News, Commentary on Classical Music, Jazz, Theater, Dance & More


UPDATE: BBC Young Musician 2014 Finalists Announced, Jazz Contest Added

BBC Recording Gordon Greenberg’s ‘Guys and Dolls’ >>

London is about to get really lucky. Not only did Guys and Dolls recently make its way to the West End but soon it will be heading into the living rooms of all of Britain. The BBC will be recording the production of the classical musical directed by Gordon Greenberg. The recording will come soon to include the initial cast which includes: Jamie Parker as Sky Masterson, Siubhan Harrison as Sarah Brown, Sophie Thompson as Miss Adelaide and David Haig as Nathan Detroit. Parker and Thompson first appeared together in the 2014 Chichester Festival Theater. The current production is playing at London's Savoy Theatre.

Miloš Karadaglić

'Blackbird - The Beatles Album': Classical Guitarist Miloš Karadaglić Compares Beatles to Bach >>

As a classical guitarist, Miloš Karadaglić was reared in the strict and serious tradition of Bach, Segovia, and other classical guitar masters. But there's a branch of modern music in which he experiences similar challenges and just as rewarding of an experience. His latest project, Blackbird - The Beatles Album, released on January 15th, 2016, reflects his BBC claim: that "the Beatles are as important as Bach" when it comes to western music canon. In comparing the Beatles to Bach (whose lute suites are some of the most challenging works for modern guitar), Miloš assured the BBC that he was "never worried" his Beatles project would become "something light - because I'm not light, nor is the music."


'Doctor Who' Synth From '71 Being Restored >>

Are you ready for some more wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff? A rare synthesizer used in the British television show 'Doctor Who' in 1971 is being restored to be used at a concert in March.


BBC Launches the 2015 Inspire Young Composers' Competition >>

The BBC Proms Inspire Young Composers’ Competition has just been launched. This years winner will have their music performed at the 2015 BBC Proms, their works broadcasted on Radio 3 and received a BBC commission along with mentoring from a professional composer.

Sexual Assault Charges Against Folk Rocker Roy Harper Underway in Worcester Crown Court, U.K.

Sex Assault Charges Against Folk Rocker Roy Harper Underway in UK >>

Folk rocker Roy Harper, 73, recently was brought to court on 10 sex assault charges with two underage girls. Now women, the case against Harper is underway and will take place in Worcester Crown Court in the U.K.

Lipinski Strad

BBC Presents Doc on the Theft, Recovery of Lipinski Stradivarius Violin >>

Though many stories have hit the hearts of classical music lovers in 2014, none shocked people as much as the theft and recovery of the Lipinski Stradivarius violin. Now, BBC will broadcast a documentary called "The Lipinski," detailing the events which lead to this worldwide news sensation. The story begins with Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra concertmaster Frank Almond, who walked out of Wisconsin performances with the rare Lipinski Stradivarius slung over his shoulder. At this point, a man got out of a van in the parking lot, tased Almond and stole the violin. The Strad, which was made by a 17th- and 18th-century Italian luthier named Antonio Stradivari, is said to be worth $5 million to $6 million. The reason for this high asking price is because there are only about 650 left in the world. Days went by without a trace of the Lipinski Stradivarius, which was on loan to Almond. The Milwaukee Police Department and the FBI worked quickly. At a local news conference one week after the theft, Police Chief Edward Flynn announced that they had safely recovered the Lapinski Strad. They had discovered it, undamaged, in a suitcase in an attic. Two men were arrested, including the mastermind behind the theft, who pleaded guilty this month to felony robbery.

William Onyeabor

William Onyeabor Does 1st Radio Interview with BBC >>

William Onyeabor spoke about his newest LP in his first radio interview with BBC Radio 6. Throughout the past week, BBC Radio 6 aired a series of segments from elusive electronic artist William Onyeabor’s first radio interview conducted by Lauren Laverne. In the interview, Onyeabor discusses his plans for a new album to be released by Luaka Bop. “I’m sending out another LP now, but this time around I’m talking strictly about Jesus Christ. It will come to you through my men from the U.S., from New York [Luaka Bop],” he said. This interview comes at an exciting time for Onyeabor, whose complete discography box set was named “Best New Reissue” with a 9.0-rating from Pitchfork. Onyeabor is a bit of a mystery to the music world. Following the eight albums Onyeabor self-released between 1978 and 1985, he became a born-again Christian, refusing to speak about himself or his music again.

The Column: When The BBC Turned Teacher, And Got It Right >>

So what do we think about this new initiative from the BBC, this idea to create a UK-wide scheme to introduce children to classical music through a proscribed list of "Ten Pieces"?

UPDATE: BBC Young Musician 2014 Finalists Announced, Jazz Contest Added

BBC Supersize on Classical Music >>

It was always likely that the BBC's still-quite-new Director General -- former Royal Opera House chief Tony Hall -- would prioritise music. And today the corporation announced a slew of initiatives designed to put music back at (or close to) the center of the Beeb's world. Most eye-catching of these is a nationwide educational initiative called "Ten Pieces"

Laura Wright Takes to the London Marathon with Little to the Imagination, Plans to Sing 'Jerusalem' Mid-Sprint

Laura Wright Takes to London Marathon Leaving Little to the Imagination, Plans to Sing 'Jerusalem' Mid-Sprint >>

Laura Wright has made the brave decision to run the London Marathon on Sunday in, well, hardly anything--stopping halfway through to sing "Jerusalem" on Tower Bridge.

BBC Television's "Ballet Season" Includes Lost Footage of Margot Fonteyn in 'Sleeping Beauty,' New Documentaries Galore >>

BBC Television is about to embark on a major "Ballet Season" across March 2014. "Lost" archive footage will alternate with some new performances and documentaries.

BBC Report of Sexist Dissent at Marin Alsop's Last Night Proms is Wrong...Right? >>

There's an odd comment in a BBC report on the South Bank Center new season launch. Referring to the comments of SBC boss Jude Kelly that the classical music business is still weighted against women -- in many ways a fair comment and one that has been widely reported -- the Beeb suggested that there were dissenting voices from Marin Alsop's selection to conduct the Last Night of the Proms in 2013

Fuerzabruta: Second Collapse, at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, for London Theater Scene >>

It beggars belief, but there has been a second collapse at a London theater--within weeks of the dreadful Apollo ceiling collapse. This one was at the Roundhouse in Camden Town, a rather less glamorous part of the city than Shaftesbury Avenue (where the Apollo is located), though trendy.

IMG Artists Invests Hundreds of Millions in China Projects, Including Classical Music Reality TV

IMG Artists Invests Hundreds of Millions in China Projects, Including Classical Music Reality TV >>

Classical music reality TV has been tried in the Western world already. Sometimes with great success. The BBC’s 'The Choir,' for instance, and some years ago 'Classical Star' are considered successes. And American conductors from Toscanini to Leonard Bernstein to Michael Tilson Thomas have known how to use that box in the living-room for classical music’s best interests. But now China is getting in on the act, and we’re bound to hear more.


EXCLUSIVE: Brick Dozer @ Rough Trade-Brooklyn Grand Opening [PIX] >>

To say I was not impressed by the paltry "MODERN COMPOSITION/CLASSICAL" offerings of Rough Trade's newest outpost down by the water in Williamsburg would be putting it lightly.

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