Posted inInterview

Holding the Center

In 2018, outgoing Berlin Philharmonic music director Simon Rattle told the orchestra’s in-house magazine, 128, “You probably need to be 90 to conduct this orchestra correctly.” Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt, age 95, proved the truth to this remark in a concert with the orchestra at the end of September. The Berlin Philharmonic is known for […]

Posted inBreaking

In Between Worlds

“I don’t know if there is a creator, but if he exists, all I could do is tip my hat to him and say, ‘Thank you,’” pianist and conductor Lars Vogt told me in May 2021, when we spoke shortly after his cancer diagnosis. Vogt died on Monday in a hospital in Erlangen, Germany, surrounded […]

Posted inReport

With Friends Like These

Last week, multiple Argentine newspapers broke the story of Plácido Domingo’s alleged connections to four members of a criminal cult called Escuela de Yoga de Buenos Aires, or the Buenos Aires Yoga School. Sources close to the investigation told the media that Domingo has known these alleged cult members for 26 years. Two of the […]

Posted inInterview

Pact with the Dictator

In the summer of 2009, Valery Gergiev organized an exhibition in St. Petersburg called “Wilhelm Furtwängler: Maestro, Man, and Myth” as part of the White Nights Festival. At the opening, Gergiev gave a speech noting that Furtwängler had been attacked all his life because of his biography, yet “he served a great cause with all […]

Posted inInterview

The Danger of Silence

This month, conductor Vitali Alekseenok was slated to conduct concerts in Lviv, Dnipro, and Kyiv, as well as open the Kharkiv Music Festival as its new artistic director. Instead, four days after the beginning of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, he and his girlfriend drove two trucks full of aid supplies eight and a half hours […]

Posted inOpinion

Taking Gergiev at His Word

Last week, Dieter Reiter, the mayor of Munich, sent an open letter to Valery Gergiev, the chief conductor of the Munich Philharmonic. Reiter told Gergiev he had until February 28 to distance himself from the Russian invasion of Ukraine. If Gergiev declined, his contract with the orchestra would be terminated. Some commentators, on social media […]