Monday, May 05, 2008

And yet more media....

Have I been catching up on my reading? This is all courtesy of artsjournal which sends me a selection of articles every week.

So, the head of arts at the British Council (worldwide end, not in any specific country) has resigned. It seems that in her less than one year's tenancy she abolished a lot of departments specialising in drama, dance, film and literature. That's after she abolished the advisory groups of writers, actors and such like. Clearly SHE knew where she was going. Now they are all abolished let's see where the rudderless BC will drift. Keep remembering that it is an NGO and not actually the public relations arm of the UK government! The story of UK arts representation abroad is one which I have whinged about many times. It's just too sad. Compare this with the Germans in Lithuania who are running a German Cultural Spring, and where the last three ambassadors have been keen supporters (and, it would appear, practitioners) of musical events. The current Austrian ambassador is a trained singer, her predecessor was a keen and faithful attender of concerts (bless his heart), and the chap before that, by the delightful name of Florian Hauck, got sponsors to pay for a Boesendorfer grand piano for the Filharmonija. Lovely guys, all of them.
The Brits? It depends entirely on the personality of the ambassador - it's the same in Tbilisi.

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has Ricardo Muti as its next music director. I have a feeling they parted with Barenboim in less than fellow-feeling. Did Muti leave the Scala voluntarily or was he sacked? Something to do with autocratic behaviour. Good luck to Chicago!

The BBC Young Musician of the Year competition is running again. It's 30 years ago since it started; I was watching it while pregnant with my son, and it did him a lot of good! It says in the article that they only allow British citizens - not convinced about that. I am sure that my friend Wissam Boustany, who participated in the first year, just after fleeing Beirut, was not a British citizen. The stuff about the candidates in the early years being entirely Anglosaxon is just ...pish! But it's the Daily Telegraph reporting this story. What about Freddy Kempf (German/Japanese heritage), Wissam Boustany (Lebanese), Nathalie Clein (Jewish?), and many others ....I was always impressed by the high number of participants who were clearly not English roses, even in the early days. One way for we migrants to move onwards and upwards, I thought.

Christoph Eschenbach is leaving Philadelphia. also after a slightly troubled relationship (with the orchestra) and returning to do more work in Europe. That'll be nice for us; I wonder if he'll ever come to Vilnius?

They've found another Vivaldi Opera, 'Argippo', in a dark dungeon in Prague - though much of the material has had to be recreated, put together, taken from other operas; really much like busy opera composers of the time used to do, only it was done in recent years in this case. I'm beginning to develop quite a liking for baroque opera these days, after studying Monteverdi's Orfeo, other Orfeos (I have three Orfeos, by three composers, on my Ipod). Would be fun to check out this one!


violainvilnius said...

Turns out that Eschenbach is coming to Vilnius on 27 June, with Daniel Mueller-Schott.....Hope I'll be here then.

Anonymous said...

Venu Dhupa did not get a chance to abolish any of the artform departments at the british Council. She tried, but was sacked before she could do too much damage.