Around The Classical Internet: March 18th, 2011

This week in classical music:

  • The Cleveland Orchestra has hired its own critic to get its blog rolling — but many are wondering how Enrique Fernandez will be able to critique the orchestra while he's working for it.
  • El Sistema, the Venezuelan music education program that produced Gustavo Dudamel, is spreading all over the world, including the U.S. — and in Scotland, it's really picking up.
  • Crossover Alert: A first recording of a long-lost 450-year-old, 40-part Mass by Alessandro Striggio has soared onto British pop charts a week after its release.
  • In the opera category of Britain's Olivier Awards, a La Boheme that debuted in a pub beat out more conventional contenders for Best New Production.
  • Is Washington's Kennedy Center just doing the expected? Anne Midgette thinks its classical programming relies more on tradition than innovation.
  • This profile of violinist Dylana Jenson shows that sometimes, equipment makes all the difference.
  • On The Guardian website, an article on women composers (yup, still marginalized) includes a list of what composers to watch out for.
  • Maestro Seiji Ozawa just cancelled all his concerts this year due to health problems.
  • Conductor Riccardo Muti has been awarded the Birgit Nilsson Prize, which comes with a $1 million award. Norman Lebrecht none-too-subtly suggests that the award should have gone to a singer, not a conductor.
  • Conductor Yakov Kreizberg died Tuesday after a long illness.
  • John von Rhein reviews the first concert of Charles Dutoit's two-week residency with the Chicago Symphony.
  • Mountain Man: Robert Spano of the Atlanta Symphony has been chosen as new music director of the Aspen Music Festival, where leadership hopes he'll open a new chapter.
  • The Boston Symphony, which is currently coping with the sudden (but not unexpected) retirement of James Levine, held its own at Carnegie Hall Tuesday.
  • The recently bankrupt Honolulu Symphony got some salt in its wounds Thursday when its assets, which included a music library and two grand pianos, sold for only a fraction of their value. But that might not be a bad thing. The winning bidder was the non-profit Symphony Exploratory Committee, which is working on bringing orchestral music back to Oahu.

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