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Classical News

In today’s news the BBC have announced the extension of their Ten Pieces project to secondary schools, however Ivan Hewett comments that we shouldn’t dumb down music for teenagers and lists his alternative pieces. Pianist James Rhodes has won the right to publish his autobiography after a lengthy legal battle to get the injunction lifted. Also, Harmonia Mundi is set to be sold to the Belgian independent recording group PIAS.


BBC’s Ten Pieces extends classical music programme to teenagers

Nationwide scheme will play Wagner and Verdi in secondary school halls and classrooms to encourage pupils to embrace classical music

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse

Rights groups hail supreme court decision to lift injunction barring publication of book in which concert musician discusses being repeatedly raped as a child


Don’t dumb down classical music for teenagers

The BBC’s list of classical music pieces for teenagers is patronising. Ivan Hewett recommends some alternatives

The Times

Opera Holland Park, the down-to-earth company taking on Glyndebourne

It is a warm sunny day in Kensington, the sort of day that James Clutton and Michael Volpe, the producer and general manager of Opera Holland Park, will want when their season opens on June 2.

Classical Music Magazine

Harmonia Mundi set to be sold to Belgian independent PIAS

The Belgium-based independent recording group PIAS (Play It Again Sam) is poised to buy struggling French classical company Harmonia Mundi.

Die Welt

Die Plebejer von Bonn proben den Aufstand

Nur die Berliner Philharmoniker dürfen ihren neuen Chef selbst wählen. Das konnten sie nicht. Bonns Beethoven-Orchester weiß, wen es will. Das aber ist den Politikern egal. Misstöne sind programmiert.


Erhöhte Gagen der Bühnenkünstler und Orchestermusiker in Deutschland

Nach den rezenten Warnstreiks haben sich der Deutsche Bühnenverein als Arbeitgeberverband der Theater und Orchester und die Künstlergewerkschaften heute in Köln auf Gagenerhöhungen für die künstlerischen Mitarbeiter der Stadttheater, Staatstheater und Landesbühnen sowie für die Musiker der Orchester verständigt.

New Instrument: The Celloridoo

By designing a new musical instrument, an Iranian designer won Bronze prize at the A’Design Awards 2015, the World’s largest design competition. Aidin Ardjomandi’s new instrument Celloridoo is a composite one, combining a chordophone which is a bowed stringed instrument and an aerophone which is inspired from Didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument.


Cambreling bis 2018 Stuttgarter Generalmusikdirektor

Sylvain Cambreling bleibt bis 2018 Generalmusikdirektor der Oper Stuttgart. Der 66-Jährige habe seinen Vertrag entsprechend verlängert, teilte das Haus am Mittwoch mit.

Le Figaro

La Philharmonie de Paris atteint le demi-million de visiteurs

Malgré les polémiques autour du retard, du coût des travaux et de l’ouverture prématurée, la nouvelle grande salle de concerts a déjà accueilli 500.000 personnes en cinq mois.


Classical Music : . will return to Rotterdam in 2016

YCAT Today’s the day! The final round of are today at , with 8 very talented musicians

Classical:NEXT . will be covering – read about it here (German) and look out for videos throughout the week!

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse

(Written on May 21, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news the Royal Opera House has celebrated its 150th performance of Verdi’s La Traviata and Katie Derham presents a special podcast about Donizetti’s Poliuto, which will open the 2015 Glyndebourne Season. St John’s Smith Square has announced the latest musicians to join its Young Artists’ Scheme and the BBC have announced that they will be extending the Ten Pieces project to secondary schools.


The Royal Opera’s La Traviata celebrates 150 performances – watch two clips with a classic cast

Richard Eyre’s Royal Opera production of Verdi’s opera marked its 150th performance and its 12th revival on the 18 May opening night. Here are two clips from a 2009 production, with Antonio Pappano conducting and Renée Fleming, Joseph Calleja and Thomas Hampson in the title roles


Glyndebourne 2015: Poliuto podcast

Donizetti’s Poliuto – the tale of a Christian martyr – opens the 2015 Glyndebourne Season. Here Katie Derham presents a special podcast about this rarely performed work

Classic FM

This beautiful animation uses neon lights to bring Bach’s ‘The Well-Tempered Clavier’ to life

Visual artist Alan Warburton has used CGI neon lights to create a haunting animation inspired by Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s recording of Bach’s masterpiece. The result is mesmerising.

BBC Music Magazine

St John’s Smith Square announces its Young Artists for 2015-16

The London concert hall announces the latest musicians to join its Young Artists’ Scheme

Classical Music Magazine

BBC Ten Pieces project extended to secondary schools

The BBC’s Ten Pieces initiative will be extended to secondary schools from Autumn 2015.

Die Welt

Es waren auch Komponisten unter den Opfern

Sie hießen George Butterworth, Colin Coles und Rudi Stephan. Sie waren herausragende Talente. Sie fielen im Ersten Weltkrieg. Ein herausragendes Album erinnert an die Werke fast vergessener Tonsetzer.


