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A musician’s career is a very exciting one. Being able to perform and show an audience what you love is a luxury many people in other professional fields would be envious of. However, with the highs also come the lows: what if the audience don’t like you? What if the critics don’t like your interpretation? Musicians can both struggle financially and work unsociable hours. Mental health problems can therefore be a serious issue within the industry, one in which music charities are beginning to address.

Help Musicians UK is an organisation with an acute awareness of the problems musicians can face. In 2016 they launched the campaign, Mental Health Campaign – Music and Depression, aiming to break down stigma and start conversations within the music industry about depression and anxiety. The charity, Music and Depression, commissioned the first academic study, ‘Can Music Make You Sick?’, on the relationship between musicians and mental health.

The study, performed by the University of Winchester, found that 71.1% of all respondents believed they had suffered from panic attacks and/or high levels of anxiety at some stage of their career, while 68% reported they had suffered from depression. The findings suggested that musicians might be up to three times more likely to suffer from mental health problems than the general public. This was due to a number of reasons, varying from unregulated working conditions and irregular hours to a belief that musical identity shaped self-worth.

The findings found that there is an urgent need for an accessible service for people who work in the music industry. Since the launch of the campaign in 2016, Help Musicians UK have announced a new fundraising campaign for the world’s first dedicated 24/7 mental health service for people working in the industry. The service will provide both listening and advice services, as well as clinical medical, therapeutic and welfare facilities for those who need it.

Classical Music Magazine – Photo credit: Tharakorn/Shutterstock.com

 

(Written on August 1, 2017 )

In today’s news: Yamaha launches Silent Piano concert season, Caledonian Sleeper train hosts opera performance, and Greg Morris to perform complete Bach organ works. Russian violinist sentences to 20 hour of community service, Domingo to conduct in Bayreuth in 2018, and “Klassik am See” has been rescheduled.

International Piano

Yamaha launches Silent Piano concert season

Yamaha Music London has announced its inaugural Silent Piano concert season.

The four-concert series will see Thomasz Zyrmont, Eren Önsoy, Andrew Zolinsky and Varvara Tarasova perform on Yamaha’s Silent Pianos, with the audience experiencing the music through headphones, remotely and wirelessly.

Music Teacher

Sound and Music announce composers selected for HCMF schools project

Three composers have been selected to take part in a new education project designed by Sound and Music in partnership with Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Heritage Quay.

Early Music Today

English Concert announces 2017/18 season

The English Concert’s 2017/18 season will see the ensemble celebrate ten years with Harry Bicket as music director.

Classical Music Magazine

Caledonian Sleeper hosts opera performance

An opera has been performed on the Caledonian Sleeper for the first time as part of the Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2017. Belongings, inspired by items of luggage carried by railway passengers, received its premiere on the service from Aberdeen to London on 24 July. The opera’s music was written by Samuel Bordoli and its libretto by Bill Bankes-Jones.

Choir and Organ

Greg Morris to perform complete Bach organ works

Greg Morris, associate organist of the Temple Church in London, is to perform Bach’s complete organ works over a ten month period, beginning in October 2017.

France Musique

Un violoniste russe arrêté en pleine répétition

La BBC a diffusé un reportage sur Andrey Osipov, violoniste russe engagé contre la corruption dans son pays.

The Irish Times

Frank McNamara gives a masterclass in how to handle mistakes

The pianist shows students how to handle the pressure of improvisation

Der Tagesspiegel

Zeit, Schweiß und Gold

Am 1. August werden Bühne und Besucherraum an Technik und Künstler der Staatsoper übergeben. Besuch bei den letzten Arbeiten.

Pizzicato

Domingo dirigiert in Bayreuth, Netrebko sagte ab

Der Tenor, Bariton und Dirigent Placido Domingo (76) wird im  Jahr 2018 in Bayreuth Wagners ‘Walküre’ dirigieren.

Klassik Heute

Programmänderung und Verschiebung von “Klassik am See” in Erlangen

Andreas Ottensamer hat seinen Auftritt bei Klassik am See« in Erlangen nach dem plötzlichen Tod seines Vaters abgesagt.

