April has been an incredibly busy month here at WildKat PR! Just in case you missed anything, here is a round-up of what we’ve been up to:

We were delighted to welcome Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival. It is the world’s largest festival of new opera and will return to King’s Cross from July for three weeks, with over 100 performances and 40 new works.

It seems we will have a very operatic summer as we welcome back composer Tim Benjamin. We worked with him last year on Madame X, an opera which was featured in the 2014 Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola Theatre. Tim is producing another opera this summer called ‘Life Stories’ at the Tête à Tête Festival and from there it will tour in the North of England.

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We also started working with the Sacconi Quartet on their project HEARTFELT. They are quickly getting a name for themselves as the ‘digital string quartet’ with lots of interesting technology-focused projects happening on a regular basis. HEARTFELT is being performed at the Spitalfields Festival, the Bristol Proms and Lichfield Festival. But what exactly is so cool about the projects? The Sacconi Quartet is recognised for being a compelling ensemble, consistently communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach and so they know how to create exciting projects. HEARTFELT is an immersive, interactive performance that re-imagines a Beethoven quartet through robotics and audience responsive lighting design.

We are also very pleased to introduce you to Mahler Chamber Orchestra who have recently signed with us. They are due to play three times at the annual BBC Proms with their Artistic Partner and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. Together they will perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, which will represent the end of their wider project ‘The Beethoven Journey’ which has spanned four years.

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We attended a lot of exciting events in April which included Ensemble BPM’s performance of Steve Reich and Beryl Korot’s Three Tales which achieve reviews in the Financial Times, The Times and The Arts Desk. This was the first ever opera performed live in an IMAX Theatre and took place at the Science Museum. The second of the two nights (22 and 24 April) was sold out! The Ensemble want their work to illuminate the sights and sounds of an increasingly complex world: they certainly delighted a big audience.

Turning our attention to New York, a real highlight as was Danielle Schwob‘s world premiere performance of her new work Three Self Portraits in Brooklyn NYC. Danielle Schwob and John Zorn were joined by Vicky Chow, Jennifer Choi, and Michael Nicolas.

Launches were clearly en vogue this month as we attended lot of them in the last few weeks such as the launch event of Musical Orbit. Shortly after, Tom Service at the Guardian wrote an article about it saying that Musical Orbit is a great idea for offering one-on-one tutorials with top professionals.

Of course, WildKat PR also attended an event hosted by the fabulous After Nyne Magazine. The Magazine combines culture, lifestyle, arts, style and music so it was great to meet the editorial team properly and celebrate the first print issue with some drinks in a lovely gallery.

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On 23 April we celebrated our birthday but there was no time for partying too much as Ensemble Perpetuo gave a concert on 25 April at 47/49 Tanner Street. As an ensemble specialising in multi-art form collaborations, they give a new meaning to performances of both classical and contemporary music. They are known for taking music to unexpected venues and drawing in new audiences to share in their love for music as one experienced at Tanner Street. They played music inspired by cities, and the event included city-themed photography from the London Photo Festival, Art by Caroline Mackenzie and Tom Pearce and choreography by Lucia Sweigert. Read the review by LDN Card.

In times of so many brillant musicians it is not easy to find an individual voice and to get attention from a bigger audience. The virtuoso violinist Eric Silberger is one of these musicians combining both splendid technical skills and musicality which made his London debut with the Philharmonic Orchestra very special. Bachtrack and Classicalsource reported from the concert. Eric also released his video of Paganini’s 24th Caprice last month with all the variations layered on top of each other – it’s had almost 16,000 views on Youtube now!

Encouraging new audiences, especially in terms of classical music is not that easy. Orpheus Sinfonia‘s conductor Thomas Carroll spoke about their Beneath the Score Series on BBC Radio 3 In Tune ahead of their concert The People’s Politics on 28 April. The concert also received a 4 star review from LDN card. Orpheus Sinfonia’s second Networking for Young Professionals event also took place at this concert, continuing to encourage new audiences to engage with classical music. During April, Thomas was also interviewed by the Mayfair Times and it was great to have this support from a publication based in the same area that they are resident in.

haydn-2032-2As well as being busy in London and New York, in Berlin our team attended one of the brilliant Haydn nights with  Radiale Nacht – Il filosofo at Radialsystem V on 8th May. As the project Haydn 2032 is a huge work in progress, these nights offer an opportunity to get to know the project: conductor Giovanni Antonini, Bernhard Lassahn and Christian Moritz-Bauer gave lectures, were interviewed and talked to the audience. On 8th May, Il Giardino armonico under Giovanni Antonini played symphonies by both Joseph Haydn and Wilhelm Friedemann Bach which were received with massive applause.

