Monday, May 12, 2008

from this week's Arts Journal

  • an article on the appointment of the first female concertmaster in the Vienna Staatsoper. A Bulgarian, Albena Danailova,got the job. Must be tough taking on that job without working her way through the ranks. Not totally convinced about the accuracy of all the statements, though; eg that the Staatsoper is the training orchestra of the Vienna Phil. The way I understand it, the Vienna Phil provides the players of the Staatsoper. And as for the Vienna Phil being all European, well, that's a lie. The Aussie twins Toby and ?? Lea, while they may have white faces and possibly European ancestry, are still not Europeans.
  • Dumbing down in UK music - part of an occasional series. Though I never thought I'd say it about Nigel Kennedy....it seems he fell out with the team around the Classical Brits award ceremony at which he was supposed to perform. He wanted to do Mozart or Beethoven, but they wanted a piece of the same length as a pop song. Need I say more? More power to Kennedy's elbow.
  • Another musician, Philippe Quint, left his fiddle in a cab in New York. It was a Strad, valued at 4 million USD. When the driver returned it, he got 100 USD as a reward (and he will get concert tickets, and the fiddler will perform for half an hour at the New York airport taxi stand, where probably no-one will be able to hear him). Maybe he would have preferred a little more cash?