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We are delighted to welcome celebrated classical guitarist Artyom Dervoed.

Image: © Kirill Karetin

Having won 16 prestigious awards in various international competitions, Artyom Dervoed is in a class of his own – or in the words of Universe Guitare, he truly is the “Tsar of the guitar”.

Born in Russia, Artyom learnt to play the guitar at the age of six with Sergey Annikov, then studied with Elena Svetozarova and Leonid Reznik. He later studied at several high-profile music schools, such as the Schnittke Music College and Gnesin Academy (Moscow), Koblenz Guitar Academy (Germany) with Aniello Desiderio, and Accademia Chigiana (Italy) with Oscar Ghiglia.

A milestone of his career was the release of his album in 2008, featuring Russian guitar music. Released by Naxos, it became one of the top ten bestselling chamber music records worldwide. Artyom Dervoed is a regular guest on the world’s most prestigious stages, including the Berliner Philharmonie, Carnegie Hall and Bunka Kaikan.

Among Artyom’s many awards is the first prize at the 39th Michele Pittaluga International Classical Guitar Competition in 2006, as well as the H.R.H. Princess Cristina 18th International Guitar Competition in 2009, making him the first Russian to win both competitions.

Image: © Kirill Karetin

His efforts in the classical music scene are not only limited to performing and recording amazing interpretations of works – one of his main ambitions is stepping into the footsteps of cellist Rostropovich and violinist Bashmet to present the classical guitar as a first-class solo instrument.
 He also regularly commissions new works and transcriptions to expand repertoires for the classical guitar, leading to world premieres.

Artyom is the founder of the Moscow Guitar Chamber Music Festival in the Bashmet Center and co-founder of one of the most important classical music festivals in the world – the annual Guitar Virtuosi Moscow International Festival, presented by the Moscow Philharmonic Society at the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. As Artistic Director, Dervoed puts together an exciting program of national and international soloists, chamber and orchestral performances. For this year’s 13th edition, which will take place from 20th – 24th March, he will perform the world premiere of a new concerto for guitar and orchestra by contemporary Russian composer Alexander Tchaikovsky.

We are delighted to promote his upcoming performances at the Constella Festival in Cincinnati on February 23rd, 2018 and at the Embassy of the Russian Federation in Berlin on March 28th.

Moreover, Artyom Dervoed is the head of the classical guitar department at the Bashmet Center in Moscow and he teaches at the well-known Gnesin Academy.

“An outstanding figure.” La Provence — Dimanche (France)

(Written on February 23, 2018 )

Wir freuen uns über die erneute Zusammenarbeit mit dem Bariton Peter Schöne.

Foto: Gisela Schenker

Sei es nun „leuchtender Bariton“ (SZ) oder „exzellenter Sänger mit hervorragender Technik“ (FAZ): Peter Schöne weiß sowohl seine Kritiker als auch sein Publikum zu beeindrucken. Der gebürtige Berliner hat sich als Opern-, Konzert- und Liedersänger in den vergangenen Jahren national und international einen hervorragenden Ruf erarbeitet.

Nach seiner Ausbildung bei Kammersänger Harald Stamm an der Universität der Künste, feierte Peter Schöne sein Operndebüt an der Komischen Oper Berlin. Weitere Engagements brachten ihn auf die renommierten Bühnen von mehr als 20 Opernhäusern. Aber auch bei Orchestern wie dem SWR-Sinfonieorchester oder dem Münchner Rundfunkorchester ist Peter Schöne ein gern gesehener Gast.

Greek von Mark-Antony Turnage war seine erste Oper aus dem 20. Jhd. und offenbarte zugleich sein Talent für die Musik unserer Zeit. Maßgeblich dabei ist auch seine enge Zusammenarbeit mit dem Pianisten Axel Bauni sowie den Komponisten Moritz Eggert und Wolfgang Rihm.

