Manchester Camerata has appointed Gábor Takács-Nagy as its new music director. He will take over from Douglas Boyd as head of the chamber orchestra next year. The founding leader of the Takács Quartet, Budapest-born Takács-Nagy began to shift his focus to conducting in 2001. He was appointed music director of the UBS Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra in 2007, and is also principal guest conductor of both the Hungarian Symphony Orchestra and the MAV Symphony Orchestra in Budapest, and founder of string orchestra Camerata Bellerive.
The Bamberg Symphony Orchestra’s International Gustav Mahler Conducting Competition has been won by 31-year-old Latvian, Ainars Rubikis. He takes home a prize of €20,000 and conducts the orchestra in a public concert featuring the competition repertoire on Friday evening. Rubikis was one of two finalists in the competition, along with Aziz Shokhakimov, a 21-year-old from Uzbekistan, who was awarded the second prize of €10,000. Third prize (€5000) went to semi-finalist Yordan Kamdzhalov, a 29-year-old from Bulgaria.
Stéphane Denève has been announced as Sir Roger Norrington’s successor at the helm of the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra (SWR), a role he takes up at the start of the 2011-12 season. Simultaneously, it has been announced that Denève will extend his contract with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra by another year, taking it to the end of the 2011-12 season.
The Met’s general manager Peter Gelb and music director James Levine have announced (February 22) next year’s season which includes seven new productions and the launch of a new cycle of Wagner’s Ring . New to the Met repertoire are John Adams’s Nixon in China and Rossini’s Le comte Ory .
London’s South Bank centre has unveiled details of its 2010/11 season, with highlights featuring a series of performances by master pianist Maurizio Pollini and a focus on Mahler. Pollini, appearing as part of the International Piano Series, will perform five recitals between January and May of music from Bach to modernism, described as “personal journey through four centuries of piano repertoire”.
John Reed, who died in Halifax on February 13 – his 94th birthday – was for many the embodiment of the true Gilbert and Sullivan tradition represented by the “old” D’Oyly Carte Opera Company, which in 1982 ceased its continuous performances that had begun in 1875.
Theclassicalshop.net, launched in 2005 by Chandos, has been re-launched today with many new features. As well as a much more stylish design, with easy access to the many labels on offer, the site has been reworked for ease of navigation.