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I'm blacklisted, says John Adams


In an interview for BBC Radio 3's Music Matters and reported in the Guardian newspaper, composer John Adams said he was now 'blacklisted' by the US authorities and regularly grilled by airpot authorities when he travels.

"You know, I'm on a homeland security list, probably because of having written The Death of Klinghoffer, so I'm perfectly aware that I, like many artists and many thoughtful people in the country, am being followed." Adams said.

Met to stage new Glass Opera about Walt Disney


Gerard Mortier, New York City Opera's general-manager and artistic-director designate, announced today that the company has commissioned Philip Glass to compose a new opera - Glass's 24th no less - based on the life of Walt Disney. Titled The Perfect American, the opera is scheduled to open the City Opera's 2012-13 season, in time for Philip Glass's seventy-fifth birthday.

Glass said "The pulse of his life has to be the pulse of our own American culture. And, like other aspects of life here, it is unimaginable, alarming, and truly frightening"

Leila Josefowicz and Alex Ross win MacArthur Fellowships


Violinist Leila Josefowicz, who recorded both the Adams and Knussen Violin Concertos has been awarded a coveted MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, dubbed the "Genius Award". Also awarded this year was New Yorker critic and therestisnoise blogger Alex Ross.

Mauricio Kagel dies in Germany at 76


Argentine-born composer Mauricio Kagel, whose experimental body of work also ranged into theater, has died in Germany, his publisher said Thursday. He was 76.

The C.F. Peters musical publishing house said Kagel died overnight in Cologne following a long illness, but did not give details on the cause of death.

Kagel was born in Buenos Aires on Dec. 24, 1931, into a Jewish family of German-Russian origin.

A self-taught composer who learned to play instruments including the piano, organ and cello, he studied literature and philosophy at the University of Buenos Aires and at age 18 became an adviser to an avant-garde group, Agrupacion Nueva Musica.

In 1955, he rose to become a director at the Argentine capital's Teatro Colon.

Two years later, he went on a student grant to Germany, where he settled — working in chamber and electronic music. His musical theater piece "Sur Scene" — first performed in 1960 — established a genre of "instrumental theater" that became a prominent part of his work.

Kagel was known for a humorous approach to art, with works such as "Fantasie fuer Orgel and Obligati," which included a toilet flush as an instrument.

Information on survivors and funeral arrangements was not immediately available.

Passionato website launch


Passionato is a new website claiming to be the world’s most comprehensive online classical resource, providing access to catalogues from the largest major classical record labels as well as the key classical independent labels. Best of all, it's DRM free

BBC Visionaries


A new series of the BBC Visionaries program that debates the merits of some of the most innovative and iconic composers will include two debates on (relatively) contemporary music - one program pits Boulez against Philip Glass, another pits Shostakovich against Takemitsu.

BBC Visionaries website

Boulez the conductor


Tom Service in the Guardian watches and talks to Pierre Boulez about conducting, and old age.

John Adams audio interview


Alongside a feature article on John Adams this month, the New Yorker online has an audio interview available on its website at

Kings Place opens in London


Kings Place opens in London
Kings Place—a new creative centre within 5 minutes walk of King’s Cross-St Pancras has opened in London. Amongst many other things, the centre will be the new home for the London Sinfonietta. Amongst the new music events in the opening festival this october are performances by Endymion, and the Duke Quartet.

Visit the Kings Place website

Chief Heckler made bankrupt


Composer Keith Burstein, known mainly as a founder members of 'Hecklers' who booed performances of Birtwistle's opera Gawain, has been made bankrupt following an unsuccessful attempt to sue the Evening Standard newspaper for a review they published of his opera 'Manifest Destiny'. Burstein said the review implied that he had sympathy for suicide bombers.

Yesterday, Mr Burstein failed in an attempt to convince Stephen Baister, the Chief Registrar, that the costs order made by the Court of Appeal should be stayed until he had a chance to take his case to the European Court of Human Rights.
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