Posts Tagged ‘Classical Music Design’
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WildKat PR is very pleased to be working with composer and pianist Andrew James Johnson on his upcoming album release and concert, following the launch of his new brand.

Olivia Brown, Head of Creative Strategy and Marketing, says: “Working alongside our in-house design team classicalmusicdesign, WildKat has created a brand and visual identity for Andrew that truly represents both his bold, friendly personality and his enchanting yet sensitive compositions. We’re very much looking forward to continuing our collaboration, and sharing Andrew’s debut album with the press and music industry.”

Andrew is a composer and pianist who grew up in Birmingham, England, and despite having no formal training on the piano in his childhood, immersed himself in the works of Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin. After his parents agreed to pay for lessons, Andrew’s eagerness and innate musicality developed rapidly into a passion for piano performance, before he moved onto composition.

Andrew began to draw upon a combination of classical training and contemporary influences, completing a BA in Composition at the London College of Music.  His compositional style combines rich harmonic language with expansive pianistic techniques, revealing the influence of the Romantic-era composers that so inspired him in his youth.

In the years that followed his graduation from the LCM, Andrew undertook commissions for film, television and theatre. Credits include televised advertisements for HSBC and Timotei. Andrew’s compositions take inspiration from everyday life, and his creative process makes use of the full tonal range of the keyboard, drawing on influences from his role models Max Richter and Philip Glass.

We are thrilled to be working with Andrew on his debut album release ‘Winter’s Heart’, due for release in November 2017.

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(Written on August 14, 2017 )

“Wellness”, “wellbeing”, “work-life balance” – these buzzwords have been entering the business world more regularly over the past few years. As we as a society begin to focus more on our health, our time, our personal development, so have the companies that we work for. Especially in PR companies and creative agencies, where working over-time is almost expected and in the arts where there are concerts, launches, and networking events to attend, it’s important to ensure that you are able to enjoy your personal life wherever possible.

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WildKat began to explore techniques to reward colleagues and staff back in 2011, when Kat brought her yoga instructor into the office. We began having weekly classes for 1 hour on a Wednesday afternoon. Berlin’s Victoria Mattinson says, “Taking an hour out to do yoga is a really effective way of clearing the mind and stretching out.  I always come back to my desk feeling refreshed and with new ideas.”

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In 2014, we also cemented the annual WildKat ski trip for the team who have been in the company for over 1 year. This is the perfect retreat for our colleagues to relax and unwind (off the slopes, of course!), spend time with the full global team, and try some new experiences together. London’s Victoria Cappelletti went on her first trip this year, explaining, “The annual WildKat PR ski trip is a great way to get to know the members of the team better and actually become friends, so that we are all like a little family. It totally lines up with the general company mood, ethic and atmosphere, giving people the opportunity to have fun and discuss topics beyond work.”

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Our perks continued to build in 2015, when Sweden began to initiate 6-hour working days to create a balance between work and personal life, Kat decided to trial the scheme in our Berlin office. We were quite skeptical at first that 2 hours would make a huge difference to our work-life balance, and that it wouldn’t compromise our work, but we were ready for the challenge. After a transitional phase, our Berlin team was working more efficiently – so much that our clients did not notice! – completing tasks and moving on without procrastination, feeling more happy and healthy at work, and also attending more events out-of-hours without free time or energy being compromised.  You can read our full feedback here.

However, one journalist asked: if we love our jobs why would we want to work less? Although this was not the point of our experiment, the hardest aspect was the need to be constantly productive. There was less time to read articles and be active on social media – two activities which are crucial to PR. We also lost out on occasional small talk, which does help to break up the day. Therefore, from now on, instead of a full-blown overhaul of our working day, every employee has ten six-hour days per month at their disposal.

Last year, we decided that we would fully integrate our perks into WildKat’s ethos and policy. Our in-house design team at Classical Music Design created a poster for us, that would have a central place in our office and would remind us that being happy in our lives and at work will allow us to live a more balanced life.

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Kat explains, “I felt that my staff deserve the best that my company could possibly offer. I divided the benefits up into monetary, educational, and well-being. Mostly, I am weary that money is a big deciding factor so of course we wanted to increase perks and financial rewards but actually focusing on well-being and one’s own personal development is a hot topic that almost comes equal to financial gain. 

“We want to feel valued on many levels and that our development is encouraged along the way so I wanted to offer training funds, 6 hour working days, yoga sessions, sabbatical, etc. Rewarding my staff doesn’t always have to cost the company a lot but it does mean that the teams are better balanced. Quite frankly, the older I get, the more I think that time is the most valuable commodity, so I want to enhance my staff’s time when at work but also give them more off time out of the office.” 

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Director of the Berlin office, Carolin Denz, was one of the first to utilise her training fund, purchasing a few books on leadership and communication: “As the Berlin team has grown a lot and we all know how important it is to build up a great and solid working team, we are always focusing on improving the team spirit and motivation. I began to learn some tips and advice from a few books about different ways to lead groups, so we can build on it with individual and more intense workshops during 2017. The books give an insight into how groups of different characters and opinions work, how to lead them best and motivate them to build up the team we need for our campaigns – creative thinking, responsibility and being a good team-player.”

