16th July: Hong Kong tutor found guilty of acting as an agent for a dealer, Musikfest Berlin defies Corona with Beethoven’s work, Aziz Shokhakimov appointed Musical and Artistic Director of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, When Marian Anderson Defied the Nazis

Thursday 16th July 2020

Hong Kong tutor found guilty of acting as an agent for a dealer

The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal has upheld a ruling against a violin tutor who took a commission from a violin dealer in return for recommending their instruments to parents. In a test case, the first of its kind in Hong Kong, tutor Zhao Ying was found guilty of acting as an agent for the dealer without disclosing her role to the parents. She received a commission of 20,000 yuan (£2,300) from the dealer for her work.

The court heard that Zhao not only recommended the dealer, but also went with the parents to the shop, assisted with their choice of Italian violin, accompanied the student on the piano, and helped negotiate a price. Given that Zhao failed to disclose her relationship with the dealer in advance, the court ruled that there had been a conflict of interest that undermined her integrity as an agent; had the parents known she was to collect a commission, they might have agreed that her service as an agent was fair.

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Musikfest Berlin trotzt Corona mit Beethovens Werk

Das Musikfest Berlin steht in diesem Jahr im Zeichen der Einschränkungen durch die Corona-Pandemie. Trotz der Hygieneauflagen und Abstandsregeln bleibe das ursprüngliche Programm des Festivals (25. August bis 23. September) in der Berliner Philharmonie weitgehend erhalten, teilten die Berliner Festspiele am Mittwoch mit.

Im Mittelpunkt steht das Werk Ludwig van Beethovens im Jahr seines 250. Geburtstags. Nicht auftreten werden die ursprünglich angekündigten Gastorchester aus Deutschland und dem europäischen Ausland.

Tickets sollen begrenzt in den Verkauf gehen, bei einer Änderung der Vorschriften könne diese Zahl auch erweitert werden. Den aktuellen Vorgaben entsprechend sollen im August 456 der rund 2400 Plätze besetzt werden, im September/Oktober sollen es dann 636 werden.

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Musikfest Berlin defies Corona with Beethoven’s work

This year’s Musikfest Berlin is marked by the restrictions imposed by the Corona pandemic. Despite the hygiene requirements and spacing rules, the original programme of the festival (25 August to 23 September) in the Berlin Philharmonie will remain largely intact, the Berliner Festspiele announced on Wednesday.

The main focus is on the work of Ludwig van Beethoven in the year of his 250th birthday. The originally announced guest orchestras from Germany and other European countries will not perform.

Tickets are to be sold on a limited basis, but this number could be increased if the regulations change. According to the current regulations, 456 of the approximately 2400 seats are to be filled in August, and in September/October the number will be 636.

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Aziz Shokhakimov nommé directeur musical et artistique de l’Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg

Du nouveau à Strasbourg. Après avoir passé 9 ans à la tête de l’Orchestre philharmonique de Strasbourg, Marko Letonja cédera sa place à Aziz Shokhakimov. Le jeune chef ouzbek âgé de 32 ans lui succédera à partir de septembre 2021 au poste de directeur musical et artistique pour un premier contrat reconductible d’une durée de 3 ans.

Dès l’âge de 21 ans, le maestro a fait une entrée remarquée sur la scène internationale en remportant le Concours Gustav Mahler de Bamberg. Cette distinction lui avait alors permis de diriger de nombreuses formations de haut-rang, comme l’Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, le SWR Sinfonieorchester ou le London Philharmonic Orchestra. Il fera prochainement ses débuts au Philharmonique de Vienne, à l’Orchestre symphonique de Lucerne ou avec l’Orchestre philharmonique de Séoul.

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Aziz Shokhakimov appointed Musical and Artistic Director of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra

Something new in Strasbourg. After 9 years at the head of the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra, Marko Letonja will hand over to Aziz Shokhakimov. The young Uzbek conductor, aged 32, will succeed him from September 2021 as Music and Artistic Director for a first renewable contract of 3 years.

At the age of 21, the maestro made a remarkable entrance on the international scene by winning the Gustav Mahler Competition in Bamberg. This distinction enabled him to conduct many high-ranking ensembles such as the Orchestre philharmonique de Radio France, the SWR Sinfonieorchester and the London Philharmonic Orchestra. He will soon make his debut with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and the Seoul Philharmonic.

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When Marian Anderson Defied the Nazis

If Americans know one fact about the legendary African-American contralto Marian Anderson, it’s that she sang in defiance on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, in 1939. When the Daughters of the American Revolution denied her request to perform in the D.A.R. Constitution Hall, in Washington, D.C., for racist reasons, Anderson picked up her musical scores and, instead, sang Schubert and African-American spirituals on the steps of the Memorial, to more than seventy-five thousand people. But that performance was not Anderson’s first time confronting anti-Black racism in such a spectacular manner that she made international news. Throughout the nineteen-thirties, Anderson stared down opposition in Nazi Germany and Fascist Austria.

It’s not clear, exactly, when people began to treat Anderson as more of a saint than a singer. Over time, Anderson, like other Black women, has been reduced to a civil-rights sound bite, a single moment of respectable resistance instead of a lifetime of determined nonconformity. Part of her beatification rests on the conversion of her image to an immediately recognizable trope: the dignified, stoic, middle-aged Black woman—silent, too, unless her mouth was open in song.

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