A few issues worth bandying about, arguing over and toasting to:
- Fiddle Filchers Busted: London police nabbed the poachers of Min-Jin Kym's pricey (roughly $2 million) violin, but they have not yet recovered the instrument.
- Busy Bee Brendel: Although the great Austrian pianist and octogenarian Alfred Brendel has officially retired, it doesn't mean he's slacking. He's lecturing, teaching, publishing more poetry and generally having a blast. "Even though I have stopped playing, my musicality is still developing," he says.
- Osmo Vanska, Man Of The Moment: While raising the Minnesota Orchestra to new artistic heights, the Finnish conductor has been named Artist of the Year by the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
- Wanted Liszt: The brainy pianist (and witty blogger) Stephen Hough makes a case for the music of Franz Liszt as the composer's bicentenary year approaches.
- Winnie The Opera: The life of Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (former wife of Nelson Mandela), contains enough ups, downs and controversy to make a perfect opera. Reportedly the very first opera fully composed and orchestrated in South Africa, Winnie will premiere in Pretoria next April.
- Handel in Hanoi? The L.A. Times' Mark Swed tells a fascinating story of one tough pianist who helped cultivate classical music in Vietnam.