Twitter

in 1892 Birth of French Philipp

Classical Music Magazine: Belongings

(Written on July 26, 2017 )

In today’s news: La Scala ushers send under-dressed audience members to H&M, Philharmonia announces 2017/18 Composers’ Academy intake, and new research finds that a third of musicians suffer from eating disorders. Lutenist launches crowd funding for his new CD, and conductor stops half way through a performance to do some karaoke. Award for Lucia Alberti, Johannes Braun becomes Coburg’s first Kapellmeister, and Konzerthaus Berlin breaks visitor record.

Opera Now

La Scala ushers send under-dressed audience members to H&M

With Italy suffering one of its hottest summers in recent years, those attending performance at La Scala have been failing to observe the house’s dress code

Classical Music Magazine

Philharmonia announces 2017/18 Composers’ Academy intake

The Philharmonia Orchestra has announced its 2017/18 Composers’ Academy intake, which offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers to write an original chamber work for a Philharmonia ensemble each year.

The Strad

New research finds a third of musicians suffer from eating disorders

The survey of over 300 instrumentalists, singers, composers and conductors found that stress, depression, anxiety and perfectionism are experienced at high levels throughout the profession.

Pizzicato

Paul Kieffer launches crowd funding for his new lute CD

American Lutenist Paul Kieffer (*1990) has launched a crowd funding campaign to raise money got his third CD of lute pieces that will be recorded in August.

Classic FM

A conductor stopped half way through a performance of Cinderella to do some karaoke

Conductor Vinicius Kattah decided to take a little break during a performance of Cinderella and treat the tech ops to some superb lip-sync

Rhinegold Publishing

Philharmonia announces 2017/18 Composers’ Academy intake 

The Philharmonia Orchestra has announced its 2017/18 Composers’ Academy intake, which offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers to write an original chamber work for a Philharmonia ensemble each year.

The Guardian

Daniel Barenboim calls for European unity in Proms speech 

Venerated pianist and conductor speaks out against nationalism and ‘isolationist tendencies’ at Royal Albert Hall concert.

Klassik Heute

Auszeichnung für Lucia Aliberti beim Classic Open Air in Berlin

Vom 20. bis 24. Juli 2017 verwandelt sich der Berliner Gendarmenmarkt wieder in die großartige Kulisse der Veranstaltungen des Classic Open Air-Festivals, bei dem alljährlich an fünf Abenden ein festliches Programm mit Stars der Oper, der Chor- und Orchesterszene, mit Pianisten und Jazz-Musikern stattfindet.

Pizzicato

Johannes Braun wird Erster Kapellmeister in Coburg

Die vakant gewordene Stelle des Ersten Kapellmeister am Landestheater Coburg wird mit Johannes Braun besetzt.

Klassik.com

Konzerthaus Berlin mit Besucherrekord in der Spielzeit 2016/17

Das Konzerthaus Berlin blickt auf eine erfolgreiche Spielzeit 2016/17 zurück. Die Bilanz der vergangenen Konzertsaison weist eigenen Angaben zufolge Rekordergebnisse aus

Twitter

Opera Now: La Scala

(Written on July 18, 2017 )

 

In today’s news: The number of people watching live music has risen in the past year, OAE announces first Rising Stars cohort, and John Axelrod’s big plans for the Bernstein Centennial. Spotify denies it is playlisting fake artists, and at G-20 Beethoven sends a mixed message to Trump.

The Times

Festival, gig and concert crowds soar

The number of people watching live music has risen in the past year, according to research which found that audiences at concerts and festivals were up 12 per cent and brought in £4 billion to the economy.

Classical Music Magazine

OAE announces first Rising Stars cohort

Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (OAE) has announced its first Rising Stars of the Enlightenment cohort: a group of up-and-coming singers the ensemble believes to be ‘the opera and vocal stars of the future’.

