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Guess where I've been?

Where Big Ritchie is everywhere......and the silliest productions get the most extraordinary musical performances......and the most distinguished father-in-law in history is relegated firmly to second place, although his native land takes trouble to decorate his grave as appropriate... Show More Summary

Inpire and Jane Manning and some Proms

2 weeks agoMusic / Classical : Sequenza21

For sixteen years now the BBC, as one of its many activities connected with the Proms, has run a program which it calls Inspire, comprising of a competition and several workshops for composers between the ages of 12 and 18. On this last Sunday, composer Fraser Trainer, who chaired the committee of judges for the […]

Harrison Birtwistle Chamber Music

Harrison Birtwistle Chamber Music; Lisa Batiashvili, Adrian Brendel, Till Fellner, Amy Freston, Roderick Williams; ECM New Series Reviewed by Hilary Glover on Aug 08 2014 Star rating: 4.0 Selection of Harrison Birtistle's recent chamber...Show More Summary

Perverting the Young, Microtonally

2 weeks agoMusic / Classical : PostClassic

A couple of summers ago I had the odd idea of writing some simple microtonal pieces for kids, and maybe calling them “Nursery Tunes for Demented Children.” I had forgotten about them (odd how often I forget pieces I’ve written) and ran across them today, found I had completed two. I had been wanting to […]

Frans Bruggen (1934-2014)

I remember so vividly one Christmas Eve when I was a very young teenager (I was babysitting) because I turned on the television to find this lively Dutchman playing solo recorder music on WGBH, a station that would later become a PBS station. Show More Summary

Franz Danzi - music for piano and winds, volume 1

Franz Danzi - music for piano and winds; EnsembleF2; Devine Music Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Aug 05 2014 Star rating: 3.5 First volume in a planned survey of Danzi's music for piano and wind Franz Danzi (1763 - 1826) is one of those...Show More Summary

The new Peugeot Pleyel piano

You may have thought that Pleyel, the French piano company, had stopped making pianos. But a new one is in the offing. The Peugeot and Pleyel piano has been designed by the Peugeot Design Lab and aims to re-invent the piano in order to improve musical quality. Show More Summary

Tête a Tête opera festival part 3: Exploring Life and life in the Antarctic

Narrator: Gary Merry, in On the axis of the world by Matt Rogers photo credit: Claire Shovelton As the Tête a Tête opera festival is drawing to a close I managed to get to another two performances. This year the event is hosted by Kings Place and Central St Martin's and continues the tradition of exploration of creativity in opera. Show More Summary

The Met as a Risk Taker?

Anthony Tommasini wrote an article about risk-taking at the Met, and Drew McManus followed up with a good analysis of both that article and the Met's situation. But there are some issues neither of them addresses at all that are relevant to the issue of the Met as an artistic leader and risk-taker. Show More Summary

Sydney Orchestra Update

See my previous posting for an update; the problems are not what I thought they were.

Vespri solenni per la fasta di San Marco

Monteverdi - Vespers for the Feast of Saint Mark; Rinaldo Alessandrini and Concerto Italiano; Naive Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Jul 29 2014 Star rating: 5.0 Imaginative reconstruction using music from Monteverdi's Selva Morale ThisShow More Summary

Singers needed for masterclass with Rosalind Plowright

On 15 October 2014, Rosalind Plowright will be giving a masterclass at Cadogan Hall, Chelsea. The masterclass will be part of the Divas and Scholars Study Day. In the morning I will be lecturing on Puccini, his contemporaries and Verismo,...Show More Summary

Maastricht Undertones: drawing the line between visual art and music

'Everything about you' (2013) by Lyndsey Housden Part of the London Concord Singer's foray into Maastricht (covered here) included a visit to Marres House for Contemporary Culture to see part of 'Undertones' an exhibition examining what music we hear in the world around us. Show More Summary

A Necessity Outlived

3 weeks agoMusic / Classical : PostClassic

This is a rather idle comment, so don’t take it too seriously and get all outraged. I’m sitting here putting in, and fixing, footnotes in my book. I try to put them in as I’m first writing, but sometimes I write one from memory and don’t pause to look it up; or I find it […]

I'm Looking at You, Sydney Symphony.

I heard on Facebook that dates have been announced for Stuart Skelton to take on the summit of tenor roles, Tristan, at Sydney Symphony. I heard this from the tenor himself!So I went to the Sydney Symphony web site, where I found out a couple of things: To see their season brochure PDF, you have to register. Show More Summary

Radio Silence

It might be a while before I put up another music-related post because I am overwhelmed with communications with family and friends a an auto accident my brother Marshall had this past Thursday. He is in critical condition with injuries to his brain. Show More Summary

Hot off the press - Miserere mihi

My recently completed motet, Miserere mihi, sets text from Psalm 85 (Have mercy on me, O Lord) which is the Introit for the 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time which occurs between 28 August - 3 September. The motet is set for six part unaccompanied...Show More Summary

Contrasting pair - two amusing operas at Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival

Alistair Shelton-Smith, Christopher Diffey and Mark Beesleyin Edward Lambert's The Catfish Conundrum photo Claire Shovelton Our visit to Tete a Tete: The Opera Festival at King's Place on Sunday 11 August 2014 started as soon as we entered...Show More Summary

Handel's Rinaldo at Glyndebourne

Karina Gauvin as Armidaphoto Robbie Jack Handel Rinaldo; Karina Gauvin, Iestyn Davies, Christina Landshamer, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenmment, cond. Ottavio Dantone, direct. Robert Carsen; Glyndebourne Festival Opera Reviewed by...Show More Summary

I Mingle with Beyoncé and Kim Kardashian (Whoever They Are)

3 weeks agoMusic / Classical : PostClassic

Well, I don’t know how he did it or who got paid what, but David First somehow got me mentioned in People magazine. It’s in connection with his Star Ballads band that my son Bernard plays in, and someone thought People readers would gain some kind of helpful context from knowing that Bernard is the […]

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