Peter Schönes Interesse gilt besonders auch dem deutschen Klavierlied, das stets einen wichtigen Platz in seinem Repertoire einnahm. Seit 2008 verfolgt er sein ambitioniertes Projekt, eine Gesamtaufnahme aller Schubertlieder zu realisieren.

Für sein großes Engagement erhielt Schöne den Schneider-Schott-Musikpreis der Stadt Mainz, Gewinne beim Schubert-Wettbewerb in Graz und beim ARD-Wettbewerb in München unterstreichen sein enormes Talent.

Foto: Gisela Schenker

Das letzte Jahr war ereignisreich: Nicht nur wurde er am Saarländischen Staatstheater als Hauptbariton des Hauses engagiert und feierte erfolgreiche Premieren wie Guillaume Tell, auch sein Debüt in der Elbphilharmonie blieb von der Presse nicht unbemerkt, als „der exzellente Bariton die Töne mit fesselnder Präzision“ formte (Klassik-begeistert.de).

Aktuell bereitet sich Peter Schöne auf die Premiere der von Jakob Peters-Messer inszenierten Oper Salome in Saarbrücken vor: Die Rolle des Propheten Jochanaan steht im Mittelpunkt des Geschehens, es ist eine der wenigen Opern, die den Bariton in den Fokus rückt und nicht den Tenor. Ebenso soll im Herbst ein neues Doppelalbum u.a. mit Werken von Hugo Wolf, Richard Strauss und Justus Hermann Wetzel veröffentlicht werden. Wir freuen uns, Peter Schöne bei diesen vielfältigen Aufgaben zu unterstützen und zu promoten.

(Written on February 20, 2018 )

Naomi Belshaw is to take up a newly created position of PR Executive & Manager at WildKat PR from May 2018. Naomi currently works at PRS Foundation as Grants & Programmes Manager.

At WildKat, Naomi will provide strategic direction for composers, independent artists and ensembles, in addition to advising on rights, royalties and licensing opportunities. She will also manage the campaigns of specific clients.

Kathleen Alder, Founder of WildKat PR commented:

“We are thrilled to have Naomi join our London team to work across our offices. Her years at PRS for Music and PRS Foundation, both in very different capacities, mean we are developing and strengthening our offerings for independent artists and projects, from vital funding advice to consulting on sync and licensing.

Naomi has always been someone we admire and love collaborating with in the industry, and this is an exciting time for the company, as part of our current expansion and development of our service offerings.”

Naomi commented:

“I am delighted to announce that I will soon be joining the team at WildKat PR. I am really looking forward to working more closely with UK composers, ensembles and artists to help them realise their aspirations and pass on the knowledge that I have gained from working at PRS for Music and PRS Foundation over the last 5 years.”

(Written on February 20, 2018 )

Do you want to gain your first music industry experience working as part of a young and friendly team in Central London?

We are looking for a paid intern to join WildKat PR, starting as soon as possible.

WildKat PR
WildKat PR is a creative agency for classical music and the arts. We are a dynamic, forward thinking agency offering full services for public relations, marketing, artistic consultancy, event management, social media, and creative campaigns, specialising in both classical and contemporary music. We are a young, enthusiastic, creative, and music-loving company and our expertise and creativity allows us to devise innovative campaigns tailored to individual artists’ needs. With offices currently established in London, Berlin, and New York, and clients including the Ancient Academy of MusicBamberg Symphony OrchestraGstaad Menuhin Academy & Festival, and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, our reach extends internationally to offer professional PR support worldwide.

Job Description
WildKat PR is offering a paid position for a motivated and confident individual to join our London team. Working with the Director and Account Managers on creative PR campaigns across the classical music and cultural industries, you will be expected to assist your colleagues in all aspects of the campaigns, and quickly establish an understanding of the industry and begin to build working relationships with press to generate media coverage for our clients. This position will provide an overview of all clients, demonstrating the different stages of PR campaigns, along with a range of different styles and approaches to the press, industry and social media packages our company offers.

