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James Levine

Friday, October 28, 2016

My Classical Notes

October 24

Oct. 26 Event, Hilary Hahn Concert in LA

My Classical NotesVenue: Walt Disney Concert Hall 111 South Grand Avenue Los Angeles, California, 90012 Date: Wednesday, 26 October 2016 – 8:00 PM Presenter: Los Angeles Philharmonic 323-850-2000 Artists: Hilary Hahn (Violin), and Robert Levine, piano Program: J. S Bach: Sonata No. 6 in G Major for Violin and Piano, BWV. 1019 Anton Garcia Abril: Solo Partita for Violin Mozart: Violin Sonata in E-flat Major for Violin and Piano, K. 481 Intermission Hans Peter Türk: Träume (solo piano, written for Robert Levin) Schubert: Rondo in B Minor for Violin and Piano, D. 895 Here is Hilary Hahn as soloist, performing the violin concerto by Johannes Brahms:

Royal Opera House

September 8

Remembering Johan Botha (1965–2016)

Johan Botha as the Emperor in Die Frau ohne Schatten © ROH / Clive Barda 2014 Johan Botha (1965–2016) was one of the great dramatic tenors of his generation. After making his professional debut in Roodepoort in his native South Africa, Botha moved to Europe in 1990. Debuts followed with the Paris Opéra (1993), The Royal Opera (1995), Vienna State Opera (1996) and the Metropolitan Opera, New York (1997), establishing Botha as a leading figure on the international stage. Botha’s first role with The Royal Opera was Rodolfo in La bohème , singing across three casts with the role of Mimì shared between Angela Gheorghiu , Deborah Riedel and Amanda Thane , and conducted by Simone Young . He returned later in 1995 to sing Cavaradossi in Tosca , again conducted by Young and with Galina Gorchakova and Maria Ewing sharing the title role. He next returned in 2001 to sing the Emperor in Strauss ’s Die Frau ohne Schatten under Christoph von Dohnányi in a cast that also included Deborah Voigt as the Empress. The following year Botha returned for more Strauss, singing Apollo in two concert performances of Daphne with Alexandra von der Weth in the title role and conducted by Stefan Soltesz . In 2003 Botha sang Radames in Robert Wilson ’s new production of Aida , conducted by Antonio Pappano with Norma Fantini in the title role. Botha next returned to the Royal Opera House in 2009 to sing Calaf in Turandot opposite Jennifer Wilson in the title role, conducted by Nicola Luisotti . A few months later he was back to sing the title role in Lohengrin, conducted by Semyon Bychkov and with Edith Haller as Elsa. Botha’s final appearances with The Royal Opera were in new productions, again conducted by Bychkov. In 2010 Botha sang the title role in Tim Albery ’s new production of Tannhäuser , with a cast including Eva-Maria Westbroek as Elisabeth and Christian Gerhaher as Wolfram. Botha’s performances saw him acclaimed by The Telegraph as ‘that rare thing, a true Wagnerian tenor’ . His final role with The Royal Opera was singing the Emperor in Claus Guth ’s new production of Die Frau ohne Schatten. Botha was joined by a cast that included Emily Magee as the Empress, Johan Reuter as Barak and Elena Pankratova as Barak’s Wife, in what what The Independent called ‘an ideal cast’ . Beyond the Royal Opera House, Botha had a close association with the Vienna State Opera, where he was made a Kammersänger in 2004. His many roles with the Metropolitan Opera included the title roles in Don Carlo and Otello , Walther in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg , Canio in Pagliacci and Florestan in Fidelio. In his work Botha regularly collaborated with conductors including Claudio Abbado , Daniel Barenboim , Pierre Boulez , James Levine and Georg Solti . Kasper Holten , Director of The Royal Opera, paid tribute to Botha with the following words: ‘It is with great sadness we learn about the death of Johan Botha. Of course on this day we all think back to the many unforgettable moments this great singer gave us, most lately when he appeared with great success in Richard Strauss’s Die Frau ohne Schatten at Covent Garden. The memory of this performance will always stay with us.’

Norman Lebrecht - Slipped disc

July 19

Met Opera Guild chief has died

Stewart Pearce, who gave his entire working life to the Metropolitan Opera, has died after a brief illness. He was chief executive of the Met Opera Guild from 2010 to 2015. In his previous role, as assistant operations manager at the Met, he was helpful to many singers. Peter Gelb and James Levine have posted this notice: The Metropolitan Opera mourns the death of our dear friend and colleague Stewart Pearce, whose Met career spanned 39 years from 1976, when he began at the Metropolitan Opera Guild as an intern, to his retirement in 2015 as Managing Director of the Guild. From 1982 he worked for the Metropolitan Opera Association in various business-related capacities, and was Assistant Manager of the Met from 1997 to 2014. The wide scope of his experience with the company included finance and budgeting, marketing, fundraising, and operations management. Few administrators in the Met’s history have had such varied responsibilities, and Stewart’s knowledge of the Met and how it worked was second to none. He was tapped by succeeding general managers to tackle some of the company’s biggest administrative challenges, and he consistently carried out his tasks with efficiency, tact, precision, and an unflappable calm that earned him everyone’s admiration and affection. Stewart loved opera and loved the Met. He played one of the most important roles in the Met’s administration, perhaps invisible to the general public, but essential to making our company run smoothly. Stewart’s passing came much too soon, and his many friends and colleagues express their deepest condolences to his husband, Kevin, and to all those in and outside of the Opera House who will miss him dearly. Peter Gelb General Manager James Levine Music Director Emeritus

James Levine

James Levine (June 23, 1943) is an American conductor and pianist. He is currently the music director of the Metropolitan Opera and of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. However, he announced his resignation as music director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra on March 2, 2011 due to continuing health issues. The resignation is effective September 1, 2011. Levine's first performance conducting the Metropolitan Opera was on June 5, 1971, and as of July 2009 he has conducted more than 2,456 Met performances. In 1997, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts.

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