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Drums on the Potomac: The National Symphony Orchestra has finally officially announced the four new players appointed by Christoph Eschenbach, the music director designate, after auditions over the past year. They include timpanist Jauvon Gilliam, who has played seven seasons with the Winnepeg Symphony Orchestra (thanks to commenter cicciofrancolando for the link), as well as violinists Joel Fuller and Alexandra Osborne and a new assistant principal trombone, Barry Hearn, who will serve as acting principal until Eschenbach can lead the next round of auditions. Eschenbach isn't actually taking over until next fall, but he is clearly making good on his promise to start his involvement with the orchestra as soon as possible.

Adams's mouth: The composer John Adams has started blogging. Check out Hell Mouth.

Auerbach's fire: In May, reviewing the Kennedy Center's CrossCurrents festival, I wrote about the composer Lera Auerbach's "passionate, poetic piano" after one concert devoted entirely her music during that contemporary music week. The piano has now been silenced: Auerbach's New York apartment was gutted by fire a week ago, and all of her manuscripts (including sketches for an opera, "Gogol," slated for a premiere in Vienna in 2011), her family's library of rare books from Russia and photographs, and her Steinway concert grand were destroyed. Insurance won't cover replacement of the piano; Auerbach is looking for donors.

Breaking a leg:At the Chicago Lyric Opera's opening of "Ernani" on Tuesday, Sondra Radvanovsky sang with one leg in a cast, having sprained an ankle in a battle with a mugger, torn a ligament the next day while running offstage during a production in San Francisco, and then breaking the big toe on her other foot two days later when a tenor fell on it. (Marco Berti was the culprit, in a moment of onstage passion.) This almost tops Joyce DiDonato's feat of completing a performance of "Barber of Seville" this summer after literally breaking a leg on stage.

By Anne Midgette  |  October 29, 2009; 6:36 AM ET
Categories:  music on the Web , news , opera  
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Next: In performance: Little Match Girl Passion


Anne - thanks for mentioning the John Adams' blog. It was LOL hilarious in places:
"The composer always seems to work alone. Has to. Can’t trust anyone with any aspect of the piece. (Or maybe it IS possible? I’d never seriously thought of that. “Guido, my boy, here is an eight note pattern for the opening movement. Flesh it out and make it last for eighty-six bars until that first tutti. You know the chord changes I like. I’ll give you something for the brass tomorrow.”)"
Too bad there was no mention in Post of the premier of his wonderful work City Noir. Fantastic orchestral writing!

Posted by: kashe | October 29, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

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