Key duties
As a WildKat intern, your role will include:
– Compiling and posting our daily news round-ups and sharing on social media
– Research-based tasks to assist Account Managers on their campaigns
– Updating social media accounts on behalf of WildKat PR
– Writing blogs about topics of interest to be published on our website
– Writing and proofreading press releases for WildKat clients
– Creating and uploading interesting and new content for our social media platforms
– Inviting critics, journalists, and industry contacts to concerts
– Attending client events and meeting members of the press and industry
– Creating listings to websites for clients’ upcoming concerts
– Daily maintenance and upkeep of the office
– Tidying the office before/after meetings and at end of the week
– CD/DVD mail-outs to UK and international press

What you get from interning with WildKat PR:
– Your first work experience in a professional, innovative communications company
– Chance to expand your skill set rapidly (you get out of this role what you’re prepared to put in!)
– Gain wider industry experience by attending concerts and networking events
– Impress your colleagues with your fresh, new ideas
– Friday drinks with the team, yoga classes and 6-hour work days

Person Specification
Essential
– A keen interest and passion in classical music and the creative industries
– Strong written and verbal communication skills
– A creative and fun way of thinking
– An interest in the media
– Good eye for at socials (and an appreciation for classical music memes)
– Self-motivated and keen to use initiative
– Strong prioritisation and organisational skills

Desirable
– Speak an additional language
– Currently study music or related discipline (creative arts, Public Relations)

We are looking for someone to work for us for 4 hours per day, 10am-2pm, Monday to Friday. If these hours don’t quite fit with your timetable, we are happy to be flexible for the right person!

We will pay a salary commensurate with the London Living Wage for each 20-hour week worked. The timeframe for the length of this internship is flexible, but we’re looking for someone to start as soon as possible.

To apply, please send a short C.V. and a covering letter to elizabeth@wildkatpr.com with the subject title ‘WildKat PR Intern application – February 2018′. Interviews will be held the week beginning 26th February 2018.

(Written on February 14, 2018 )

Gediminas Gelgotas is unstoppable: the Lithuanian composer has created numerous works that are still being regularly broadcasted by stations such as Mezzo TV and Boiler Room TV to this day, and he shows no signs of slowing down.

Renowned double-bassist Roman Patkoló joins Gelgotas in his latest work Sanctifaction. Originally the fourth movement of his symphony Extracultural, Gelgotas strips it down for the piano and double-bass this time, and the results are compelling. A haunting and intensive musical experience, now brought to life through this stunning new music video.

The chemistry in the room and between the two are undeniable. Patkoló handles the double-bass rhythmically and melodically like no other – an unusual but mesmerising portrayal of the often-overlooked instrument. The duo makes it inevitably hard for anyone to ignore the contrast between the stunning rhythmic drive and austere, melodic beauty that come into view.

Coming up for Gediminas Gelgotas is the premiere of his Violin Concerto No. 1 at the Kissinger Sommer Festival 2018 with long-time collaborator and conductor Kristjan Järvi, who has earned a reputation as one of the canniest, and most innovative programmers on the classic scene.

Listen to Gediminas Gelgotas’ Sanctifaction on Spotify, Google Play and Deezer.

(Written on February 7, 2018 )

We are very pleased to welcome two fantastic new clients, and welcome back another, as we begin the new year!

The Gstaad Menuhin Festival & Academy is now in its 61st iteration, and its outstanding programme will take place between 13th July and 1st September 2018. In 1957, Yehudi Menuhin moved with his young family to Gstaad, Switzerland, and was overwhelmed by the beauty and power of the bucolic Alpine village. After being asked by the then head of tourism for Gstaad, Paul Valentin, to support the summer tourist season with some concerts, Menuhin rang in the inaugural festival in the summer of  the following year. Two of the performers in those first concerts were Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears! The high-calibre bookings continue, and in 2018 the festival looks to welcome Jonas Kaufmann, Hélène Grimaud, Nigel Kennedy, Sol Gabetta and Juan Diego Flóres, among a stellar line-up of stars from the opera, choral and instrumental worlds. WildKat PR is delighted to be leading their press campaign again in 2018.

