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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...]

Flute miracle: ‘Stolen’ instrument is returned to owner

eyal ein-habar

Eyal Ein-Habar, principal flute of the Israel Philharmonic, has got his instrument back. It went missing from an overhead locker during a flight last weekend to Philadelphia. We joined an online campaign to find it. UPDATE: Eyal writes: The flute is back!!! Someone took my bag by mistake (how stupid ?!) and brought it back. A few tips before you take my flute next time: try auditioning, take a lesson or at least talk to me. And no, It's not a sign, maybe only that I should … [Read more...]

Rub your eyes: Airline replaces an instrument it damaged

broken guitar

With a sensitivity notably lacking in the rest of the industry, a small British airline, flybe, has helped a Devon musician buy a new guitar after its ground staff at Amsterdam's Schipol airport damaged the old one. What's more, it acted fast. Flybe’s chief commercial officer, Paul Simmons said: 'We are of course never happy when a passengers’ baggage is damaged and our claims’ team always aim to resolve such issues within 36 hours.' Amid much local publicity, Seth Lakeman will now auction … [Read more...]

I’ll have my Earl Grey in the Hitler cup…

hitler cup

A chain of stores in the Herford/Bielfeld area is returning a consignment of teacups to China after customers complained that they saw, or thought they saw, Hitler's image imprinted on the side. The stores ordered 5,000 cups and sold 175 of them. They are asking customers to return the offending items and are offering them a full refund plus a 20 Euro voucher. You couldn't, really couldn't, make it up.   … [Read more...]

Headless Scots reach flailing for Uncle Tom

thomas allen

The last music director quit without notice seven months ago.They haven't been able to find another. So Scottish Opera have asked the venerable baritone Sir Thomas Allen to assist in the search. Announcement follows.   We wanted our online fans to be the first to know that we've appointed world-famous baritone Sir Thomas Allen as Music Adviser to Scottish Opera. He will provide high level input and advice on musical and artistic matters while the Company continues the process of … [Read more...]

ENO goes for role reversal

Henriette Götz

English National Opera today appointed a new executive director. Not a chief executive with equal rank to the artistic director and the right of veto but a new position, one rung down, that leaves John Berry alone in the driving seat and exposed to the consequences of his often radical choices. That's a healthier set-up, confirming John as the company's driving force. The person chosen for the new #2 post appears to be admirably qualified after five years in the ferocious cauldron of Belgian … [Read more...]

Old violins vs new: the full video and scientific paper

blind test

No more speculation. The instrument maker Andreas Hudelmayer has posted both videos of the Paris Experiment and the scholarly paper, 'Soloist evaluations of six Old Italian and six new violins,' for serious study and evaluation. Click here for the long read. … [Read more...]

A third music site shuts in Manhattan


Rizzoli (with its exquisitely selective CD dept).... Klavierhaus.... now J&R Music and Electronics downtown (I bought lots of CDs there) is shutting shop after 43 years so the developers can get wrecking. That's three in a week. Will it never stop? Brian Wise has the grim story. … [Read more...]

Heard the 2014 World Cup anthem?


Nessun dorma, it ain't... Pitbull and J-Lo are the performers. … [Read more...]

Simone Young asks Hamburgers to pick her farewell concert

simone young lebrecht

The accomplished Australian is stepping down after ten years as Generalmusikdirektor. 'All these years, they've had to listen to what I wanted to perform,' she announced at the presentation of her final season. 'Now, let the Hamburgers choose.' … [Read more...]

A cherished cellist in an old master quartet

Marc Johnson

We regret to report the death of Marc Johnson, cellist of the Vermeer Quartet. A student of Janos Starker and Josef Gingold, Marc played 35 years in the quartet until its disbandment in 2007. They toured five continents and recorded major repertoire, including the complete Beethoven set on Teldec. They also premiered works by Ezra Laderman, Chinary Ung, Christobal Halffter, and Steven Mackey. The Vermeer were resident at Northern Illinois University and were Fellows at the Royal Northern … [Read more...]

Baritone is in hospital after accident in Boheme

peter mcgillivray

Peter McGillivray is undergoing surgery today after a freak accident during a performance of Boheme at Manitoba Opera. Here's his account: For the benefit of those in more easterly time zones, a short note to let you know that I'm in hospital in Winnipeg this morning awaiting orthopaedic surgery to reattach my tendon to my kneecap. It eventful performance of La Boheme last night. Standing on top of a table after beating Giles near senseless with a baguette, I stepped down onto a … [Read more...]

A Polish bass-baritone has departed


Arkadiusz Burski has died in Switzerland, where he taught for 20 years and founded the Polmusic agency. Before that, he performed widely in Poland and Italy. The death was announced on his facebook site. … [Read more...]

Jonas Kaufmann: My marriage is over

kaufmann joswig 2006

There had been rumours around for a while that all was not well chez Kaufmann. Now he's confirmed the split on his site: Separation Margarete Joswig and Jonas Kaufmann would like to communicate hereby that they have separated.   Very sad. Many thought them the perfect pair. They have three children. … [Read more...]

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