky person interviewing her before the performance (6.30pm). Show More Summary

SILVER BIRCH BBC documentaries just went public

Pop over to the BBC Arts website and experience the story behind Silver Birch, the opera by Roxanna Panufnik and muggins for Garsington Opera!In the chief film, some very, very clever technology has enabled you to experience in 360 degrees what it was like to be in the performance. Show More Summary

Tamsin Waley-Cohen & Ben Gernon premiere Richard Blackford's Niobe in Prague

Niobe Mourning Her Children - Abraham Bloemaert (1566-1651) Violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen will be giving the premiere of Richard Blackford's violin concerto Niobe with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Ben Gernon at the Rudolfinum in Prague on Saturday 11 November 2017. Show More Summary

Top US music college is caught up in sex abuse scandal

A Boston Globe investigation finds that three professors at Berklee College of Music have been allowed to leave quietly after being accused by several students of sexual aggression.   One of them went on to teach at the New England Conservatory, unhampered by the allegations. Berklee is regularly ranked among the top ten US conservatories […]

Peter Gelb clears out wigs and makeup

The head of wigs and makeup at the Metropolitan Opera, Tom Watson, has gone in Peter Gelb’s latest cull, along with most members of his department, some of whom quit in disgust at the way Tom was treated. There are rumours of more staff cuts ahead. The season opened with exceptionally poor sales for Tales […]

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