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The night the Met moved

Unseen footage from the British Pathé archives. Name those singers. Were you there? … [Read more...]

Violinist alert: unseen 1949 Prague film of Alan Loveday, Igor Bezrodny and Viktor Pikaisen


Gripping stuff from the British Pathé archives. Scroll to 0:30 for the  music to begin: And here's an extraordinary participant's account of the contest by the late Hugh Bean. Sample: We, from England, felt considerable misgivings to find the hall at the beginning of a morning session enveloped in a thick cloud of smoke, with no windows, inadequate ventilation and artificially lit. The intense humidity made it uncomfortable even to sit in the hall, so we dared not think of its effect on … [Read more...]

Unique film of Philadelphia’s 1958 Soviet tour


From the British Pathé archives, a rare glimpse of the 1958 diplomatic icebreak by Eugene Ormandy and his orchestra. Anyone remember seeing this concert live? … [Read more...]

Which opera house presents this barrier?

estonian opera house

It's the only opera in the world where you wait for the baton to rise, not fall. Click here to discover where. … [Read more...]

The master died as we played Schumann in his honour

marquez lebrecht

Francisco Vila gave a concert in Colombia this week, as the great writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez breathed his last. Here is his account for Slipped Disc:    The drive to Popayán is long from Cali during Easter celebrations. People from all over the country make their pilgrimage to Popayán during this week for its famous religious processions, white buildings and the long-running Festival de Música Religiosa de Popayán. The streets that lead one block to the nextspread like a grid and … [Read more...]

BBC music chief dies

ian mcintyre

Ian McIntyre was controller of BBC Radio 4 from 1976 to 1978 and of Radio 3 for the next decade. A brilliant, lofty, sometimes prickly man, Ian presided in a period of cost cutting and wounded vanities. An outsider in musical cloisters, he was obliged to make tough decisions about the future of several orchestras, leaving a clear desk and an easier ride for his successor, John Drummond. After retirement from the BBC on 1987, Ian became associate editor of the Times newspaper. Ian died last … [Read more...]

How to get into the Met orchestra

met orch

Auditioning is, for many musicians, like a long-delayed visit to the dentist. Even if you emerge relieved and rewarded, the pain lingers and the fear persists. William Short, principal bassoonist at the Metropolitan Opera, is all too aware of these traumas. He has written a remarkably positive and helpful guide for musicians who think they are good enough to get into that elite band, pointing out that the rules are less sadistic than elsewhere - no candidate is ever cut off mid-round; perhaps … [Read more...]

Pavarotti’s US conductor has died


Brian Priestman, music director of the Denver Symphony through the 1970s and conductor of Luciano Pavarotti's first US tour, has died aged 87. Born in Birmingham, he worked with several UK and Commonwealth orchs before raising Denver to national excellence.     … [Read more...]

He’s singing Boheme, the orch’s playing Wozzeck

An inexplicable transposition error. Wonder what the audience thought. … [Read more...]

Rare newsreel: Toscanini takes the lift

toscanini lift

Fresh out of the archives: … [Read more...]

New video: Six quartets play a concerto

sebastian bohren

The Latvian composer Peteris Vasks wrote a terrific concerto for Gidon Kremer in 1997 and another for Richard Tognetti in 2008. It is played here by Sebastian Bohren together with members of six of Europe's finest string quartets - the Alban Berg, Casals, Galatea, Gémeaux, Schumann and Stradivari. Fabulous sound. … [Read more...]

Ukraine’s Got Talent – in a most unusual art

This is Kseniya Simonova, a storyteller in sand. Almost 30  million views. … [Read more...]

UK Government does not regret mishandling Cameron Carpenter

cameron carpenter

You may recall the appalling incident in Birmingham a few weeks ago when the flamboyant US organist was mistakenly refused entry to the UK, kept up all night and deported under guard at dawn. It was a shocking abuse of power by a private security firm that does not train staff properly. Here's our original story. The matter was raised this week in Parliament. Here's the UK Government's response:     The Home Office minister Lord Taylor has written to Clancarty telling … [Read more...]

Hey, there’s a hoopster on my opera stage


Our eye was caught by this stunning shot of Chicago Bull player Joakim Noah, taken by Todd Rosenberg on the stage of the Lyric Opera. Everything about the picture is as perfectly balanced as a striker leaping to score. We asked Todd to tell us how this session came about. Here's his account: This is one of those shoots where my two worlds collided perfectly. Four years ago, I sent out a card for the holidays featuring Santa on stage at the Chicago Symphony, which linked to the time-lapse of the … [Read more...]

The Countess of Glyndebourne ‘invites HELLO! into her amazing home’


Danielle De Niese has let Hello! magazine into her living quarters, to the accompaniment of pre-recorded tracks. The soprano is married to Gus Christie, chairman of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. … [Read more...]

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