With all the fantastic new clients who have recently joined us, as well as the BBC Proms, Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival and other annual highlights, it looks like a busy summer for WildKat PR.

Keep updated with news by visiting our blog, following us on Twitter and liking us on Facebook and LinkedIn.

(Written on May 15, 2015 )

WildKat PR is pleased to be welcoming back composer Tim Benjamin, who is returning with his latest project Life Stories: a double bill of new one-act operas, Silent Jack and Rest in Peace, set three centuries apart. With words by Anton Chekhov and Anthony Peter, sung by mezzo-soprano Taylor Wilson and bass James Fisher, and produced by Radius, the operas explore a woman and a man in 1720s England and 2020s Moscow respectively. Both protagonists tell their life stories in their final hours and carry themes of chance, loose words and how small life choices can impact your life overall.

Silent Jack tells the story of a noblewoman, wealth lost by her missing husband to the South Sea bubble, who takes up a new life as a highwayman to make ends meet. In this gripping chamber opera, we come face-to-face with “Silent Jack” and hear of her halcyon past and grim decline, until, sharing her final moments of life, we learn of the terrible discovery she has made.

This opera is presented in a direct, intimate format: the protagonist (played by Taylor Wilson) addresses the audience up-close and personally. With a focus on story-telling, it mixes humour and tragedy, accompanied by atmospheric music that draws on Purcell.

Rest In Peace is a contemporary adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “Life through questions and exclamations”, a fascinating short story cunningly constructed entirely from snippets of speech from the protagonist’s life, from birth to death. Whereas Chekhov does not specify either the protagonist’s name or present situation, Radius have chosen to set the short story as the final moments of an old homeless man, Ezdeyev, as he reflects upon his life. These reflections gradually reveal to us how this man has arrived here. The drama (in English) is presented in a modern re-invention of Brechtian opera-theatre: both audience and accompanying musicians are vigorously encouraged to join in by the boisterous, comic, and tragic Ezdeyev. Tim’s music – requiring great flexibility from the singer – blends the tuneful influences of Weill and Eisler with sounds reminiscent of Shostakovich and Weinberg.

Life Stories will premiere at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester on 1st July and will thereafter embark on a tour of the North-West of England in Preston, Halifax and Todmorden culminating in a run of performances at Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival.

Tim Benjamin is a highly successful composer known for his works for opera, film and television including the critically acclaimed operas Madame X, which toured nationally in 2014, and Emily. More recently, he composed for the short film, By Example which was entered into the BFI 48 Hour Sci-Fi Challenge. When he’s not composing, he is also a teacher of music theory, an examiner in the same subject for ABRSM and the Artistic Director of Radius. Amongst this busy schedule, he is heavily in demand as a speaker and spoke at a TEDx talk in 2015.

Keep up to date with Tim Benjamin, Life Stories and all his other projects through his website and Twitter.

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(Written on May 13, 2015 )

We recently announced that Tête à Tête: The Opera Festival joined WildKat PR as a client and today we are pleased to reveal that the programme for the 2015 Season has been released and early-bird tickets are now on sale! Spanning three weeks and in multiple venues around King’s Cross such as The Place, Egg, the RADA GBS Studio and Regents Theatre, over 100 performances will take place and 40 new works are scheduled. Each night, there will be up to three performances, allowing audiences to fully enjoy as much of the festival as possible.

Opening the season is Streetwise Opera and Tête à Tête’s co-production of People Watch which is a comic yet dark take on Channel 4’s Gogglebox. Indeed, technology is a loose theme of this year’s festival what with Kevin JonesYour Call…, about our modern relationship with the digital world, focusing on voice technology and synthesised speech. Similarly, Of Zoe and The Woman I Sing explores the idea around voice avatars. 

