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NOVEMBER 1999

  • DIVA DEPARTURE: Marilyn Horne announced from a Chicago stage Sunday that that was her final concert after a 45-year career. Chicago Tribune 11/30/99
  • NOT ABOUT MONEY: New York City Ballet orchestra strike isn't about pay or benefits. It's about work schedules and rehearsals and making the orchestra better. New York Times 11/30/99 (one time registration required) 
  • THE FUTURE OF CLASSICAL MUSIC: 28-year-old Brit Thomas Ades has won one of the composition world's biggest prizes, the Grawemeyer. Washington Post 11/30/99
  • CRITIC FIRED: Baltimore Sun music critic has been fired for plagiarism. (AP) Baltimore Sun 11/26/99
  • WILL PLAY FOR FOOD: The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia's tour of the UK wasn't going well and the budget was busted. Musicians quarreled with the conductor, then took matters into their own hands - they hit the street to play for money. Compassionate Swansea shoppers helped save them. BBC 11/28/99
  • THE GHOST OF THE OLD OPERA HOUSE: As Royal Opera moves into its new home, Covent Garden is discovering the headache side of  what it's like to be an opera house again. Financial Times 11/26/99
  • CATCHING UP WITH KISSIN: Yevgeny Kissin is at the top of the piano world. In person he looks even more frail than he does on stage. "At this point, I have to perform only in places that are important from the career point of view," he says. Toronto Globe and Mail 11/26/99
  • HALLELUJAH: Frank McNamara has rewritten Handel's "Messiah." New version stars Gladys Knight (without the Pips), Chaka Khan and Roger Daltry. "I just thought it would be great to do a pop version," says McNamara. "There are great tunes in it. At the end of the day, music is entertainment. I don't think it should be challenging." Irish Times 11/25/99
  • Atlanta Symphony signs new contract with its musicians after three years of acrimonious negotiations. Atlanta Journal-Constitution 11/24/99
  • REOPENING OF COVENT GARDEN begins with a closure. Ligeti opera canceled. BBC 11/24/99
  • BRITAIN LOST AN ORCHESTRA LAST WEEK: Bournemouth Sinfonietta goes out of business due to money problems. Did anyone notice? London Telegraph 11/24/99
  • MAJOR INDEPENDENT LABEL says it will offer free MP3 downloads of its entire music catalogue online. Wired 11/23/99
  • THE "IDEAL PERFORMANCE IN YOUR HEAD:" Mahler performance with Boston orchestra is good, but... a review. Boston Globe 11/24/99
    • Previously: WALTER MITTY NEVER HAD IT GO GOOD: Millionaire businessman Gilbert Kaplan has a thing for Mahler's Second Symphony - though not a conductor, he decided he must conduct it, hired an orchestra and performed it, performed it again with major orchestras around the world, made a recording with the London Symphony Orchestra, created a foundation for Mahler scholarship and performance, and amassed a collection of every Mahler photograph, which he published in his book, ''The Mahler Album.'' Boston Globe 11/19/99
  • LA PHILHARMONIC CUTS STAFF: Orchestra, facing budget deficit and dwindling audiences, has cut employees to save money. Orange County Register 11/23/99
  • FOR SALE - THE ACADEMY OF MUSIC? Venerable Philadelphia concert hall may be on the block as Philadelphia Orchestra struggles to raise remaining $25 million for its new home. Philadelphia Inquirer 11/21/99
         AND: Philadelphia Orchestra's new home now under construction - a wildly ambitious plan with technical bells and whistles that rival any performance space in the country. And: What about the acoustics? Philadelphia Inquirer 11/21/99
  • EIGHT AMERICAN ORCHESTRAS ARE LOOKING for music directors. Never a better time to be a maestro. Chicago Tribune 11/21/99
  • NEW BATON: Compared to choosing a new music director for a major orchestra, electing a pope is a public process. For the first time in 25 years, the Boston Symphony looks for a new leader. Boston Globe 11/19/99
  • JAZZ IN NEW YORK: Still alive and healthy but, says pianist Renee Rosnes, there are fewer jazz sessions and lot less camaraderie between musicians. Irish Times 11/19/99
  • A "LA BOHEME"-LED RECOVERY: More than $4.5 million in debt two years ago, Opera Australia embarked on a "populist" season. It seems to have paid off. Sydney Morning Herald 11/18/99
  • RADIO CITY MUSICIANS VOTE TO STRIKE CBC 11/18/99
         AND: Backstage story 11/18/99
  • "NO MISMANAGEMENT HERE": Scottish Opera bosses, called up by the Scottish Parliament to defend themselves after being bailed out of looming bankruptcy last week, say lavish production hurt but was not extravagant. BBC 11/18/99
  • PERLMAN ON THE PODIUM: First half of concert conductor Itzhak Perlman had the Detroit Symphony sounding "like a mediocre college orchestra.'' But the second produced "one of the finest performances of Dvorak" this Detroit critic ever heard. Detroit News 11/15/99
  • MADE IN AMERICA: Critic takes a listen to New York Philharmonic's new multi-disc salute to American music and, harkening back to debate from earlier this century, wonders if American music is worth it. There's a "paucity of great music," he finds.  National Review 11/99
        
