A funky version of Terry Riley’s In C, a rare John Cage/Leonard Bernstein collaboration, an album of cello glissandi, and a project on 1950s telephone operators – consider your mind expanded
Cellist with a mastery of the instrument in its 18th-century form
The Danish-born musician becomes the Glasgow orchestra’s chief conductor in September 2016.
In our weekly tout of the hottest tickets just released, book now to see a triumphant modernist exhibition, a devilish dinner hostess in Perth and more
With Simon Rattle’s next post in London finally confirmed, attention returns to the Berlin Philharmonic and the question of who will succeed him as its principal conductor.
As one Rattle-era dawns, so another reaches its crepuscular blue-hour. Simon Rattle is preparing simultaneously to take up the Music Director role at the London Symphony Orchestra in 2017, the following year he will leave his position running the Berlin Philharmonic. As three years is but a breath in classical-music planning terms at these rarefied echelons, the Berlin Phil needs to gets its skates on to nab their man for 2018. Man? Yes. I’m afraid that the glacial progress towards gender equality at the top levels of the conducting world means I reckon the next principal conductor will be a man, this time around, at least. (Although they could and arguably should consider a woman: Simone Young, Emmanuelle Haim, and Susanna Mälkki have all conducted the orchestra in recent seasons.)
On 11 May, the first round of secret voting will take place among the 124 members of the Berlin Philharmonic over who becomes their next principal conductor. And as is well-known and infinitely gossiped about, the Berliners are in more than a soupçon of a pickle with this appointment, which may take several rounds of voting to resolve before the eventual candidate has the backing of a mandate-giving majority. The problem is there seems to be a generational gap in the ranks of today’s most celebrated conductors. There are plenty of younger candidates who don’t quite have the experience but who do have the requisite glamour, but they also all have pretty big jobs just now (see below), and then there are the venerated and venerable older generation whose time and energies are necessarily more limited. But the middle generation of conductors in their 40s or 50s who have the right balance of energy, experience and ambition have largely been bypassed in the Berlin Phil’s thinking - and indeed, in the wider cultures of orchestral music, where enthusiastic youth and super-maturity seem to be the only recognised states of being for a great conductor.
Barbican, LondonDespite a virtuosic multimedia staging and faultless performances, Unsuk Chin’s opera never quite comes to life
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