Marvin Gaye and "Mustang Sally?" Check. Celtic Tiger...not so much.
Some stories in the arts are heartwarmers, first and foremost, pure and simple. That can certainly be said of the 2013 ABC Symphony Australia Young Performer of the Year, a title bestowed at Melbourne Town Hall. Because this year it went to Hoang Pham, the son of Vietnamese refugees, who has now proved that The Australian Dream (something like The American Dream, but with more poisonous snakes) can come true.
Another artist-led music festival has been announced, this one run by a composer and located in his native Scotland. And the composer is Scotland's finest, James MacMillan. Not only that, but Scotland's best known violin export, Nicola Benedetti, has agreed to come aboard as patron.
"I have been thinking incessantly about composing this opera for 25 years now. The Tiszaeszlár Affair becoming a present day hot political issue finally helped me." -- Iván Fischer
French opera, theater and film director Patrice Chéreau has died of lung cancer, aged 68. One of the most revered, one might even say iconic directors of his era, Chéreau may have finally been defeated by Napoleon--as in his doomed, but repeated efforts to make a movie about the dictator starring Al Pacino--but that experience clearly never put him off working with outsize characters, as opera remained a passion.
A recording has emerged of one of the most devastating speeches from a concert hall--Osmo Vänskä's farewell to the Minnesota Orchestra, ravaged by industrial dispute.
They might have been on strike at Carnegie Hall, but across the pond in Blightly, the Classic Brit Awards still steamrolled ahead. A massive production--filmed for mainstream, primetime TV (the ITV1 channel)--it was a cast of dozens and a healthy clutch of big stars.
Stephen Ward was something of a playboy, enjoying the company of attractive young women, the rich and powerful and the lifestyle that went along with this.
A new cultural center in London has opened its doors, and it's something new for the British capitol--a Jewish cultural center, commonly known in the U.S. (where they are far from rare) as a JCC. This has been several years in the planning and the building and the staffing, and was the brainchild of long-time arts patron Vivien Duffield.
"What I want is to play the very best that night, I don't want the performance to be perfect. That's a strange word for music anyway." -- Julia Fischer
"I can play in the gypsy style, and I love it." -- Barnabás Kelemen
Awarded in fields of achievement not covered by the Nobel Prizes, the Praemium Imperiale is given in memory of Prince Takamatsu (1905–87), younger brother of Emperor Shōwa who reigned from 1926 through 1989.
The great cellist assumes the guest editorship of The Strad's October 2013 edition.
While quite how excited an artist can get about an award after their demise is debatable (at best), perhaps depending on one's religious views, the U.K.'s Classic Brits have announced that they will bestow a posthumous award on Luciano Pavarotti.
Tenor of the moment Jonas Kaufmann and a new full-length Shakespeare ballet by Christopher Wheeldon are among highlights of the new cinema season from the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. And it's a medium that seems to have found its time...