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If Arthur Fielder was the king of pops conductors, Erich Kunzel rightly earned the title “Prince of Pops”. For more than three decades, Kunzel presided over the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, touring the world and making 85 recordings for the Telarc label. Their discs won Grammy awards and sold more than 10 million copies.
Scotland’s Stirling Castle has yielded an unlikely musical discovery. Possibly the oldest surviving example of written Scottish instrumental music has been identified on the border of one of the Stirling Heads – carved wooden roundels used to decorate the ceiling of the royal palace. It is thought the series of 16th century notations in the form of Os, Is and IIs might have been played on harps, viols, fiddles and lutes. Far from precise scores, the markings would provide a guiding sequence of chords as the basis for improvisation.
One of the world’s great orchestras and one of the world’s greatest record labels team up with Gramophone to give a preview of Sir Simon Rattle’s long-anticipated Brahms symphony cycle in the Gramophone Listening Room. And, as a special gift to visitors to the Gramophone Listening Room, the Berliner Philharmoniker is offering a free concert in its acclaimed Digital Concert Hall.
It's a bit of a running joke that, whenever my best friend Nick and I go on our adventures, extraordinary things always happen. So perhaps we should have warned the Glyndebourne management I was taking him for his first visit there on Friday.
Riccardo Muti is to head the Opera di Roma from December 2010, following an agreement reached in Salzburg with the mayor of Rome, Gianni Alemanno. Under the arrangement the conductor will put on two opera productions per year as well as concerts. The Rome position is intended to be a principal role for Muti, alongside his work as musical director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, an official statement said.
French conductor Emmanuel Villaume has been appointed chief conductor of the Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra from its 2009-10 season. The first season – the orchestra’s 60th anniversary – will include Villaume conducting Mahler’s Fifth Symphony, Poulenc’s Gloria and Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique . He will increase his commitments in Bratislava over the coming years.