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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...]

New video: Six quartets play a concerto

sebastian bohren

The Latvian composer Peteris Vasks wrote a terrific concerto for Gidon Kremer in 1997 and another for Richard Tognetti in 2008. It is played here by Sebastian Bohren together with members of six of Europe's finest string quartets - the Alban Berg, Casals, Galatea, Gémeaux, Schumann and Stradivari. Fabulous sound. … [Read more...]

Ukraine’s Got Talent – in a most unusual art

This is Kseniya Simonova, a storyteller in sand. Almost 30  million views. … [Read more...]

UK Government does not regret mishandling Cameron Carpenter

cameron carpenter

You may recall the appalling incident in Birmingham a few weeks ago when the flamboyant US organist was mistakenly refused entry to the UK, kept up all night and deported under guard at dawn. It was a shocking abuse of power by a private security firm that does not train staff properly. Here's our original story. The matter was raised this week in Parliament. Here's the UK Government's response:     The Home Office minister Lord Taylor has written to Clancarty telling … [Read more...]

Hey, there’s a hoopster on my opera stage


Our eye was caught by this stunning shot of Chicago Bull player Joakim Noah, taken by Todd Rosenberg on the stage of the Lyric Opera. Everything about the picture is as perfectly balanced as a striker leaping to score. We asked Todd to tell us how this session came about. Here's his account: This is one of those shoots where my two worlds collided perfectly. Four years ago, I sent out a card for the holidays featuring Santa on stage at the Chicago Symphony, which linked to the time-lapse of the … [Read more...]

The Countess of Glyndebourne ‘invites HELLO! into her amazing home’


Danielle De Niese has let Hello! magazine into her living quarters, to the accompaniment of pre-recorded tracks. The soprano is married to Gus Christie, chairman of Glyndebourne Festival Opera. … [Read more...]

Sony’s prize maestro becomes a Russian citizen


Theodore Currentzis, the Greek conductor who is recording the Mozart Da Ponte operas for Sony in Perm where is is music director, became a Russian citizen this week, by presidential decree (below).   It is not clear whether he has given up Greek and EU citizenship. It seems to be a dangerous time to put all one's eggs in a straw basket.     … [Read more...]

The operas of Gabriel Garcia Marquez

marquez lebrecht

The Colombian Nobel Prize winner, who has died at 87, inspired two works of music theatre - Love and Other Demons by Peter Eötvös, premiered at Glyndebourne in 2008, and Florencia en el Amazonas by Daniel Catan, presented in 1996 by the opera companies of Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle. First staged in 1996, Florencia was the first Spanish-language opera to be premiered in the US. It has received 16 productions, the most recent two months ago at Boston University.         … [Read more...]

The other José Feliciano is killed in car crash

Not the blind singer whose torch song was Light My Fire. This is José 'Cheo' Feliciano, the Puerto Rican salsa star. He was 78. The other, younger José Feliciano has tweeted condolences to his family. … [Read more...]

Mass walkout on San Diego Opera board


The president, Karen Cohn, walked out of yesterday's crisis meeting. She appears to have quit. Around 20 others on the 50-strong board failed to show. The chief executive and artistic director Ian Campbell also made an exit, though he still holds his two jobs. The new acting president is Carol Lazier, who recently gave $1 million to keep the company alive. She has called a meeting on Monday to assess the company's future - slimmed down by as much as 60 percent but still alive, according to … [Read more...]

Vienna Philharmonic attacked by opera chief for ‘reluctant’ denazification


Ioan Holender, former head of the Vienna Opera, has launched an extraordinary assault on the orchestra for dealing with its Nazi past only when it is absolutely forced to do so. Holender said he had never felt any positive desire on the part of the orchestra, and particularly its chairman and official historian Clemens Hellsberg, to bring the past to light, 'unless there was external coercion'.   Holender was particularly savage on the orchestra's 'discovery' this week that it … [Read more...]

Munich’s Rosenkavalier – tasteful?

maazel munich phil

This is the cover of the Munich Philharmonic's new season brochure. What do you think? … [Read more...]

A ballet conductor has died

akira endo

Akira Endo, recommended  by Leonard Bernstein to American Ballet Theater and later long-serving conductor at Pittsburgh Ballet, has died, aged 75. Japanese born, he migrated to the US as a student in 1954 and twice came third in the Dmitri Mitropoulos Competition, where he caught Bernstein's eye. … [Read more...]

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