Pizzicato

John Axelrod’s big plans for the Bernstein Centennial

John Axelrod will turn Sevilla into the epicentre of European activities for the Bernstein at 100 worldwide events, the conductor told Pizzicato.

Music Business Worldwide

Spotify denies it’s playlisting fake artists. So why are all these fake artists on its playlists?

Last summer, MBW ran a widely-read story which blew the lid off the fact that Spotify’s platform was being deliberately clogged up with music by ‘fake’ artists.

neue musikzeitung

Kein Ausweis für den Hund – Barrie Kosky über seinen Bayreuther „Meistersinger“ im Gespräch mit Joachim Lange

Barrie Kosky bereitet auf dem Grünen Hügel in Bayreuth die „Meistersinger“ vor. Am 25. Juli werden damit die Richard-Wagner-Festspiele eröffnet.

concerti

„Die Musik geht einfach direkt ins Herz“

Die russische Sopranistin Julia Lezhneva über ihre Karriereanfänge, Gesangswettbewerbe und die Musik von Karl Heinrich Graue.

musik heute

Plácido Domingo hofft auf 4.000. Auftritt

Der spanische Opernsänger Plácido Domingo hofft, in seiner Karriere die Zahl von 4.000 Auftritten voll machen zu können.

El País

Max Richter, el músico que se propone dormirnos

El estreno español de ‘Sleep’, una nana de ocho horas para escuchar por la noche, genera una enorme expectación en Madrid.

The New York Times

At G-20, Beethoven Sends a Mixed Message to Trump

Littered streets were lined by police officers outside the Elbphilharmonie concert hall here on Friday evening after a concert put on for world leaders attending the Group of 20 summit meeting. Inside the security bubble: Beethoven.

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in 1890 Birth of Canadian Rodolphe

Classical Music Magazine: Rising Stars of the Enlightenment cohort

(Written on July 10, 2017 )

In today’s news: Scottish Ensemble presents 2017/18 season, and country house operas battle for audiences. Alexander Liebreich signs contract with Strauss Festival, and annual meeting of principals and chancellors of German music schools.

Rhinegold

Scottish Ensemble unveils 2017/18 season

A new co-production with theatre company Vanishing Point will be at the heart of Scottish Ensemble’s 2017/18 season.

The Guardian

Booming Blackpool: the musical rebirth sweeping Britain’s coastal towns

As Britons head for the beach for bank holiday Monday, we examine how the UK’s seaside resorts are becoming hotbeds of everything from DIY grime to escapist pop

The Guardian

Batons drawn on summer lawns as opera rivals battle for audiences

Country house audiences are spoilt for choice this year – the sound of great opera arias will vie with summer birdsong at a record number of country house venues over the next few months, as classical performers cater to a growing taste for formal evenings of music in a rural setting.

Financial Times

Isis hates music for its power over minds and bodies

Songs are physiological experiences, capable of doing powerful things

Klassik Heute

Alexander Liebreich unterzeichnet Vertrag mit dem Strauss-Festival

Bei strahlendem Sonnenschein besiegelten die 1. Bürgermeisterin Dr. Sigrid Meierhofer und Alexander Liebreich die Zusammenarbeit zwischen dem Richard-Strauss-Festival und seinem neuen Künstlerischen Leiter.

NMZ

Rektoren der Musikhochschulen beraten über Bildung

Rostock – An der Hochschule für Musik und Theater (HMT) in Rostock kommen vom (heutigen) Montag an rund 80 Rektoren und Kanzler der deutschen Musikhochschulen zu ihrer Sommertagung zusammen.

Codex Flores

Politikerinnen und Wissenschaftler spielen für den Nachwuchs

Die Orpheum Stiftung zur Förderung des musikalischen Nachwuchses unterhält zur Unterstützung ein «Orpheum Supporters Orchestra» mit teilweise prominenten Persönlichkeiten aus Politik, Wirtschaft und Wissenschaft.

Pizzicato

Hvorostovsky Again Hospitalized

Russian singer Dmitri Hvorostovsky was again hospitalized in a Moscow hospital, Russian media report. The singer is fighting a brain tumour since 2015.

