Quarter notes: happy birthday Mahler

Mikhail Pletnev

I’m a few days late (Mahler was born on July 7th), but 2010 is the 150th birthday for Gustav Mahler. Complete Mahler cycles have been popping up in abundance over the last few months. Both Universal Classics and EMI have released “complete” box sets. But, from Universal Classics, comes one of the most creative ways to celebrate Mahler’s birthday — The People’s Edition. From now until September people can visit a special web site and cast their vote for their favorite recording of each symphony from the Decca and DG catalog. The recordings with the most votes will be included in a special, limited edition box set in November.

Mikhail Pletnev was arrested in Thailand for allegedly raping a 14 year old boy. Pletnev claims the ordeal is a misunderstanding. Thai officials share a much different opinion.

Also in the NY Times, Seattle gets a mention in an article looking at the conductor youth movement that seems to be sweeping American orchestras lately.

Finally, Ludovic Morlot made remarks at his public roll out as music director designate of the SSO.  I recorded them on my Flip Camera and posted them here for you to see.  About two hundred people showed up for the event.  Based on the conversations I had with people in the crowd it seemed like a good number of the people in the audience were not subscribers but occasional SSO ticket buyers.  Nearly everyone I spoke to had no idea what to expect with Morlot.  A few were anxious to hear more French repertory.  Others hope he’ll bring Ligeti and Messiaen into the mix.  All were unanimous in their belief that his age alone will go a long way to freshening up the SSO.  The lack of preconceptions should bode well for Morlot as he starts to shape the 2011/2012 season — his first as music director.

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