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Musical notes

The Wigmore Hall has changed under its new artistic director, Paul Kildea, and not necessarily for the better. An opportunity for the Queen Elizabeth Hall?

By Stephen Everson   January 2005

Showing off at the WigmoreLast October, Ann Murray and Simon Keenlyside performed Mahler’s Des Knaben Wunderhorn at the Wigmore Hall in an specially commissioned arrangement for chamber ensemble by James Olsen. Both singers are natural Mahlerians and, from what one could tell, Olsen’s arrangement was intelligent and imaginative. But the performance, conducted by Paul Kildea, the Wigmore’s new artistic director, was not a success. Even a fine conductor with an established reputation might hesitate before engaging himself in this way, but Kildea clearly has a more robust sensibility about such things. Unfortunately, the result was that the Wigmore failed to…

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