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Classical Notes

2011 in Classical Music

Posted at 3:20 PM on December 30, 2011 by Rex Levang

THE AWARDS GO TO
Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (Grammy Classical Record of the Year, for the Verdi Requiem); Zhou Long, (Pulitzer Prize, for his opera "Madame White Snake"); Esa-Pekka Salonen (Grawemeyer Prize in composition for his violin concerto); Alisa Weilerstein and Francisco Nunez (MacArthur "genius" grants)


WHAT THE----?
In January, a grand piano mysteriously appeared on a Florida sandbar. In December, a photo of Yo-Yo Ma and a wombat went viral on the Net.


IN THE HEADLINES
James Levine, forced to cancel the year's performances by health problems; the Philadelphia Orchestra, for its continuing struggles with bankruptcy; Keith Brown, father of the 5 Browns, imprisoned for sexual abuse of his children; the Detroit Symphony, where a long musicians' strike finally ended; the Stradivarius violin known as the "Lady Blunt," auctioned off to provide funds for Japanese earthquake relief; manuscripts of Jean Sibelius, which may be material for his supposedly lost Eight Symphony; the YouTube Symphony, who drew large crowds in Sydney, Australia, and on the Internet


REST IN PEACE
Composer Milton Babbitt; conductor Yakov Kreizberg; Wisconsin-born composer Lee Hoiby; soprano Montserrat Figueras; composer Peter Lieberson; violinist Josef Suk, a descendant of composers Suk and Dvorak; tenor Salvatore Licitra; mezzo Sena Jurinac, famed for Mozart and Strauss; Minneapolis pianist Richard Zgodava; conductor Kurt Sanderling; baritone Giorgio Tozzi; tenor Robert Tear; Minnesota Public Radio hosts Arthur Hoehn and Tom Keith


CONGRATULATIONS
To the New World Symphony of Miami Beach, who opened a spectacular new concert hall; to Aristo Sham, winner of St. Paul's Junior Piano e-Competition; to Erin Keeffe, new concertmaster of the Minnesota Orchestra


To our readers and listeners--our thanks and best wishes for a happy, productive 2012!