VIDEO PODCAST: Slava Ukraini! - recorded on the day Europe woke up to the news that Vladimir Putin's Russian forces had invaded Ukraine. Also features Caitríona O'Leary and Eric Fraad discussing their new film Island of Saints, and pays tribute to Joseph Horovitz, Malcolm Troup and Maria Nockin.
German conductor Gerd Albrecht was born in Essen on 19 July 1935. He won first prize aged twenty-two in the Besançon Young Conductors' Competition and began his career as repetiteur at Stuttgart State Opera, working later at Mainz Municipal Theatre as senior kapellmeister, then as General music director in Lübeck, and at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Tonhalle-Orchester Zürich and Hamburg State Opera.
His tenure as principal conductor of the Czech Philharmonic was cut short over a controversy about the orchestra playing at a Roman Catholic / Jewish reconciliation concert, at which Albrecht hadn't been invited to conduct.
He caused further controversy in a later job, as principal conductor of the Danish National Symphony Orchestra, where he spoke from the podium during a concert, protesting the USA's invasion of Iraq - a statement which he was later forced to apologise for.
He also worked in Japan, as principal conductor of the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra.
Albrecht died on 2 February 2014, aged seventy-eight.
CD Spotlight. A Jewel Box of Opera Rarities - Giuseppe Pennisi explores a CD set marking the Orfeo International label's first forty years. '... at least two masterpieces emerge ...'
CD Spotlight. The Charm of 'La Nuova Commedia Dell'arte' - Giuseppe Pennisi listens to Busoni's 'Turandot' and 'Arlecchino'. '... this is a book and two CDs to enjoy and to make an elegant gift.'
CD Spotlight. Scrumptious Outbursts - Orchestral music by Jaromír Weinberger, enjoyed by Roderic Dunnett. '... full of rich colours from the Berlin Orchestra under Albrecht's direction ...'