Top Five Power Marriages

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Now that Kate and Will are a certified married couple, we look at some fruitful unions within classical music royalty with the Top 5 @ 105 power marriages.

1. She has an international conducting career and he holds the reins to a globally renowned opera house: Kerri-Lynn Wilson and Peter Gelb together have a huge musical footprint. Wilson, a Canadian-born Juilliard-trained flutist and conductor, has led both the Vienna State and Mariinsky operas, the Montreal and Houston symphonies, and the LA Philharmonic. In his tenure at the Met, Gelb has exported the opera house’s productions to the world through its HD broadcasts. The two married in Villa Simius, Italy in 2003. One wonders whether they’ll eventually collaborate.

2. A scandal ensued when news that Sir Simon Rattle was having an affair with Magdalena Kozena, an up-and-coming Czech soprano 19 years his junior. The pair is still too traumatized to discuss their private lives. However, they frequently combine efforts in concert and opera. The two won high marks for a riveting production of Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande at the Metropolitan Opera this past winter.

3. Cellist David Finckel and pianist Wu Han, married in 1985, work together constantly. The pair founded the Bay Area summer festival Music@Menlo, the recording company ArtistLed, and the Chamber Society of Lincoln Center, where they serve as co-artistic directors and lead a full touring schedule. Even their daughter, a young pianist herself, will sometimes get in the act by turning pages for her mother.

Watch Wu Han, David Finckel, and their daughter Lilian at the Aspen Music Festival in 2008 below.

4. Composers Julia Wolfe and Michael Gordon married in 1984. Three years later they founded the new music organization Bang on a Can with their fellow Yale composition classmate David Lang. The three have been composing, producing marathons, and fostering the work of young composers ever since. On the eve of Wolfe’s Composer Portrait at the Miller Theater, she told The New York Times, “I love being married to another composer. We’re always playing each other music and giving each other feedback. In that sense, it’s a real friendship, a friendship about music.”

5. If there is an opera equivalent of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, it would have to be the photogenic couple Russian Anna Netrebko and her fiancé Uruguayan baritone Erwin Schrott. (Netrebko told the Guardian they had married, but recently confessed to The New York Times that they hadn’t found time to officially tie the knot. She does call Schrott her husband and the two have a son, Tiago.) Though they rarely work together, Netrebko sang Donna Anna to Schrott’s Don Giovanni at Covent Garden in 2007 and they recently sang a performance of L’elisir d’amore together at the Mariinsky.


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Comments [9]

miranda dekay from nyc

although no longer together , how about Anne-Sophie Mutter and Andre Previn

May. 01 2011 06:10 PM

I first heard Keri-Lynn Wilson conducting Aida in Rome several years ago & became an instant admirer. She is conducting 2 one act operas at Julliard this week & we deserve to see/hear her more in NYC. Being married to Gelb is probably a hindrance in that regard. But once you see/hear her in action, you will never forget the lush, lyrical sound she elicits.

May. 01 2011 03:54 PM
L.Lubin from Fort Lee, NJ

More from the operatic past?
Christa Ludwig and Walter Berry, Richard Bonynge and Joan Sutherland, Mirella Freni and Nicolai Ghiaurov, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Julia Varady, Christoph von Dohnanyi and Anja Silja, Rose Bampton and Wilfred Pelletier, Lotte Lehman and Bruno Walter, Marilyn Horne and Henry Lewis,
etc., etc., and so forth.

Apr. 30 2011 10:42 AM
Michael Meltzer

Elliot Goldenthal & Julie Taymor should be on any short list.

Apr. 30 2011 04:36 AM
Michael Meltzer

Royalty by lineage as the daughter and genius pianist son-in-law of the 20th century's greatest conductor, and treated as royalty wherever they went, were Vladimir and Wanda Toscanini Horowitz.
It was obvious to anyone within two minutes after meeting Wanda Horowitz that she was in charge of the Horowitz throne, and the Horowitz legend was very much a team phenomenon

Apr. 30 2011 04:25 AM
Michael Meltzer

Firmly and fondly in the memories of many, many New York pianists, Claude Frank and the late Lillian Kallir.

Apr. 30 2011 01:45 AM
pfitzner from Jersey City, NJ

If we're including past couples, Samuel Barber and Gian Carlo Menotti certainly qualify as classical music royalty.

Apr. 30 2011 12:32 AM
Nathan K from Bradford County, PA

What about Eric Whitacre and Hila Plitmann? Surely they count as a great musical power couple!

Apr. 30 2011 12:06 AM

If we're including past couples, Jacqueline Du Pre and Daniel Barenboim certainly qualify as classical music royalty.

Apr. 29 2011 04:35 PM

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