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As well as the “official” #WildKatPerks, we still encourage our team to network in the industry, and step into the wider world to gain knowledge and make introductions on behalf of the company. For example, Junior Account Manager & Office Manager James Hardie attended #ABO17. He said, “I was very excited to have the chance to attend the Association of British Orchestras conference in Bournemouth, especially at such an early stage in my career.  The focus this year was Disruption, and I had the privilege of listening to some of the industry’s leading figures, including Hannah Kendall, Mel Larsen, James Murphy, and Chi-Chi Nwanoku talk about what this meant to them.  A strong feeling of community pervaded every session, and it was heartening to be surrounded by so many like-minded people, all of whom want to see classical music engage with new and diverse audiences.”

As civil servants face curbs on office ‘cake culture’, here at WildKat we know that everything works well in moderation and with plenty of balance. Are you considering some new perks for your company? How do you manage to balance work and life as a freelance? Feel free to send us your thoughts at @WildKatPR or comment below!

(Written on January 31, 2017 )

What an incredibly busy month we have had in the WildKat PR offices this past month. As the countdown to Christmas begins earlier and earlier each year, so does the classical industry’s busiest period before the candlelit concerts and masses of Messiahs begin to take over.

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At the beginning of the month, the London office waved off a few of the team as they joined the New York office for China’s NCPA Orchestra on their debut North America and Canada tour. Beginning in Chicago at the Symphony Center, the team guided the Orchestra to Washington’s Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, before jet-setting off to Canada visiting Ottawa, Toronto and finally Montreal. WildKat managed the marketing of the tour through our classical music specialist in-house design company Classical Music Design, who produced everything from flyers to posters, print adverts to animated adverts online. We also hosted a reception for the New York concert, welcoming  some of New York’s most prestigious industry members.

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The London Account Managers also caught up with John Brancy whilst in New York to talk about his European campaign ahead of next year, as he was performing in two concerts, with the New York Festival of Song at Kaufman Center in New York and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Back in London we’ve been traveling between North West and South West London for Hampstead Arts Festival and Wimbledon International Music Festival respectively. Hampstead Arts Festival launched with a personal debut from Natalie Clein who performed the first of two concerts where she performed all six of Bach’s Cello Suites. Wimbledon International Music Festival began just a few days later with the Academy Choir & Baroque Players who performed in vocal and choral masterpieces of War and Peace – the theme for the Festival. Both Festivals ran throughout November and were incredibly successful, with numerous events selling out!

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We also attended the launch of Orpheus Sinfonia‘s new #BeneathTheScore, where audiences were treated to anecdotes, letters and relatively unknown facts about Beethoven and his symphonies. The first concert Revolution: The Beethoven Effect was a huge success. Keep an eye out for our audience reaction video blog, coming soon! Meanwhile the Berkeley Ensemble’s composition prize semi-final took place at one of our favourite venues, The Forge. The final will take place on 10th December 2014 – find out more here. There was also a great talk that a few of us attended, hosted by the wonderful YPIA team. Guardian Culture Professionals Network’s Matt Caines led the discussion “from Intern to CEO” with V&A Director Prof. Martin Roth and Royal Opera House’s CEO Alex Beard. This was a truly interesting and insightful event, and great to catch up with lots of familiar faces.

Over in Berlin, the WildKat team moved offices and are now settled in Prenzlauer Berg. Drop in and say hi if you’re in the area! The team also attended some really great events including the first PODIUM Festival concert at one of Berlin’s most cutting-edge classical music venues, the Radialsystem V at the River Spree. The concert was fittingly called ‘Radium’ and featured light-shows and 360° surround-sound performances. Our WildKat clients were also very busy this month with the Managing Director of Bamberg Symphony Marcus R. Axt interviewed on the German BR TV channel for the show alpha-Forum to discuss the new season 2014/15, new ideas like their encore! project and much more. Our new client Konzertdirektion Prof. Victor Hohenfels organised a great and sold out concert with horn soloist Radek Baborák in the Berlin Philharmonie. Another exciting opportunity for soprano Caroline MacPhie who, after the success of her album launch in London, moved to Berlin and auditioned for a few management companies, one accompanied by Carolin – a great new experience for both.

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Also, lots of congratulations and cake this month as we’ve had lots of WildKat birthdays – Account Managers Olivia, Clara and Carolin celebrated their birthdays, as well as our lovely University of Leeds Year in Industry colleague Rhian.

As busy as November was, we’re definitely still looking forward to December for the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain’s Winter Concert, Avi Avital’s recital at The Globe with Mahan Esfahani, Moritz Eggert’s concert with the German pop duo 2RAUMWOHNUNG and a Christmas concert organised by the Konzertdirektion Prof. Victor Hohenfels.

The offices are open until midday Christmas Eve and we re-open on 2nd January 2015.

P.S. Look out for our Christmas cards which are on their way to you now!

(Written on December 2, 2014 )