Elektra

Elektra

Friday, December 14, 2018

Another U Mich Accusation

Found at Musical America, thanks to a Tweet:
On Monday, an article appeared in The Michigan Daily , UMich’s student newspaper, accusing Stephen Shipps, chair of the strings department and director of the university's strings preparatory division, of sexual misconduct. The story has … 
MA is behind a paywall and I'm not a subscriber. Covered elsewhere:



Jesus fucking christ. The preparatory division would be pre-college students.

Friday Photo


Cheeses of Paris
Shop Window
Ile St. Louis, Paris
October, 2018

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Bard Music West in 2019

Bard Music West has a banner year coming up.

First, there's a new concert series, to be held in March, when I will inconveniently be doing jujitsu in Chicago (but the trip with include Hamilton and a certain SFS music director designate at the CSO in Strauss and Bartok):

DATES Unless otherwise noted, all concerts are “pay what you can” at the door.

Thursday, March 28, 2019, 8pm Center for New Music 55 Taylor Street, San Francisco 
Friday, March 29, 2019, 7:30pm Palo Alto (venue TBA)
Saturday, March 30, 2019, 1pm Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) 2155 Center Street, Berkeley Free with museum admission
Sunday, March 31, 2019, 2:30pm Residence of Composer Vivian Fung 
Please contact Bard Music West to RSVP for address at 415-857-1632 or info@bardmusicwest.org.
PROGRAM more program details to be announced in February 
Danny Clay – String Quartet + Toy Piano, for string quartet and toy piano 
Clay – Playbook for flexible instrumentation 
Gabriella Smith – Carrot Revolution for string quartet 
Works by Phyllis Chen, Joseph Haydn, and others

Then there's the Bard Music West Festival, which this year will be The World of Grazyna Bacewicz!!!

On October 18-19, 2019 at Noe Valley Ministry, Bard Music West will present its third festival celebrating Polish composer and virtuoso violinist/pianist Grazyna Bacewicz (1909-1969). The festival will illuminate Bacewicz’s incredibly rich body of work and, in the fiftieth year since her death, make a case for her inclusion among the great composers of the twentieth-century. Three concerts and a talk will dive into her life, music, inspirations, and contemporaries. 

“Witold Lutoslawski called Bacewicz ‘one of the foremost women composers of all time,’ but we believe that she was one of the great composers of the twentieth century, period. While she is well- known in her native Poland, she is rarely played in the United States. 2019 marks fifty years since her death and so it seems the right time to make a case for her inclusion in the canon of great twentieth- century composers. Our festival will be a rare opportunity to be immersed in her music which ranges from pure virtuosic fun to terribly moving statements on humanity. We also look forward to exploring her contemporaries from around World War II and its aftermath, many of whom are overlooked in their own right.” —Allegra Chapman, Artistic Codirector and Executive Director, Bard Music West

A virtuoso violinist and pianist, Bacewicz wrote over two hundred pieces of chamber music, virtuosic solo showpieces, concerti, and works for chamber orchestra and large-scale orchestra. Born in Poland, she studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and violin with André Touret and Carl Flesch. She was concertmaster of the Polish Radio Orchestra in the 1930s. During World War II, she continued to compose, giving secret underground concerts in Warsaw. Bacewicz won numerous awards for her compositions, and spent the last fifteen years of her life devoted solely to composition. 

To reiterate the important dates:

Concerts:
Thursday, March 28-Sunday, March 31, 2019, in various locations.

The World of Grazing Bacewicz:
October 18-19, 2019
Noe Valley Ministry

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Esa-Pekka Salonen Replaces Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

I know, I know, it's been almost a week and my OMG IT'S ESA-PEKKA SALONEN post is not yet live. Sorry! But here's some news that was announced with the big news, which is that program that Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla was supposed to conducted, which was TBA for some time, will be taken by the music director designate. 

Let me say that I bought tickets as fast as I could because who wouldn't want to see him!!!! and hear the cheering!

At the time that MGT canceled, the announcement said that Gabriela Montero would still be playing one of the Tchaikovsky piano concertos, don't ask me which. Apparently this was a no-go when Salonen took the concert, but oh boy, it's a much more interesting program than it would have been with the concerto:


Anna THORVALDSDOTTIR
Metacosmos [West Coast Premiere]

R. STRAUSS
Also sprach Zarathurstra, Opus 30

SIBELIUS
Four Legends from the Kalevala, Opus 22

Note that the original did include the Sibelius, and I'm so happy to see it back on the program. Among other things, hearing a big solo from Russ deLuna is always a pleasure, and of the four Legends, I've only heard "The Swan of Tuonela" live.

