May 08

7th of May – Not Just UK Election Day

tchaikovsky copy

While everyone was waiting for the results of yesterday’s voting, classical music fans were celebrating the 175th birth anniversary of Russian composer Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. He wrote symphonies, concertos, operas, ballets, chamber music, and a choral setting of the Russian Orthodox Divine Liturgy. Some of these are among the most popular theatrical music in the classical repertoire, including the ballets Swan Lake and The Nutcracker, and the opera Eugene Onegin, based on Alexander Pushkin’s novel in verse.

May 08

Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi

The opera Macbeth by Giuseppe Verdi is being performed at the Theatre des Champs Elysses, Paris, France. Conducted by Daniele Gatti, directed by Mario Martone with costume design by Ursula Patzak. Susanna Branchini sings Lady Macbeth (soprano) , Jean-Francois Borras is Macduff (tenor), Jeremy Duffau is Malcolm (tenor), Roberto Frontali sings title role of Macbeth (baritone) and Andrea Mastroni is Banquo (bass)

Macbeth by Verdi
Thierry Martinot

More images HERE

May 06

Alessandra Ferri returns to the Royal Opera House

Retired prima ballerina assoluta Alessandra Ferri, who celebrates her birthday today, is returning to the Royal Opera House to dance in Wayne McGregor‘s new ballet Woolf Works.

Woolf Works is a full length ballet based on the works of Virginia Woolf, with a specially commissioned score by acclaimed British composer Max Richter. The ballet combines themes from Woolf’s landmark novels, including Mrs. Dalloway, Orlando and The Waves, as well as elements of her essays, letters and diaries. It is McGregor’s first full-length production for The Royal Ballet, and will run from the 11th to the 26th of May.

Alessandra Ferri dancing with the Royal Ballet

© RA/Lebrecht Music & Arts

May 05

Maya Plisetskaya – Obituary photos for Russian ballet legend

Russian Ballet Dancer Maya Mikhaylovna Plisetskaya has passed away aged 89 – 20 November 1925 – 2 May 2015

Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his “deep condolences” to Plisetskaya’s family and relatives.

Plisetskaya joined the Bolshoi in 1943, captivating audiences around the world. In 1960, she became the Bolshoi’s prima ballerina.

Among her acclaimed roles were Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Carmen in Carmen Suite by her husband Rodion Shchedrin.

Plisetskaya left the stage aged 65, becoming a choreographer and giving master classes around the world.

She moved to the German city of Munich with her composer husband Rodion Shchedrin in 1991.

For more images click HERE

Swan Lake
© RIA Novosti/Lebrecht Music & Arts

Ballet dancer Maya Plisetskaya in the ballet Don Quijote /  Don Quixote  by L. Minkus
© culture-images/Lebrecht

Maya Plisetskaya (right) Sergey
© RIA Novosti

May 05

Ruth Rendell – Obituary photos from Author Pictures at Lebrecht

Ruth Rendell the famous British crime write dies

The British novelist and crime writer Ruth Rendell, has died aged 85 . - 17 February 1930 – 2 May 2015.

She revitalised the mystery genre to reflect post-war social changes and wove into more than 60 books  contemporary issues as domestic violence, transvestism, paedophilia and sexual frustration. Her Inspector Wexford mysteries became an extremely popular television figure in the 1990s.

Ruth Rendell -
© Eamonn McCabe

Ruth Rendell -
© Mirrorpix

Ruth Rendell
© Louis Monier/RDA/Lebrecht Music

Ruth Rendell Edinburgh International Book festival 2012
© P.Keightley/Lebrecht

May 01

The Pirates of Penzance – Mike Leigh’s new ENO production

Mike Leigh, a long time fan of Gilbert and Sullivan is known for his lengthy rehearsal and improvisation techniques with actors working in his films. His aim is to build characters and narrative for his films, to capture reality and present ‘emotional, subjective, intuitive, instinctive, vulnerable films’.  How this approach translates onto the stage with his new May production of The Pirates of Penzance at ENO  has aroused everyone’s curiosity.

The Pirates of Penzance or The Slave of Duty was premiered in New York  on 31 December 1879,   The London debut  followed on three months later on 3 April 1880.  The famous songs are the Major-General’s Song and The Policeman’s Song where the words of the parody are often changed to be more relevant to modern times.  Will this happen in Mike Leigh’s production?

Set designs are by Alison Chitty and the conductor is David Parry.  Andrew Shore is the very model of a modern Major-General, Jonathan Lemalu is the affectionate parody of the British bobby, Robert Murray is the innocent pirate-apprentice Frederic, and Rebecca de Pont Davies is the older woman who has designs on him.

Lebrecht Music Arts has an extensive collection of  previous productions and sketches of Pirates of Penzance. We have long been fans of all the Gilbert and Sullivan operas and their composer and librettist. A little known fact is that  one of the members of staff at Lebrecht Music & Arts made their debut as a fairy in a long forgotten production of Iolanthe!  Unfortunately we have no photos available.

Apr 17

How rare is this photo from ISCM 1922? Spot the famous composers!

Digging deep into the Lebrecht archives we found this truly rare line up from the 1922 ISCM conference (International Society for Contemporary Music). It includes some of the great composers who would leave an indelible mark on the pre-war and post war classical music world. From left to right: Karl Weigl, Karl Alwin, Wilhem Grosz, Arthur Bliss, Paul Hindemith, Rudolf Reti, Ethel Smyth, Paul A Fisk, Willem Pijper, Egon Lustgarten, Egon Wellescz, Anton Webern, Karl Horowitz, Hugo Kauder

ISCM Festival at Salzburg  1922

Apr 17

Come and visit Lebrecht Music & Arts at FOTOFRINGE on 23 April 2015! stand BB/13

Puccini's opera 'Manon Lescaut'.  Glyndebourne

WHERE? Stand BB/13 at FOTOFRINGE 2015 ( on Thursday 23 April 2015 at King’s Place, London, N1 9AG, 9 am – 5 pm.

HOW? Make an appointment: please call 020 7625 5341 or email Or, pop by our stand at BB/13 on the day.

WHY? We love to meet our clients face to face. so we can tell you …..

WHAT’S NEW? – Amazing unseen images of 1950s London by Godfrey MacDominic
- Fabulous collection of recorded musicals
- Great graphics in WWI poster collection


- our unique music collections, Boston Museum of Fine Arts musical instruments, the London Royal Academy of Music, the Kurt Weill Foundation, and more…
- our historic photographers Siegfried Lauterwasser and Sabine Toepffer, who covered the Golden era of classical music in Germany from 1960s through to the 1980s
- our brilliant working photographers who cover the whole music and culture scene from classical to rock and keeping up with the theatrical greats across the world -
- our unusual private collections, including specialist archives of rare maps and a social and political history archive of the early twentieth century.

We look forward to seeing you there!