Sunday, January 17, 2021

Ring Broadcast Alert: Seattle, 2005


Die Walküre
Photo by Chris Bennion, courtesey of Seattle Opera


Seattle Opera will be broadcasting its 2005 Ring next month on KING FM. It was recorded in August, 2005. Here are the dates and times:

  • 10 AM Saturday, February 6: Das Rheingold
  • 7 PM Tuesday, February 9: Die Walküre
  • 7 PM Thursday, February 11: Siegfried
  • 10 AM Saturday, Febraury 13: Gõtterdämmerung

ON THE RADIO: 98.1 KING FM | ONLINE: KING.ORG


Saturday, January 16, 2021

Further Thoughts on SFS Retirements


Davies Symphony Hall
Photo by Lisa Hirsch


We know from the number of retirements this season and coming up that San Francisco Symphony will ultimately be looking for the following:

  1. Principal flute
  2. Associate principal flute
  3. Associate principal clarinet/Eb clarinet
  4. Clarinet
  5. Bassoon
  6. Bass trombone
  7. Section percussion
  8. Section violin (3)
  9. Section viola (2)
  10. Principal cello
  11. Section cello
  12. Section bass (2)
That's....sixteen (16) players, including two principals. There's no way that the orchestra can hold auditions in one season for replacing them all, so they'll be setting priorities. 

I would guess that principal cello and principal flute are the first jobs that will be filled by audition, because those players are the leaders of their sections and because there were auditions, now canceled, scheduled for those positions. But there will still have to be players sitting in those chairs on opening night.

The cello spot will be in the good hands of associate principal Peter Wyrick, who has filled it in the past during Michael Grebanier's absences, and when Wyrick isn't available, assistant principal Amos Yang will fill the seat. They are both excellent players and give Esa-Pekka Salonen room to find just the right principal cello.

The associate principal flute, Robin McKee, won't be stepping into the principal chair, held by Tim Day, because she is also retiring. It's possible that Day and McKee will postpone their retirements*; the announced timing suggested that they wanted to be part of Salonen's first season as music director. If they do retire, I am doubtful that both Linda Lukas and Carolyn Payne (piccolo and fourth flute) would move up temporarily.

Over in the clarinets, the middle of the section is retiring. These are Luis Baez and David Neuman. Here It's possible that Jerome Simas will move up in that section, and he might decide to audition for one of the open seats.

I can't really speak to the open bassoon and trombone seats; I don't know those sections as well as I know the other wind sections.

In any event, on opening night, there need to be players in these seats. Here are the options:

1. Fill seats with current SFS players (see above for some possibilities).
2. Fill seats with freelancers, local or otherwise. For example, oboist Chris Gaudi was in the orchestra for several years because of Jonathan Fisher's extended departure and William Bennett's death.
3. Fill seats with guest artists who are on leave from other orchestras.

I wonder whether there are cases where a replacement player, as in cases 2 and 3 above, wound up being hired into an orchestra permanently. Presumably, they'd have to go through the audition process, but there's nothing like seeing someone in a particular position to know how they will function there.**

Something we don't know is whether other top-tier US orchestras will have a similar number of retirements; I haven't seen a personnel announcement for the SF Opera orchestra, for example, although we do know that co-principal French horn Mark Almond has been named associate principal French horn of SFS. We also know that SFS principal clarinet Carey Bell was principal at SFO before crossing the street, so I would expect some audition participants to come from the opera orchestra. SFS has a longer season and plays a much more varied repertory than SFO's orchestra, with higher pay, so there are attractions.



* Day and McKee are married, so it's not a surprise that they'd retire together. They were also formerly principal and associate principal flutes at the Baltimore Symphony.

** I work for a company where you can be a temporary employee, do a great job, and still not get hired permanently for arbitrary reasons, even though you're obviously a good fit and extremely capable.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Retirements, Many of Them, at San Francisco Symphony


Davies Symphony Hall
Photo by Lisa Hirsch


It's typical of San Francisco Symphony to announce retirements at the beginning of a new season or end of an old season. We're somewhere in the middle of a barely-existent season right now, and this morning I received a list of players who have retired this season. These are in addition to the previously-announced retirements of Tim Day (principal flute) and Robin McKee (associate principal flute)*, that is, half the flute section, and of course the death last year of principal cello Michael Grebanier. It's...a long list, which I think is not really surprising given what the last year has been like and given what it takes to maintain your playing at a high level.