There's a special note from SFS in the press release that just dropped:
To ensure the San Francisco Symphony’s place as an Orchestra for all, 200 $20 tickets will be made available to students for each of the January 18–20 concerts, offering students an unparalleled opportunity to witness these historic performances. Salonen will return as Music Director Designate in the 2019–20 season to conduct at least two weeks of concerts before beginning as Music Director in September 2020.

Previously: MGT Out, ?? In

Monday, December 10, 2018

Museum Mondays


The Birth of Gothic Sculpture
Musée National du Moyen Age
(Musée de Cluny)
Paris, October, 2018



Sunday, December 09, 2018

Media Round-Up: Ifigenia in Aulide, Ars Minerva

Raves for Ars Minerva's Ifigenia in Aulide, by Giovanni Porta:
UPDATED: December 9, 2018, with links to Michael Anthonio and Michael Strickland's reviews.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Friday Photo (Vegetarians, Look Away!)


Chickens in a Butcher Shop
Latin Quarter, Rue du Seine
Paris, October, 2018

Yes, I'm curious about why their skins are such different shades of, uh, chicken skin.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

More Conductor News

Others I forgot to include:


Updated list of openings, etc.:
  • Orchestre National de Lyon: open now, with Leonard Slatkin's departure
  • Opera North: open now, with Aleksandr Markovic's departure
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: 2017 is Stephen Lord's final season as MD
  • Teatro Regio Turin: Open now with departure of Gianandrea Noseda 
  • Minnesota Opera: Michael Christie leaves this year 
  • Sao Paulo Symphony: Marin Alsop leaves at some point
  • BBC Philharmonic when Juanjo Mena leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Berkeley Symphony, when Joana Carneiro leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • San Francisco Opera, departure of Nicola Luisotti at conclusion of 2017-18
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which Leonard Slatkin leaves at the close of the 2017-18 season.
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: 2018 departure for Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: 2018 departure for Robin Ticciati
  • Winnipeg SO: 2018 departure for Alexander Mickelthwate
  • Orchestre de Paris, when Daniel Harding leaves at the end of 2018-19
  • Sarasota Orchestra after Anu Tali  leaves at the end of 2018-2019
  • Melbourne Symphony: Sir Andrew Davis leaves at the end of 2019 
  • Ulster Orchestra: Rafael Payare leaves in 2019
  • Richmond Symphony: Steven Smith leaves in 2019 
  • Singapore Symphony: 2019 departure for Lan Shui
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra: David Robertson will be leaving the SSO at the end of 2019. So he really will be without an orchestral home as of 1/1/2020.
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Kent Nagano is leaving the OSM after 2019-2020. 
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya leaves in 2020 
  • Royal Opera, when Antonio Pappano leaves in 2020
  • Opera de Paris, when Philippe Jordan leaves in 2020
  • Atlanta Symphony, when Robert Spano leaves in 2020
  • Virginia Symphony: JoAnn Falletta leaves in 2020
  •  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Nicholas McGegan steps down as music director in 2020 
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales when Thomas Søndergård leaves for his new job
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonia Orchestra, when Esa-Pekka Salonen leaves at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
  • Oregon Symphony, when Carlos Kalmar leaves at the end of the 2020-21 season.
  • Minnesota Orchestra, when Osmo Vänskä leaves in 2022.
Conductors looking for jobs (that is, as of the near future, or now, they do not have a posting):
  • Lionel Bringuier
  • Robert Spano
  • Juanjo Mena
  • Antonio Pappano
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • Simone Young 
