Classical Beat: Ivan Fischer, Joan Bennett Kennedy, David Daniels ...

Hungarian conductor ends boycott against Budapest Festival Orchestra.

Hungarian conductor Ivan Fischer is ending his boycott against the Budapest Festival Orchestra. According to Reuters, Fischer had put his foot down in March after negotiations failed to deliver funding that the city had promised in 1992. Fischer co-founded the orchestra, a significant attraction to visitors to Budapest, in 1983; his boycott threatened the city's tourism industry. Officials said the deal, which hands over the control of the orchestra to a private foundation, is new to Eastern Europe and based on American practices. American-Hungarian financier George Soros reportedly has given a one-time $100,000 grant through his Soros Foundation to keep the orchestra afloat through this year. ...

President Clinton announced on Monday (June 19) his intention to appoint Joan Bennett Kennedy to the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts of Washington, D.C.'s John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Kennedy is a pianist and frequent orchestral narrator with the Boston Pops and the National Symphony Orchestra. The author of "The Joy of Classical Music," she is also the former wife of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who is a trustee of the Kennedy Center, and the mother of Rep. Patrick J. Kennedy, D-R.I. Her duties on the committee will include advising and consulting with the board of trustees and making recommendations to the board about cultural activities at the center. In addition, the members of the committee assist in the center's fund-raising efforts and act as liaison to performance groups and performing arts centers throughout the nation. ...

Countertenor David Daniels, who recently released the CD Serenade, will be featured in the title role in the New York City Opera's production of Handel's Rinaldo during the 2000-2001 season. That production will be recorded with Christopher Hogwood and Cecilia Bartoli. Also in the upcoming season, Daniels will sing the title role in Los Angeles Opera's staging of Handel's Giulio Cesare. ...

Michael Kaiser, the chief executive of the Royal Opera and Ballet at London's Covent Garden, announced on Monday (June 19) that he will leave the company after one more season. No details were given about his departure, although there is speculation that he is seeking a new

creative challenge. ...

Rescue in Denmark, a new symphony composed as a tribute to the Danish heroes who helped ferry thousands of Jews to safety during World War II, premiered Wednesday (June 14). The work was performed at the 131-year-old Adas Israel synagogue in Washington, D.C., and was composed by cantor Arnold Salzman. In attendance was one of those heroes, Preben Munch Nielsen, with whom the congregation has maintained a relationship and to whom Salzman dedicated the piece. The symphony is the first of a three-part project that will include a CD recording, a set of lessons based on the symphony and supplementary readings. ...

Denver's Central City Opera, the fifth-oldest opera company in the United States, announced plans for its 2000-2001 season, including the first staging of Benjamin Britten's Elizabethan opera, Gloriana, written for the coronation of Elizabeth II in 1953. The company also will present the first regional staging of Mark Adamo's Little Women, a work based on the Louisa May Alcott novel and premiered by the Houston Grand Opera in 1998. Completing the season next summer will be a revival of Puccini's La Bohème. ...

Tenor sensation Luciano Pavarotti will give a concert June 30 in Seoul, South Korea, marking the historic Korean summit and the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Korean War. Pavarotti will present Peace Forever, United as One on June 30 in Seoul's Chamsil Stadium, home of the 1988 Summer Olympics. ...

Pop-rock singer Elvis Costello ventured onto new artistic ground at the Bell Atlantic Jazz Festival when he starred in an opera by former Attractions keyboardist Steve Nieve. The premiere Friday (June 9) of Welcolme to the Voice, at New York's Town Hall, is the only scheduled performance. The one-act opera tells the story of a former steelworker who quits his job because he is consumed by opera and makes his home outside the doors of the local opera house. ...

San Francisco classical label New Albion Records has formed an alliance with PlayJ.com to distribute titles from its catalog over the Internet. New Albion, considered one of the leading independent publishers of contemporary classical works, will offer excerpts of more than a dozen CDs from its 100-plus album catalog including recordings by Henry Cowell, John Cage and Terry Riley. Those excerpts can be downloaded direct from PlayJ's Web site. ...

Internet billionaire James V. Kimsey has donated $10 million to the Kennedy Center. The co-founder of America Online is a trustee of the Kennedy Center, chairman of the National Opera and a member of the board of the National Symphony Orchestra. Part of the Washington-raised billionaire's gift will go toward endowing the

principal tuba chair in the orchestra and giving every fifth-grade

student in the District of Columbia the opportunity to attend a

performance at the center. ...

As part of Emmanuel Music's 30th anniversary season, the company will collaborate with two of its illustrious alumni: stage director Peter Sellars and mezzo-soprano Lorraine Hunt Lieberson. They will work with conductor Craig Smith and the Emmanuel musicians on a triptych of staged Bach cantatas. Also featured in the 2000-01 season will be Sunday-morning cantatas with guest conductors including Seiji

Ozawa, Christopher

Hogwood, David Hoose and Michael Beattie. ...

Kansas City Symphony conductor Anne Mason will lead the Geneva Opera of Switzerland in a staging of American composer Carlisle Floyd's groundbreaking opera Susanna. Mason will lead the production despite chronic pain of the sciatic nerve, diagnosed at the end of the symphonic season in Kansas City, Mo. Noted bass Samuel Ramey joins tenor Gordon Gietz and soprano Nancy Gustafson, who is playing the title

role of this distinctly American tale. Performances of the opera will run June 16-28 in Switzerland; rehearsals began June 5. Because of the chronic pain, Mason has canceled all other appointments this summer to take a three-month rest, as prescribed by her doctor. ...

The English National Opera will perform 10 consecutive new productions as part of London's String of Pearls Millennium Festival. The operas — which open with Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea and end with Verdi's Requiem — will run from September through December. ...

Tenor Andrea Bocelli and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis will headline the

first Liberty State Park Music and Heritage Festival beginning July 1.

The twice-Grammy-nominated Bocelli will be joined by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for his only New York-area performance of the year. Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Orchestra will headline a Fourth of July tribute to Louis Armstrong. Jazz singer Diane Reeves and trumpeter Clark Terry will contribute to the tribute.

— sonicnet.com staff report


VMAs 2018