It’s our busiest time of the year: hardly a day goes by without a major festival publishing its schedules for the year ahead, as well as new season listings appearing from several top orchestras and the Met. So wherever you are in the world, the site is bursting with new stuff - we’ve shown some of the highlights below.
By the way, our apologies to anyone who received a stray copy of last September's newsletter in the last few days. We had a small technical hiccup with a test copy of the site that wasn't supposed to be able to send e-mail out to the world at large. We're really sorry for the inconvenience.
Late last month, we generated a flurry of interest when we took a dive into our database and produced some statistics about what was most performed in 2010 (top composers, works, music styles etc) inasmuch as our database could tell. The resulting article was picked up by Tom Service's blog and thence by a large number of other sites around the world, exciting much commentary. In response to the commentary, we've published some more detailed information including things like the most performed piano and violin concerti, and an interesting item about concert start times.
Mahler fans in or near Germany should head for Leipzig, where you can hear not only the fêted Gewandhaus Orchestra but also the Royal Concertgebouw, Vienna Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, London Symphony and many more of the top orchestras performing all 10 Symphonies over 10 days in May. If you're a serious Mahler fan, this is unmissable.
Also in Germany, every year sees a very large Piano festival in the Ruhr region. This year the list of stars include Martha Argerich, Khatia Buniatishvili, Andras Schiff, Mark-André Hamelin and many more. If you love piano music and you don’t know the festival, we think you'll be amazed.
Arnstadt in Germany was the location of Bach's first "proper" job, at St Boniface's Church. This year's Bach Festival is small but perfectly formed: eight events opened by Viola da Gambist Hille Perl.
Still in Germany, the Göttingen International Handel Festival is on an altogether larger scale. With 40 performances, it offers you the chance to hear and see Teseo, as well as a host of baroque stars performing both Handel and his contemporaries such as Lully.
If you're in the USA and starved of both sunshine and baroque music, head to Coral Gables, Florida, where you can find top quality baroque stars including Il Giardino Armonico.
For choral devotees, the Brandenburg Spring Choral Festival is taking place right now with 30 Premier League choirs taking part. Still to come is a world première by Edwin Roxburgh on 25th March and a very rarely performed Thomas Tallis Spem in Alium, a 40 part motet to be sung from the gallery of St Martin in the Fields, by candlelight on 31st March.
The Metropolitan Opera has announced their new season with “more Netrebko than you will find in any other opera house” (as long as she doesn’t cancel last minute, as she has been known to do.) The season looks glorious with a world première in the shape of The Enchanted Island based on The Tempest, together with many of the current great singers of the international scene. We sent Gale to the new season’s opening press conference, so you can read her report of Peter Gelb’s comments. You can find a link to that new season at the bottom of her report, or by clicking on the link below.
2011-12 New season launches from major orchestras
To finish as usual on an obscure note (but this time, literally): if you ever sit up in the gods at the opera, you know you're going to be a long way from the action. But do you also find that things get a bit dark? Read David's Blog on the subject...
David and Alison Karlin