JDCMB is a English-speaking blog specialized in the field of classical music and opera. As such, JDCMB is a qualified source of soClassiQ, like Ludwig van Toronto or Music and Vision - Reviews and many others. The oldest article indexed by soClassiQ is dated 2017-11-07. Since then, a total of 293 articles have been written and published by JDCMB.
With 16 articles published in the last 90 days, JDCMB is currently a not very active news source. "Not very active" does not mean that JDCMB is less interesting than another more prolific source. Each blog follows a specific editorial line, publishing according to its own rhythm.
This editorial activity is slowing down compared to the previous period.
The last article in JDCMB, "Leon Fleisher (23 July 1928 - 2 August 2020): in memoriam", is dated 2020-08-03. By 2019, this source had published 75 articles (42 since the beginning of 2020). Over the past 12 months, JDCMB has published an average of 5 articles per month.
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Sad news today of the death of the great pianist and teacher Leon Fleisher, aged 92. I much regret not having met him in person, especially as my father was among the scientists whose research led to the therapy that ultimately helped Fleisher's focal dystonia. I did, however, talk to him on the phone for the Independent back in 2010 when he came to the UK to participate in the Aldeburgh Festival. Here is some of that interview. Leon Fleisher Photo: Ned Burgess JD: Please talk us through your experience of focal dystonia, what it did to you and how it came about? LF: I noticed that the […]
A portrait of Countess Therese Brunsvik von Korompa - regrettably misidentified on TV the other day as Antonie Brentano. Therese is the narrator of IMMORTAL (but she is not the Immortal Beloved!) I've been up to my eyeballs in the last edit of IMMORTAL, plus trying to be two other work-people at the same time, so I've been doing 15-hr days, I am knackered and I could use a holiday, but I have to jump straight in to another massive project, starting tomorrow. More of that anon, but meanwhile today is the last day to get your name listed in IMMORTAL as a patron. Tomorrow I shall send back the final edit and after that the book will be turned into proofs. After that, only errors/typos can change: no more additions. So if you have not yet put in a pledge and you want to be there, it […]
The government has just announced a rescue package for the UK's arts and heritage that is worth £1.57bn. A massive "thank you" is in order - to them, to the organisations whose directors lobbied for us all, to the individuals who talked and discussed and presented and persuaded, to the members of the public who shouted and signed petitions, and to everyone who has realised - at long, long last - just how much the arts are worth to us as human beings and as a country. As the first, they support our souls. As the second, they support our entire lives by bringing in billions to the treasury - and they're inextricably enmeshed with innumerable other industries that depend on the people they attract. The small print will need reading, of course. For several theatres it may be too late. The status of the arts freelancers whose income […]
Dear all, I'm off for a bit, for several reasons. First, I'm trying to finish Immortal, which has a last edit and proof-reading to go before print deadline in August. Publication date is now to be 29 October. (Would-be patrons can still sign up and pledge for nice rewards, but only until 19 July when the list closes.) Next, I have a libretto to write, assuming that the contract for which I have been waiting for over a year actually materialises. Third, I am trying to do what paid work I can before that dries up too. It's difficult to contemplate writing a libretto when...people can go to the bloody pub, get on the bloody Tube, work in bloody, fearful sweat-shops, go to the bloody hairdresser (I'm going to mine on Tuesday)...but they're not bloody allowed to bloody sing or bloody listen to people doing so. This makes as […]
In solidarity with BLM, I'm handing the floor to the pianist Rebeca Omordia to tell us the hows and whys of her African concert series, which goes online later this month. Her CD of music by Nigerian composers was proof that we need to hear a great deal more of them! You can also watch a preview of the series on the African Concert Series Facebook page, here. Over to you, Rebeca...jd The African Concert Series London was launched in 2019 and its mission was pioneering repertoire by African Art composers. Bringing African classical music to the Western audience was right from the start an endeavour meant to unravel the cultural diversity of the African continent, reflected in its music, and to create a platform for the African classical music to be performed. Africa is very colourful - each country in Africa has a multitude of ethnic groups and each […]
Many thanks to everyone for your fantastic response to yesterday's post. Keep yelling!We shouldn't underestimate the quiet and devoted behind-the-scenes beavering that is taking place on behalf of the music world: missions that hopefully will start shouting in due course, but may not have done so yet. I am getting the impression that there are spaces to watch...Today The Guardian is carrying an open letter from Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Mark Elder regarding the plight of British musicians of all genres. You can read the whole thing on the site, but here's a taste of it:There are so many pressing problems to solve in the UK that it takes courage even to mention the desperate situation of classical music in the time of Covid-19. There’s a real possibility of a devastated landscape on the other side of this; orchestras may not survive, and if they do, they may face […]
I'm reading Music Comes Out of Silence, by András Schiff and the Swiss journalist Martin Meyer, which has just been published in English translation. Its first part is a discussion between them which veers from the fascinating to the eye-opening to several hilarious anecdotes. The second part consists of essays, letters and reflections by Schiff himself. The passage above is from a piece he wrote in 2000 in response to the far-right politician Jörg Haider's election in Austria. Haider was killed in a road accident in 2008, but otherwise Schiff's words are as true today as they were 20 years ago.Today, while the few newspapers that accord any space to classical music are pointing out that in the UK the industry faces collapse within months, somehow only a handful of musicians are speaking up about the dangers. Many are talking online about music, streaming performances from home or doing both, […]
The concerts by Chineke!, Europe's first-ever majority BME orchestra, have been among the most uplifting of any I've attended. The phrase "a breath of fresh air" has often come to mind. It is not a question of sitting primly to listen thinking proper thoughts like "Ah, multi-racial, very good...". And it is certainly not about suddenly making classical music "cool" by, ooh, including performers of different races who might wear something relaxed and smile now and then. No. It's a direct and gut-based reaction to the atmosphere in the hall.There's enthusiasm, delight, revelation - for lots of people come to these events who have rarely or never attended a concert before - and a sense of discovery for us all. For example, music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and his daughter Avril Coleridge-Taylor that we have never heard programmed in "mainstream" concerts, or the music of wonderful contemporary composers such as the […]
Toby Spence sings Florestan's aria, together with pianist David Owen Norris but somewhere else Yesterday it was a pleasure and privilege to "Dimbleby" for Beethoven Matters, a discussion for Garsington Opera and the Royal Philharmonic Society - one that we had assumed weeks ago would not be able to go ahead. Here's what actually happened.We were going to be live in a small London music venue, expecting an audience of maybe 150-200, with a performance from two of our panellists, Toby Spence and David Owen Norris, and questions from the floor at the end. We expected to have to defend Beethoven amid the slough of overkill resulting from his 250th anniversary and to raise appetite for the new production of Fidelio at Garsington this summer, with Toby as Florestan. All this was going to happen on 29 April, and it was with regret that we saw it floating away […]
Another week, another litany of bungles, idiocies and the counting of "excess" deaths (where's Beckett when you need him?) and in the arts world a paradoxical mingling of unjustified pessimism, unjustified optimism and unjustified attacks on one for the other are doing little to help. However, some things are moving, and they are not always the things you'd expect.The Wigmore Hall has started a series of live-streamed lunchtime concerts in front of a physical audience of two (the head of the venue and the Radio 3 announcer). Taken up first by Radio 3 and subsequently by the European Broadcasting Union too, they are already reaching vast international audiences. Today you can hear Nicholas Daniel (oboe) and Julius Drake (piano). The Royal Opera House is planning to start a similar idea later this month. Everywhere there's streaming, creativity, resourcefulness. And everywhere I hear opinions like, "Oh, the big places will be […]