Another WildKat PR client Tim Benjamin will feature at the festival with his new work Life Stories ,which explores the lives of two people facing their final moments.

There are many new features this year, including two world prèmieres that were written in collaboration with writers who have worked with the Festival in 2014 on the Pop Up Operas. One of these is Chocolat author Joanne Harris. Many traditional operas are also being given a makeover, make sure you go to Rock Tosca and Reimagined Turandot . Another innovation introduced this year are the Tête à Tête Club Nights, evenings beginning with conventional opera and morphing into a nightclubbing experience with a guest DJ from Nonclassical. Truly, they deserve their reputation as the people who are redefining and reclaiming the word ‘opera.’

The successful pop up operas and street performances of previous years, feature again in 2015 in Cubitt Square, Granary Square and throughout King’s Cross.

Check out the full line up and book your tickets, which are on sale now, through the website. Keep up to date with the summer festival on Tête à Tête’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

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(Written on May 7, 2015 )

The world looked on in absolute horror last month as a deadly 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal. The effects of the disaster have directly affected 8 million people with over 7,000 official casualties and many more unofficially. The earthquake destroyed scores of buildings in Kathmandu in particular but has also severely affected the region’s rural areas. Aid is desperately needed, food and water are in short supply and the risk of disease threatens.

Music of all genres has always had the unique ability to bring people together for a cause and there are a few concerts planned to help raise money for the relief operation in Nepal. Below is a selection, please attend and give generously, the people of Nepal need our help.

Southwark Music Service Concert for the Nepal Earthquake Appeal, 10 May Parish Church of St. Mary Newington, 7pm

In aid of the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal, the tutors of Southwark Music Service will present a programme of jazz, classical and other genres performed by various ensembles linked to the Service.

Sir Neville Marriner and Friends Play for Nepal, 28 May St James’ Piccadilly, 7:30pm 

A prestigious line up of oboist Nicholas Daniel, violinist Kenneth Sillito and past and present members of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields all conducted by Sir Neville Marriner will join forces for the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal on 28 May. Repertoire includes Elgar, Bach, Marcello and Tchaikovsky. All involved are donating their time and services for free.

Classical Music Gala Concert for Nepal, 29 May St Barnabas Church, London W5 1QG, 7:30pm

Pianist Alicja Fiderkiewicz and cellist Corinne Morris have called upon their solo and chamber musician friends to organise this concert on 29 May. Alongside a world premiere by Keith Burstein, Murray McLachlan, Artur Pizarro, Viv Mclean, Carlo Grante and Nico de Villiers will join Alicja and Corinne at St Barnabas Church with all proceeds also going to the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal. The target is £10,000, come along to help them reach and exceed this goal.

Nepal Earthquake Fundraiser, 9-10 May Brixton Jamm 261 Brixton Road, 6pm onwards

If you fancy something other classical music, Brixton Jamm’s usual Saturday night will be dedicated to raising money for Circus Kathmandu, a local charity involved in setting an example in fair and best circus practises in the area. They have been on the ground in Nepal for some time before the earthquake and engage young people whilst also working closely with anti-trafficking organisations. You can be sure that by supporting this charity, the money will go straight to those who need it most. The great lineup includes artists such as Basement Jaxx, Kissy Sell Out and Audio Bullys. Find out the full list on the Facebook event page.

If you cannot make these events please consider donating directly to the DEC or to the Red Cross.

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Photo: EPA/Narenda Shrestha

(Written on May 7, 2015 )

Want to know where to take your music career next? Have questions about working in the classical music industry? Come along to our next free Open Session on Friday 8th May! Come in to our central London office or we can set up a Skype call.

(Written on May 6, 2015 )

WildKat PR is very pleased to announce that we will be working with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra! This is an exciting time to be following the orchestra; they are due to play three times at the annual BBC Proms with their Artistic Partner and Norwegian pianist Leif Ove Andsnes. Together they will perform all five of Beethoven’s piano concertos, which will represent the end of their wider project ‘The Beethoven Journey’ which has spanned four years. This scheme also included the award-winning ‘Feel the Music’ project. It picks up on the subject of deafness, by which Beethoven was increasingly affected during his life. In various cities across Europe, the MCO is inviting children who are deaf or have a hearing disability into the world of the orchestra, to explore how music can be experienced with all of one’s senses.