Warnstreik in deutschen Orchestern und Theatern

Vor der nächsten Runde der Tarifverhandlungen am morgigen 20. Mai sind gestern und heute Orchester und Bühnenkünstler in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland in Warnstreiks getreten.

Stimmensätze zu Bruckners 6. Sinfonie wiederentdeckt

Der Dirigent und Musikwissenschaftler Benjamin-Gunnar Cohrs hat einen handschriftlichen Stimmensatz der 6. Sinfonie von Anton Bruckner wiederentdeckt.

Der Standard

Innsbruck bekommt ein “Haus der Musik”

Die Tiroler Landesregierung hat die Finanzierung für das Innsbrucker “Haus der Musik” beschlossen. 55,64 Millionen Euro soll die Musikeinrichtung kosten, die Landesregierung werde maximal 23,63 Millionen Euro beisteuern.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Terms of Engagement: Yes, Audiences Want Classical Music Apps

Arts organizations, especially classical music ones, speak of “audience engagement” these days. It’s a constant in a world that has seen concert and opera attendance drop precipitously over the past few decades, which has left organizations struggling with holes in their budgets.


Gramophone: Gramophone’s Recordings of the Year, 2000-2015. 15 of the best releases of the 21st century:

Sinfini MusicWhy… so… SERIOUS? Voila: 10 of the funniest piano videos we could find on YouTube. Enjoy!

Wigmore Hall Grammy-nominated musician returns to Israel after selling out Carnegie Hall – Arts & Leisure

Diana Damrau as Violetta in the 2014 revival of Verdi’s La Traviata. Photo: Catherine Ashmore/Royal Opera House

(Written on May 20, 2015 )

At 8pm last night BBC viewers and listeners everywhere were in for a treat…

In their first ever pan-channel broadcast the BBC launched BBC Music, an ambitious wave of new programmes, innovative partnerships and ground-breaking music initiatives with a spectacular version of God Only Knows. The reworking of the song, originally by The Beach Boys, was performed by 27 musicians from all genres of music, uniting to create ‘The Impossible Orchestra’.

The launch of this new initiative shows the BBC’s strongest commitment to music in over 30 years. Bob Shennan, Director BBC Music, said: “This is an exciting moment for BBC Music as we launch to a global audience. With the 80-piece BBC Concert Orchestra at its heart and comprising an array of iconic music stars, from a wide range of musical genres, this ‘impossible’ orchestra is a celebration of all the talent, diversity and musical passion found every single day throughout the BBC. Our audiences are very clear in their passion for music and that’s why BBC Music exists: to create, curate and celebrate music – for the love of it.”

God Only Knows features the song’s original writer and creator, Brian Wilson, alongside a list of world-famous musicians including Sir Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Danielle de Niese, Nicola Benedetti, Baaba Maal, Jamie Cullum, Gareth Malone, Jools Holland and, of course, the BBC Concert Orchestra.

Brian Wilson said that he felt “incredibly humbled that the BBC would choose God Only Knows to promote their new music initiative. All of the artists did such a beautiful job I can’t thank them enough. I’m just honoured that God Only Knows was chosen. God Only Knows is a very special song. An extremely spiritual song and one of the best I’ve ever written.”

The location of the film is also very special as the Alexandra Palace Theatre is the home of the first ever BBC broadcast over 90 years ago!

The song has now been released as a single in a first-time collaboration between Sony, Warner and Universal Music and all of the proceeds are going to BBC Children in Need. It is already available to download and will be in shops later in the week.

During 2013/14 the BBC has broadcast over 41,000 hours of musical content making it the world’s largest music broadcaster. This has included 600 classical music concerts a year on Radio 3, Radio 1’s Big Weekend and The Proms. BBC Four is also the biggest commissioner of music documentaries in the UK.

Also this week, BBC Ten Pieces has launched in cinemas and on iPlayer as the BBC Learning team joins with over 200 partners and classical musicians to help inspire primary school children and introduce them to classical music. Approximately 100,000 children will see the film at over 300 screenings across the UK and eventually the DVD of the film will be made available to primary schools for free.

All information about BBC Music can be found on their new homepage.


(Written on October 8, 2014 )


Archbishop Justin Welby snubs the Royal College of Organists

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has broken with tradition and declined an invitation to be a vice president of the Royal College of Organists

Meet the finest chamber orchestra on earth

Richard Tognetti, chief of Australian Chamber Orchestra, talks to John Allison about acclaim, endless travel and working with Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood

BBC Music Magazine

Elusive Mozart manuscript discovered

Original score of the famous Rondo alla turca Sonata found

International Arts Manager

New Steve Reid award for groundbreaking artists

A new award recognising pioneering unsigned artists has been launched by PRS for Music Foundation and the Steve Reid Foundation.


