Finnish Musicians Say Conductor CAN Use Their Sauna After All

Esa-Pekka Salonen(Photo: Mat Hennek / Deutsche Grammophon)
Esa-Pekka Salonen(Photo: Mat Hennek / Deutsche Grammophon)

Esa-Pekka Salonen is 1st Conductor in Musicians’ Private Space

You might recall a blog Jennifer Hambrick wrote early last month about the fantastic digs built for the musicians of the Finnish Radio Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic.  (Finnish orchestras get coffee machines,saunas)  Now, at least according to some, the unthinkable has happened…they let the conductor in.

Read Icebreaker (Norman Lebrecht)

When Your Voice is Your Career, There’s No Such Thing As a Little Sore Throat

When most of us wake up with a scratchy throat, we don’t think much about it.  Just grab a lozenge and go.  If your voice is your career, every twinge seems serious.  Many years ago, voice damage forced me into voice therapy and a complete lifestyle change when it came to my voice.  After a year of “retraining,” things were better, but you can never quite shake that bit of paranoia every time you get a twinge.

“The most important thing,” Bill Schuman says, “is sense memory, knowing how healthy singing feels so they can do it every day.”

Now imagine you’re an opera singer, expected to use your voice to be heard in the last rows of today’s concert halls over a full orchestra.  Any little twinge can really mess with your mind.  When tenor Stephen Costello had to cancel two performances  (he would later be told he needed a tonsillectomy),  Schuman was his first call.  Afterwards, Schuman was at his side during the entire rehabilitation process. Costello is now starring in the current Met production of Anna Bolena with Anna Netrebko.

It is said that Bill Schuman, who teaches voice at the Academy of Vocal Arts in Philadelphia, “not only builds voices, he reclaims them.”

Read The Voice Doctor (

Hear Stephen Costello sing with his wife Ailyn Perez

The Long Lives and Long Careers of Conductors…a Conversation With Sir Colin Davis

Sir Colin Davis brings the London Symphony to Avery Fisher Hall in New York for concerts tomorrow and Friday evenings.  As he prepared to conduct a demanding program of Sibelius and Beethoven, he reflected on his career which spans over a half-century.

Read A Maestro Reflects on a Life of Batons and Knitting Needles (NY Times)

Watch Sir Colin Davis conduct Sibelius at the BBC Proms