  • David Robertson
  • Peter Oundjian as of the end of 2017-18
  • Philippe Auguin
  • Kwame Ryan
  • Ilan Volkov
  • Aleksandr Markovic
  • Lothar Koenigs
  • Henrik Nanasi
  • Carlos Kalmar
And closed:
  • To the astonishment of virtually everyone, San Francisco Symphony signs Esa-Pekka Salonen, starting in 2020-21, with a five-year contract.
  • Toronto SO: Gustavo Gimeno becomes MD in 2020-21.
  • Washington National Opera brings in Evan Rogister in a newly-created job, Principal Conductor, from this season, 2018-19, through 2021-22. 
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 
  • Royal Philharmonic has named Vassily Petrenko as their chief conductor, as of 2021
  • Ken-David Masur becomes MD of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20, announced November, 2018.
  • Zurich Opera: Gianandrea Noseda becomes music director in 2021, following the departure of Fabio Luisi.
  • Dallas Symphony: Fabio Luisi assumes the position of Music Director in 2019-20. He has an initial five-year contract.
  • Orchestra of St. Luke's: Bernard Labadie starts with the 2018-2019 season 
  • Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Thomas Zehetmair starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • BBC Concert Orchestra: Bramwell Tovey started in 2018 
  • Toledo Symphony: Alain Trudel starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich: Paavo Jarvi starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Netherlands Radio Philharmonic: Karina Canellakis starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Sylvain Cambreling has replaced the late Sir Jeffrey Tate at the Hamburg Symphony
  • San Diego Symphony: Rafael Payare starts in 2019 
  • Yomiuri Nippon Symphony: Sebastian Weigle starts in April 2019
  • Vienna RSO: Marin Alsop starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Elim Chan becomes chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony in 2019-20
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Jaime Martin starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège: Gergely Madaras starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Kent Nagano is now the Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper in Hamburg
  • WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne: Cristian Măcelaru starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Israel Philharmonic: Lahav Shani starts with the 2020-2021 season 
  • Bayerische Staatsoper when Vladimir Jurowski joins in 2021.
  • Vienna Symphony: Andrés Orozco-Estrada starts with the 2021-2022 season
  • Clarinetist Martin Frøst becomes chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2019 when Thomas Dausgaard leaves for Seattle.Thomas Zehetmair is going to the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 2019
  • Matthias Bamert is going to the Sapporo Symphony in 2018 
  • Lorenzo Viotti was named music director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, as of 2018
  • Joana Mallwitz appointed GMD in Nuremberg, effective 2018
  • Philippe Jordan to the Vienna Staatsoper / VPO (Dominique Meyer not planning to appoint a WSO MD; his contract expires in 2020.)
  • Semyon! Bychkov! fills the vacancy at the Czech Philharmonic, following the death of Jiří Bělohlávek
  • Dennis Russell Davies becomes music director of the Brno Philharmonic, which had been open since 2015, as of the 2018-19 season.
  • Nicola Luisotti is now Associate Director of the Teatro Real, Madrid, not "assistant music director". My bad.
  • Seattle Symphony, where Thomas Dausgaard will succeed Ludovic Morlot in 2018-19; announced early October, 2016
  • Vancouver Symphony; Otto Tausk comes on in 2018
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Vasily Petrenko becomes their music director in 2021
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 (round 2 for him there)
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Finns on the Move

