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Next Monday Guy Johnston will be performing Walton’s Cello Concerto with the BBC Philharmonic. The concert, which also features John Ireland’s A London Overture and Vaughn Williams’ Symphony No. 5, will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 at 7:30pm, live from MediaCity UK in Salford. The Cello Concerto, one of Walton’s major works, was composed on the island of Ischia in 1956, and carefully depicts the beautiful surroundings of the composer’s home, overcast towards the end by an introspective and brooding themes, before returning to the scenic depictions from the beginning of the piece.

The concert has sold out, but you can listen to the concert on BBC Radio 3 at 7:30pm on Monday 14th January and online here.

Photo credit: Jack Liebeck

(Written on January 9, 2013 )

The new trailer for the ACCENTUS music production of Daniel Barenboim, Pierre Boulez and the Staatskapelle Berlin’s performance at the Philharmonie, Essen, is available to view on YouTube now. The programme is composed of:

Franz Liszt:

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 1

Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 2

Consolation No. 3

Valse oubliée No. 1

Richard Wagner:

A Faust Overture

Siegfried Idyll

This exciting DVD is the first of the ACCENTUS Music 2012 new releases – the concert when live received outstanding reviews with The Daily Telegraph describing it as ‘A real miracle, like catching two starts in a rare celestial conjunction…no wonder the audience went into delirium at the end. They knew they’d witnessed something utterly extraordinary.’

The DVD and Blu-ray will be available from 27th February (UK), 20th February (Germany), 28th February (USA) and 6th March (France).

To view the trailer please see below:

(Written on January 18, 2012 )

It’s that time of year again and the BBC Proms are almost upon us. We want to know what/who you are excited about seeing, and give you our picks of this year’s Proms Festival. Each WildKat has been limited to three Unmissable events… not an easy feat.

Kathleen:

Prom 5: Martha Argerich performs Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Despite turning 70 in June, Argerich is still the grand dame of the piano and at the top of her game. She’s having a really busy year which includes releasing a DVD on ACCENTUS Music of the world premiere of Rodion Shchedrin’s Romantic Offering, a double concerto for Piano, ‘Cello and Orchestra, which I am also really excited about [shameless plug – sorry]!

Prom 29: I saw Dudamel recently in LA, and he is such an amazing animator and conductor. His skill and talent is still so fresh despite having been in the spotlight now for a number of years. I’ve lived with the Simón Bolívar Youth Orchestra and Gustavo in South America, and just love their passion for music making.

Prom 46: Being a violinist myself I am a sucker for this kind of repertoire. I think the husband and wife team of Viktoria Mullova and Matthew Barley promises to be a sizzling late night Prom. Be sure to book tickets in the Gallery so you can lie down and just enjoy!

Victoria:

Well, I wanted to pick SBYO/Dudamel too, but Kat beat me to it. Mahler 2 is possibly my favourite work of ALL TIME, so I will definitely back her up on that selection.

Prom 28: I love a bit of Renaissance choral music (Kat says this makes me a geek), and Victoria is one of my favourites (not least because he has an excellent name). This late night Prom will be a great chance to hear the fantastic Tallis Scholars perform.

Prom 55: Here comes another plug for one of our artists…The WildKats are all very excited about working with Bass-Baritone Luca Pisaroni and he is performing at Glyndebourne Festival this year in the role of Argante in their new production of  Handel’s Rinaldo. I’m looking forward to seeing the company bring this production to the BBC Proms with a talk beforehand from Handel expert Ruth Smith and writer, critic and Handel biographer Jonathan Keates.

Prom 67: Sarah Connolly. Do I need to say more…? OK, I don’t, but I will. One of Britain’s foremost mezzo sopranos will perform Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis with the LSO and conductor Sir Colin Davis. Also make sure to check out the bass, Matthew Rose. I caught him at the Proms two years ago singing Handel’s Messiah, and he was INCREDIBLE.

Credit: Peter Warren

Vicky:

Prom 9: I really struggled to pick just three of the BBC Proms I am looking forward to this year, but this one definitely makes the cut!  With a programme of works by Sibelius, Bartok and Janacek performed by the Hallé Orchestra under Mark Elder, this promises to be an amazing concert.  Pianist András Schiff joins the orchestra in performance of Bartok’s Piano Concerto No. 3.

Prom 18: In this Prom the amazing flautist Emmanuel Pahud performs two flute concerto world premieres by Elliott Carter and  Marc-André Dalbavie – a performance not to be missed!  BBC National Orchestra of Wales performs a programme of Beethoven alongside these world premieres, under the baton of Thierry Fischer.

Prom 22: I’m a bit of a Rachmaninov fan so I was pretty excited when I saw this Prom!  Gianandrea Noseda leads the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra in an all-Rachmaninov programme, with his famous Vocalise and his grand choral work The Bells.  This is a musical feast of Russian choral music and song – I can’t wait!

(Written on May 26, 2011 )

This week’s Industry Idols interviewee is Richard Wigley, the General Manager of the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

What are the first, most important steps a young artist needs to take when they embark on their career as a performer?

Never forget the thrill that started you in music, that spark will carry you through your career.

What was your first job in the music industry?

Bassoonist with the Halle Orchestra in Manchester.

What skills do you think are needed to succeed in the music industry?

Aside from talent and an ability to work very hard, negotiating skills are paramount; from soft day to day discussions to hard financial dealing.

What’s the most important thing you’ve learnt during your career?

To help others (especially orchestra managers like me) to do their thinking; this way you can introduce and shape and deliver great ideas.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The variety of challenges; no hour is the same as any other.

On a typical working day, what’s the first thing you do when you get into the office?

Organise the two or three main priorities for the day.

Do you think there is anything in the classical music industry that needs to be changed? If yes, why?

Evolution is key, but gently does it.  Nothing ever remains the same.

Are there any young musicians, emerging venues, exciting companies, composers etc that you are keeping your eye on?

Yes, we’re working closely with composers Emily Howard and Gavin Wayte to deliver some of their ideas for audiences.  Their company Out of the Blue is going to make an impact on our business.

Where do you read about classical music?

Mainly in the broadsheets.

Where is your favourite place in the world for classical music?

Wherever it’s happening live.

(Written on November 3, 2010 )