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Around The Classical Internet: September 16, 2011

Chung Myung-Whun, conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, speaks during the press conference in Seoul on Sept. 16, 2011.MoreCloseclosemore
Chung Myung-Whun, conductor of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, speaks during the press conference in Seoul on Sept. 16, 2011.

  • Conductor Myung-Whun Chung, who leads the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, has announced tentative plans to create a joint symphony orchestra composed of both North and South Korean musicians, and to hold regular performances in the two Koreas.
  • The Seattle Symphony will offer an amazing enticement to fill its seats and help introduce a new generation of listeners to its work: Buy one adult ticket to any of more than 50 subscription concerts this coming season, and get two free tickets for kids aged 8-18.
  • Remember those disruptive protests in London against the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra during Proms a couple weeks ago? Well, four protesters are members of the London Philharmonic, and they've been suspended from their jobs for up to nine months for stating their LPO affiliation in a letter they'd published in the Independent.
  • Says the LPO: "The orchestra would never restrict the right of its players to express themselves freely, however, such expression has to be independent of the LPO itself and must not be done in any way that associates them with the LPO."
  • Speaking of Proms: They have again attracted their largest attendance ever, with 94 percent of seats filled for 2011's main events.
  • When James Levine canceled his fall appearances at the Met, new principal conductor Fabio Luisi claimed that the houses he would in turn have to skip out on were "of course not pleased ... but they understand the 'bigger picture,' and the dimension of the projects we are talking about."
  • But peace, love and understanding have not quite carried the day after all: Rome's Teatro dell'Opera, one of the houses left in the lurch, is now threatening to sue Luisi.
  • Mark Morris: conductor. "So often," the choreographer-turned-pit master says, "we tour to places where the band is unfamiliar, and I have very little time to get across what I need musically. I run my own musical rehearsals all the time. I don't have a full-time music director; they're expensive, and it's dispiriting to start over again from the beginning."
  • Renée Fleming announced the details of her eponymous initiative with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. More than four dozen teenagers will have the opportunity for intensive study in a new opera and musical theater solo voice major at the free Merit School of Music program.
  • Jose del Valle of Rochester is a McDonald's employee by day — and an emerging opera talent by night. The Cuba native is a semifinalist in the international "Voice of McDonald's" competition, and recently took the title role in Pagliacci in Rochester.
  • Here's a charming interview with Brazilian-Polish baritone Paulo Szot, now reprising his role in South Pacific in London: "My life led me to opera, but musicals were always my 'secret lover.'" (Cue up Atlantic Starr.)
  • The Minnesota Orchestra held its first-ever fantasy camp this week. Said one of the 53 selected amateurs, a fellow named George Linkert: "Other than my wedding day and the birth of my children, this is the biggest thing that's happened to me in my adult life."
  • Tweet of the week (with a warning to hide the children due to strong language), courtesy of @marcgeelhoed: "YOU #WTTW M*****F******!! YOU CUT OFF THE LAST 5 MINUTES OF @nyphil MAHLER 2? F****** morons. BUSH LEAGUE AMATEUR HOUR." Geelhoed, who is also the manager of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's recording label, was more than irked when Chicago's PBS member station cut off the final minutes of its television broadcast of the New York Philharmonic's performance of the Mahler Symphony No. 2 on Sept. 11.

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