Holy single reeds, Batman: that's half the clarinet section leaving. Principal clarinet Carey Bell and clarinet / alto clarinet / bass clarinet Jerome Simas remain.

Esa-Pekka Salonen will be spending about half his first season auditioning new musicians. 

* Re Day and McKee, SFS announced last February that they planned to retire at the end of the 2020-21 season. I am looking at the email right now, and I blogged about this when I received the email.



Friday Photo


Walt Disney Concert Hall and LA City Hall
October, 2007

 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Musical Chairs Update

That took less time than I thought it would. 

Positions filled:

  • Sao Paulo Symphony: Thierry Fischer has succeeded Marin Alsop.
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: Dennis Russell Davies will succeed Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: Maxim Emelyanychev has succeeded Robin Ticciati
  • Orchestre de Paris, Klaus Mäkelä to succeed Daniel Harding
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Raphael Payare has succeeded Kent Nagano.
  • Richmond Symphony: Valentina Peleggi succeeds Steven Smith.
  • Singapore Symphony: Han Graf succeeded Lan Shui.
  • BBC National Orchestra of Wales: Ryan Bancroft succeeded Thomas Søndergård.
Open positions:
  • London Symphony Orchestra has an opening for chief conductor in 2023, when Sir Simon Rattle heads to the BRSO in Germany.
  • Baltimore Symphony, because Marin Alsop did not renew her contract there
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Stephen Lord resigned following accusations of sexual harassment. OTSL has not named a new music director.
  • Michigan Opera Theater: Stephen Lord resigned following accusations of sexual harassment. MOT has not named a new music director.
  • Teatro Regio Turin: Open now with departure of Gianandrea Noseda. the Teatro Regional's has not named a new music director.
  • Minnesota Opera: Michael Christie has left. MO has not named a new music director. 
  • Sarasota Orchestra after Anu Tali  leaves at the end of 2018-2019. Jeffrey Kahane is "artistic advisor" but whether that means he is conducting the orchestra....I do not know.
  • Melbourne Symphony: Sir Andrew Davis leaves at the end of 2019. No new music director has been named.
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya leaves in 2020. No successor has been named.
  • Opera de Paris, when Philippe Jordan leaves in 2020. No successor has been named.
  • Atlanta Symphony, when Robert Spano leaves in 2020. No successor has been named.
  • Virginia Symphony: JoAnn Falletta is now laureate, but nsuccessor has been named.
  • Shanghai Symphony Orchestra
  • 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
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • David Robertson
  • Peter Oundjian
  • Philippe Auguin
  • Kwame Ryan
  • Ilan Volkov
  • Aleksandr Markovic
  • Lothar Koenigs
  • Henrik Nanasi
  • Carlos Kalmar
And closed:
  • BRSO hires Sir Simon Rattle to succeed the late Mariss Jansons, effective 2023.
  • Jader Bignamini is now Music Director of the Detroit SO, succeeding Leonard Slatkin.
  • Opera North: Garry Walker is music director designate
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra names Simone Young their chief conductor; she takes over in two years, succeeding David Roberts.
  • San Francisco Opera appoints Eun Sun Kim its music director, starting August 1, 2021. She succeeds Nicola Luisotti.
  • Philharmonia Orchestra names Santtu-Matias Rouvali as its next Principal Conductor, starting in 2021-22.
  • Daniele Rustioni is the next music director of the Ulster Orchestra, succeeding Rafael Payare in September, 2019.
  • Daniel Raiskin succeeds Alexander Mickelthwate in Winnipeg.
  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Richard Egarr named to succeed Nicholas McGegan, who steps down as music director in 2020 
  • In November, 2018, Antonio Pappano's contract was extended to 2023.
  • Joseph Young takes the helm at Berkeley Symphony, which Joana Carneiro left at the end of 2017-18.
  • Omer Meir Wellber succeeds Juanju Mena at the BBC Philharmonic.
  • Nicolaj Szeps-Znaider will be the next music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, succeeding Leonard Slatkin.
  • 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

Musical Chairs

 Okay, this list desperately needs updating, and I would swear I started to do that, but....give me a week, okay?