A big week here:

  • San Francisco Symphony signs Esa-Pekka Salonen, an amzing coup.
  • Osmo Vänskä to leave the Minnesota Orchestra in 2022.
What's Susanna Mälkki up to this week???


Updated list of openings, etc.:
  • Orchestre National de Lyon: open now, with Leonard Slatkin's departure
  • Opera North: open now, with Aleksandr Markovic's departure
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: 2017 is Stephen Lord's final season as MD
  • Teatro Regio Turin: Open now with departure of Gianandrea Noseda 
  • Minnesota Opera: Michael Christie leaves this year 
  • Sao Paulo Symphony: Marin Alsop leaves at some point
  • BBC Philharmonic when Juanjo Mena leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Berkeley Symphony, when Joana Carneiro leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Washington National Opera, departure of Philippe Auguin at conclusion of 2017-18 
  • San Francisco Opera, departure of Nicola Luisotti at conclusion of 2017-18
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which Leonard Slatkin leaves at the close of the 2017-18 season.
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: 2018 departure for Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: 2018 departure for Robin Ticciati
  • Toronto SO: 2018 departure for Peter Oundjian
  • Winnipeg SO: 2018 departure for Alexander Mickelthwate
  • Orchestre de Paris, when Daniel Harding leaves at the end of 2018-19
  • Sarasota Orchestra after Anu Tali  leaves at the end of 2018-2019
  • Melbourne Symphony: Sir Andrew Davis leaves at the end of 2019 
  • Ulster Orchestra: Rafael Payare leaves in 2019
  • Richmond Symphony: Steven Smith leaves in 2019 
  • Singapore Symphony: 2019 departure for Lan Shui
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra: David Robertson will be leaving the SSO at the end of 2019. So he really will be without an orchestral home as of 1/1/2020.
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Kent Nagano is leaving the OSM after 2019-2020. 
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya leaves in 2020 
  • Royal Opera, when Antonio Pappano leaves in 2020
  • Opera de Paris, when Philippe Jordan leaves in 2020
  • Atlanta Symphony, when Robert Spano leaves in 2020
  • Virginia Symphony: JoAnn Falletta leaves in 2020
  •  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Nicholas McGegan steps down as music director in 2020 
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales when Thomas Søndergård leaves for his new job
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonia Orchestra, when Esa-Pekka Salonen leaves at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
  • Oregon Symphony, when Carlos Kalmar leaves at the end of the 2020-21 season.
  • Minnesota Orchestra, when Osmo Vänskä leaves in 2022.
Conductors looking for jobs (that is, as of the near future, or now, they do not have a posting):
  • Lionel Bringuier
  • Robert Spano
  • Juanjo Mena
  • Antonio Pappano
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • Simone Young 
  • David Robertson
  • Peter Oundjian as of the end of 2017-18
  • Philippe Auguin
  • Kwame Ryan
  • Ilan Volkov
  • Aleksandr Markovic
  • Lothar Koenigs
  • Henrik Nanasi
  • Carlos Kalmar
And closed:
  • San Francisco Symphony signs Esa-Pekka Salonen, starting in 2020-21, with a five-year contract.
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 
  • Royal Philharmonic has named Vassily Petrenko as their chief conductor, as of 2021
  • Ken-David Masur becomes MD of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20, announced November, 2018.
  • Zurich Opera: Gianandrea Noseda becomes music director in 2021, following the departure of Fabio Luisi.
  • Dallas Symphony: Fabio Luisi assumes the position of Music Director in 2019-20. He has an initial five-year contract.
  • Orchestra of St. Luke's: Bernard Labadie starts with the 2018-2019 season 
  • Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Thomas Zehetmair starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • BBC Concert Orchestra: Bramwell Tovey started in 2018 
  • Toledo Symphony: Alain Trudel starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich: Paavo Jarvi starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Netherlands Radio Philharmonic: Karina Canellakis starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Sylvain Cambreling has replaced the late Sir Jeffrey Tate at the Hamburg Symphony
  • San Diego Symphony: Rafael Payare starts in 2019 
  • Yomiuri Nippon Symphony: Sebastian Weigle starts in April 2019
  • Vienna RSO: Marin Alsop starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Elim Chan becomes chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony in 2019-20
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Jaime Martin starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège: Gergely Madaras starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Kent Nagano is now the Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper in Hamburg
  • WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne: Cristian Măcelaru starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Israel Philharmonic: Lahav Shani starts with the 2020-2021 season 
  • Bayerische Staatsoper when Vladimir Jurowski joins in 2021.
  • Vienna Symphony: Andrés Orozco-Estrada starts with the 2021-2022 season
  • Clarinetist Martin Frøst becomes chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2019 when Thomas Dausgaard leaves for Seattle.Thomas Zehetmair is going to the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 2019
  • Matthias Bamert is going to the Sapporo Symphony in 2018 
  • Lorenzo Viotti was named music director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, as of 2018
  • Joana Mallwitz appointed GMD in Nuremberg, effective 2018
  • Philippe Jordan to the Vienna Staatsoper / VPO (Dominique Meyer not planning to appoint a WSO MD; his contract expires in 2020.)
  • Semyon! Bychkov! fills the vacancy at the Czech Philharmonic, following the death of Jiří Bělohlávek
  • Dennis Russell Davies becomes music director of the Brno Philharmonic, which had been open since 2015, as of the 2018-19 season.
  • Nicola Luisotti is now Associate Director of the Teatro Real, Madrid, not "assistant music director". My bad.
  • Seattle Symphony, where Thomas Dausgaard will succeed Ludovic Morlot in 2018-19; announced early October, 2016
  • Vancouver Symphony; Otto Tausk comes on in 2018
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Vasily Petrenko becomes their music director in 2021
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 (round 2 for him there)
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020

Important Things We Learned

Among the hubub of news about Esa-Pekka Salonen signing on, it's important to note that we've learned some important and interesting things about SFS CEO Mark Hanson. He has kept a pretty low profile since his arrival in 2017; we now know that:
  • He can negotiate a new contract with the musicians with no fuss at all.
  • He can hire Esa-Pekka Salonen. Many people were involved; he was on the team and surely one of the leaders. So he can work well with a team.
  • He will support a wide range of forward-looking initiatives under Salonen.

Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Conductors on the Move

Updates from a reader! Thank you, George.
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: Vasily Petrenko becomes their music director in 2021
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 (round 2 for him there)
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020
  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Nicholas McGegan steps down as music director in 2020 
I really can't believe that I never posted about McGegan, who is an institution in the Bay Area, having been MD of Philharmonia Baroque for, uh, 30 years? More? He's really good and I've enjoyed his work in 19th c. music as well.

Updated list of openings, etc.:
  • Orchestre National de Lyon: open now, with Leonard Slatkin's departure
  • Opera North: open now, with Aleksandr Markovic's departure
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: 2017 is Stephen Lord's final season as MD
  • Teatro Regio Turin: Open now with departure of Gianandrea Noseda 
  • Minnesota Opera: Michael Christie leaves this year 
  • Sao Paulo Symphony: Marin Alsop leaves at some point
  • BBC Philharmonic when Juanjo Mena leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Berkeley Symphony, when Joana Carneiro leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Washington National Opera, departure of Philippe Auguin at conclusion of 2017-18 
  • San Francisco Opera, departure of Nicola Luisotti at conclusion of 2017-18
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which Leonard Slatkin leaves at the close of the 2017-18 season.
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: 2018 departure for Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: 2018 departure for Robin Ticciati
  • Toronto SO: 2018 departure for Peter Oundjian
  • Winnipeg SO: 2018 departure for Alexander Mickelthwate
  • Orchestre de Paris, when Daniel Harding leaves at the end of 2018-19
  • Sarasota Orchestra after Anu Tali  leaves at the end of 2018-2019
  • Melbourne Symphony: Sir Andrew Davis leaves at the end of 2019 
  • Ulster Orchestra: Rafael Payare leaves in 2019
  • Richmond Symphony: Steven Smith leaves in 2019 
  • Singapore Symphony: 2019 departure for Lan Shui
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra: David Robertson will be leaving the SSO at the end of 2019. So he really will be without an orchestral home as of 1/1/2020.
  • San Francisco Symphony! when MTT leaves at the end of 2019-20
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Kent Nagano is leaving the OSM after 2019-2020. 
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya leaves in 2020 
  • Royal Opera, when Antonio Pappano leaves in 2020
  • Opera de Paris, when Philippe Jordan leaves in 2020
  • Atlanta Symphony, when Robert Spano leaves in 2020
  • Virginia Symphony: JoAnn Falletta leaves in 2020
  •  Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Nicholas McGegan steps down as music director in 2020 
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales when Thomas Søndergård leaves for his new job
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonia Orchestra, when Esa-Pekka Salonen leaves at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
  • Oregon Symphony, when Carlos Kalmar leaves at the end of the 2020-21 season.
Conductors looking for jobs (that is, as of the near future, or now, they do not have a posting):
  • Lionel Bringuier
  • Robert Spano
  • Juanjo Mena
  • Antonio Pappano
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • Simone Young 
  • David Robertson
  • Peter Oundjian as of the end of 2017-18
  • Philippe Auguin
  • Kwame Ryan
  • Ilan Volkov
  • Aleksandr Markovic
  • Lothar Koenigs
  • Henrik Nanasi
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Carlos Kalmar
And closed:
  • Oslo Philharmonic: Klaus Makela becomes their chief conductor in 2020
  • Dresden Philharmonic: Marek Janowski becomes their chief conductor in 2019 
  • Royal Philharmonic has named Vassily Petrenko as their chief conductor, as of 2021
  • Ken-David Masur becomes MD of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20, announced November, 2018.
  • Zurich Opera: Gianandrea Noseda becomes music director in 2021, following the departure of Fabio Luisi.
  • Dallas Symphony: Fabio Luisi assumes the position of Music Director in 2019-20. He has an initial five-year contract.
  • Orchestra of St. Luke's: Bernard Labadie starts with the 2018-2019 season 
  • Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Thomas Zehetmair starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • BBC Concert Orchestra: Bramwell Tovey started in 2018 
  • Toledo Symphony: Alain Trudel starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich: Paavo Jarvi starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Netherlands Radio Philharmonic: Karina Canellakis starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Sylvain Cambreling has replaced the late Sir Jeffrey Tate at the Hamburg Symphony
  • San Diego Symphony: Rafael Payare starts in 2019 
  • Yomiuri Nippon Symphony: Sebastian Weigle starts in April 2019
  • Vienna RSO: Marin Alsop starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Elim Chan becomes chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony in 2019-20
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Jaime Martin starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège: Gergely Madaras starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Kent Nagano is now the Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper in Hamburg
  • WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne: Cristian Măcelaru starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Israel Philharmonic: Lahav Shani starts with the 2020-2021 season 
  • Bayerische Staatsoper when Vladimir Jurowski joins in 2021.
  • Vienna Symphony: Andrés Orozco-Estrada starts with the 2021-2022 season
  • Clarinetist Martin Frøst becomes chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2019 when Thomas Dausgaard leaves for Seattle.Thomas Zehetmair is going to the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 2019
  • Matthias Bamert is going to the Sapporo Symphony in 2018 
  • Lorenzo Viotti was named music director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, as of 2018
  • Joana Mallwitz appointed GMD in Nuremberg, effective 2018
  • Philippe Jordan to the Vienna Staatsoper / VPO (Dominique Meyer not planning to appoint a WSO MD; his contract expires in 2020.)
  • Semyon! Bychkov! fills the vacancy at the Czech Philharmonic, following the death of Jiří Bělohlávek
  • Dennis Russell Davies becomes music director of the Brno Philharmonic, which had been open since 2015, as of the 2018-19 season.
  • Nicola Luisotti is Associate Director of the Teatro Real, Madrid, not "assistant music director".
  • Seattle Symphony, where Thomas Dausgaard will succeed Ludovic Morlot in 2018-19; announced early October, 2016
  • Vancouver Symphony; Otto Tausk comes on in 2018

