Synaphaï: Gene Gaudette's Blog

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Giorgio Tozzi, 1923-2011

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Tozzi was a much-beloved Metropolitan Opera basso and, from 1991 to 2006, a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music. And you might not have known he was born George John Tozzi in Chicago. Margalit Fox fills in more at the NY Times, and Anastasia Tsioulcas reports for NPR.

 

Podcast: Meet Yongmei Hu

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A few weeks ago at a Steinway Hall press event, Yongmei Hu gave a small audience a tantalizing taste of the program she'll be playing at her sold-out Alice Tully Hall debut this Sunday. Earlier this week…

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The Great Fake Prominent International Orchestra Swindle

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Daniel Wakin has the juicy details at the NY Times. The truth is that the "Great International Orchestra Swindle" is not a terribly well-kept secret – and arguably one of the biggest scandals – in the American classical music business.

It's also worth noting that on more than one occasion I've seen fine local free-lancers padding out the ranks of a couple of legitimate "name" Russian orchestras performing in New York City. It might be a worthwhile topic for a follow-up article by Wakin, who has become a "must-read" music journalist.

 

Bernard Greenhouse, 1916-2011

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Greenhouse was a giant of chamber music and a prominent cello pedagogue. Margalit Fox's obituary has just gone live at the NY Times.

 

Another Look at the Philadelphia Orchestra Mess

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"[W]hat we have here is a labor negotiation masquerading as a bankruptcy case" – especially given that the Philadelphia Orchestra's assets are larger than their liabilities. The Philadelphia Inquirer's Peter Dobrin has written a fact-filled backgrounder on the circumstances surrounding the orchestra management's bankruptcy filing.

 

Busy Busy Busy Redux

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It's been a couple of unexpectedly busy weeks for me; blogging shall resume (almost) immediately

 

Hughes Cuénod, 1902-2010

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He lived to the amazing age of 108 — and made his critically-acclaimed MET debut when he was 85! He was an early music revivalist whose repertoire also included songs by Noel Coward. Read Margalit Fox's obituary from the New York Times. UPDATE: The post on Cuenod at Classical Iconoclast will bring a smile — guaranteed!

 

Sunday Arts and Leisure: Passings, Panic, and Puccini

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Here's a heads-up to three Sunday reads from the New York Times:

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Rachel Rocks the House (okay, the barge)

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Rachel Barton Pine brought both her daring approach to programming and dynamic artistic personality to a demanding program of solo violin music last night at Bargemusic.

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Peter Hofmann, 1944-2010

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Tenor Peter Hofmann started his musical career as a rock singer, and switched to opera, showing enough talent to be one of Bayreuth's busiest heldentenors during the late 1970s and 1980s and make 29 appearances at the Metropolitan Opera. He even looked like both Siegfried and the frontman in a heavy metal hair band.  When his voice began to show some strain in the late 1980s, he left opera and became the German-speaking world's definitive Phantom of the Opera, bringing gravitas, electricity, and a strongly expressive voice to the title character in Andrew Lloyd-Webber's cheesy musical. Margalit Fox has a detailed obituary at nytimes.com.

 

Grisey Kid Stuff

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My review of the New York Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble's terrific Saturday evening concert at the Metropolitan Museum of Art was posted to Classical Source yesterday, but I wanted to add a few personal observations here.

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Turmoil in Detroit Having Nothing to Do with the Auto Industry

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Go read the Guardian's Ed Pilkington on the Detroit Symphony Orchestra's continuing strike.

 


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