The eminent Italian pianist and composer Roberto Cacciapaglia has enjoyed a varied and successful career to date. He performs his own compositions in the most prestigious theatres and institutions all over the world, sharing his innovative and inspiring compositions. Roberto blends electronic experimental music with the classical tradition, and for many years has been researching the powers of sound. He founded the Educational Music Academy in 2013, giving a voice to young musical talents, composers, musicians and pianists by way of support and mentorship. Roberto recently released the 10th Anniversary edition of his QUARTO TEMPO album, which was mastered at London’s Abbey Road Studios.

© Roberto Cacciapaglia

Lithuanian composer Gediminas Gelgotas embodies a unique musical language built upon modern, multi-stylistic influences that with a dream that combines austere melodic beauty with a stunning rhythmic drive. Once praised by Terry Riley for his ‘unique and compositional voice’, he embarked on the journey to creating his own legacy with works showcased and premiered all across Europe, while establishing his own ensemble – the New Ideas Chamber Orchestra (NICO) – and working closely with Kristjan Järvi of the Baltic Youth Philharmonic along the way. Adopting a traditional work ethic, Gediminas proudly works with pen and paper across all his compositions. He grows, chases and explores an organic idea when it comes to mind and injects his own unique blend of pop and classical cultures. With many of his pieces already performed at a number of prestigious events, Gediminas’ work defies all genres and makes it accessible to a wide audience.

© Gediminas Gelgotas

“Having myself worked on the Gstaad Menuhin Festival press campaign in both 2015 and 2016, I am delighted to welcome the festival team to work with us again,” our London Director, Olivia Brown, comments. “They present an inspired programme, in a truly beautiful setting, year on year.

“I’m also very pleased to be expanding our roster of contemporary composers by welcoming Roberto and Gediminas. We look forward to introducing their music to UK and European audiences, reaching and expanding on the broadening new audience of contemporary classical music.”

Keep up to date on new clients and others news via our socials:

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(Written on January 11, 2018 )

We are looking for an Account Manager to join WildKat PR in London!

 

Do you think you would be suitable for this position? Have a read through our job description below.

WildKat PR

WildKat PR is a game-changer in the classical music industry. We believe in changing the status quo of our industry, embracing creative values both on- and offline.

WildKat PR is the only classical music PR agency to spread worldwide, having established ourselves in London, Berlin, and New York, with further plans for expansion in 2018. We are deeply devoted to seeking out and using online platforms to reach and engage substantial new audiences, producing all-encompassing, bespoke, international PR campaigns that are data-driven.

 

Job Description

WildKat PR is offering an exciting opportunity to join our London team. Working with the Founder, Director of the London Office, they will learn how to develop and execute creative PR campaigns across the classical music and cultural industries in order to generate coverage and publicity for our clients.

Key Duties

As an Account Manager:

  • To manage your set of clients and work with them to help achieve their PR goals. This includes: gaining press, attracting new audiences, helping to improve their brand, organising events
  • To think creatively about how you (and your colleagues) approach campaigns. You will be asked to continually make new connections and approach your work in innovative ways. You will be expected to challenge how we, and the industry, are doing things
  • To integrate digital media into campaigns. This means exploring new technology and developing ways to include it in client campaigns
  • To take a leading role in the development and execution of unique, creative campaigns to promote your clients and the company
  • To write copy in relation to your clients’ needs, including: fact sheets, bios, blogposts, newsletters, brochures
  • To liaise with journalists to generate and secure media coverage for clients
  • To organise client events, as needed. This includes: concerts, VIP receptions, industry networking events
  • To attend all relevant artists’ events (which regularly occur outside of office hours) including meetings and performances
  • To network within the industry to build your reputation and that of the company
  • To oversee the work of others when required, and to be willing to grow into a more senior role

