The week in classical news:
- Not long after discussing his back problems on Fresh Air, James Levine canceled nearly all of his Metropolitan Opera performances through October.
- He's also canceling all of his Tanglewood appearances this season.
- Meanwhile, the Boston Symphony Orchestra's making do in their first Levine-less season.
- Arthur Laurents, the playwright who wrote the books for West Side Story and Gypsy, passed away yesterday at age 93. He had just finished work on a new play and negotiations for a new film version of Gypsy.
- Daniel Barenboim brought musicians from some of Europe's most prestigious orchestras to give a free concert in Gaza Tuesday. The response was, as expected, divided.
- The "Spring for Music" festival at Carnegie Hall is giving new voices--composers and smaller orchestras alike--some time in the spotlight, thanks to innovative programming of new works and fascinating juxtapositions of the more familiar.
- The "Lady Blunt" Stradivarius will be auctioned off for charity next month by its current owner, the Nippon Music Foundation, which will donate all proceeds to tsunami relief efforts. It was last sold in 2008 for $10M.
- It's been quite a week for opera lovers in Texas. The Austin Lyric Opera is now more than $1 million in debt and general director Kevin Patterson has resigned.
- Meanwhile, Dallas Opera Music Director Graeme Jenkins has also resigned, saying that he'd like to focus his efforts on Europe after the end of the 2012-13 season.
- KING-FM, the radio beacon for classical music in Seattle, has gone public.
- A finance blog has stirred up a lot of discussion with its list of the most cash-strapped classical institutions. Their top five: the Philadelphia Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Columbus Symphony Orchestra, New York City Opera and the Houston Symphony.
- Is there only one way to notate music? Not hardly — and there are plenty of amazing examples of visually oriented notation in this new book.
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