We hear that Cologne is about to announce a new general music director of opera and the Gürzenich orchestra. The new broom is Francois-Xavier Roth, the Frenchman who has been fighting for the past two years to block the merger of his SWR Freiburg orchestra with Stuttgart’s.
Francois will take over in Cologne in September 2015 but (we hear) is sticking with Freiburg for one year beyond that in a bid to ensure its survival. The long campaign – involving such luminaries as Pierre Boulez and Michael Gielen – is starting to pay off and the SWR bosses are showing stress fractures.
Congratulations to Cologne’s progressive management for picking such a combative conductor and to Francois for sticking with the SWR fight.