  • Jader Bignamini is now Music Director of the Detroit SO
  • Sir Simon Rattle announced as the new MD of the BRSO, succeeding the late Mariss Jansons 

Updated list of openings, etc.:

  • London Symphony Orchestra has an opening for chief conductor in 2023, when Sir Simon Rattle heads to the BRSO in Germany.
  • Baltimore Symphony, because Marin Alsop did not renew her contract there
  • Opera Theatre of Saint Louis: Stephen Lord resigned following accusations of sexual harassment.
  • Michigan Opera Theater: Stephen Lord resigned following accusations of sexual harassment.
  • 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
  • MDR Leipzig Radio Symphony: 2018 departure for Kristian Jarvi
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra: 2018 departure for Robin Ticciati
  • 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 
  • Richmond Symphony: Steven Smith leaves in 2019 
  • Singapore Symphony: 2019 departure for Lan Shui
  • Montreal Symphony Orchestra: Kent Nagano is leaving the OSM after 2019-2020. 
  • Fort Worth Symphony: Miguel Harth-Bedoya 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
  • 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
  • Ludovic Morlot
  • Sian Edwards
  • Jun Markl
  • Ingo Metzmacher
  • Jac van Steen
  • Mark Wigglesworth
  • 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:
  • Detroit Symphony Orchestra, which Leonard Slatkin leaves at the close of the 2017-18 season. He is now listed as Music Director Laureate, but their web site does not include a current Music Director.
  • Opera North: Garry Walker is music director designate
  • Sydney Symphony Orchestra names Simone Young their chief conductor; she takes over in two years, succeeding David Roberts.
  • San Francisco Opera appoints Eun Sun Kim its music director, starting August 1, 2021. She succeeds Nicola Luisotti.
  • Philharmonia Orchestra names Santtu-Matias Rouvali as its next Principal Conductor, starting in 2021-22.
  • Daniele Rustioni is the next music director of the Ulster Orchestra, succeeding Rafael Payare in September, 2019.
  • Daniel Raiskin succeeds Alexander Mickelthwate in Winnipeg.
  • Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra: Richard Egarr named to succeed Nicholas McGegan, who steps down as music director in 2020 
  • In November, 2018, Antonio Pappano's contract was extended to 2023.
  • Joseph Young takes the helm at Berkeley Symphony, which Joana Carneiro left at the end of 2017-18.
  • Omer Meir Wellber succeeds Juanju Mena at the BBC Philharmonic.
  • Nicolaj Szeps-Znaider will be the next music director of the Orchestre National de Lyon, succeeding Leonard Slatkin.
  • 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

Rattle to Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra


Sir Simon Rattle
Photo: Mark Allan / Courtesy of the London Symphony Orchestra


The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) spent goodness knows how long hoping to lure Sir Simon Rattle from Berlin back to London, and a few years back, they finally signed him.

Now that Brexit has arrived, Rattle is heading back to Germany, this time to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (BRSO, aka Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks) in 2023. Well, UK, you were warned about what might happen to the vibrant cultural scene if Brexit went through.

The mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena, who is Rattle's wife, and their children live in Germany, where the children are in school. Money quotes:

“My reasons for accepting the role of principal conductor in Munich are entirely personal,” he said in the statement, “enabling me to better manage the balance of my work and be close enough to home to be present for my children in a meaningful way.” Mr. Rattle’s family is based in Berlin, where he led the Berlin Philharmonic from 2002 to 2018.

Mr. Rattle declined to comment beyond that statement. But he has been a vocal critic of Brexit, which was voted on after he accepted the London Symphony post in 2015. And progress has been sluggish on the Center for Music, the much-desired new home for the orchestra that was conceived alongside Mr. Rattle’s appointment.

He's succeeding the late Mariss Jansons at the BRSO. 

Museum Mondays

 



Mary McFadden
Pleated garment in two states
Metropolitan Museum of Art
May, 2016

Monday, January 04, 2021