Good afternoon! We hope to have everything from Norman Lebrecht at a much more decent hour today than we did on Wednesday. Norman has some passings to let us know about, along with plenty of other cultural news.
1) The Salzburg Festival is dedicating this year’s opening concert to the memory of media mogul Leo Kirch. If you don’t know the name, you may still know his work, especially if you follow classical music video. Many of his company’s videos of European opera productions and classical concerts have been shown on U.S. public TV over the years.
2) Sad news for jazz lovers! The “other Frank” is no more. Frank Foster, the great saxophonist, flutist and arranger who led the Count Basie Orchestra for many years after the Count’s passing, is dead at age 82.
3) Another departure from the jazz world: saxophonist Gil Bernal, who worked with talents ranging from Ray Charles to Spike Jones, has died at age 80.
4) And farewell to the jazz lyricist and poet Fran Landesman (“Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most” and many others), who has died at age 83, just a few months after the death of her husband, Jay Landesman. As Norman sadly writes, “The whole generation are on the way out. “ There’s a portrait at Lebrecht Music & Arts, and her website with bio and career information is here.
5) Well, certain members of “that generation” don’t seem to be on the way out just yet, thank goodness…How do you spend your weekend? While most people are chilling out on the weekends, 81-year-old conductor Lorin Maazel keeps busier than most people half his age…and seems to thrive on it!
6) Conductor Fabio Luisi speaks out in support of Gidon Kremer’s recent indictment of “the star-maker machinery” in the classical music business.
7) The true cost–financial and more–of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings…and the whole thing doesn’t exactly leave the taste of cheesecake behind!
8) Some more “Soldiers of Orange” in the Dutch cultural funding wars: Barcelona Symphony players come out in support of their embattled Dutch colleagues in music and the arts, in defiance of senior management!
9) We know Anthony Hopkins as one of the great actors of our time, but he also composes music, including that for some of his films! More about Hopkins’ own music and other music from his films; Norman Lebrecht passes along news of a concert in Birmingham, England.
10) MARK YOUR CALENDAR: Norman gave an “advance warning” on the “Why Mahler?” Facebook page…batten down the hatches on September 1st at 9:45 PM UK time (4:45 PM in the eastern US), since his documentary “In Search of Gustav Mahler” will be rebroadcast on BBC Radio 3! (If you click the link, you’ll find information from the show’s original broadcast and web streaming from last year. Also, there will be film clips that you probably won’t be able to see in the USA due to rights restrictions. ( However, we in the States should be able to hear the streaming of the rebroadcast in September.) We’ll mention more about it when the time for the broadcast gets closer!
As for the photo above…when Norman Lebrecht and his wife, Elbie Lebrecht, were traveling “in search of Gustav Mahler” in 2010, they visited the Vienna State Opera, where Mahler was music director from 1897 to 1907 when it was the Vienna Court Opera. While there, they posed for this lighthearted photo with the bust of Mahler by sculptor Auguste Rodin!
Tags: Anthony Hopkins, Barcelona Symphony, BBC Radio 3, Fabio Luisi, Fran Landesman, Frank Foster, Gil Bernal, Leo Kirch, Lorin Maazel, Mahler, Norman Lebrecht, Philadelphia Orchestra, Salzburg Festival, Slipped Disc