Le Parisien

L’Ircam, ce drôle de labo fondé par Pierre Boulez, fête ses 40 ans

C’est un laboratoire pas comme les autres, qui manipule les sons pour créer les outils de demain: l’Ircam, Institut de recherche et coordination acoustique/musique, fondé par le grand chef et compositeur Pierre Boulez, fête ses 40 ans.

Twitter


Tonight at 8pm on stage , conducted by and staged by Robert Carsen


Der kulturpolitische Wochenreport (21. KW) von , im Zeichen der + :

Sigrid Meierhofer und Alexander Liebreich (c) Sammy Hart

(Written on May 29, 2017 )

Classical News

In today’s news, Xian Zhang makes conducting history as the first woman to have titled role at a BBC orchestra, BBC Radio 3 will bring back a slot aimed at youth audience, and an innovative assemblage of performing arts groups went online on Tuesday morning at the Google Cultural Institute

Sinfini

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales (BBCNOW) has announced the appointment of its first female Principle Guest Conductor

Xian Zhang is the first woman ever to be awarded a titled role with a BBC orchestra, a position that will make her one of the most visible and influential women in the UK’s classical music industry

New York Times

Google Cultural Institute Puts Us All Onstage

An innovative assemblage of performing arts groups went online on Tuesday morning at the Google Cultural Institute, a free website that made its name in recent years by digitizing and displaying the collections of more than 800 art museums and historical archives

Telegraph

Radio 3 to bring back children’s show next year

Controller confirms return of slot aimed at youth audience, forty years after Pied Piper came to an end

Classical Source

Estonia Announces Ground-breaking Association With French Web-Based Music Learning Platform, Meludia – Baltic Nation To Offer Music Literacy To Its Entire Population From December

Estonia has signed a unique and ground-breaking partnership with the French web-based music learning platform for pre-solfege and ear training, Meludia

International Arts Manager

Manchester Camerata enhances board with three new appointments

UK-based ensemble Manchester Camerata continues its impressive growth strategy for 2015-16 with the appointment of three new board members to its team

Gramophone

Top 10 unfairly neglected operas

Operas that are lost or forgotten often suffer a protracted wait before re-emergence. David Patrick Stearns selects 10 notable examples

FAZ

Philharmoniker vergoogeln sich

Museen aus der ganzen Welt arbeiten bereits mit dem Suchmaschinenbetreiber aus dem Silicon Valley zusammen. Jetzt stellt Google ein „Performing Arts“-Programm mit rund sechzig Kooperationen vor. In Berlin

Klassik.com

Heiner Goebbels mit Franco Quadri Preis ausgezeichnet

Der deutsche Komponist und Theatermacher Heiner Goebbels ist mit dem Franco Quadri Preis der Ubu/Franco Quadri-Gesellschaft ausgezeichnet worden

Pizzicato 

Geschasster Dorny bekommt Recht vor Gericht

Das Land Sachsen hat dem designierten Intendanten der Semperoper Dresden, Serge Dorny, zu Unrecht gekündigt. Das beschloss die 1. Zivilkammer des Dresdner Landgerichts

El Mundo 

La música y la bilis negra

Instrumental, del pianista James Rhodes, es un muy valioso testimonio sobre los límites entre la genialidad y la enfermedad mental

Classicalite

Carnegie Hall 125th Anniversary: ‘Somewhere Project’ Explores ‘West Side Story’

For Carnegie Hall’s 125th Anniversary, the Weill Music Institute is paying homage to this giant among musicals with a venture called the Somewhere Project

Twitter

BBC Music MagazineOn the second day of advent…

Sinfini Music: Carol singing for (or fun) this year? Print out your free carol lyrics here!

BBC Radio 3Tom Service made this thrilling short video about Beethoven.

news2dec

A still from an immersive video of Benjamin Millepied’s dance piece “Clear, Loud, Bright, Forward.” Credit Google Cultural Institute/Palais Garnier/NY Times

(Written on December 2, 2015 )

In early Italian Opera, from the 1600’s until about 1800, many operatic roles were written for castrati. Recently more men have been trained as countertenors to sing these roles, however it is often women who take on these ‘breeches roles’ in the place of castrati.

