Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Pieces of news

Sad news from Edinburgh. Our deepest condolences to Sir Charles Mackerras, whose daughter died of cancer a few hours before he had to conduct Beethoven's 9th.

Steven Isserlis had the last word - or note - on the 11 September Newsnight yesterday playing 'Song of the Birds' following a few words from Jeremy Paxman about how musicians are in trouble because instruments are being banned from airline cabins. Thanks to Mark Elder, everyone knows about this now. I just wish news reporters didn't seem to think it was funny. I'd like to see their faces if the equivalent happened to them when they had mortgages to pay, families to feed and contracts to honour.

Lyudmila has the latest from Leeds on who's got through to the 2nd round - yes, Tom Poster made it, as did Italian Roberto Plano (already a familiar name) and Russian-Israeli Boris Giltberg, who's recently made a very impressive debut disc for EMI.

Over in The Guardian, Marshall Marcus, the new head of music at the South Bank Centre, tells us what happened when Haydn came to London. If anyone deserves a year to himself, it's Haydn - roll on 09. Also there, Charlotte Higgins speaks out about the new 'opera' at ENO about...well, you have to see this to believe it. I haven't been to it myself, having deep-seated allergies to rap, trendiness for its oww sake and the transformation of creative culture into an extension of the news. Probably ought to, of course, so that I could speak from a perspective of educated experience, but I've got a novel to proof-read.

Last, here's my own latest operatic effort, from yesterday's Independent, for some light relief. Apparently Gounod sold the rights to Faust for 6,666 francs...