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You sang it wrong at the Seder

chad gadya

These are some of the earliest known notations. h/t Joel Cohen. All together now: Chad gad-ya...   Read more here. … [Read more...]

US union leader lashes out at ‘foreign’ film scores

ray hair

The American Federation of Musicians and its well-dressed chief Ray Hair are picketing Lionsgate and other Hollywood production houses for having much of the music to their film and TV series composed and performed abroad. Their protectionist rhetoric sounds faintly archaic in an increasingly joined-up world. Does anyone ask where actors come from, or where US movies make their easiest profits? Don't take our word for it. Watch a menacing video clip of Mr Hair that (we hear) is not going down … [Read more...]

Are Kronos slightly out of time?


The California string quartet changed the face of chamber music 40 years ago in every important aspect - atmosphere, attitude, content and appearance. That, however, was post-Watergate. Have the designer-hair group kept pace with a fast-changing world and its fickle musical tastes, or are they resting a bit on world-tour laurels? Their new release is my album of the week on Sinfinimusic, though not without regrets and reservations. Read on here. … [Read more...]

San Diego board to staff: We haven’t a clue what to do

beczala san diego

 A MESSAGE TO THE EMPLOYEES OF THE SAN DIEGO OPERA FROM BOARD PRESIDENT KAREN COHN April 13, 2014                 I want to give you all an update on where things stand after Friday afternoon’s Board meeting and after continuing discussions that have been held over the weekend.   You are the ones who helped make SDO one of America’s best opera companies, and I know how difficult the past weeks have been for all of you. Every member of the Board of Directors has been struggling … [Read more...]

Selfie of the year: The three divas

stemme, scotto, didonato

l. to. r. t the Opera News awards (as if you didn't know): Nina Stemme, Renata Scotto, Joyce DiDonato … [Read more...]

Gergiev cancels, soloist scores a first

repin putin

Valery Gergiev was a no-show at Vadim Repin's inaugural Trans-Siberian Music festival this weekend. He'd accepted a Carnegie Hall stand-in with the Munich Phil instead. Repin was furious. Not easy to replace a conductor last minute in the middle of Siberia. When his fury ebbed, he decided to conduct and play the first Shostakovich concerto himself, the first time anyone has done that. Full marks to Repin, minus ten to Gergiev. pic: Putin at Sochi, between Mr & Mrs Repin … [Read more...]

‘Master of Disaster’ rushes to the aid of San Diego Opera

san diego opera

Mark Fabiani, the corporate spinner who dug Goldman Sachs out of one hole and Bill Clinton out of others, has 'offered to volunteer to help the opera in any way that makes sense, and I am not being compensated by the opera in any way' - he tells the LA Times. With friends like that... UPDATE: Mr Fabiani tells Slipped Disc: 'Based on everything I’ve seen, the Opera’s leadership is doing everything they can to reach the right result here, and I offered to help in any way that I can, on a … [Read more...]

Simon Rattle: Baden-Baden has a better atmosphere than Salzburg


Still struggling to justify the Berlin Philharmonic's Easter switch from Salzburg to Baden Baden, the outgoing conductor now produces an artistic justification: the buildings in Salzburg are not fit for purpose. 'The structures over there belong to another time,' he says. 'Like London buildings from the 1960s, you can't tamper with them or they blow up. Also in Salzburg the festival is too dependent on the subscription pri nciple... Here we have greater flexibility.' Die Strukturen dort … [Read more...]

Conductor’s nose is broken in Leipzig street attack

anthony bramall

The German-based British conductor Anthony Bramall has been the victim of a late-night street mugging in Leipzig. He was on his way home from the cinema when he heard footsteps behind him and started to run. As he reached a man road, he was shoved to the ground, face first, and had his briefcase stolen. He managed to hold his broken nose in place while passersby called an ambulance. The briefcase was later recovered, and so, with an effort of will, did the victim. Anthony Bramall bravely … [Read more...]

Minnesota shall not go to the ball


The orchestra has cancelled its annual fund-raising dance due to what the chairman describes as 'the current climate'. The Symphony Ball has been a fixture of the Minneapolis calendar since 1956. This orchestra and its society are still far from being healed. … [Read more...]

These string girls play it the hard way


And you thought Hamburg was all about Brahms... … [Read more...]

Music people who ran in 2014 London Marathon

sarah crabtree

Music people who ran in today's London Marathon: 1. Rebecca Allen, general manager Decca Records, in 5:47:02.   2 soprano Laura Wright - in orange (time awaited) 3 Emma Denton, cellist of the Carducci Quartet, ran the London marathon today in 3 hrs 52 mins, dressed as an eyeball.   4 Robert Plane, BBC National Orchestra of Wales 5 Jennifer Christie, 2nd violins, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra ('Thanks SO much for all your incredible generous … [Read more...]

When amateur musicians join a pro orchestra


Fascinating experiment in Columbus, Ohio. More should try it.     … [Read more...]

This archive recording broke all fund-raising records


WFMT-Chicago played a record by a little-known pianist for its public fund-raiser... and found itself breaking all previous records. Read how they did it below. But first, listen. Highlights of the astonishing success WFMT achieved using three CD’s featuring Vera Gornostaeva In May 2013, while covering the Dranoff International 2 Piano Competition in Miami for the WFMT Radio Network, WFMT’s program director, David Polk, met the pianists Vassily Primakov and Natalia Lavrova. They told … [Read more...]

Skimpy soprano to run London Marathon… wearing not very much

laura wright

This is the pic that comes with news of Laura Wright's brave decision to run the London Marathon on Sunday. Laura's a crossover Decca soprano with sporting interests. We think she may be running to raise cash for a new costume. You might like to study the small print in the press release below to see if that's all she's running for.       ‘THE SOUND OF STRENGTH’ EP WILL BE RELEASED ON THE DAY OF THE LONDON MARATHON   LAURA WILL BE RUNNING THE MARATHON IN AID OF … [Read more...]

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