Founded in 1997 by a group of young musicians with the support of Claudio Abbado, the Mahler Chamber Orchestra’s name reflects its roots in the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra. With 45 members spanning 20 countries, the MCO prides itself on working musically as a chamber orchestra in the spirit of their founding mentor Claudio Abbado characterized by tight ensemble playing among alert and independent musical personalities. Their core repertoire is in the Viennese Classical and Romantic periods, whilst also playing more contemporary works and world premieres. This summer, the MCO will perform the US Stage Premiere of George Benjamin’s Written On Skin at the Lincoln Center, New York, following their performance of the World Premiere at Aix-en-Provence in 2012.

With the BBC Proms and the stage premiere, summer 2015 is shaping up to be a busy time for the Orchestra. It will end with the MCO’s return to the Lucerne Festival with Daniele Gatti where it forms the core of the Lucerne Festival Orchestra every year. In September, ensemble will launch the Carl Nielsen portrait project at the Musikfest Berlin, a celebration of the composer in his 150th birthday year, with a performance of ‘Sinfonia Semplice.’

As well as working on the BBC Proms, we will also be working with MCO on a new brand and visual identity. Keep up to date with the orchestra, their news and key dates via their website and Facebook.

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The Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Photo: Deniz Saylan

(Written on April 30, 2015 )

Your Call… is a new music theatre work that explores our relationship with the digital realm and how it intimately, and increasingly disruptively, intersects with our lives. Using both live and synthetic voices, the opera follows the online identity of the single character, called The Woman. The voices on the other end of her phone seem different to normal; they seem to know things about her that she has not told them. Yet they are all competing for her attention in contradictory ways. Can The Woman, sung in dual iterations by Mezzo Sopranos Lisa J. Coates and Hai-Ting Chinn, work out what is going?

The opera was created and written by Kevin Jones who was inspired by his work as part of the CreST (Creative Speech Technology) Network: a research project at the University of York. Experts and practitioners from the scientific and artistic fields, all with a particular interest in the voice, began to explore the intersections between the two disciplines. The goal was the build a common language using voice technology. ‘Articulatewas the result of this collaboration and was the first ever concert to feature live and synthetic voices. It was here, at the same concert in 2013 at the Woodend Gallery in Scarborough, that the first snippets of ‘Your Call…’ were heard.

The complete work, with choreography by Joy Kellman, will have its premiere at Tête à Tête later this year, having been extensively developed since its inaugural performance in 2014: the addition of a second singer, and, a much larger stage design. This includes a potential skateboard and video projections, created by Hannah Wasileski, to further highlight the volatility of online identity,

Performances take place on 8th and 9th August 2015 at Tête-à-Tête Opera Festival, King’s Place, London. Keep up to date with the project on the website, Facebook and Twitter.

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(Written on April 25, 2015 )

We recently caught up with Mark Latimer, Pianist and Executive Producer of The Imperfect Pearl to talk about this exciting new production. The Imperfect Pearl or ‘Perola Barroca’ (the derivation of the term baroque) explores the life and music of one of the Baroque periods most overlooked and forgotten about composers, Domenico Zipoli, whose his manuscripts lay undiscovered for 200 years in a box marked ‘toilet paper.’ The performance is part play, part opera, part concert and not only represents the return of Zipoli to the repertoire but also Mark to the stage after pioneering treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture which was generously funded by Help Musicians UK and the Royal Society of Musicians.

Keep up to date with all the news via their website and Twitter.

The 2015 UK tour of The Imperfect Pearl will  begin on 13th May at Newbury Spring Festival. See the website for a full list of performances.

 

(Written on April 23, 2015 )

WildKat PR is extremely excited to be working with the Sacconi Quartet, a string quartet who are consistently recognised for communicating with a fresh and imaginative approach. The quartet aims to create truly immersive chamber music experiences that draw the audience into the music in a way never seen or heard before.

