FROM ROME: Keep in touch with the Italian opera and classical music scene by reading Giuseppe Pennisi's regular reports.
English record producer, music journalist and M&V contributor Bill Newman was born in Maidstone, Kent on 26 October 1932.
He started work at EMI Records during September 1955 in the Classical Promotion Department, at first concerned with processing review requests from the main reviewers among London's National Press. Eventually he made personal contact with various critics who helped to correct his English in the writeups he provided following concerts and recitals attended at the Royal Albert and Festival Halls and other locations in Greater London.
His critical evaluations eventually carried the day, whereupon various bosses decided to increase his responsibilities to incorporate and extend his artistic knowledge into the preparation of sales leaflets intended to better the coverage of international artists in the standard classical repertoire. Within a short time he was deciding the repertoire planning - on a monthly basis - of the newly contracted American Mercury 'Living Presence' label with its revolutionary single microphone recording technique which caught performers' natural ambiance and musical balance. The artists' names now belong to musical history - Antal Doráti, Paul Paray, Howard Hanson and Frederick Fennell. The former's greatest worldwide success was Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture with its added bells, fusilades of cannons creating such an aura of excitement that the disc remained in the charts for a many years.
Newman made connections with various pre-eminent musical and recording executives, and planned ahead to take on a number of other contracted labels such as Westminster (ABC Paramount), Russian Melodiya and Epic-CBS before departing EMI and joining CBS' new UK setup in the mid 1970s. A further change of scene to Boosey and Hawkes Music Publishers showed greater difficulties in the area of sheet music. He used his encyclopaedic knowledge of CDs and historical live concerts to provide help with promotion and recording to many young artists.
Bill Newman died (with his headphones firmly on) in the Royal Free Hospital in London on 16 June 2015, aged eighty-two, following a long battle with Crohn's disease and other illness.
A real character and a critic with a view was Bill, which is what we need. May he rest in peace. - Rob Cowan
Beautifully Arranged - 'Antal Doráti and the joy of making music' by Richard Chlupaty, reviewed by Anna L Franco
Admiring colleagues - Martin Jones and Mark Anderson in conversation with Bill Newman
Cuban pianist Marcos Madrigal plays Schumann, Beethoven, Poulenc, de Séverac and Lecuona
Bill Newman listens to Nikolai Demidenko
American vocal and symphonic music. '... much enjoyment and interest ...'
Tchaikovsky and Mahler from Goldstone and Haitink. '... moving in the extreme.'
Music for saxophones. '... daring and exploratory.'
The Debussy Ensemble. '... beautifully balanced ...'
Peter Fisher's 'Music from the Movies'
Bill Newman listens to Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi
Leonora Armellini plays for the Keyboard Trust
Llyr Williams plays for the Chopin Society UK
Bill Newman attends a 'family sing-song' event in London
Hokusai Chamber Orchestra's memorial concert for the 2011 Japan Earthquake and Tsunami
Chamber music by Vittorio Giannini. 'A welcome ... for this invaluable release.'
Pianist Young-Ah Tak. '... this CD is worth its weight in gold.'
Trio Brancusi plays Enescu, welcomed. 'The performances are all first rate ...'
H J Lim plays at Wigmore Hall, and Bill Newman passes judgement
Richard Strauss, Fauré, Debussy, Poulenc, Wolf and Berg from Christiane Karg and Malcolm Martineau
Chamber music by Hamilton Harty delights Bill Newman. '... an unforgettable wit and charm ...'
Piano concertos by Castelnuovo-Tedesco. '... performances are excellent ...'
Bruckner's Symphony No 4. 'Totally recommended.'
Keyboard works by John McCabe. '... ideal interpreters ...'
Bill Newman tells the story of his visit to London's St John's Smith Square to hear Idil Biret play Beethoven
Bill Newman listens to young Chinese pianist Jianing Kong
Everything you've wanted to know about music (and more) from your self-appointed agony uncle, Bill Newman, who also visits London's Wigmore Hall to hear French pianist Bertrand Chamayou
Alexei Volodin at London's Queen Elizabeth Hall
Latvian magic from pianist Reinis Zarins
F W Murnau's 'Faust'
Danill Trifonov's prizewinner's concert from the Arthur Rubinstein Piano Master Competition
Bruckner 8 from Barenboin and the Staatskapelle Berlin
Recent concerts in London
Jamaican pianist Orrett Rhoden
Bill Newman listens to a selection of instrumental chamber music in London
Bill Newman listens to Neapolitan pianist Clelia Cafiero
Bill Newman listens to Peter Donohoe, Richard Goode and Peter Jablonski
A selection of orchestral concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall
Tim Kliphuis at Iford Manor. '... very much music for relaxation ...'
