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Malcolm McLaren – the Mahler connection

Many of the obituaries of Malcolm McLaren, the Sex Pistols manager who has died aged 64, note that his first job was making costumes - with his partner, Vivienne Westwood - for Ken Russell's 1974 bio-doc on the composer, Gustav Mahler. Russell's film was not in the least bit authentic. It was shot in the English Lake District and in an apartment in Notting Hill, several of its characters adopting East End accent to emphasise their Jewish origin. McLaren, raised by his grandmother Rose Corre … [Read more...]

More disturbances at the Wigmore Hall

This morning's coffee concert by the Panocha Quartet was disrupted at the outset by a woman in one of the back rows, who started shouting something incoherent. She was removed by ushers and the recital proceeded without further incident. The Panocha Quartet are Czech. They played Mozart and Dvorak and there was no possible political dimension. Since such occurences are mercifully rare, it may safely be assumed that today's imagine that the eccentric disturber of today's peace was in some … [Read more...]

What are you paying for music lessons?

It has been a while since I last booked a teacher but the rates don't seem to have risen much in recent years. A survey of 1,100 instrumental and singing members of the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) shows rates ranging across Britain from £24 ($35) an hour to £34 ($50). The average rate is £29. Comparisons are always invidious, but it does strike me that music teachers are seriously underpaid. A science tutor can claim at least fifty percent more, and any kind of … [Read more...]

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