Opportunities of working with WildKat PR:

  • Small, open plan office
  • Chance to do diverse things within the role and expand your skillset quickly
  • Gain wider industry experience, not just PR
  • Supportive colleagues and management welcoming your fresh ideas
  • Personalised creative skills training and coaching
  • Collaboration with mainstream brands and projects
  • Opportunities for travel
  • Sociable atmosphere
  • Staff benefits, which include annual ski trip, Friday drinks, office yoga, opportunity for sabbatical and 6 hour working days

 

Person Specification

Essential

  • At least one year’s experience working in arts PR
  • Interest in classical music, culture, and the arts
  • A fast learner, able to absorb information quickly and confidently put it into practice
  • Ability to remain calm when working under pressure and to manage conflicting deadlines
  • Proven administrative and organisational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to take initiative and responsibility when working alone
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • High degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • A strong interest in online media
  • Self-motivated
  • Good standard of computer literacy (Word, Excel, WordPress)

Desirable

  • Education to degree level
  • Fluency in another language

Salary: Competitive – dependent upon experience

WildKat PR is an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, or age.

To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to olivia@wildkatpr.com with the subject title ‘WildKat PR Account Manager application’ by 5pm on 19th January 2018.

(Written on January 3, 2018 )

It’s been an incredibly busy year at WildKat and we are so excited to continue our successes into 2018. As always, we’ve tried to pack as much as we can into a blog post for you all. The projects and clients mentioned below are a tiny portion of our highlights – Enjoy! 😊

First, a message from our Founder, Kat, who is already in the Austrian alps, ready to start the holidays:

“2017: you beast! I must admit I am quite glad to see the back of it… We launched and worked on so many projects and events, it felt like we somehow skipped the usual “quiet periods”. It has certainly been a challenging year; the uncertainty of the cultural and creative industries was felt across our sector and so internally we had to rethink our offerings, our staffing and general structure.

We have had some fantastic new clients and projects signed up to WildKat. Some personal highlights have been:

And so many more.

Mostly this year has been for me expanding the WildKat offices, opening a new one in Paris next year and working on our non-profit arm, Noted.

I have travelled for both companies to all corners of the world, and have had some great meetings and events take place, centred around the ethos of sharing and forwarding our industry. I think there is amongst all the anticipation on what future events (including Brexit, US etc) will bring a sense of renewed movement forward. I am encouraged to see so many positive ideas. The Noted Fellowship is in the next stage with announcements to follow in the New Year and our roundtables have come to life in Berlin, London and New York with fascinating thoughts and exchanges. My vision of having the newly graduates give the artistic director ideas on the future of our sector, is coming to life and its VERY rewarding!”

 

Internally we also have some great news:
  • Carolin is embarking on the ultimate WildKat perk: a 2 month paid sabbatical to New Zealand. (We are all just a tad jealous (“a tad” is putting it very lightly!! – Olivia)
  • Great staff have joined our teams all over the world, waving at at Eliza, Rachel, Alex, Nicolo, Maddie, Katja, and our continually growing pool of freelancers, consultants, and collaborators
  • Olivia was promoted to our UK Director and is, as expected, thriving in her new role. She also hits the 5 year anniversary mark next year and will at some stage embark on her sabbatical

Olivia says, “2017 has been a pretty turbulent year on all counts – whilst we have celebrated some truly inspiring projects, and championed everything that is BRILLIANT in our sector, and what it has to offer, we have all had to face a heavy and consistent hailstone of, let’s face it, awful news in the general media and across socials.

Saying this, one thing that our sector does best is use these events to inspire creativity, and to reflect and respond using our art and passion. Following the development of the “B-word”, we had the hilarious “The United Kingdom of Earth: A B***** Opera” at Tête à Tête’s 10th festival. Soosan Lolavar’s “ID, please” had its UK premiere at the same festival, reflecting on Trump’s travel ban. Ariana Grande sold out the Manchester arena for a benefit concert, following the bombings. There are many, many more examples, and there will continue to be.

