British composer Harrison Birtwistle (1934-2022) died today at the age of 87. He learned to play the clarinet and played in the local military-style band, and also in the orchestra that accompanied Gilbert and Sullivan productions. In 1952 he entered the Royal Manchester College of Music in Manchester on a clarinet scholarship. He came in contact with contemporaries including Peter Maxwell Davies, Alexander Goehr, John Ogdon and Elgar Howarth. Read More →

Die Salzburger Osterfestspiele 2022 melden eine Auslastung von rund 80 Prozent erreicht. Für die zehn Festspieltage wurden insgesamt knapp 16.200 Karten verkauft. 2020 waren die Festspiele pandemiebedingt komplett ausgefallen, im Vorjahr gab es Kurz-Festspiele um Allerheiligen.

Sebastian Lang-Lessing

The management of the San Antonio Symphony has terminated their relationship with Music Director Emeritus, the German conductor Sebastian Lang-Lessing, 56.In a statement, board officers made the decision based on stipulations in his contract that they say he violated: “Artists shall neither make nor announce any appearances in San Antonio, Texas within 60 days prior to or following the performance dates of the concerts.” Read More →

Riccardo Chailly
Photo: ICMA

La Scala’s Music Director Riccardo Chailly is ‘indisposed’ and for this reason he will not be able to conduct Giuseppe Verdi’s Un ballo in maschera scheduled in the Milanese theater from May 4. He will be replaced by Nicola Luisotti for all performances except the last two, which will be conducted by Giampaolo Bisanti.

Melbourne Chamber Orchestra has named violinist Sophie Rowell as Artistic Director from 2023. Rowell currently serves as Concertmaster of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. In her new role with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra (MCO), she will be just its third artistic director in its over 30-year history. She will succeed William Hennessy and Jeffrey Crellin.

Die Moskauer Polizei brach ein Konzert des Pianisten Alexej Ljubimow und der Sängerin Jana Iwanilowa ab, weil sich angeblich eine Bombe im Gebäude befand. Das Publikum wurde aufgefordert den Saal zu verlassen. Die Bombe befand sich allerdings nur im Programm: Auf dem Programm des Konzerts standen Werke von Schubert und vom ukrainischen Komponisten Valentin Silvestrov. Für Putins Schergen ist Silvestrov hoch explosiv…

A violin costing around 100,000 euros that was stolen from an Italian violinist during a train ride has been recovered next to a trash bin in Paris. A passerby noticed the violin on the sidewalk and took it home, the newspaper Le Parisien reported Thursday. Because there was a name tag inside the violin case, the violin found its way back to its owner. The violin, made by Eugenio Degani, a Venetian violin maker from the late 19th century, was completely intact except for some dirt.

Sakari Oramo
(c) B. Ealovegae

Finnish conductor Sakari Oramo, 56, will hold the role of chief conductor with the BBC orchestra until the end of the 2025/26 season, the organization said. The Finnish conductor has held the role since 2013, taking over from Jiří Bělohlávek. Oramo also holds the position of chief conductor with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra.

After Maria Agresta cancelled her Manon Lescaut in Monte-Carlo for health reasons, the company hired the currently unemployed Anna Netrebko. The company says, that Netrebko made a statement on the Ukraine war, but failed to read the second statement where she said she would never go against her motherland. Read More →

The latest Karajan Community Letter focuses on Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. Karajan admired the work deeply and worked on it over 40 years. The Newsletter puts a spotlight on his successful 1950 interpretation with Irmgard Seefried, Kathleen Ferrier, Walther Ludwig, Paul Schöffler and Otto Edelmann. Here is the link to this week’s Karajanist Community Letter. And here is the link, where you can subscribe to the Newsletter:

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