From the end of the eighteenth century, when composition for castrati had declined, male operatic roles continued to be written for high voices. Thus, it was intended that a woman should dress up as a man to play these characters. It is important to note, that the quality of the voices and music has always come before realism in opera.

Italian castrato Francesco Bernardi Senasino (1686- 1758) Senesino was closely associated with Handel & sung 17 of his lead roles an

Italian castrato Francesco Bernardi Senesino (1686- 1758). Senesino was closely associated with Handel and sung 17 of his lead roles.

Travesti in Italian means disguised and Travesty applies to roles sung by the opposite sex. This term can therefore also apply to ‘skirt roles’, whereby a man sings a female role.

A long list of lead figures in operas are known as ‘breeches roles’ (‘travesti’ or ‘hosenrolle’) .

Here are some of the most well known Travesty roles in opera.

Octavian Der Rosenkavalier, Richard Strauss

Octavian, young lover of the Feldmarschallin Marie Thérèse, is written as a soprano/mezzo-soprano breeches part. Typical of a breeches role, Octavian must disguise as a woman to hide his identity and involvement with Marie Thérèse.

Christa Ludwig as Octavian

Christa Ludwig as Octavian

Romeo I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Donizetti

When assessing the singers for I Capuleti e i Montecchi, Bellini wasn’t particularly impressed with the tenor. However he admired the talents of mezzo-soprano Giuditta Grisi, so he decided to cast Grisi as Romeo in a breeches role.                                                                   

Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca as Romeo & Julliet, ROH 2009

Anna Netrebko and Elina Garanca as Romeo & Julliet, ROH 2009

Cherubino, Le Nozze di Figaro, Mozart

Cherubino is an adolescent boy and the counts page. As many breeches roles, Cherubino is played by a mezzo-soprano. Similarly to Der Rosenkavalier’s Octavian, Cherubino must disguise himself as a girl. He is a womaniser and woos both Susanna (engaged to Figaro) and Countess Almaviva (married to Count Almaviva).

Other breeches roles in Mozart’s operas, include Sesto and Annino in La clemenza di Tito,  Idamante in Idomeneo and Amintas in Il re pastore.

Joyce DiDonato as Cherubino at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Joyce DiDonato as Cherubino at the Metropolitan Opera, New York

Composers chose for male characters to be played by women, due to the sound characteristics of their voices and their physique. Female figures are particularly suited to being cast as young boys, as these roles require narrow physiques and light, clear voices. Although today, it is of course perfectly acceptable for women to perform on stage, in the nineteenth century, woman who went on stage were dishonored and had a lower status. Thus, there were cases of women dressing up, pretending to be a castrati men in order to avoid this. Today’s interest and media focus on gender fluidity suggests that there is great scope for opera to flourish, as modern audiences continue to be fascinated by gender roles.

(Written on November 12, 2015 )

The Radio 3 performance of Max Richter’s Sleep broke a Guinness World record for the longest live broadcast of a single piece of music.

Richter describes the piece as “an eight-hour lullaby… my personal lullaby for a frenetic world. A manifesto for a slower pace of existence.”

Members of the audience were given beds instead of seats to encourage them to sleep, will it lull you to sleep?

(Written on October 2, 2015 )

Last week, the argument about when to applaud at classical music concerts surfaced yet again in The Telegraph, with Michael Henderson fiercely defending tradition. He concluded by affirming, ‘You buy your ticket, you listen in silence to the music, and at the end, should you feel like it, you applaud’ explaining that ‘Tens of thousands of people have been doing it for the past 120 years.’

But perhaps that’s the problem. Is classical music etiquette stuck in the 1900s? It only takes one trip to the Proms to see a mere scattering of youthful faces in a sea of grey hair.

