hide captionConductor James Levine rehearses the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007.
Conductor James Levine rehearses the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 2007.
After suffering a fall on a Vermont vacation, James Levine has pulled out of all his fall performances at the Metropolitan Opera, which seems to have triggered the start of a new era at the house: Fabio Luisi has been brought on as principal conductor.
Alex Ross thinks Luisi's permanent appointment is still something of a stopgap measure, and adds that General Manager Peter Gelb's "intermittently dubious artistic decisions — notably, hiring Robert Lepage to direct a so far dramatically inert, at times inept production of Wagner's Ring — suggest the need for a decisive musical intelligence on the staff."
Tenor Salvatore Licitra's death, ten days after the 43-year-old was in a severe scooter accident, rocked the opera world. The funeral was held today in Monza, Italy, near Milan.
Yo-Yo Ma will get a Kennedy Center honor that's overdue, says Anne Midgette: Predicting it "was rather like forecasting snow in January; it was pretty much certain to happen one of these years. It's only surprising it took so long."
The San Francisco Symphony just celebrated its centennial in style.
Composer Nico Muhly offers an entirely reasonable plea: Let composers have access to recordings of their own music performed by orchestras. But the responses, he says, tend to be anything but: "What then happens is an unbelievable series of Kafkaesque email threads, out-of-office messages, invented holidays, bizarre threats, secret handshakes. If you're lucky, and very very persistent, you might end up with a CD of it, along with a note saying that 'this never happened' and 'don't tell anybody you have this.'"
A bass player with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Rick Robinson, is taking a one-year sabbatical from his job to try to to reach young African-Americans: "We need to go outside the church — the traditional concert hall — to bring in new parishioners ... In this country, blacks lead the pop music scene in a lot of ways. By playing classical music, I'm making the statement that it's OK to leave your culture."
Lots of good news for the Montreal Symphony this week: They have a new hall and a new pay deal for their musicians.
Remember that a couple of weeks ago the Louisville Orchestra axed its September and October concerts? Now November's off as well.
Siemens is pulling the plug on its sponsorship of the Bayreuth Festival, for which it hosted public screenings and webcasts of performances: "The baby has grown up and learned to walk on its own, and now we wish to pursue other projects."
There was a charming documentary on The Knights — the exciting orchestra founded by two brothers who also comprise half of Brooklyn Rider — on the New York PBS station Channel Thirteen last night. Here's hoping for wider distribution.
A profile of bass Hao Jian Tang and his Beijing opera boot camp for American and European singers: "Tian arrived penniless in the U.S. nearly 30 years ago, knowing just three words of English. Within a decade, he was performing at the Met."