    AND: Washington Post's Jonathan Yardley responds to critic's "misunderstanding of American music." Washington Post 11/15/99
         AND: New York Times review of series
  • OPERA IN THE PARK: Reviews are in on the Wendy Wasserstein/A. R. Gurney/Terrence McNally opera collaboration. An "exceedingly modest entertainment." New York Times 11/15/99 (one-time registration required)
  • GOODBYE TO MODERNISM, HELLO TO WHO-KNOWS-WHATISM: As the millennium closes where have the paths we have gone down in art led us? The Boston Globe looks at the century of arts. 
         AND: A century tells the story of jazz
         AND: An unpredictable century for classical music
         AND: A roller-coaster century of technology and popular music
                                                                 
    Boston Globe 11/14/99
  • BOCELLI AFTER THE BOMB: Uniformly negative reviews of his North American opera debut won't dissuade Andrea Bocelli from pursuing his dreams of a career in opera. Chicago Tribune 11/14/99
  • UCHIDA AND GOODE TO DIRECT MARLBORO: Pianists Mitsuko Uchida and Richard Goode have been named artistic directors of the Marlboro Music Festival. 
    Chicago Tribune 11/14/99
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  • BEST COMPOSER OF THE CENTURY? A few years ago it would have been unthinkable to even consider Benjamin Britten for such a list. Now people are talking... Toronto Globe and Mail 11/12/99

  • HELP WANTED: Daniel Hayes plays piano at the local supermarket near his Maryland home. When he decided to perform on a grander scale he took out a classified ad: "Senior Citizen ready to perform the Rubinstein D-minor piano concerto . . . but needs an orchestra. Can you help?" 
    Philadelphia Inquirer 11/11/99

  •  "A HORRIBLE EVENING": From the cases of Budweiser stacked on stage to a flying motorcycle, burned-out van and "loser" cast, critic can't find a nice word for the "vandals" who defaced Handel in a London Guildhall production. 
    London Times 11/11/99

  • "VIEW" FROM THE STAGE: By almost any measure, the Chicago Lyric Opera's world premiere of William Bolcom's new opera "A View from the Bridge" was a huge success. The question: is it a big enough hit to find a place in the repertoire? New York Times 11/11/99 (Registration required for access)

  • JIMMY & DOUG'S FARM CLUB: New Seagram website encourages musicians worldwide to upload their music to site for critique by label execs and fans. Variety 11/10/99

  • CENTRAL PARK OPERA: Playwrights Wendy Wasserstein, A.R. Gurney and Terrence McNally take on a different kind of theater with a trio of one-act operas themed around Central Park. MSNBC (Newhouse) 11/9/99

  • HAVE GIANT STADIUM/BIG SPORTS EVENT- WILL TRAVEL: Pavarotti, in Australia to sing in new Superdome, angles for invite to play Sydney Olympics. The Australian 11/8/99

  • THE SCOTTISH OPERA is deeply in debt. So why has it just decided to stage Wagner's "Ring," the most lavish project it could think of? The government is investigating. 
    BBC 11/8/99

  • TORONTO SYMPHONY STRIKE drags on. Negotiations "aren't going very well." CBC 11/8/99

  • MOST IMPORTANT CLASSICAL MUSIC OF THE CENTURY: This critic nominates the century's best in chronological order (with explanations). 
    Orange County Register 11/7/99

  • AT HOME IN BERKLEY: Last month Kent Nagano turned down a date leading the Berlin Philharmonic so he could conduct his Berkley Symphony. He's much in demand these days - how long can he (will he) stay home? 
    San Francisco Chronicle 11/7/99  

  • OPERADIO.COM: The future of opera on the internet (but for now it's frustrating). Dallas Morning News 11/7/99

  • TV OPERA THAT ROCKS: Michael Rouse's piece fuses opera, rock and television, making for some "spectacular fluidity" 
    Los Angeles Times 11/4/99

  • RECORD PRICE FOR A VIOLIN: Reports that Yehudi Menuhin's Guarneri sold at a Zurich auction this week for $3 million. CBC 11/3/99 

  • A "COCKTAIL LOUNGE PARODY OF HERSELF": After a limp Halloween performance, critic wonders if Diamanda Galas - "among the most searingly direct and original artists of our day" - has lost it. San Francisco Chronicle 11/3/99

  • POINT OF NO RETURN: Opera houses were the last bastion of unamplified sound. No longer. In recent years more theaters have turned to amplification - subtly yes, but some critics hear a difference. New York Times 11/3/99 (registration required for access)

  • INTRIGUE AT COVENT GARDEN: Who's to blame for the mess at the Royal Opera House? Memoirs from two former directors point the fingers of blame. London Telegraph 11/3/99

  • WHEN POP ISN'T SO POPULAR: Britain's National Center for Popular Music, a $28 million museum that opened in March is deep in debt and attracting few of the masses of visitors it hoped for. BBC 11/2/99
         UPDATE: Pop Museum rescued with bailout. BBC 11/3/99

  • FULL HOUSE/MONEY IN THE BANK: Milwaukee Symphony playing a happy tune.
    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11/2/99

 


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