Berlin to open cultural venues despite rising virus numbers
Stone restoration specialist Stefan Geismeier dusted off the black head of the statue of the Puzur-Ishtar of Mari at the Museum of the Ancient East in Berlin, Germany, Monday, March 15, 2021. Under new regulations, some of the collections on Berlin's Museum Island, one of the city's cultural highlights and a UNESCO World Heritage site, are now allowed to re-open to visitors. Ad“Nobody knows exactly if and when the virus numbers will go up again, but for now we will open,” said Markus Farr, a spokesman for Berlin's state museums. Under the Berlin plan, after buying their tickets online, visitors must register their names as they enter the buildings. Other cultural venues are also moving ahead with plans to reopen — to the delight of many.
Rafael Payare to head Montreal Symphony starting in 2022-23
This March 10, 2020 photo shows Venezuelan conductor Rafael Payare who has been hired as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montral starting with the 2022-23 season. (Gerard Collett via AP)Conductor Rafael Payare was hired Thursday as music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal starting with the 2022-23 season. A Venezuelan who turns 41 on Feb. 23, Payare follows the lengthy tenures of Montreal music directors Kent Nagano (2006-20) and Charles Dutoit (1977–02). Payare has been music director of the San Diego Symphony since 2019-20 and has a contract there through 2025-26. Payare first conducted the Montreal orchestra in September 2018 in Schoenberg’s “Verklaerte Nacht,” Mozart’s Violin Concerto No.
San Francisco Conservatory buys Opus 3 Artists agency
The San Francisco Conservatory of Music announced Tuesday that it had purchased Opus 3 Artists, which represents about 250 musicians and attractions, a group that include conductors Barenboim, Conlon, Eschenbach and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. The San Francisco Conservatory of Music announced Tuesday that it had purchased Opus 3 Artists, which represents about 250 musicians and attractions, a group that includes conductors Daniel Barenboim, James Conlon, Christoph Eschenbach and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. David Stull, president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, would not reveal the monetary details of purchasing the management agency. Foster said the agency would have an arms-length relationship with students at the San Francisco conservatory and will continue to recruit clients from Juilliard, Curtis, Eastman and elsewhere. The conservatory, which serves about 500 students, broke ground two years ago and is in the process of opening the Bowes Center building in San Francisco.
La Scala announces fall season as cultural life resumes
La Scala general manager Dominique Meyer poses at the end of a press conference to present the fall 2020 program of concerts and ballets, in Milan, Italy, Monday, July 27, 2020. The limited calendar runs through Dec. 5, when La Scalas former musical director, Daniel Barenboim, returns to the theater for a piano concert. Chailly will conduct 14 dates this fall, while Zubin Mehta takes on 12. The fall program is envisioned in two parts, with distancing rules in play both on and off stage through Oct. 21, followed by a full opening of the theater, with productions and seating both normalized. That will mean two operas, La Traviata and Aida, will be presented as concerts in the first half, while La Boheme will be fully staged in November.
Vienna Philharmonic purrs back to life after pandemic pause
The Vienna Philharmonic returned home, and its famous strings purred for the first time since March 10. Michael Bladerer, a contrabass, recalled talking with Daniel Froschauer, a first violinist. Long criticized for its refusal to admit women, the Vienna Philharmonic ended its ban in 1997 and has 18 women among its 145 current members. While many if not most U.S. orchestra members were furloughed by administrators desperate to trim payroll during the coronavirus crisis, the Vienna Philharmonic is a self-governing collective. Its members hold dual roles, selected from the pit orchestra of the Vienna State Opera -- where they are collecting 80% of their salaries under government programs.