Salonen Leaving Philharmonia

And another orchestra comes into play: Esa-Pekka Salonen is leaving the Philharmonia Orchestra at the close of the 2020-21 season.

I will note that evidently he'll be spending more time in California: he accepted a teaching position at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, which I heard about a couple of months back from Mr. CKDH's blog but never blogged myself. Well, the weather in LA is better than the weather in London, that's for sure.

Do I think he is looking for another conducting job? When his name has come up recently, I have sighed and said that he wants to compose more, plus he doesn't care for the administrative and fund-raising responsibilities of American music directors. He could have a fulfilling life as a guest conductor, given the number of orchestras and opera companies that would be very happy to have him around even temporarily. His first Ring will be in Helsinki in....2021, I believe. So your guess is as good as mine.

Updated list of openings, etc.:
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra: currently looking owing to departure of Charles Dutoit
  • Orchestre National de Lyon: open now, with Leonard Slatkin's departure
  • Opera North: open now, with Aleksandr Markovic's departure
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: 2017 is Stephen Lord's final season as MD
  • Teatro Regio Turin: Open now with departure of Gianandrea Noseda 
  • Minnesota Opera: Michael Christie leaves this year 
  • Sao Paulo Symphony: Marin Alsop leaves at some point
  • BBC Philharmonic when Juanjo Mena leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Berkeley Symphony, when Joana Carneiro leaves at the end of 2017-18
  • Washington National Opera, departure of Philippe Auguin at conclusion of 2017-18 
  • San Francisco Opera, departure of Nicola Luisotti at conclusion of 2017-18
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which Leonard Slatkin leaves at the close of the 2017-18 season.
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: 2018 departure for Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: 2018 departure for Robin Ticciati
  • Toronto SO: 2018 departure for Peter Oundjian
  • Winnipeg SO: 2018 departure for Alexander Mickelthwate
  • Orchestre de Paris, when Daniel Harding leaves at the end of 2018-19
  • Sarasota Orchestra after Anu Tali  leaves at the end of 2018-2019
  • Melbourne Symphony: Sir Andrew Davis leaves at the end of 2019 
  • Ulster Orchestra: Rafael Payare leaves in 2019
  • Richmond Symphony: Steven Smith leaves in 2019 
  • Singapore Symphony: 2019 departure for Lan Shui
  • Dresden Philharmonic: 2019 departure for Michael Sanderling
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra: David Robertson will be leaving the SSO at the end of 2019. So he really will be without an orchestral home as of 1/1/2020.
  • San Francisco Symphony! when MTT leaves at the end of 2019-20
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Kent Nagano is leaving the OSM after 2019-2020. 
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya leaves in 2020 
  • Royal Opera, when Antonio Pappano leaves in 2020
  • Opera de Paris, when Philippe Jordan leaves in 2020
  • Atlanta Symphony, when Robert Spano leaves in 2020
  • Virginia Symphony: JoAnn Falletta leaves in 2020
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales when Thomas Søndergård leaves for his new job
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • Philharmonia Orchestra, when Esa-Pekka Salonen leaves at the end of the 2020-2021 season.
Conductors looking for jobs (that is, as of the near future, or now, they do not have a posting):
  • Lionel Bringuier
  • Robert Spano
  • Juanjo Mena
  • Antonio Pappano
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • Simone Young 
  • David Robertson
  • Peter Oundjian as of the end of 2017-18
  • Philippe Auguin
  • Kwame Ryan
  • Ilan Volkov
  • Aleksandr Markovic
  • Lothar Koenigs
  • Henrik Nanasi
  • Esa-Pekka Salonen
And closed:
  • Ken-David Masur becomes MD of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2019-20, announced November, 2018.
