IN LOCAL NEWS
The SPCO tours Europe; the Minnesota Opera premieres "The Grapes of Wrath"; VocalEssence and "Illuminating Bolcom" celebrate a leading American composer; at year's end, the Minnesota Orchestra's Beethoven is nominated in next year's Grammys
REST IN PEACE
Luciano Pavarotti, the superstar; Beverly Sills, American diva; Gian Carlo Menotti, opera composer; Jerry Hadley, lyric tenor, in an apparent suicide; Mstislav Rostropovich, great cellist; Regine Crespin, French soprano; Karlheinz Stockhausen, pioneer of electronic music; Leland Sateren, stalwart of Minnesota choral music; Kitty Carlisle, actress, arts advocate and sometime classical music performer
THE AWARDS GO TO…
Grammy: Michael Tilson Thomas/San Francisco Symphony: Mahler 7th
Gramophone Record of the Year: Nelson Freire/Brahms Piano Concertos
Grawemeyer Prize: Peter Lieberson, Neruda Songs
MacArthur Fellowship (the "genius grant"): Singer Dawn Upshaw
Pulitzer Prize: not to a classical composer, but to jazz great Ornette Coleman
Numerous "best of year" lists: Alex Ross's book "The Rest Is Noise"
NEXT DAY ON YOUR DRESSING ROOM, THEY HANG A STAR
Conductor Alan Gilbert named next music director of the New York Philharmonic
Venezuelan conducting phenom Gustavo Dudamel named next music director of the L.A. Philharmonic
Tenor and cell-phone saleman Paul Potts sings "Nessun dorma" on "Britain's Got Talent." The YouTube version gets millions of hits
IN OTHER HEADLINES
At a Boston Pops concert, two audience members get into a fistfight (inevitable headline: You Go to the Fights, and a Concert Breaks Out)
Joshua Bell plays as a anonymous subway busker in D.C.; no one much notices; much press and online discussion ensues
The Metropolitan Opera's HD transmissions fill movie theaters across the country
Hattogate: it is revealed that dozens of CDs by the British pianist Joyce Hatto were actually other peoples' performances, falsely released under her name
The New York Philharmonic announces plans to perform in North Korea
The success of Gustavo Dudamel (see above) focuses attention on Venezuela’s remarkable music education system, "El Sistema"
Thanks for reading THE LISTENING POST--Happy 2008!