Klaggerud, Petrenko and the Philharmonia
Kurt Masur conducts the Philharmonia Orchestra
Beethoven and Dallapiccola from Esa-Pekka Salonen and the Philharmonia Orchestra
Nikolai Demidenko plays Schubert at London's Wigmore Hall
Jurowski conducts the LPO
Jonathan Biss plays Beethoven and Janácek
Mozart and Brahms from the Razumovsky Ensemble
Bill Newman listens to the Danish String Quartet
Christian Blackshaw has begun his Mozart piano sonata Marathon in London, and Bill Newman was in the audience
Some recommended commercial recordings. 'How dare they!'
A roundup of London concerts enjoyed, featuring recitals by Alice Sara Ott, the Emerson Quartet, Martin Fröst and Roland Pontinen, the Orchestra of the Polish EU Presidency, Kreeta-Julia Heikkilä and Roope Grondahl, and Martino Tirimo's Rosamunde Trio
Bill Newman talks to Kazan pianist Rustem Kudoyarov
Henri Barda plays Brahms, Beethoven and Chopin. 'The performances are in a class of their own.'
Julian Jacobson plays Beethoven
Works by Julian Anderson, Mozart and Tchaikovsky performed by Janine Jansen, Vladimir Jurowski and the London Philharmonic Orchestra
Yelian He and Yasmin Rowe play Chopin, Beethoven and Piazzolla
A recital by Erdem Misirlioglu
Debussy and Bartók
Cédric Tiberghien plays Debussy Preludes
A recital by pianist Arisu Nakao
Lionel Cottet and Louis Schwizgebel-Wang play Beethoven, Schubert, Zanon and Brahms, and impress Bill Newman
A recital by Janine Jansen and Itamar Golan
Kirill Karabits conducts the RPO
Ralph Kirshbaum and Shai Wosner play Beethoven, Janácek, Brahms and Schumann
Bill Newman attends a fundraising concert for the Raphael Sommer Foundation
Lyapunov's piano music. '... endearing charm.'
Yasmin Rowe, Sarah Sew and Tadashi Imai at London's Wigmore Hall
Yasmin Rowe plays for the Keyboard Charitable Trust
Vadim Gluzman and the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vassily Sinaisky
Bill Newman listens to American pianist Rorianne Schrade
Bill Newman attends two orchestral concerts at London's Royal Festival Hall
Peter Donohoe's complete Beethoven piano sonata cycle
Serghei Constantinov at Steinway Hall in London
Wigmore Hall recitals by Danny Driver, and by Jack Liebeck and Katya Apekisheva
The Dante Quartet at London's Wigmore Hall
Turkish pianist Idil Biret talks to Bill Newman
Bill Newman listens to Stephen Hough
Bill Newman attends a selection of concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Bill Newman listens to Bulgarian pianist Vesselin Stanev
Sergey Sobolev plays Chopin, Liszt and Schumann
An array of artists at London's Wigmore Hall
Bill Newman listens to Emre Engin and Alison Rhind
Michail Lifits at London's Wigmore Hall delights Bill Newman
A celebration, not an obituary
Bill Newman listens to various artists at London's Wigmore Hall
The Israel Piano Trio
Kotaro Fukuma's performances of Schumann, Chopin and Liszt amaze Bill Newman
A roundup of recent London concerts
Bill Newman listens to the Russian pianist Nelly Akopian-Tamarina
The Emerson Quartet
A recital by John Paul Ekins delights Bill Newman
The Wihan Quartet at Kings Place
Bill Newman talks to all four members of the Wihan Quartet
A recital by Emanuel Rimoldi
Bill Newman's pick of June and July concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Music by Janácek and Suk
Bill Newman comments on some recent concerts at London's Wigmore Hall
Bill Newman listens to Aldo Ciccolini
Bill Newman talks to pianist Igor Tchetuev
Bill Newman was at Nettle and Markham's thirtieth anniversary recital
Bill Newman reviews two recitals by pianist Igor Tchetuev
Lilya Zilberstein's recital at London's Wigmore Hall
Bill Newman listens to pianist Alexander Romanovsky
A recital by Australian pianist Jason Gillham
Alessandro Taverna at London's Steinway Hall
A lunchtime piano recital by Maiko Mori
Tessa Uys at London's Wigmore Hall
A recital by Bálint Székely and Mariko Kondo
