Fourteen minutes of applause greeted 25-year-old Anita Rachvelishvili and the cast of Barenboim's Carmen yesterday evening as another high-profile season began at La Scala, Milan. The annual December 7 opening night sold out long before the event as usual, even with tickets priced at €2,400. The performance was given in the presence of the Italian president, Giorgio Napolitano.
German composer York Höller has been awarded the 2010 Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition for his six-movement orchestral work Sphären (Spheres). Given “in recognition of outstanding achievement by a living composer in a large musical genre” by the University of Louisville, the annual prize is worth $200,000 to the winner.
HC Robbins Landon, doyen of musicologists in the second half of the 20th century, was primarily known for his pioneering work on the music of Haydn. Nevertheless, it was his popular writing on Mozart following the success of the film version of Peter Shaffer’s Amadeus , with which he reached his widest audience.
The City of London Sinfonia is to replace the late Richard Hickox with two principal conductors. Stephen Layton, director of music at Trinity College, Cambridge, will take over as artistic director and principal conductor, while clarinettist Michael Collins is also appointed principal conductor. Both have signed three-year contracts beginning in September 2010.
Sir Simon Rattle has renewed his recording contract with EMI Classics which will extend their relationship past the 30 year mark. Over the next four years Rattle and his orchestra, the Berliner Philharmoniker, will make 12 recordings. These will include the complete Nutcracker ballet by Tchaikovsky, a programme of American music which includes a new commission by Wynton Marsalis, and a disc that includes Schoenberg’s Begleitungsmusik zu einer Lichtspielszene (“Music for a Cinematographic Scene”).
This year’s batch of Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists include three Composer Awards. Chris Batchelor, Tansy Davies and Philip Jeck each receive £45,000 spread over three years, ensuring they have “the freedom to develop their creative ideas and to contribute to their personal and professional growth”.
To mark the start of a US tour by the Berliner Philharmoniker and Sir Simon Rattle, a live concert is being made available at no cost tonight (Monday, November 9) at 7pm GMT (8pm EST). Simply log onto the website of the orchestra’s exclusive partner Deutsche Bank ( http://www.db.com ), register and you can watch and listen to Brahms’s Third and Fourth Symphonies live from the orchestra’s Berlin home, the Philharmonie.
Are you into The Rite of Spring ? Well, thanks to the Philharmonia and Esa-Pekka Salonen you could, quite literally, step inside this still-astounding score. A new multi-media celebration of Stravinsky’s 1913 ballet score is running on London’s South Bank until November 15 at the Bargehouse, Oxo Wharf, which allows you to walk through the orchestra as it plays: a quite amazing experience.