NPR logo Around The Classical Internet: April 8, 2011

Music Articles

Around The Classical Internet: April 8, 2011

Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Donald Dietz/Detroit Symphony Orchestra/courtesy of the artist hide caption

toggle caption Donald Dietz/Detroit Symphony Orchestra/courtesy of the artist

Leonard Slatkin conducting the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

Donald Dietz/Detroit Symphony Orchestra/courtesy of the artist

This week in classical news:

  • After six long months on strike, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra is returning to work. Although the players have yet to ratify their three-year, $36.3M contract, they began rehearsals yesterday in preparation for concerts this weekend with music director Leonard Slatkin. To celebrate, these and next weekend's concerts will be free.
  • It's four steps forward, three steps back at New York City Opera: the Wall Street Journal carries a story that NYCO is suspending next season in a bid to get its financial ducks in a row. (Despite recent critical successes, the company is still projecting a $5M deficit the close of its current season.) NYCO is also revisiting the idea of leaving Lincoln Center for cheaper digs. (Late Friday night, the company issued a statement saying that they are "now finalizing our offerings for the 2011-12 season," which will include the US premiere of Rufus Wainwright's opera Prima Donna, but that they won't announce those plans until late May.)
  • The Recording Academy has slashed the number of classical categories going forward. Among those taking the hit: Best Classical Album.
  • Classical artists, labels and organizations continue raising money for Japan. Among the many efforts: EMI's big auction on Ebay UK, where items up for grabs include a private singing lesson with soprano Diana Damrau and a 1921 Steinway piano from the Abbey Road studio. We'd bid on those (and the signed Beastie Boys action figures, too).
  • The 2011 Guggenheim Fellows were announced this week: Among them: composers Philippe Bodin, Chaya Czernowin, Fred Ho, Louis Karchin, Amy Beth Kirsten, Marilyn Shrude, Manuel Sosa and Toby Twining.
  • Greg Sandow muses about whether a hip new music scene that reaches a critical-mass audience can only exist in New York.
  • Awards across the pond: the newly renamed "Classic Brit" folks announced their ten nominees for the Classic FM Album Of The Year this week, which include albums by tenor Rolando Villazón, bass-baritone Bryn Terfel and guitarist Craig Ogden. And those French nuns. And Andre Rieu.
  • The New York Philharmonic has canceled its planned Cuba trip for the second time. What tripped up the logistics? A lack of orchestra-sized planes, or so they say.
  • After suspending all operations last week, the Syracuse Symphony has filed for bankruptcy with $5.5M in debt.
  • The Guardian's Fiona Maddocks offers an insightful look at the players of the Berlin Philharmonic. Average age for those musicians: 38.
  • In the aftermath of Robert Spano's appointment to the Aspen Music Festival, Anne Midgette wonders what makes or breaks the buzz around a conductor.
  • Composer Joseph Bertoluzzi's plans to turn the Eiffel Tower into a massive instrument has been approved by the Société d'Exploitation de la Tour Eiffel, the company that operates the tower. Now all he has to do is raise the money.
  • One of the most entertaining diversions of the week: #conductormovies on Twitter. Personal favorites so far include Dudamel, Where's My Car?; The Tennstedt Commandments; Bend It Like Beecham; Citizen Kahane; This Is Spano Tap; The Last Klemperer; and Waking James Levine. Classical96.3 up in Toronto went to town Photoshopping up putative posters for some of these gems.

We no longer support commenting on stories, but you can find us every day on Facebook, Twitter, email, and many other platforms. Learn more or contact us.