The Belcea Quartet plays Schubert and Beethoven
Young Concert Artists Trust recitals
A Bernard Stevens celebration at London's Wigmore Hall
The Artemis Quartet plays music by Beethoven, Stravinsky and Schubert
Quatuor Ebène plays Haydn, Webern and Schubert
Emanuel Ax plays Beethoven and Schumann,
Valeriy Sokolov and Eric Ferrand-N'Kaoua play Bach, Beethoven, Schumann, Enescu and Prokofiev
Bill Newman listens to the Razumovsky Ensemble
Nikolai Demidenko plays Chopin
Chamber music at London's Wigmore Hall
Alex Kobrin plays Haydn, Beethoven and Chopin
Bill Newman listens to Mayuko Katsumura and Gordon Back
Eduardo Monteiro plays piano music from Brazil
Brazilian Eduardo Monteiro plays at Wigmore Hall and talks to Bill Newman about his varied musical life
A spring remembrance concert for the Armenian victims of 1915
Martino Tirimo's final 2006 Mozart recital
Martino Tirimo plays Mozart
The Rosamunde Trio plays Dvorák, Fribbins and Beethoven
Alessio Bax and Lucille Chung play Schubert, Ravel and Stravinsky
Recitals by Denitsa Laffchieva and Evelina Puzaite
Susan Milan at London's Wigmore Hall
More reviews from London's Wigmore Hall
Regrets and remedies, the Wigmore way
Sequeira Costa plays Chopin
Robin Zebaida plays piano rarities. '... musical appeal becomes immediate ...'
Martino Tirimo celebrates Mozart's 250th Anniversary. '... outstanding performances.'
Martino Tirimo's Mozart from Cadogan Hall
A meeting with Gisela Doráti, better known as 'Gizi'
Bill Newman recalls the affection he felt for the great Hungarian conductor-composer Antal Doráti, who would have been 100 years old today
Tonina Doráti and opera production, as explained to Bill Newman
Bill Newman talks to British pianist Mark Bebbington
Bill Newman reports on the 250th anniversary
Celebrating the tenth series of live music at London's Wallace Collection
Two young pianists of outstanding promise
Oleh Krysa and Tatiana Tchekina at London's Wigmore Hall
Mûza Rubackyté in recital, and on disc
Maurice Hasson's 70th birthday recital with Gabriela Montero was a notable 2005 Wigmore Hall event for Bill Newman
Comparing two piano trios on the same day
Bill Newman at a concert by the London Chamber Music Group
Bill Newman attends three events given by young musicians
A portrait of pianist Clara Rodriguez
A portrait of piano duettists Isabel Beyer and Harvey Dagul
Remembering Sir John and others. Bill Newman visits Lady Evelyn Barbirolli
A portrait of the Greek-born pianist Eugenia Papadimas
Piano 40's eighth London concert
Bill Newman wishes Colin Bradbury many happy returns on the occasion of the clarinettist's seventieth birthday
Swiss ambassadors, a Bulgarian pianist and a marketing project
Finnish pianist Risto Lauriala talks to Bill Newman
The piano scene, and a young musical stylist in the making
Mei Yi Foo at Steinway Hall
Bill Newman listens to the Rosamunde Trio
Bill Newman talks to Jeremy Backhouse, director of the Vasari Singers
Bill Newman visits pianist Ilse von Alpenheim at her home in Switzerland
Pianist Danny Driver talks to Bill Newman
Bill Newman enjoys an evening's entertainment by Piano 40 at London's Purcell Room, Wednesday 5 February 2003
Bill Newman talks to Igor Oistrakh as the 50th anniversary of the violinist's UK début approaches
Martino Tirimo at London's Wigmore Hall, prefaced by other thoughts from Bill Newman
Martino Tirimo discusses the piano and its music
And your compere is Paula Robison! Bill Newman talks to the American flautist, campaigner and announcer of the Spoleto Festival's mid-day concerts
Bill Newman listens to Yoo Na Noh
music all the time. Bill Newman becomes reacquainted with young French cellist Gautier Capuçon
In virtuoso manner. Alice Neary and Gretel Dowdeswell at London's Wigmore Hall
Gwydion Brooke. Bill Newman looks back at undeservedly neglected musicians.
Basil Cameron. Bill Newman looks back at undeservedly neglected musicians.
