News and views

You may see less arts coverage in the Democrat and Chronicle. The daily paper’s classical music, jazz and dance reporter and critic, Anna Reguero, is leaving to pursue her doctorate in musicology.  (You can hear our conversation about changes she’s seen in Rochester by clicking here.)  She will not be replaced.  In a city with a widespread affinity for music of all kinds, the decision by Rochester’s daily paper to not hire a new music writer is troubling but not surprising.

Classical 91.5 Afternoon host Chris Van Hof is also leaving Rochester to pursue an advanced degree in music.  Send a note of appreciation to

Coming soon: a kind of Wegmans card for music lovers.  Six major arts organizations are involved in the development of a ticket discount program through the Rochester Arts Exchange. Organizers are hoping to make an announcement by the end of the summer.

Rochester chamber choir Madrigalia is preparing to record a new CD this fall, the first since Lee Wright became music director following the retirement of Roger Wilhelm. It will recorded in studio sessions, not before a live audience, and may include pieces inspired by the night by Robert Schumann and Edward Elgar, mid-century standards “Deep Purple” and “Count Your Blessings,” and newly-composed music by living composers including John Rutter, Tarik O'Regan, and Eric Whitacre.

Renée Fleming appears on a newish CD of popular jazz standards, the 25th-anniversary album of Charlie Haden Quartet West, singing with Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Melody Gardot, Norah Jones, and Ruth Cameron.  “The happiest surprise is Ms. Fleming’s voluptuously besotted rendition of 'A Love Like This,'” writes Stephen Holden for the New York Times. “Ms. Fleming’s rich, gliding voice evokes a woman wallowing in heedless sensual afterglow, her half-choked singing flooded with emotion.” 

Finally, RPO President Charles Owens was spotted downtown wearing a Hufflepuff tie.  The Harry Potter enthusiast wore a matching striped shirt and seemed enthused about the last film in the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

“It’s the end of an era,” he said.