RECENT: Defining Our Field - what is 'classical music' to us, why are we involved and what can we learn from our differences? Read John Dante Prevedini's essay, watch the panel discussion and make your own comments.
Classical Music Daily publishes a high resolution PDF monthly newletter, normally on the first day of each month. A Fresh Vision, our August 2020 newsletter, has just been published. It has five pages and two illustrations. This 676kb download can be accessed by following the link below.
The short news items below have all been included in the newsletter, so you may prefer to read them there.
A fire at the Gothic Cathédrale Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul de Nantes in France during the early hours of 18 July 2020 has destroyed the cathedral's Jacques Girardet organ, dating from 1621. It appears that the fire was started deliberately by a volunteer working at the church.
In a controversial break with tradition, Sheffield Cathedral in the UK has announced that it will be closing its Cathedral Choir in order to 'begin again with a fresh vision'. It seems that this is for varied and complex reasons, including a fall in attendance at choral evensong, reports of bullying in the choir and a wish to have more diversity, flexibility, experimentation and inagination in cathedral worship. The COVID-19 pandemic seems to have merely provided a convenient moment at which to do this. Information: sheffieldcathedral.org
Various appointments have been announced. Austrian conductor, pianist and composer Patrick Hahn becomes Generalmusikdirektor of the city of Wuppertal in Germany from 2021-22. Uzbekistani conductor Aziz Shokhakimov is to be music director of both Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur in Switzerland and Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg in France from 2021-22. British-born David Fisk becomes president and chief executive officer of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra in North Carolina, USA, from 31 August 2020. Clare Burovac becomes general director of New Orleans Opera from 15 September 2020. Jeffrey Haydon is to be president and chief executive officer of the Ravinia Festival in Illinois, USA.
David N Tucker has been removed from the board of directors of the Richard Tucker Music Foundation because he posted racist comments on Facebook. The foundation, created in 1975, supports and advances the careers of American opera singers, and bears the name of American tenor Richard Tucker (1913-1975). The disgraced board member is one of the tenor's sons.
The Bamberger Symphoniker's Mahler Competition for conductors has been won by British conductor Finnegan Downie Dear. Second prize was awarded to Thomas Jung from Germany. Instead of awarding a single third prize, the jury decided to recognise the qualities of all the semi-finalists by dividing the third prize between Wilson Ng from Hong Kong, Harry Ogg from the UK and Katharina Wincor from Austria. Information: bamberger-symphoniker.de
Many organisations have announced cancellation or postponement of their forthcoming programmes until approximately January 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A few, mostly outdoor, performances have taken place in some countries under strict social distancing conditions.
Z2 Comics and Deutsche Grammophon have announced a new original graphic novel looking 250 years into the past at one of the most celebrated musicians of all time: Ludwig van Beethoven. It will be accompanied by a new compilation album from Deutsche Grammophon, mirroring the story through the composer’s own works. Beethoven: The Graphic Novel will be released in bookshops and comic outlets in November 2020, and is available to order now directly from the Z2 Comics webstore: www.z2comics.com/beethoven
Soprano Larisa Martínez, violinist Joshua Bell and pianist Peter Dugan will perform Voice and the Violin, streamed globally through Veeps, live in front of an audience at the Gerald R Ford Amphitheater, Vail, Colorado, USA on 14 August 2020. The concert will include the first performance of Martínez and Bell's new work, Voice and the Violin. This will be the first time that Martínez and Bell have performed live since the COVID-19 lockdown. Further information: grfavail.com/event/vpac-presents-joshua-bell/
American conductor Harold Rosenbaum will hold a Choral Conducting Workshop via Zoom on 10 and 11 August 2020. The primary focus of the workshop will be on physical conducting technique, but there will also be discussions about the choral works to be used during the sessions. The workshop, which was originally going to be held at NYU in August 2020, is limited to twelve active participants, and the fee for active participants is US$160. Observers are welcome at a reduced fee of US$80. Information: haroldrosenbaum.com
Douglas Stevens' recording of the complete piano works of English composer Lennox Berkeley (1903-1989) on HOXA HS180618 had limited exposure to press and media when first released in 2018 and is now being re-presented to reach a wider audience. Lennox Berkeley studied music with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, was a friend of Benjamin Britten and taught at the Royal Academy of Music for over twenty years. Douglas Stevens is organist at the Chapel of All Saints at Wardour Castle in Wiltshire, UK. Information: lennoxberkeley.org.uk
Posted 1 August 2020 by Keith Bramich