As we look ahead to 2018, it’s important to remember the important of collaboration, cooperation, and participation. We have had such fresh ideas in discussion and have started to make change happen. We want to continue to work together, create conversations, involve diverse & conflicting voices, and create progress for classical music and the arts. I’m so excited for what is to come…”

Olivia visits New York for the first time!

Before Carolin heads off on her travels, she says, “Launching the Noted Fellowship this year was a real highlight, and I was so inspired to see all the innovative ideas that came through the application process. The only downside was choosing who would go on to stage 2. Good luck, everyone!

I’m very excited to make the most of my 2-month sabbatical, part of the WildKat perks, to not only have a long holiday (!) and travel the world, but also to return to the company and the industry with a refreshed and revived perspective.”

We are all really looking forward to 2018, particularly as we are celebrating 10 years of WildKat with a big party (joint with Music in Offices – happy birthday to you too!) and lots of fun events.

Thank you to everyone: clients, industry, friends, colleagues – the ones who champion us, critique us, support and dismiss us. We love you all and we look forward on what’s to come!

Happy holidays! 🎄🎄🎄

(Written on December 22, 2017 )

 

Wer wir sind:

WildKat PR ist eine dynamisch und äußerst innovativ arbeitende PR-Agentur mit Sitzen in London, Berlin und New York, die auf die Betreuung von Künstlern, Orchestern, Labels und Institutionen der klassischen und zeitgenössischen Musikszene spezialisiert ist. Unser Servicespektrum umfasst unter anderem PR-Betreuung, Öffentlichkeitsarbeit, Marketing, Social Media, künstlerische Beratung und Event-Management. Für unsere Kunden entwickeln wir individuelle Kampagnen und stehen für eine stets maßgeschneiderte und zukunftsorientierte PR-Betreuung.

 

Wen wir suchen:

WildKat PR sucht ab dem 1. Februar 2018 eine/n Account Manager/in für Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit am Standort Berlin. Du begeisterst Dich für klassische Musik und Kulturprojekte und hast Lust, Deine Kunden durch kreative Kampagnen zum Erfolg zu bringen? Du denkst vorausschauend, kannst den Überblick über unterschiedliche, parallel laufende Projekte behalten und hast den Mut, auch mal ins kalte Wasser zu springen? Dann bist Du bei uns genau richtig!

 

Deine Aufgaben:

  • Betreuung eines eigenen Kundenstammes mit der Verantwortung, die individuell abgesteckten PR-Ziele zu erreichen, u.a. Betreuung von CD-Veröffentlichungen, Erreichen neuer Zielgruppen, Organisation von Events und Konzerten, Suche nach Künstlermanagements
  • Entwicklung und Umsetzung internationaler, kreativer PR-Kampagnen, hierbei Ausarbeitung von Strategien und Zeitplänen, Aufsetzen von Presselisten, Korrespondenz und Treffen mit Kunden und Journalisten
  • Erstellung von Pressetexten und effiziente Verbreitung von Pressematerialien
  • Betreuung eines eigenen Twitter-Accounts sowie agenturinterner weiterer Social-Media-Kanäle wie Facebook und Instagram
  • Content-Betreuung der Webinhalte auf den Kundenwebseiten und der Agenturwebseite

 

Was Du auf jeden Fall mitbringen solltest:

  • 1-2 Jahre Berufserfahrung in der Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
  • Hervorragende mündliche und schriftliche Kommunikationsfähigkeiten in deutsch und englisch, weitere Fremdsprachen von Vorteil
  • Sehr gute organisatorische Fähigkeiten und Detailbewusstsein
  • Fähigkeit zum selbstmotivierten und eigenverantwortlichen Arbeiten
  • Zuverlässige und flexible Arbeitsweise
  • Fähigkeit auch unter hohem Zeitdruck zu arbeiten
  • Ausgeprägte Teamfähigkeit
  • Beherrschung von Social-Media-Kanälen (u.a. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram)
  • Sichere Computer-Kenntnisse (MS Word, Excel, WordPress)

