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A fiftieth-birthday present to myself: an overlong, often unreadable, but nevertheless continuous first draft of my third book, Wagnerism: Art in the Shadow of Music. Minnie and Bea are quietly ecstatic.

BBC renews conductor with five jobs

Thomas Dausgaard was given three more years today as chief conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, keeping him there to the middle of 2022. Dausgard is, in addition, Chief Conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Music Director (from next year) and Principal Guest Conductor of the Seattle Symphony, Honorary Conductor of the Orchestra della Toscana (ORT), […]

I’m playing in Daniel Barenboim’s kindergarten

Our string quartet diarist Anthea Kreston covers Berlin wall to Wall: As with all of our intense rehearsal periods, our final rehearsals are bursting with last-minute requests. Thoughts which have come to one or another of us while asleep, during our busy days, in snippets of remembered lessons with our teachers during our formative years, […]

Eclipse Quartet in Pasadena

On Saturday, December 16, 2017 People Inside Electronics presented Electric Eclipse, a concert featuring the Eclipse Quartet and a world premiere by Zeena Parkins. Also presented was music by Mari Kimura, Tom Flaherty, Ian Dicke and Missy Mazzoli. There was a special appearance by shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki, who presented an original work with the […]

Death of an eminent French organist, 61

The family of Pierre Pincemaille have announced his death today. Pincemaille was organist at St Denis and a professor at the Conservatoire national de Paris. A formidable improviser, he recorded the complete works of Duruflé and Franck and the 10 symphonies of Widor.

What now for the Royal Philharmonic?

The struggling London orchestra was the last in the world this week to cut its ties with Charles Dutoit after the Swiss conductor was accused of multiple acts of sexual misconduct, which he denies. The reason the RPO was behind the beat was because it desperately needs a flagship conductor with international name recognition, and […]

Mariss Jansons, 75

The gentlest, least political of conductors will reach an age he never expected to see this weekend. Mariss’s father, Arvid, died at 70 of a heart attack while conducting in Britain. Mariss suffered a near-death experience of the same disease in Oslo in 1996, when he was 53. Since then, he has gone on to […]

Meet ze British German Philharmonic Orchestra

No, it’s not a post-Brexit lifeboat for desperate RPO players. It’s just a very jolly orchestra that plays in Bad Homburg. Brainchild of conductor Marius Beckmann, das BGPO describes itself as ‘ein selbständiges Ensemble nach englischem Vorbild!’ Be that as it Theresa May, the opening concert is quite a charmer. George Dyson! When did we […]

Charles Dutoit denies ‘heinous crime of rape’

The Swiss conductor has issued a statement overnight contesting an Associated Press report in which he was accused by six women of sexual aggression and by one of them of rape. Dutoit, 81, said: ‘I am shaken to the core by this bewildering and baseless charge. To this, I submit my categorical and complete denial.’ […]

Silence and Music

Stanford, Elgar, RVW, Howells, Grainger, James MacMillan, Benjamin Britten, Peter Warlock; Gabrieli Consort, Paul McCreesh; Winged Lion/Signum Classics Reviewed by Robert Hugill on Jan 13 2018 Star rating: 4.0 A beautifully performed...Show More Summary

Principal oboe: Why I had to leave the Chicago Symphony – twice

Alex Klein was a Grammy-winning oboe player when he was diagnosed with focal dystonia, a neurological condition that affects the finger muscles. After struggling on for four years, he resigned from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 2004, crashed out on his parents’ couch and slowly, slowly began to rebuild his life. In 2016, he won […]

Young Czech gets agency bounce

The young Czech conductor Ji?í Rože? has been signed by HarrisonParrott. Rože?, 26, is assistant to Thomas Dausgaard and Donald Runnicles at the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Rowan Pierce and William Carter in Purcell

Rowan Pierce We attended a delightful private recital on Wednesday night (10 January 2018) when Rowan Pierce (soprano) and William Carter (lute) performed a selection of Purcell songs. The recital was for supporters of a new disc of Purcell songs which Rowan Pierce is recording with William Carter and Richard Egarr (harpsichord). Show More Summary

Il Trovatore Cast Change, Met

Received from the Met: Jennifer Rowley will sing the role of Leonora in all performances of the Met’s production of Verdi’s Il Trovatore opening January 22, replacing the originally scheduled Maria Agresta, who is ill. Rowley has previously sung the role of Leonora with Théâtre de Caen, Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg, and Opéra de Lille. Show More Summary

Canada bans Charles Dutoit’s name from radio

Arthur Kapitanis quotes a CBC spokesperson: ‘As you know, the recordings of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra make up an important part of our Canadian classical repertoire on CBC Radio Two. ‘While the allegations made towards Charles Dutoit are serious, we truly believe that removing these recordings entirely from our broadcasts would unjustly diminish the efforts […]

Breaking: Charles Dutoit is accused of rape

The Associated Press has been working with six women who came forward with sexual allegations against the Swiss conductor Charles Dutoit. One of them says he raped her. The musician accusing Dutoit of rape was then 28 and auditioning for an orchestra in early 1988 while he was guest-conducting. She said they were staying at […]

Klaus is on my mind today

We have lived without Klaus Tennstedt for 20 years. And we’ll never see another conductor like him. June 6, 1926 – January 11, 1998  

France’s famous sax maker sells out

The iconic saxophone and clarinet maker, Henri Selmer Paris, has announced it is selling a majority stake to an investment fund, yielding family control after 130 years. This cannot be good, either for the quality of instruments, or for the 500 staff. More here.

La Jolla loses both artistic directors at once

Kristin Lancino has resigned as president and artistic director of the La Jolla Music Society for ‘personal reasons’, effective tomorrow morning. Stuff happens. But no sooner was word out of her departure than it became known that Cho-Liang Lin had also decided some months back to quit as music director of the Society’s SummerFest. So there […]

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