The Well-Tempered Ear

Classical music news: Conductors loom large in this week’s roundup with news about Riccardo Muti, Daniel Barenboim, Zubin Mehta, Jeffrey Tate and Fabio Luisi. And Metropolitan Opera breaks a fundraising record as “The Met Live in HD” begins its sixth season today.

October 15, 2011

By Jacob Stockinger

Some weeks, it seems, opera stars are in the news. Other weeks, the focus is on pianists or violinists and competitions.

This week, it seems, the maestros matter. Conductors hold the spotlight – although there is also news on other fronts.

ITEM: Daniel Barenboim (below), nominated by Argentina for the Nobel Peace Prize and formerly the music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, is named music director of Milan’s famed La Scala Opera. He has been promoted from “Maestro of La Scala,” an honorary title under which he has been conducting two operas a season, to music director. The new arrangement, which begins in December, calls for him to spend 15 weeks a year in the house, through 2016. The 69-year-old Argentine-born conductor is also general music director of the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin and chief conductor for life of the Staatskapelle Berlin. At La Scala, he succeeds Riccardo Muti, who left in 2005 due to control issues with management and friction with the musicians:

ITEM: Riccardo Muti (below), current music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra picks up his $1 million Birgit Nilsson prize in Sweden:

ITEM: Former music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the New York Philharmonic, conductor Zubin Mehta (below) wins a Lifetime Achievement Award at Germany’s ECHO Klassik awards (don’t forget to see the other recipients):

ITEM: Conductor Jeffrey Tate (below, in a photo by Martin Godwin) returns to Britain and talks about his spina bifida:

ITEM: The Philadelphia Orchestra makes concessions to stay alive:

ITEM: Even as “The Met Live in HD” starts its sixth season today with soprano Anna Netrebko in Donizetti’s “Anna Bolena,” the Metropolitan Opera (below) has set a new fundraising record during hard times.

ITEM: Speaking of The Met, is conductor Fabio Luisi (below) the right guy to head the Metropolitan Opera as a music director?

Posted in Classical music

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