 

Was wir bieten:

  • Selbstständige Arbeit in einem kleinen, jungen und musikbegeisterten Team
  • Tägliche Zusammenarbeit und Austausch mit dem Londoner Büro
  • Besuch von Kundenkonzerten und –veranstaltungen auch außerhalb Deutschlands
  • Möglichkeit, sich kreativ einzubringen und seine Ideen umzusetzen
  • Nach Abschluss einer erfolgreichen Probezeit ist eine Anstellung mit Festvertrag möglich
  • Staff benefits, u.a. 6 Stunden Tage für eine bessere Life-Work-Balance, Weiterbildungsmöglichkeiten, kreative Workshops und ein wöchentlicher Obstkorb

 

So bewirbst Du Dich:

Da wir uns in unserer täglichen Arbeit kurz und präzise ausdrücken müssen, erwarten wir dies auch bei Deiner Bewerbung! Bitte schicke ein aussagekräftiges Anschreiben auf deutsch und mit einem Umfang von maximal einer Seite und Deinem Lebenslauf bis zum 27. November 2017 mit dem Betreff „Account ManagerIn” an Carolin Denz, berlin@wildkatpr.com. Bitte vergiss nicht, Deine Gehaltsvorstellung anzugeben. Die Vorstellunggespräche finden in der Woche ab dem 4. Dezember statt.

 

(Written on November 10, 2017 )

WildKat PR offers a training fund to all members of staff to help them learn new skills, develop their interests, and also to bring something new back to the team. James Hardie returned to his home city of Edinburgh last month to attend International Festival Encounters. Read about his experience below:

I used my WildKat training fund this year to attend International Festival Encounters.  It is a week-long course run by the Edinburgh International Festival in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  The aim is to bring together artistic entrepreneurs with leading industry members and academics from all over the world.

It was truly ‘international’.  Amongst the participants were producers, writers, actors, programmers, and performers from Australia, America, Russia, South Africa, Denmark, Hong Kong, Singapore, India, and the UK.  It was a wonderful melting pot of different perspectives and experiences from both young and old, all taking place under the watchful eye of Edinburgh Castle.

We were treated to five productions over the week, including dance, theatre, and opera.  My own highlight was seeing the Nederlands Dans Theater, who performed a show in three segments with scores by Max Richter and Philip Glass.  The middle segment—a haunting series of scenes as a dying man recalls his life’s regrets—was like watching a film; the way the dancers manipulated their bodies brought to mind ‘The Exorcist’.

After each performance, we were given the opportunity to reflect critically on what we had experienced.  After seeing Gianandrea Noseda conduct the Teatro Regio Torino in a somewhat confused production of Verdi’s Macbeth, Kate Molleson (music critic for the Guardian) guided us through our reactions, whilst also giving us a fascinating insight into the dual role of the music journalist as both critic and evangelist.

There were two ideas that have really stuck with me from the course.  Firstly, the idea that financial constraint inspires creativity.  This was most effectively expressed for me by a participant from Russia, who used the phrase, ‘the artist must be hungry’, encouraging enterprise from a position of deprivation.  The second idea concerned caring for and looking after an audience.  The creator of a particularly moving production called ‘Flight’ spoke about the audience leaving an incredibly intense and personal experience in the theatre, and re-joining the busy outside world, and the steps they took to ease this often difficult transition.

My fellow participants were a really inspiring bunch, and I learnt just as much from them as I did the experts.  I’m certain I will collaborate with them again in the future. The training fund is an amazing perk to have, available to us all here at WildKat once a year, and I’m very grateful to have been afforded this opportunity.

(Written on September 25, 2017 )