  • Zurich Opera: Gianandrea Noseda becomes music director in 2021, following the departure of Fabio Luisi.
  • Dallas Symphony: Fabio Luisi assumes the position of Music Director in 2019-20. He has an initial five-year contract.
  • Orchestra of St. Luke's: Bernard Labadie starts with the 2018-2019 season 
  • Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra: Thomas Zehetmair starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • BBC Concert Orchestra: Bramwell Tovey started in 2018 
  • Toledo Symphony: Alain Trudel starts with the 2018-2019 season
  • Tonhalle Orchestra Zurich: Paavo Jarvi starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Netherlands Radio Philharmonic: Karina Canellakis starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Sylvain Cambreling has replaced the late Sir Jeffrey Tate at the Hamburg Symphony
  • San Diego Symphony: Rafael Payare starts in 2019 
  • Yomiuri Nippon Symphony: Sebastian Weigle starts in April 2019
  • Vienna RSO: Marin Alsop starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Elim Chan becomes chief conductor of the Antwerp Symphony in 2019-20
  • Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra: Jaime Martin starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Orchestre Philharmonique de Liège: Gergely Madaras starts with the 2019-2020 season 
  • Kent Nagano is now the Generalmusikdirektor of the Staatsoper in Hamburg
  • WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne: Cristian Măcelaru starts with the 2019-2020 season
  • Israel Philharmonic: Lahav Shani starts with the 2020-2021 season 
  • Bayerische Staatsoper when Vladimir Jurowski joins in 2021.
  • Vienna Symphony: Andrés Orozco-Estrada starts with the 2021-2022 season
  • Clarinetist Martin Frøst becomes chief conductor of the Swedish Chamber Orchestra in 2019 when Thomas Dausgaard leaves for Seattle.Thomas Zehetmair is going to the Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 2019
  • Matthias Bamert is going to the Sapporo Symphony in 2018 
  • Lorenzo Viotti was named music director of the Gulbenkian Orchestra, as of 2018
  • Joana Mallwitz appointed GMD in Nuremberg, effective 2018
  • Philippe Jordan to the Vienna Staatsoper / VPO (Dominique Meyer not planning to appoint a WSO MD; his contract expires in 2020.)
  • Semyon! Bychkov! fills the vacancy at the Czech Philharmonic, following the death of Jiří Bělohlávek
  • Dennis Russell Davies becomes music director of the Brno Philharmonic, which had been open since 2015, as of the 2018-19 season.
  • Nicola Luisotti is now Associate Director of the Teatro Real, Madrid, not "assistant music director". 
  • Seattle Symphony, where Thomas Dausgaard will succeed Ludovic Morlot in 2018-19; announced early October, 2016
  • Vancouver Symphony; Otto Tausk comes on in 2018

Monday, December 03, 2018

It's a Wonderful Life, San Francisco Opera


Act I of It's a Wonderful Life
Golda Schultz as Clara and William Burden as George Bailey (center) 
Sarah Cambidge, Amitai Pati, Ashley Dixon and Christian Pursell as Angels First Class.
Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

San Francisco Opera was one of the co-commissioners of Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's adaptation of Frank Capra's 1946 film It's a Wonderful Life, which premiered in Texas in December, 2016. The opera is now 2/3 of the way through a nine-performance run at SFO. I saw the performance of Sunday, November 25.

Full disclosure: I just can't stand the film. I came to this stance comparatively recently; when I first saw it, as a teen, and through the years, I found it charming and heart-warming. Last time around, as a more sophisticated and observant adult, well, I concluded that the main message of the film is that you should carry on, give up your dreams, and keep your nose to the grindstone. Also, the wicked won't be punished. All this is wrapped in the maudlin tale of an incompetent angel - I mean, how could there be such a thing, theologically speaking?? -- who has failed, repeatedly, to earn his wings. Once again, what the fuck does this mean, theologically??

