Around The Classical Internet: April 29, 2011
By Anastasia Tsioulcas
The week in classical news:
- While speculation continues to swirl around what might happen at the Philadelphia Orchestra, their hometown paper has laid out what's in their bankruptcy court documents.
- In the aftermath of the Detroit Symphony crisis, Leonard Slatkin says "there's a lot of bridge-building and healing to do."
- The brouhaha over Kate & Wills' wedding is winding down, but the furor is just beginning for a formerly unknown 35-year-old Welsh composer whose choral music was picked for the ceremony.
- Meanwhile, Alex Ross has assembled a little tongue-in-cheek fanfare mashup of his own for the occasion.
- An intended $137 million gift to the Lucerne Festival is now at the center of a massive family feud.
- A trio of sad demises this week: Composer Peter Lieberson has died of lymphoma at age 64. Composer Ross Bauer has written a lovely remembrance.
- Max Mathews, a pioneer in electronic music, has died at age 84. His work directly inspired HAL's "Daisy Song" in "2001: A Space Odyssey."
- Biographer Joan Peyser, who penned biographies of Leonard Bernstein, George Gershwin and Pierre Boulez, died at age 80.
- The band capital of America? Minnesota.
- The second installment of the Met's new Ring cycle has premiered, and those planks are apparently still as slippery as all get out.
- A retooled Winnie the Opera — about the controversial Mrs. Mandela, sung in Xhosa and English by an all-South African cast — premiered in Johannesburg to a standing ovation on Thursday.
- The original version, staged in Toronto in 2007 as The Passion of Winnie with Canadian students trying to sing in Xhosa, was a flop: "tattered, confused and theatrically starved," said The Globe and Mail.
- Has Columbia Artists Management been selling an orchestra that doesn't even exist?
- Lyric Opera has announced that Anthony Freud will be its new GM. In the Chicago Tribune, John von Rhein ponders how bold Freud's artistic vision might be.
- Are you ready for precocious kids in powdered wigs? The Russia K network is hosting its annual Nutcracker International Television Contest for Young Musicians. Judges Yuri Bashmet and Vladmir Spivakov would look sharp in wigs, too.
- On the Billboard Traditional Classical Chart, Shadow Mountain Records and Deseret Books — home to Mormon artists exclusively — have another No. 1, this time with a young pianist named Josh Wright. (This marks the sixth No. 1 out of Salt Lake City in the past year.)
- There just aren't many artists who name both Percy Grainger and Laura Nyro as top influences. But organist Cameron Carpenter's always one to go his own way.
- The most popular piece of classical music in the UK? Rachmaninov's Piano Concerto No. 2, according to Classic FM's newest poll.
- Madonna is currently collaborating on a classical music-infused score for W.E., a film she's written and directed about Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson.
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