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Carmen - La Scala, Milan, December 2009 (Marco Brescia / Teatro alla Scala)

Curtain rises on Carmen at La Scala

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.

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Jason Yarde receives the Contemporary Jazz Award from Sir Nicholas Kenyon

2009 British Composer Awards announced

Sir John Tavener, John Adams, Graham Fitkin and Gabriel Jackson were among the winners of this year's British Composer Awards, announced yesterday.

Martin Cullingford
York Höller wins 2010 Grawemeyer Award

York Höller wins Grawemeyer Award

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.

Martin Cullingford
Robbins Landon

Obituary: HC Robbins Landon, musicologist

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.

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Elisabeth Söderström

Obituary: Elisabeth Söderström, soprano

The Swedish soprano Elisabeth Söderström died on November 20 in Stockholm at the age of 82. She maintained a career of over a half a century during which her vocal and dramatic versatility enabled her to...

James Jolly
Stephen Layton

Stephen Layton appointed City of London Sinfonia artistic director and principal conductor

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.

Charlotte Smith
Rattle resigns to EMI

Sir Simon Rattle renews EMI recording contract

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”).

James Jolly
Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards 2009

16th Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists honour three composers

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”.

Charlotte Smith
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the Berlin Philharmonic

Free Berliner Philharmoniker digital concert

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.

James Jolly
Filming the Philharmonia (photo: Ben Ealovega)

Walk-through Stravinsky

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.

James Jolly

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