Tuesday, January 17, 2017
This time there was no-one being hustled to the door gagged by lawyers, as there was with Andrew S. Grossman. Margaret Selby, president of Cami Spectrum and a company veteran for 20 years, was quietly terminated over the holiday break. All references have been removed from the website. She never existed. A curt press release was issued after business hours on Christmas Eve. No reason was given. Selby was in charge of dance at the mega-agency, representing many choreographers, among them Jessica Lang, Moses Pendleton and Alonzo King. She was a personal protégée of the late Ronald Wilford and she ran her part of the business behind closed doors. Like Grossman, she made good money but not many friends. Further departures are expected. It looks like the world’s biggest classical agency is reinventing itself as a boutique.
AskonasHolt have just announced they have signed Long Yu, chief conductor in Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou and by far the most powerful musician in the People’s Republic. Long Yu was formerly with Cami Music’s Jacques Cesbron, superagent to his close friend and pathfinder, Lang Lang. Something appears to have gone wrong there. It remains to be seen in Lang Lang follows his pal.
There are 9.02 million children in rural China whose parents leave home to work in the cities, depositing the children mostly in the care of grandparents. The so-called ‘left-behind’ children are seen as a growing social issue. Lang Lang has given a fund-raising concert to help improve their situation and has pledged to do more. Read here.
Elisabeth Braw has written a smart piece today in the Economist on the rising competitiveness of Chinese orchestras and classical musicians: It is in bringing orchestras, opera performances and top individual performers to the West that China is showing its real clout. Jindong Cai of Stanford University, who conducts in both China and the United States, describes the push in soft-power terms: “A product manufactured in China is not as important for China’s international profile. Cultural power is much more important.” She’s absolutely right (full article here). But we’re hearing rumbles of anxiety. The Chinese classical boost was powered by Lang Lang and Yundi Li. Both rose at the turn of the century. Since then, however, there has been no Chinese star of comparable magnitude. Without another driver, the train will run out of steam. Much of the new talent seems to be Korean.
Melton/Lang/DeYoung/Skelton/Goerne/Struckmann/Hong Kong SO/Van Zweden (Naxos)Recorded in concert in Hong Kong at the beginning of this year, the second part of Jaap van Zweden’s Ring for Naxos easily maintains the high standard and promise of Das Rheingold, 12 months ago. Related: Wagner: Das Rheingold CD review – a promising start to a budget Ring Continue reading...