Jonny Greenwood and the ACO

He’s already received critical acclaim for his film scores for There Will Be Blood, The Master and Norwegian Wood, as well as his music for the BBC Concert Orchestra, now Radiohead guitaristJonny Greenwood completes his transition into the world of classical music with a new commission from the Australian Chamber Orchestra.

BBC Ten Pieces the wrong choice

The BBC’s music education film Ten Pieces was given an enthusiastic welcome on Monday at its early morning Leicester Square screening.

Die Zeit

Jeder Rollkoffer bringt uns weiter

Geht das schon wieder los? Ein Musikwissenschaftler geißelt, was er für Regietheater in der Oper hält. Dabei ist jede noch so moderne Inszenierung besser als Stillstand.

Die Welt

Münchens Musiktheater leuchtet

Die Bayerische Staatsoper wurde erstmals “Opernhaus des Jahres”. Wohl nur, weil mit Kirill Petrenko endlich ein grandioser Musikdirektor auch die klanglichen Qualitäten des Musiktheaters optimiert.

neue musikzeitung

DOV: Orchesterschließung in Kopenhagen zum Jahresende 2014 abwenden

Orchesterabwicklung – nun auch in Dänemark

New York Times

Modern Voice, Ancient Origins

Edgard Varèse’s Protégé Chou Wen-chung, Going Strong at 91

The Washington Times

Atlanta Symphony president and CEO steps down

The president and CEO of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra is stepping down, the latest development in an ongoing labor dispute with its musicians.

El Mundo

Pedro Halffter en el ‘mejor teatro del mundo’

El palacio de la ópera de la capital bávara ha sido el más votado


The Guardian @guardian: BBC Radio 1 and 2 play too much mainstream music, claims study 

BBC Radio 3 @BBCRadio3: Our guest this week, @Hanifkureishi: “I am always seduced by Bach.” Find out why on #EssentialClassics at 10.30

Royal Opera House ‏@RoyalOperaHouse: #WorldBalletDay about to hand over to @TheRoyalBallet. Tune in at , starting with class! ^C ‏@theartsdesk: .@radiohead ‘For classical musicians, Radiohead are the band’ invu on @JnnyG‘s new piece WATER for @A_C_O

ACO c. Paul Henderson-kelly_2mb.jpg

Seasoned travellers: Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra Photo: Paul Henderson-Kelly

(Written on October 1, 2014 )


Frédéric Chopin’s heart shows signs of TB, say Polish experts

Findings appear in line with composer’s 1849 death certificate which says he died from tuberculosis in Paris


Daniel Barenboim interview: Why I’m proud of my orchestra

Conductor Daniel Barenboim talks to Ivan Hewett about his Israeli-Arab orchestra the West-Eastern Divan

Classical Music Magazine

Sir James Galway, Sir Neville Marriner and Chailly & Gewandhaus win atGramophone awards

The 2014 Gramophone magazine awards were held on 17 September at a ceremony at St John’s, Smith Square in London.

BBC Music Magazine

The BBC unveils trailer for Ten Pieces

Beethoven’s Fifth, Holst’s Planets and Stravinsky’s Firebird will come to life on the big screen

The Strad

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis announces all-female final

Five Korean artists and one American will perform two concertos each over the coming days

Classical Source

Secret Theatres: the Music of Harrison Birtwistle [6-8 November, University of Cambridge]

Secret Theatres: the Music of Harrison Birtwistle brings some of the most respected practitioners of contemporary music to Cambridge in celebration of Birtwistle in his 80th year.


Der Klang des Grauens

Vor 100 Jahren brach der Erste Weltkrieg aus – in Frankreich und Deutschland wird der Tragödie auch musikalisch gedacht

Codex Flores

Gewinner des Moskauer Geigenbauer-Wettbewerbs

In Moskau sind die Gewinner des Internationalen Geigenbauer-Wettbewerbs  «Violine: Selle und Gestalt» bekanntgegeben worden.

Bratschist Fitz Gary erhält Auszeichnung des DAAD

US-Amerikaner wird für herausragende Studienleistungen ausgezeichnet

The New York Times

There’s a Lesson Here; All You Have to Do Is Listen

Roger Nierenberg and the Music Paradigm Program


The Royal Opera @TheRoyalOpera: Your reaction: Check out our round-up of tweets from the #BPbigscreens live relay of Rigoletto. Is yours included? ^E 

Royal College Music @RCMLatest: Congrats to RCM alumni named as #GramoAwards winners: Sir Neville Marriner (Outstanding Achievement) & @Sir_J_Galway (Lifetime Achievement)

Classical Music ‏@ClassicalMusic: Duncan Ward, 25, has been appointed principal conductor of @sinfoniavivauk from January, ‘minimum initial contract of two years’


Sir Neville Marriner presents Riccardo Chailly with the Recording of the Year Award. Photo: Ben Ealovega

(Written on September 18, 2014 )