Archive for April, 2008

Berlin to fire Rattle?

April 24, 2008

An article in the Daily Telegraph suggests that the musicians of the
Berlin Philharmonic may be about to fire their music director, Sir
Simon Rattle:

Sir Simon Rattle’s future as conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic could be in doubt because of his own musicians.

Rumours of unrest emerged after Sir Simon announced the orchestra’s programme for the year.

They are reportedly going to vote on whether to keep him in the next few days.

Sir Simon took over in 2002 and is under contract until 2012 despite
describing his relationship with the players as "turbulent".

"The orchestra and Sir Simon are in the process of negotiating," said Stefan Stahnke, a spokesman for the Philharmonic.

"The orchestra has a very democratic tradition. It’s often called the
orchestra republic – the musicians decide their chief conductor
themselves."

A positive vote could pave the way for Sir Simon’s contract to be
extended but a rejection could force him into the arms of competing
orchestras.

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Eddie Blitz, RIP

April 23, 2008

Edouard Marquis Blitz, a cellist with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
for 27 years (and one of its first members), died on April 15, 2008 at
the age of 85.

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Honeymoon over Milwaukee

April 20, 2008

We’ve just completed one of the more unusual introductions of a new
Music Director in American orchestral history. First of all, it is a
little different to have a new Music Director conduct his/her first
concerts after being appointed – but I’ve harped on that enough, and
there are good and sufficient reasons why that happened here and why it
was the right thing to do.

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First day with the new boss

April 15, 2008

We had our first rehearsal today for our first concert with our Music
Director designate, Edo de Waart. That by itself was a little unusual;
most orchestras have worked for their new Music Directors before they
were named Music Directors in the first place (our concertmaster Frank
Almond has written a comprehensive explanation of this state of affairs
for Drew McManus’ website). We had two rehearsals before he was named
just to make sure that we weren’t making a Michael Gielen/Cincinnati
kind of mistake. But that was it.

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Worth a riot

April 5, 2008

We did Le Sacre du Printemps this week. What a great piece of music.
The audience at the Paris premiere in 1913 (conducted by Pierre
Monteux, who was the mentor of two of my favorite conductors, George
Cleve and David Zinman) deserves a lot of credit for their riot. They
recognized that they were present at a world-historical event.

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