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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...]

Breaking: Serge Dorny resumes control at Lyon


France Musique reported a few minutes ago that Serge Dorny, sacked before he started as opera boss in Dresden, has moved straight back into his old job at Lyon. He told one of the radio station's producers by phone: 'la mairie de Lyon m’a renouvelé sa confiance (the town hall of Lyon has renewed its confidence in me.' The confidence is not universally shared. … [Read more...]

Tremors at till as New York loses its classical agenda maker

steve smith

When Time Out London sacked its classical editor Jonathan Lennie last December, there was an immediate box-office impact, especially for chamber music and esoteric genres. TO had a mainly young, sometimes geeky readership who relied on it for essential guidance. Many have not been seen again in classical halls after the magazine, now free, abolished classical listings altogether. We are assured this will not be the case at Time Out New York. Its classical editor Steve Smith is leaving today, … [Read more...]

Theft alert: A cello is snatched in Rome

nil venditti pappano

Nil Venditti leaned her Scarampella cello against the outside of her car at 9pm on April 4. While she was locking the vehicle, someone made off with the cello. The instrument was in a distinctive blue case, with two images of a Japanese lady. Please spread the word, share widely on social media, alert all dealers. Let's help Nil find that cello. Contact her on Facebook if you hear anything. Nil is principal cello in this orchestra, conducted by Antonio Pappano … [Read more...]

A music chronicler has died

faber pop

Phil Hardy, co-author of The Faber Companion to 20th Century Popular Music (1990) and the three-volume Encyclopedia of Rock (1975), has died suddenly in Norfolk, aged 69. … [Read more...]

Then Tour de France gets an orchestra (no prize for finishing last)

Tour de Force 01_S

We present this press release in unedited wackiness. There's no mention of a conductor. Maybe s/he's out buying a yellow jersey.     Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is delighted to announce that it will be presenting the Tour de Force Bicycle Orchestras as part of the Yorkshire Festival – the first ever arts festival to precede the Tour de France in its 111 year history. Taking place from 18 – 21 June (the festival runs from 27 March – 6 July) hcmf// will run a … [Read more...]

English baritone wins best Russian song award

daniel hawkins

Daniel Hawkins, a native Russian speaker and post-grad Guildhall student, has been awarded the best performance of a Russian romance prize at the 4th competition for Russian singers in Lipetsk. Shocked their socks off, apparently, to hear a Brit blazing Pushkin. … [Read more...]

Barbican plucks music chief from Australia


Just in: For immediate release: Friday 11 April 2014 Huw Humphreys appointed Head of Music at the Barbican The Barbican is very pleased to announce the appointment of Huw Humphreys as its new Head of Music. Humphreys brings a wealth of experience from the music sector to the role. For the past eight years he has been Director of Artistic Planning at the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, where he has been responsible for the acclaimed orchestra’s artistic programme and recording … [Read more...]

Orchestra halts tour after road accident


Scotland's Hidden Orchestra, an electronic music collective, has cancelled concerts on a Balkan tour after several musician were hurt in a Serbian car crash. Details here. … [Read more...]

Villazon gets director boost in Vienna


The retraining Mexican tenor will direct a Donizetti opera in the Volksoper's new season.The work is obscure so he's fairly safe. Cast details: Gaetano Donizetti: Viva la Mamma (17.Jan 2015) – Dirigentin: Kristiina Poska, Regie: Rolando Villazón, Bühne Friedrich Despalmes; mit Anja-Nina Bahrmann/ Rebecca Nelsen, Daniel Ochoa/Ben Connor, Mara Mastalir, Martin Winkler, Eva Maria Riedl, Jörg Schneider/JunHo You, Marco Di Sapia, Günter Haumer, Andreas Daum. … [Read more...]

Banff goes slumpff


Readers with good medium-term memory will recall a furore over the abolition of classical residencies at Canada's exquisitely located arts centre. The driving force behind this brilliant act of 'renewal' was Banff's president, Jeff Melanson. Yesterday, Melanson quit, 'for family reasons'. Before heading out to Banff, he was cultural adviser to the spectacularly maladroit Toronto mayor, Rob Ford. A clueless regime at Banff is now succeeded by a headless one. Banff, under Melanson, described … [Read more...]

Why would anyone want to play Mussolini’s violin?

mussolini violin

It's up for sale at Bonham's. It has been played by bloodstained hands. Even the most devoted collector of celebrity items and string memorabilia must think twice before bidding for such a soiled piece of goods. It's an Amati and they expect it to fetch $250,000. Slipped Disc says: don't buy.   h/t: the violin channel … [Read more...]

Frances Andrade’s suicide ‘could and should have been avoided’

frances andrade

An investigation into the suicide of a key witness during the sexual abuse trial of ex-Chetham's music director Mike Brewer has found that public services were at fault in failing to protect Ms Andrade during the most stressful period. The report, by the Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board, is highly critical of Chet's and its governance.  It states: 'Chetham's school provided an ideal environment for this kind of abuse to occur. The school seemed unaware of the risks of sexual abuse and it does … [Read more...]

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