Japan Society’s upcoming concert series: ‘John Cage’s Japan’

Japan Society’s John Cage’s Japan In 2012, the world celebrated John Cage’s hundredth birthday. ‘World’ is a vague term that risks meaning North America and Europe when used with bravado from a Western musical perspective. But it is no exaggeration to say that John Cage held worldwide notoriety far beyond the New York City of post-World … Read more

Conductor Charlotte Corderoy talks to John Quinn and looks forward to Pilgrim’s Progress at the Three Choirs Festival

Charlotte Corderoy in conversation with John Quinn

One of the most eagerly anticipated events of the 2023 Three Choirs Festival is the semi-staged production of Vaughan Williams’ The Pilgrim’s Progress. This is a key work in Vaughan Williams’ output; the composition occupied him for a very long time – for three decades, from the early 1920s until its first performance in 1951 – and it blends several different aspects of his style. I first came to know and love it fully fifty years ago through Sir Adrian Boult’s famous EMI recording, issued in 1972 to mark the composer’s centenary. Opportunities to experience it live have been few and far between, though. I managed to see a semi-staged performance that Richard Hickox conducted in Symphony Hall, Birmingham in 1997, in which, as I recall, several singers took part who later featured in his excellent 1998 Chandos recording. To my lasting regret, I never saw the widely praised production which the Royal Northern College of Music put on in 1992, though I subsequently obtained and admired the live audio recording that was issued. Finally, in 2012 I was able to see a full staged production at English National Opera and though I was irritated by some aspects of the production, the musical performance, under the expert baton of Martyn Brabbins, was excellent (review). When I learned that the work was to feature in the Three Choirs Festival it became an unmissable event as far as I was concerned.

My interest was further piqued when I discovered that the performance is to be conducted by Charlotte Corderoy, a young British conductor and someone, moreover, for whom this performance will be something of a musical homecoming because she has strong connections with Gloucester Cathedral and the Three Choirs Festival. Interestingly, in returning to conduct at Three Choirs she will follow in the footsteps of Gloucester-born Edward Gardner, a former chorister at Gloucester Cathedral, who appeared as a guest conductor at the 2013, 2016 and 2019 Festivals, all held in his home city.

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Speranza Scappucci is the Royal Opera House’s new Principal Guest Conductor

Royal Opera House appoints  Speranza Scappucci as Principal Guest Conductor

Speranza Scappucci conducting Attila (ROH 2022) © Tom Parker 

The Royal Opera House announces the appointment of Speranza Scappucci as Principal Guest Conductor of The Royal Opera. Scappucci will take up the position in September 2025, at the start of the 2025/26 Season, becoming the first Principal Guest Conductor since 1997.

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R.I.P. Seen and Heard International‘s Emeritus Editor Bill Kenny (1938-2022)

Bill Kenny (5 September 1938 – 31 October 2022)
Emeritus Editor, Seen and Heard International

We are sad to learn of the passing of Bill Kenny at the age of 83 last Monday October 31, 2022. He had not been well for a while. His character was best exemplified by himself in his own gently self-deprecating profile on MusicWeb International:

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Jakub Hrůša is The Royal Opera’s new Music Director from September 2025

Royal Opera House appoints Jakub Hrůša as Music Director

Jakub Hrůša

The Royal Opera House today announces the appointment of Jakub Hrůša as Music Director of The Royal Opera. Hrůša will assume the position of Music Director Designate with immediate effect and will begin his tenure as Music Director in September 2025.

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Marin Alsop previews The Amazon Concert and São Paulo Symphony Orchestra’s debut at Carnegie Hall with Daniele Sahr

Maestro Alsop brings the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra to Carnegie Hall for the first time in the orchestra’s history

Marin Alsop © Reinaldo Canato

For Marin Alsop, it is about working in partnership and extending an opportunity to the world to immerse themselves, as listeners, in new experiences of place, people and culture. On 14 and 15 October, Maestro Alsop will bring the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra to Carnegie Hall for the first time in the orchestra’s history, as part of a North American tour. She has had a long relationship as their Music Director from 2013-2020, and she spoke to me about her vision coming together in these two days of concerts at Carnegie Hall. She now holds the title of Conductor of Honor.

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The Royal Opera House’s brand-new streaming service

Royal Opera House Stream –  
world-class performances now available online click here 

  • The best of the ROH on demand, with over 45 extraordinary productions available from launch
  • New titles added every month, including special releases in UHD and Dolby Atmos
  • 85 pieces of behind-the-scenes content, plus more every month
  • The best of the Royal Opera House for just £9.99 a month, or £99 per year

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