A few pics from last night's welcome back to Queen Elizabeth Hall concert @southbankcentre, starring our Principal… twitter.com/i/web/status/9…
I’ve decided to theme this week’s Current Distractions arts blog around that old journalistic favourite: Going Up / Going Down.
Sadly – the Minnesota Orchestra. One of the world’s top Orchestras has, quite incredibly, had to cancel an entire season of concerts because of a dispute between Management and Orchestra. This week their music director Osmo Vanksa threw in the towel as well, prompting many to wonder if this is the end for this once-great ensemble.
Staying on the theme of labour disputes, Carnegie Hall in New York is currently closed because of one, forcing the cancellation of a concert by the Philadelphia Orchestra. Rather than enjoying a quiet night at home, conductor Yannick-Nezet Seguin and the band decided to have a free ‘pop-up’ concert at their Philadelphia base instead. Tweeting and filming were encouraged and despite the last minute notice the hall was almost full – we can’t help but think Yannick might have picked up a thing or two from when he conducted our Night Shift concert a few years ago. Here’s some You Tube footage of the event:
Sadly, again – New York City Opera. The Big Apple’s ENO equivalent announced this week that it was to close down. Its final performance was of Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Anna Nicole, which garnered such glowing reviews as “”Vulgar, exploitative and musically empty” (Wall Street Journal) and “I wanted to zip myself into a body bag.” (Twitter user). Joking aside, a sad demise of a once great company.
Moving away from classical music, the winner of the RIBA prize was announced this week, and in very OAE style it was announced as something old made new. Astley Castle is a 12th century ruin in rural Warwickshire. Too far gone in its dereliction for a full-scale restoration, it has instead been re-envisaged by the Landmark Trust as a meeting of the 21st and 12th centuries, with modern additions sitting sensitively alongside and within the ruins. Even better is the fact that you can rent it for your next holiday.
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