I'm happy to say that this opera is a big, big improvement on the movie. It's not that Heggie's music turns the story into an expressionist masterpiece - boy, wouldn't that have been a surprise - but his brand of pretty, complicated-enough, beautifully-orchestrated music has just enough edge, just enough ability to provide ambiguity, to cut through the sweetness and present something that is more realistic than the film. Scheer's libretto helps a good deal with this, because there is more, and more explicit, emphasis on what George Bailey, the hero of the story, has given up to be the good guy proprietor of the family building and loan association in a very small town.


William Burden as George Bailey in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's "It's a Wonderful Life."
Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

On top of that, instead of the aw-shucks baritone voice of Jimmy Stewart, the opera has the plangent tenor of William Burden. The sound of his voice makes a huge difference in putting over the part!

Let me say something that I think I've said before: Burden one of the greatest tenors singing today. If he doesn't have the fame and fan club of Jonas Kaufmann, well, okay, nobody is quite that darkly handsome, but beyond that, you won't usually find Burden singing top-10 tenor roles. He's been most visible to me in new operas and in the less-performed areas of the repertory. I've seen him as a terrifying Peter Quint in The Turn of the Screw and an impassioned Laca in Jenufa, as St. Peter in The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Captain Vere in Billy Budd, and more.

He was at his absolute best in It's a Wonderful Life. He sounded fantastic, in top vocal form, and, really, the part fit him like a glove. Okay, it should, since it was written with him in mind. Still! Voices change, singers have off nights, etc. Dramatically, he was also everything you'd want, whether as a young man heading, he thinks, for college, or as an adult standing up to evil Mr. Potter, or as a scared fellow worried that his business is about to collapse.


Golda Schultz as Clara in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's "It's a Wonderful Life."
Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera


Heggie and Scheer were also extremely canny in how they handled Clarence the incompetent angel: he is transmuted into Clara, who has been trying to get promoted for 200 years, and who seems well-meaning, rueful, and kind. There's no explanation that I caught as to why she hasn't got her wings yet, and I think that is just as well. The role seems to have been written to be played by a Black soprano, given that Talise Trevigne created the role, the South African soprano Golda Schultz is singing it here, and one of the performances was taken by Kearsten Piper Brown.

Schultz, making her SFO debut, was perfectly charming and lovely as Clara, singing with a light, sweet, well-projected soprano. She's a good actor as well, and has lots of presence. I hope she'll be back!


Andriana Chuchman as Mary Hatch and William Burden as George Bailey in Jake Heggie and Gene Scheer's "It's a Wonderful Life."
Photo: Cory Weaver/San Francisco Opera

Heggie and Scheer's Mary Hatch tracks pretty closely with the Mrs. Bailey of the movie, falling for George at a very young age and loving him to the end. The pair have a couple of lovely scenes together. I loved Andriana Chuchman, also making her SFO debut, who sang gorgeously and came off a lot like Donna Reed without actually imitating her - ideal match of singer to role, and what a beautiful voice!

Rod Gilfrey, not heard at SF Opera for a while, was an excellent, evil Potter. (I liked him a whole lot as the Music Master in this past summer's Ariadne auf Naxos at the other SFO.) My big regret about the libretto is that it doesn't tie up the matter of the $8,000 that Potter blithely steals from Uncle Billy. No photos of Gilfrey in character at the SFO web site, so no photos of him for now.

Joshua Hopkins, also making his local debut, sang a manly Harry Bailey. Tenor Keith Jameson was Uncle Billy, and he could have been more bumbling. Catherine Cook stole one scene as Mother Bailey.

The production is nice enough and very efficient, a unit set with squares all over it that turn out to have various functions, including hiding props and as trap doors (I think). Leonard Foglia's direction was also efficient. Patrick Summers is in tune with the music and conducted with his customary flair.

The opera is overall pretty shamelessly tear-jerking, especially the end, but I guess that is about what you would expect from an adaptation of It's a Wonderful Life.

Big News Coming on Wednesday



San Francisco Symphony will name their new music director on Wednesday. I know this because I was invited to the press conference. Look for tweets on Wednesday around 5:45 p.m. unless you're one of the lucky recipients of an embargoed press release.

UPDATE: Feel free to speculate in the comments! And bear in mind: I know nothing. I haven't heard one credible rumor and I'm surprised that the announcement is coming now rather than a few months down the road.