Vatican, live streaming The Sixteen’s performance of James
MacMillan’s Stabat Mater from the Sistine Chapel in Rome.
Deutsche Grammophon signed a new, exclusive
agreement with Daniel Barenboim for much of his work,
including as a cartoon character in Max & Maestro, a 2015
animated TV series in which he introduces 11-year-old
rapper Max to classical music.
The Yellow Label also signed an exclusive contract
with Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the hope he would make
time for recording in between being music director of the
Metropolitan Opera, the Philadelphia Orchestra, and the
Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.
Sony Music Entertainment promoted U.K. marketing
manager Sarah Thwaites to head Sony Masterworks UK,
succeeding Liam Toner, who moved to Sony Masterworks
International. Sony Corp. had enough left in the coffers to
gain control of EMI for a cool $2.3 billion, becoming the
world’s largest music publisher.
The Australian Broadcasting Corporation announced
plans to dismantle its 85-year-old historic sound and
reference libraries in Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth,
and Hobart to cut wages and free up floor space. Only a
fraction of the 100,000 CDs in the collections would
be digitized and the future of 373,000 vinyl records was
The BBC’s director of radio and music Bob Shennan
said streaming services represented an existential threat
to BBC radio, stating: “We can see now, more clearly
than ever, that the global media landscape is likely to be
dominated by four, perhaps five, businesses on the West
Coast of America.”
Cheerier news from U.K. commercial station Classic FM
claimed that listenership to radio among under-25s increased
by 43 percent during the last three months of 2017.
The BBC moved out of historic Maida Vale Studios, a
former roller skating rink that had been home to the BBC
Symphony Orchestra since 1934, transferring operations to
a new, purpose-built facility in East London.
The year’s orchestral spectacular took place in a former
power station, the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern playing
host to the London Symphony Orchestra, split into three
ensembles for Stockhausen’s Gruppen, conducted by Simon
Rattle, Matthias Pintscher, and Duncan Ward.
Another London orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic,
grappled with multiple sexual misconduct allegations
against Principal Conductor Charles Dutoit, announcing
Vasily Petrenko as his successor from 2021.
Other new chief conductor announcements included
Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla, a former Musical America New
Marin Alsop, winner of the Association of British
Orchestras award, at the Vienna Radio Symphony, Fan Ting
at the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Andrés Orozco-Estrada
succeeding Philippe Jordan at the Vienna Symphony, New
York native Karina Canellakis taking over from Markus
Stenz at the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra,
and Maxim Emelyanychev taking over from Robin Ticciati
at the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Lined up for new music director roles were Lahav
Shani, succeeding Zubin Mehta at the Israel Philharmonic,
and Gergely Madaras at the Liège Royal Philharmonic.
Barenboim protégé Thomas Guggeis was announced new
Kapellmeister at the Staatsoper Stuttgart.
Artist of the Month, who announced in March that she
was expecting a baby, extended her contract for two years
as music director of the City of Birmingham Symphony
Orchestra until summer 2021, guaranteeing her presence
for the orchestra’s centennial in 2020. Andrew Davis said
Vasily Petrenko will succeed Charles Dutoit as music director of the
Royal Philharmonic in 2021. Photo: Bo Mathisen.
YEAR in music
Mariss Jansons has extended his contract with the Bavarian Radio
Symphony of Munich through the 2023-24 season, and the Berlin
Philharmonic designated him an “honorary member” of the orchestra.
Photo: © 2016 Peter Meisel.