Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Four things to mark the year ending

Here are a few bits and pieces to decorate the brown paper wrapping around 2013 as we stowe it on the "done" shelf. (Right: Viv & I finish Alicia's Gift at St Mary's, Perivale, the other week.)

JDCMB's Top 10 Posts of 2013

Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman Conductor. The most-viewed post on JDCMB EVER.      
      
Jonas Kaufmann and the Holy Grail. JK sings Parsifal live on the big screen from the Met.     
           
 Ten things that make no difference whatsoever to music, and things that do. A bit of fun.

 Guardian publishes Roscoe’s correspondence with Gregson. Historic sex abuse scandal at RNCM.        
  
Some breaking news that’s Rattling around. Is Rattle taking over the LSO? Still not confirmed, btw. 

 Jonas Kaufmann, swamped with red roses. A jolly wonderful evening of arias at the RFH.          
                 
JD meets Calixto Bieito. My interview with the "bad boy of opera".       
                                            
 Statement from Gergiev. The maestro's response to matters relating to Russian anti-gay legislation.

Why The Rest Is Noise festival will change concert-going forever. And it will. It will.              
             
Beethoven: Strength, Inspiration, Revolution! My pre-concert talk for the CBSO involving Beethoven and Rosa Parks on the bus.              


New Year Honours

This year they include the Order of Merit for Sir Simon Rattle. NB, this is the highest you can go, to the best of my knowledge. There are only ever 24 OMs at any one time and musicians do not often reach these ranks, though Yehudi Menuhin did. It's a vital mark of respect not only for Sir Simon but for the standing of the art of music and it is therefore a jolly important move.
There's also a Companion of Honour for Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, CBEs for Stephen Hough and for opera director John Copley, a DBE for Colette Bowe (chair of the ABRSM), and OBEs for the CEO of ENO Loretta Tomasi, the CEO of the Musicians' Benevolent Fund David Sulkin, and Gillian Humphries, founder of the Concordia Foundation. Marios Papadopoulos, founder of Oxford Philomusica, gets the MBE. Katherine Jenkins has been awarded an OBE too (make of that what you like). In dance, there's a DBE for choreographer Gillian Lynne and a CBE for the glorious Carlos Acosta.


Statistics re women composers prove some points...

A contact at the ISM has rooted out some more sobering statistics regarding the standing of women composers in Europe. These figures, he says, come from a "women in music European cultural programme pamphlet" and they read as follows:

"51.32% of the European population is female but 90% of European music institutions are directed by men.

"Nearly 40% of European Composers and Creators of Music are women but less than 4% of their production is programmed by publicly funded organisations."

This issue is NOT going to go away.


And one final thought for the year...
...from the astonishing Dame Fanny Waterman, whom I went to visit in Leeds a couple of days ago: the best riposte I've ever heard to the problem of "well, the audience likes it". "The audience liked it too," she remarked, "when they chopped Marie-Antoinette's head off."

 Tomorrow is another day...