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Unearthed film: BBC plays Elgar in 1932

Part of the newly uploaded Pathé archive: … [Read more...]

Rare 1934 film: Finnish National Orchestra play Elgar


From the newly released Pathé arhcives: "Now for a topical peep at the celebrated Finnish National Orchestra - Conductor Georg Schneevoight - Filmed in the Queen's Hall, on its recent visit to London. The Orchestra is playing.... THE COCKAIGNE OVERTURE (ELGAR) - In this well-known overture, SIR EDWARD ELGAR has portrayed in music the life of the great Metropolis, with all its varied shades and emotions." The Queen's Hall, London. … [Read more...]

Ms Katherine Jenkins is re-engaged


Those parts of the mass media that cannot tell an opera singer from a pot roast (you know who you are) are reporting the engagement of Katherin Jenkins, 'opera singer', to a gentleman from Hollywood, Mr Adam Levitas. It is her second engagement. We wish the couple well. … [Read more...]

A family of long-serving orchestral players


We have received some further additions to our celebrated longevity chart from Karen Dreyfus Dicterow, viola player and professor at the Manhattan School of Music, married to the outgoing concertmaster of the New York Philharmonic. The family links here are fascinating.   Family connections in orchestras-Long Tenures   Samuel Elkind- violinist in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra from 1946 (Reiner, cond.) and retired in 1998 (Maazel, cond).  52 years. Brother-in-law of … [Read more...]

Unseen film: Miss Maria Callas shows us around her lovely home

galina callas

Retrieved 1958 film from the British Pathé archives shows the diva posing for silent cameras in her apartment, an elegant counterpoint to a more recent act of media exhibitionism. Watch and wonder. … [Read more...]

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 with the Macondo Chamber Players, 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 … [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...]

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