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Exclusive: Russian musicians were ‘rowdy and drunk’ on BA flight

We have received an eye-witness account from a musician who was on the British Airways flight to Sao Paolo from which members of the Svetlanov Orchestra (artistic director Vladimir Jurowsky) were removed at Heathrow Airport. The orchestra itself has blamed BA for harsh measures. British Airways has declined to comment. Here is unedited testimony from […]

The soloist who designs all her own frocks

Arabella Steinbacher tells Bild she can’t bear standard concert wear. Too many sequins. Too tight in the wrong places. So for the past nine years Arabella, 33, has designed her own. She takes the sketches to a hometown dressmaker in Munich to be made up.

He left his heart in San Francisco. Now he has died, at 91

Ralph Sharon, the London-born jazz pianist who gave Tony Bennett his greatest hit, has died full of years in Boulder, Colorado. In 1961, Sharon found ‘I Left my Heart…’ in a pile of old music an brought it to his new partner. Bennett wrote of him: ‘Hooking up with Ralph was one of the best […]

Do musicologists love music?

Ian Pace, a paid-up member of the tenured tribe, has a confession to make:   I have encountered too many academics – not a majority, but still too many – who have very little interest in listening to music, at least in a manner which requires any sustained attention. Some even have a sneering and […]

Günter Grass is dead

The novelist who restored living German literature to post-War credibility and a Nobel prize has died at 87. The anti-hero of his breathrough novel, The Tin Drum, is a musician. Grass himself briefly earned his living in a jazz band. His political allegory ‘The Scarecrows’ was staged as a ballet at the Deutsche Oper, with […]

Church organist is jailed for ‘cruel and shocking’ child abuse

A deputy headmaster and church organist in North Devon has been jailed for 21 years for subjecting boys in his care to physical and sexual abuse. John Downing, now 74, was deputy head of Heanton School, near Braunton, North Devon, from 1968 to its closure in 1985. He was organist at Torrington church for 50 years. Seven […]

Two Vienna Golden Agers toast the new generation

Christa Ludwig was beside her old singing partner Hilde Zadek when results were announced in Vienna for the 9th International Hilde Zadek Competition for Voice. Winners: 1st Prize:  €10.000 Awarded by the Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung...Show More Summary

Howard Blake at Milton Court

Benedict Kloecknerphoto Marco Borgreve On Friday 17 April 2015, the Guildhall School's Milton Court concert hall will see the London premieres of no less than four of Howard Blake's works. The German cellist Benedict Kloeckner is joined...Show More Summary

Philharmonie de Paris

Surround Sound. The New Yorker, April 20, 2015.

Now That I Have THAT Off My Chest

I got a ticket to this afternoon's recital for two reasons: I'd been impressed with Bostridge in last fall's production of Curlew River, and the program looked really good.I'll stand by the program, which was beautifully chosen: three...Show More Summary

A Friend Earns an "I Told You So"

Email sent at the intermission of today's Ian Bostridge recital: Beautiful music, great pianist, and you were so right about Bostridge. He is a joke.

A Toronto hall has booked Valentina Lisitsa for 2016

Koerner Hall, the finest acoustic venue in Toronto, has a concert booked with Valentina Lisitsa in April 2016. Its executive director, Mervon Mehta, is not the kind of guy to buckle to lobby-group pressure. Lisitsa says she intends to continue tweeting about the Ukraine situation, supporting the Putin position. The issues of freedom of performance […]

Recording sessions as seen by a fly on the wall

A young London musician, Stewart French, felt that the music public does not connect sufficiently with the act of recording. So he sent in the cameras. In his own words: I have decided to fund a new video project to support an industry that I truly love: music. As you may know, in recording sessions […]

Robert Freeman's The Crisis of Classical Music in America: a minority opinion

I'm surprised to find almost nothing but praise on the Internet for Robert Freeman's 2014 The Crisis of Classical Music in America Robert Freeman was educated at the Milton Academy, Harvard, and Princeton, taught at Princeton and MIT, and served as an administrator at Princeton, Eastman, New England Conservatory, and the University of Texas. Show More Summary

An international US tenor appeals for funds to continue his career

Chris Merritt was singing major roles at the Met, Covent Garden, La Scala and Vienna in the 1990s. Then he hit mid-career and things went wrong. Here’s his story. It could be any of us. Dear Ones, near and far…..I am turning to this entrepreneurial undertaking as a way to finance my career back into […]

How to fill Carnegie Hall? Shun the NY Times

The pianist and playwright Israela Margalit shares a telling incident in the life of her friend, the Hungarian legend Annie Fischer. Annie Fisher took me under her wings when I was a young pianist. As I remember, Annie had her Carnegie Hall Recital debut quite late in her life. It was on a Sunday, at […]

Between Worlds: the premiere

I reviewed ENO's world premiere last night of Between Worlds, Tansy Davies's new opera with librettist Nick Drake on the awe-inspiring topic of 9/11. The piece? Quite a lot of problems where different aspects were at odds with each other, but some of us wept anyway. The performance? Superb. My review is in The Arts Desk, here (£).

Was the Chopin jury not right to eliminate Pogorelich?

An essay for Slipped Disc by the Tchaikovsky Competition silver-medallist, Peter Donohoe, in response to recent negative reviews of the Chopin Competition contestant, Ivo Pogorelich, who was eliminated in the third round.   In 1980 the marketing industry, the critics, the media and thousands of young pianists created an artistically suicidal situation for an obviously […]

Brum’s beloved Bone will be laid to rest on Wednesday

The family of Danny Longstaff, ex-second trombone of the CBSO who died last week at 63, have asked us to post details of his funeral for all who knew and loved this heartbeat of music in the Midlands. The funeral will be held at St Paul’s Church, St Pauls Square, Birmingham at 2pm on Wednesday 15 […]

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