Violinist Nigel Kennedy is renowned for trying to break the classical mould. He argues in The Telegraph that ‘classical musicians should learn from rock stars to overcome snobbery and engage more with their audiences’ and encourages ‘talking to [audiences] mid-performance and letting them show their appreciation.’

Nigel-Kennedy_2662708b

Credit: AFP/ Telegraph

This is all very well, but poses a distinct possibility of putting off the older generation, thereby risking those all-important bums on seats.

So what is the solution? This is a debate that will no doubt continue for the foreseeable future, and to which there is no simple answer. Either extreme would appear to put the future of classical music in danger.

The only way forward can be a balanced approach – one that provides opportunities for fresh faces to be experience classical music in an accessible environment, whilst maintaining those traditions which have been enjoyed by many generations and will hopefully be enjoyed by many more to come. And integrating these audiences? Well that will be the next challenge.

(Written on August 25, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, perspiration-proof concert wear, are young people scared of the Proms or the audience and is it snobbery to wait until the end of a piece to applaud? Also, Oslo Philharmonic reveals plans for new hall.

The Times

No sweat! Now the orchestra can play it cool

Please don’t mention it over a Glyndebourne picnic but sometimes, whisper it, orchestra members sweat.

The Telegraph

Are young people scared of the Proms – or the audience?

The classical music establishment has never been more desperate to shake its elitist image.

It’s not snobbery to wait until the end of the music before you clap

It isn’t difficult: you buy your ticket, you listen in silence to the music, and at the end, should you feel like it, you applaud

Classical Music Magazine

Oslo Philharmonic unveils plans for new hall

The Oslo Philharmonic has announced plans for a new concert hall in Oslo. The new cultural centre will be situated on the waterfront at Filipstad.

Rare Poul Henningsen piano up for auction

A rare PH Andrea Christiansen grand piano will be up for auction at London’s Conway Hall next month.

The Strad

Violinist James Clark to step down as leader of Royal Scottish National Orchestra

Clark, who is also co-leader of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, will spend more time on chamber pursuits

Sinfini

Call for female composers to be taught in schools

A student-led petition to include female composers on the music A-level syllabus has gained over 1,000 signatures.

BR Klassik

“Die Leute wissen bei uns nie, was sie erwartet”

Das auf zeitgenössiche Musik spezialisierte US-amerikanische JACK Quartet spielt gleichermaßen in Clubs und Bars wie in traditionellen Konzertsälen – Mittwoch Abend etwa bei den Salzburger Festspielen. BR-KLASSIK hat mit dem Bratschisten John Pickford Richards gesprochen.

Klassik Akzente

Große Sinfonien – Sternstunden der Berliner Philharmoniker

Sie gelten als eines der ausdrucksstärksten Orchester weltweit. Jetzt veröffentlicht Deutsche Grammophon Schlüsselaufnahmen der Berliner Philharmoniker: Große Sinfonien in Meistereinspielungen Herbert von Karajans, Claudio Abbados u.a.

Concerti

“Liebe auf den ersten Blick”

François-Xavier Roth will das Kölner Gürzenich-Orchester für alle in der Stadt öffnen.

Classical MPR

Women’s contributions to classical music are still underappreciated

I’ve never been told that I cannot achieve something as a musician because of my gender. I grew up surrounded by female musicians. They were my piano teachers, choir directors, people who taught privately and in churches and schools.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Chailly: From the War Memorial to the Apex of Music

Just as there are claims by zillions to have been at Woodstock (actual attendance: 400,000), San Francisco Opera’s famed 1977 Turandot premiere was apparently seen by at least 10 times of the War Memorial’s 3,200 capacity.

Twitter

Fran Wilson @CrossEyedPiano: It’s not snobbery to wait until the end of the music before you clap | via @Telegraph

Halle Orchestra @‏the_halle: “Leeds Piano Competition names new artistic directors” via @GramophoneMag

BBC Radio 5 live @bbc5live: It’s a skill to sing opera, but to do it through brain surgery…

proms-large
Are young people scared of the Proms?
Photo credit: Ben Stansall/ AFP/ Getty Images/ Telegraph

(Written on August 20, 2015 )