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Around The Classical Internet: November 18, 2011

Jean Sibelius. (Getty Images)

  • Are these fragments of Sibelius' lost Eighth Symphony that survived the infamous bonfire he set?
  • EMI's recorded music business – including EMI Classics and Virgin Classics – has been sold off by Citigroup to Universal Music Group. EMI's publishing arm is going to a group of investors led by Sony. This deal may or may not survive antitrust regulations in Europe and the U.S., but antitrust concerns were the reason that the recording and publishing concerns were split.
  • Remember that revised Porgy And Bess with the happy ending? It finally occurred to the director and producers that this was a terrible idea. But they insist Stephen Sondheim had nothing to do with their decision.
  • The president of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra abruptly resigned Monday – and their new president and CEO, James A. Wilkinson, was announced at the same meeting.
  • John Eliot Gardiner on his reputation for being difficult: ""I think I'm more sinned against than sinning."
  • Says Gustavo Dudamel: "My main goal, and it's a big one, is that every child has a chance to get close to music, as a right, as they have access to food, health, education."
  • A fascinating medical story: A 71-year-old German cellist who lost all of his memory after suffering viral infection six years ago can still identify music.
  • After canceling 10 concerts this fall to save money, the Colorado Symphony has rescheduled two programs for the spring and added three more for this season.
  • In Ottawa, Opera Lyra has called off the rest of its season in hopes of righting its financial ship.
  • Musicians to the latest proposal from Louisville Orchestra execs: No.
  • To which Louisville management replied: "If they want to work, they need to come back to work, and there's nothing left for the orchestra to put on the table."
  • Remember the New York City Opera singers and players who offered to work for free in exchange for a seat at the table, artistically speaking, and health care? Management has passed on it: "Allowing the performers to work for free could violate labor laws."
  • This was coming, but it's still not good: Kentucky Opera performances of The Marriage Of Figaro this weekend will be accompanied by just two pianos and a harpsichord.
  • In good news: Boston Lyric Opera has raised more than $5 million this year, breaking its fundraising records.
  • On tap for the Salzburg Festival for 2013-2016: one new opera each summer, courtesy of Gyorgy Kurtag, Marc-André Dalbavie, Thomas Adès and Jorg Widmann.
  • One of the world's greatest luthiers has died at age 79: René A. Morel, the French-born New York master craftsman, to whom Yo-Yo Ma, Isaac Stern and countless others entrusted their instruments.
  • Leonard Slatkin has signed on for three more seasons as music director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
  • Grab your seat: WQXR has invited a passel of pianists to perform all 32 Beethoven sonatas in a back-to-back marathon live this Sunday. It's part of their "Beethoven Awareness Month."
  • The president of Washington's Kennedy Center on non-professional concertgoers sharing their opinions: "This is a scary trend."
  • The New Yorker's Alex Ross, via Twitter: "This Michael Kaiser column refutes itself — a dated, shoddy, churlish piece of work."
  • WQXR's Olivia Giovetti points out a bit of irony: Kaiser chose his own blog on the Huffington Post as the medium by which he would air his displeasure with ... blogs.
  • Among the Kaiser supporters, Sarah Bryan Miller of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch points out that professional critics "are, in fact, continuously vetted while being held to professional and ethical standards. Most bloggers are not."
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