In affectionate memory of Igor Kipnis, close friend and musical collaborator
Richard Hickox talks to Bill Newman at the 2001 Spoleto Festival
Bill Newman has been to the 2001 Spoleto Festival and reports on his impressions of the surroundings, local artists and international music-making.
a select overview of major Bruckner Symphonies and interpreters on disc (with special reference to a rare recording by Rudolf Kempe)
Trawling for treasure - Sviatoslav Richter
Trawling for treasure - Menuhin and Rostropovich
Trawling for treasure - Annie Fischer
Bill Newman in conversation with Petr Altrichter
Trawling for treasure - Michelangeli
Trawling for treasure - Toscanini
Trawling for treasure - Barbirolli
A personal tribute
Trawling for treasure. Bill Newman seeks out Golden Age performers now reinstated on CD. BBC Legends and Beecham
Trawling for treasure. Dennis Brain on BBC Legends
Elly Ney, William Primrose and the two Syds
Faust, Iona Brown and Percy Grainger
Voormolen and Kodály
Five weeks condensed into three
Busoni, Glazunov, Barber and Hanson
A paean of rejoicing. '... a sunburst carrying the listener forward and upwards to new quests of achievement.' Bax's Fifth Symphony
A thing of beauty. '... David Lloyd-Jones and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra spontaneously reach new poetic-dramatic heights ...' Bax's Third Symphony
Stefan Jess and Barbara Moser; Louis Lortie and George Pehlivanian
Beauteous imagery. 'Mobius has been going from success to success since 1995.' Mobius play Bax
Bruch rarities. '... the orchestral accompaniment transcends the accepted harmonic idiom, interspersed with Elizabeth Whitehouse's serene arias ...' Should we allow biased opinions to sway musical judgement?
Death be not proud. 'A quite wonderful CD of a composer and his music that should be at the forefront of live concert activities.' The music of Andrew Imbrie, by a devoted admirer, Bill Newman
Steven Wray and Sam Haywood
Evgeny Soifertis and John Bingham
Piano exotica - '... marvellously controlled rhythms, touch and stylistic finess.' Martin Jones plays Spanish piano music. With Bill Newman
Global Fascinations and Sophistications - Annie Fischer, Luiza Borac, Anne Kaasa and Lukás Vondrácek
Proud defiance - '... a marvellous sense of immediacy ...' - Bill Newman discusses a new recording of Prokofiev's 'War and Peace'
Martin Jones and Mark Anderson in conversation
Bill Newman reads 'Eric Leinsdorf on Music'
Global Fascinations and Sophistications - Chopin Mazurkas, Hummel piano music, Charles Koechlin and Kenneth Leighton
The Menotti Interview
Global Fascinations and Sophistications - Schubert's piano works for four hands, Liszt transcriptions, and the piano music of Nikolai Kapustin and Alfredo Casella
Bill Newman pays a tail-end visit to the Italian festival's 42nd season
Here lies the essence of rediscovery. '... fresh and stimulating ... musical pointers come alive as they occur ...' Symphonies Nos 3 and 4 by Joachim Raff
Global Fascinations and Sophistications - Emma Johnson; Martinu string quartets
Rare Vaughan Williams. 'All involved in this performance plunge merrily into the fray like persons possessed.' Hilary Davan Wetton's performances of the 'Tudor Portraits' and 'Mystical Songs'
Bill Newman talks to Hilary Davan Wetton
Global Fascinations and Sophistications - Che Originali!, and Triumphal Music for Organ & Orchestra
The essential Emma Johnson. '... beautifully expressed in the highest musical terms ...'
Verdi Preludes, Overtures and Ballet Music
Bill Newman talks to British clarinettist Emma Johnson
'A "dream" performance, magical, sensuous, dramatic in turn, marvellously controlled during every gear change.' Admiring Suk's use of the orchestra -
Resplendent Imagery. '...this whole CD does the greatest honour to a sadly neglected genius.' Bill Newman discusses the orchestral music of Viteslav Novák.
Record Box - Planning your collection. The Prague Symphony, British light music, Swedish orchestral favourites and Gilbert & Sullivan.
Libor Pesek in conversation
Record Box - Planning your collection - Bill Newman introduces his new series for the CD collector
John Lubbock talks to Bill Newman
French bonbons - things of the past? Bill Newman listens to Yan Pascal Tortelier conducting the BBC Philharmonic.
Indelible visions of a troubled world - Bill Newman discusses the Emersons' new recording of the complete Shostakovich works for string quartet
Stella Dickinson talks to Bill Newman
Love's Lore - Bill Newman enthuses over new folk song settings
The Emerson Quartet talk to Bill Newman