The Sacconi Quartet’s latest project, HEARTFELT, does just this. Audience members will hold robotic, wired hearts and will be able to feel the heartbeat of one of the players and so follow the same highs and lows as the musicians during the performance of Beethoven’s String Quartet in A minor Op, 132. It promises to be a uniquely interactive performance. This information will then be transformed in real time into a lighting display that is exclusive to that performance. The robotics and lighting are all made possible by: Silas Adekunle of Reach Robotics, responsible for the initial robotics concept; robotic and system designers, development and manufacturers, Rusty Squid; and interactive lighting designer, Ziggy Jacobs-Wyburn. It will be premiered at the 2015 Spitalfields Festival before being performed at Lichfield International Arts Festival and the Bristol Proms. The idea came about during the inaugural Bristol Proms in 2013 when the Sacconi Quartet spent two days with leaders in the technology and creative fields exploring how to make chamber music more immersive. With Arts Council funding, the result was HEARTFELT. Moments of darkness and a considered lighting design allow the focus of the performance to be on the music itself, with digital technology providing a way for audiences to engage with the music in a direct, physical way. HEARTFELT moves the concert experience beyond sight and sound, introducing tactility into live performance.

Formed in 2001, the Sacconi Quartet are a firmly established and respected ensemble, passionate about repertoire for string quartet. They are the winners of various awards including the Trondheim International String Quartet Competition and Second Prize at the London International String Quartet Competition, alongside two extra prizes at the same event. The Sacconi are the Quartet in Residence at the Royal College of Music and Associate Artists at the Bristol Old Vic. They are also regulars on the UK and European concert scene and have played at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall and the Musikverein in Vienna, to name but a few. Their 2014/15 season includes residencies at the Lichfield Festival and Salisbury International Arts Festival alongside collaborations with Miloš Karadaglić, Ksenija Sidorova and Vertavo Quartet.

Keep up to date with news about the Sacconi Quartet, HEARTFELT and their other upcoming projects through their website, Twitter and Facebook.

Sacconi_Shot3-299Hv2_bw-landscape-credit-Emilie-Bailey The Sacconi Quartet. Photo: Emilie Bailey

(Written on April 22, 2015 )

We are very excited to be working with guitarist Maria Camahort. Having completed her musical studies in Barcelona and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, Maria Camahort is now a regular on the performance scene the world over. She has performed in many important musical cities such as Madrid, London, St Petersburg, Warsaw and Kraków. Maria was also the recipient of the prestigious Guildhall Artist Fellowship 2010-2012, and, together with flautist Lucy Driver, was the winner of the Pro-Musicis France Award 2013.

Influenced by the likes of David Dolan, Zoran Dukic and John Parricelli, Maria has a specialist interest in chamber music and enjoys collaborating with other performers from other genres in creative ways. To date, she has worked with singers (The Voice of Strings), dancers (Tango Magnètic), jazz artists (Jamie McCredie) and musicals (The L5Y). She also appeared in a CNN interview with Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso in June 2012.

Her latest project continues this theme; The Maria Camahort Quintet was born in November 2011 out of the desire to increase the possibilities in chamber music. Maria plays the guitar and arranges the repertoire alongside four other talented musicians: Violeta García, voice and violin; Laura Ruhí-Vidal, soprano; Sergio Serra, cello; Pablo Domínguez, percussion and guitar. The Quintet has already performed at some of the top venues and festivals such as Kings Place and the Purcell Room. They are currently focusing on the Spanish musical tradition and this exploration has culminated in their first album, due to be released in June 2015. Entitled ‘Iberian Colours,’ the CD will be a representation of the vibrancy of Spain in sound: vibrant colours, earthy textures and foot-tapping rhythms. The Quintet will also be performing at the Buxton Festival and Arts in Action festival, both in July, and at the Barbican’s Milton Court in October.

Look out for ‘Maria Camahort Quintet: Iberian Colours’ on Convivium Records, digitally on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify and physically by Harmonia Mundi UK, released on 1st June 2015. Keep up to-date with Maria, the Quintet and the album on her website and through Twitter.

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(Written on April 16, 2015 )