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German opera chief quits over 3m cuts

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Axel Köhler has quit as intendant of Halle Opera after having 3 million Euros slashed from his purse and being ordered to cut 113 jobs. Here's his letter. Enlarged version here. … [Read more...]

Susanna Mälkki: My old teacher has changed his tune

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The Finnish conductor has responded coolly to a statement by her professor, Jorma Panula, that women were biologically disabled from becoming great conductors. His comments, reported by Slipped Disc, have aroused a conflagration across Finnish media. Ms Mälkki told the Helsingin Sanomat: 'A few years ago, Jorma had a different opinion. I feel lucky that I got to study under his direction at the time.' The conductor Anna-Maria Helsing, another Panula student, said: 'This is difficult to take … [Read more...]

Iron-gloved Renée debuts on an Arab stage

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Renée Fleming's concert last night in Abu Dhabi was her first in the Arab world. It went well, we read. Not sure about the arm-length black gloves, though. Must have been a cold wind in the Gulf. … [Read more...]

A conductor gets his top off (in the interests of science)

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In Munich, he's now the poster boy for Cool Britannia. Maestro Daniel Harding, flying in for a Mahler 6th, agreed to take part in a BR project on cardio-vascular health. One of those before and after tests. His heart rate is fine, we're told. The physician, two days later, is still hyperventilating.     Photo: Peter Meisel … [Read more...]

Heads roll in Anna Netrebko’s entourage

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Freshly posted on her page: … [Read more...]

There’s a platz for us…

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This is Tokyo, music city (photo courtesy of the touring Gewandhaus orchestra). … [Read more...]

Stones quit tour over death of Mick Jagger’s partner

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The BBC reports: The Rolling Stones have postponed their Australia and New Zealand tour after the death of Sir Mick Jagger's girlfriend L'Wren Scott. Designer L'Wren Scott, 49, was found in her New York apartment. The pair had been a couple for 12 or 13 years. Details here. photo: virginmedia.com … [Read more...]

‘This opera contains very explicit scenes of sex and violence’

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That's the sales pitch for Antwerp's new Calixto Bieito production of Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk. It's not a parental warning. It's the opera company's promotional pitch, the one that's supposed to sell seats. Personally, if I wanted sex and violence, I would go to a specialist supplier. This opera house seems to have lost the plot. See the promotion here.   … [Read more...]

Ukrainian composers appeal for world’s help

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We have been asked to share this message with all composers. … [Read more...]

Palestine in Brooklyn

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The inimitable Charlemagne Palestine is let loose for the first time in New York tonight on the beast of instruments. Palestine originally developed his organ technique in 1964 at the Unitarian Church on Central Park West, gave his first public performance in Holland in 1979, and has since played internationally on the instrument. In this concert he performs on one of New York City's most distinctive instruments: the Aeolian-Skinner organ at Plymouth Church in Brooklyn Heights, known for its … [Read more...]

Flute sales go viral thanks to Brazil soap

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A popular character in a Brazilian TV soap opera has boosted sales of the instrument this year by up to 1,000 percent, it is reported. … [Read more...]

Flash: Dresden sacks Serge Dorny

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In one of the fastest turnarounds and frankest dismissals ever seen in the lumbering opera world, the state of Saxony has sacked Serge Dorny before he could become general manager of the Semper Oper, Dresden. In a statement terminating his engagement with immediate effect, arts minister Sabine Schorlemer said: 'I greatly regret we had to take this step.... Unfortunately, he was unable to establish a fruitful, trusting co-existence with the staff, both artistic and administrative. He frittered … [Read more...]

Where in Europe do people attend most classical concerts?

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Not Germany. Not Austria. Not Holland. A Eurobarometer survey asked: How many times in the last 12 months have you been to a concert?     The highest concert attendance was in Sweden, with 61 percent of respondents have been at least once. Next was Denmark. Here's our chart: 1 Sweden (61) 2 Denmark (60) 3 Latvia (55) 4 Estonia (54) 5 Austria (52) = Luxembourg (52) 7 Lithuania (51) = Netherlands (51) 9 Finland (47) 10 Germany … [Read more...]

What’s going down at the Charles Ives house?

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The composer's studio has been saved for posterity, but the house itself? We have an exclusive on-site report from Gaffney Feskoe:     I thought that I would provide your readers with an update on what is happening to the Charles Ives house in West Redding, CT. As I live about 20 miles from West Redding, I took a drive over there yesterday to see for myself what is happening to the property and I was able to have an on site inspection thanks to some very nice … [Read more...]

Yuja Wang defaces dressing-room sign

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Fun Sunday. The lively Chinese pianist has just tweeted a pic of this officious-looking notice at London's Barbican Centre: … [Read more...]

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