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Classical News

Classic FM

iTunes Festival 2014: Nicola Benedetti, Alison Balsom and Miloš announced

The iTunes Festival, a free month long music festival at the Roundhouse, will play host to some of the finest and most popular classical musicians this year.

The Guardian

Kate Bush: Before the Dawn – reviews roundup

Having sold all available tickets within 15 minutes there was huge anticipation for Kate’s first performance in 35 years. The guardian have put together a selection of the reviews.

Classical Music

Balancing Act, Deutsche Grammophon president Mark Wilkinson reveals his plans

Having just launched their online streaming service, the president of DG reveals his intentions for the organisation.

Der Tagesspiegel

Wir setzen uns die Hörner auf

Die zehnte Auflage des Musikfests Berlin startet am 2. September. Besonderes Augenmerk legt man in diesem Jahr auf das Horn in seiner ganzen Vielfalt.


Echo Klassik verkündet Preisträger

In 22 Kategorien hat die Jury rund 45 Preisträger ausgezeichnet

Los Angeles Times

James Conlon to quit post with Chicago Symphony’s Ravinia Festival

James Conlon, the Los Angeles Opera’s music director and conductor, will step down next year from another prominent post, music director of the Ravinia Festival, Chicago’s summer equivalent of the Hollywood Bowl.

Forum Opera

Départ de Paavo Järvi, entre Joie et tristesse

Paavo Järvi a décidé de ne pas renouveler son contrat à la tête de l’Orchestre de Paris.

La Croix

La Chaise-Dieu au diapason de son festival

La 48e édition du Festival de La Chaise-Dieu s’est ouverte jeudi dernier



Royal Academy: @royalacademy It’s here! #TakeoverDay has arrived… Henna will be taking over our tweets from 10am @kidsinmuseums @takeovermuseums

ClassicFM: @ClassicFM Our web chat guest was the the first left-hand alone pianist to graduate form the @rcmlatest in its 130 year history:

Campus London: @campuslondon Making plans this evening? Join us for @GA_London & @BriteLondon’s Digital Skills for Event Professionals from 7PM:

CBSO Chorus: @CBSOChorus Farewell, England! Next stop – Germany and the Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival! @TheCBSO @simonhalsey #elias

Royal College Music: @RCMLatest We’ve added a 2nd date for our #Vocal Faculty Open Door! Book for 21 Sept to receive invaluable advice from RCM profs



From Classic FM

From Classic FM


(Written on August 27, 2014 )

Classical News


Why is opera so expensive? Well, no more than football

The issue of opera ticket prices is a heated one – but there are more factors at play than you think, says Rupert Christiansen

Glyndebourne 2015 hopes to bringe highbrow opera to the masses

Opera festival’s organisers say Donizetti’s Poliuto, written in 1838, will be staged at the annual performances, which have doubled their audiences this year

Classic FM

I’ve found the greatest living violinist: he’s from Siberia and he turns 40 this week

He’s the complete package: a consummate violin player with brilliant technique, energy and showmanship. And in an age that likes its popular artists to have a dramatic back story, he has triumphed over adversity.

The Independent

A role worth dying for

Swedish soprano Nina Stemme tells Jessica Duchen that playing the tragic Salome is one of her biggest challenges yet

James Rhodes

The concert pianist on mental illness and opening up about sexual abuse


Gier auf Neues

Labororchester und positiv musikantisch: Ein Porträt der Bamberger Symphoniker und ihres Dirigenten Jonathan Nott, die im September zum Musikfest Berlin kommen.

New York Times

Laura Kaminsky Named Composer in Residence at American Opera Projects

American Opera Projects, the adventurous Brooklyn company that has been commissioning, developing and staging new operas for a quarter century, has appointed Laura Kaminsky as its composer-in-residence, beginning Sept. 1, the company announced on Friday.


Two arrested in death of Chautauqua violinist

Late Wednesday afternoon, another orchestra member found Whitaker dead in the garage of her Titus Road house after she missed an appointment.



OperaSpace: @OperaSpace #IvanTheTerrible Born today 1530; musically immortalized by #Bizet #Prokofiev #RimskyKorsakov & #Gounod (unperformed)

The New York Times: @nytimes The streaming services from symphonies and operas makes one long for a Netflix for classical music

edintfest: @edintfest The @SinfiniMusic Les Troyens opera strip is in @TheScotsman today with an interview with the artist! … #EdintFest ^N


Michael Trippel

Foto: Michael Trippel


(Written on August 25, 2014 )

Tim Benjamin’s latest opera Madame X will make its world premiere tomorrow in Todmorden at the Hippodrome Theatre. Rehearsals for Madame X have gone brilliantly, and Tim Benjamin’s new opera is featured in Sinfini Music’s classical music highlights for this week.

More news from behind the scenes can be found on the Madame X blog, including information about the cast and interviews with Tim Benjamin. The opera follows a young artist, Masetto, and his lover, Zerlina, as their lives and dreams are manipulated by Masetto’s corrupt agent and wealthy, powerful art collectors.

As Tim explains in The Lancashire Telegraph, it is quite possible that Madame X is the second opera ever to have been performed in Todmorden – the first being his opera Emily in 2013, which won great acclaim.

This photo from the technical rehearsal below shows a mysterious covered painting … but what really lies beneath?




Madame X will also be performed in Halifax, in London as part of the Grimeborn Festival, and in Manchester:

Thursday 21st August at Todmorden Hippodrome (World Premiere)

Friday 22nd – Saturday 23rd August at Square Chapel, Halifax

Monday 25th – Wednesday 27th August at Arcola Theatre, London (London Premiere)

Thursday 25th September at RNCM Opera Theatre, Manchester

You can also view the latest Madame X trailer here!


Follow Madame X on Facebook and Twitter, protagonists @MasettoPainter and @Zerlina83 have their own accounts, too!

(Written on August 20, 2014 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Drink and drug addictions ‘blighting lives of classical musicians’

Ahead of the Channel 4 documentary, Addicts Symphony, the Guardian and The Sunday Times have both written pieces to expose how some classical musicians deal with the stresses of anti-social hours and extreme pressure.

The Telegraph

Sir Andrew Davis: The returning hero

Sir Andrew Davis will be returning to the Proms this evening as conductor of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra. The once chief conductor at the proms said that while he has held few posts, this being only his third orchestral position, he has held them all for a very long time.

Classic FM

Top conductor’s ‘symphony orchestras will be gone in 30 years’ claim stirs debate

Following Ivan Fischer’s article for The Times, orchestral professionals including Mark Pemberton, director of the Association of British Orchestras, have struck back that his comments may not have been relevant for British orchestras.

Classic FM

Game Of Thrones ‘opera’ to debut in New York

A New York opera company intends to take Game of Thrones as a theme for an opera in February 2015.

The New York Times

In Surprise Finale at Metropolitan Opera’s Labor Talks, Both Sides Agree to Cuts

It seems that the end of the Met Opera saga is in sight. The Metropolitan Opera and two of its unions agreed that to avoid the calamities that have silenced swaths of the classical music world, they would have to scale back. They are still awaiting talks with numerous other smaller unions.

Mitteldeutsche Zeitung

Stiftung Händel-Haus kauft frühe Händel-Notendrucke

Der Stiftung Händel-Haus ist der Ankauf einer Gruppe von frühen Händel-Notendrucken und -Büchern aus einem englischen Antiquariat gelungen. Unter anderem eine 1739 erschienene Erstausgabe von Händels „Ode for St. Cecilias’s Day“.

Berliner Zeitung

Die Kulturszene hat Angst vor der Amerikanisierung

Die Kulturszene fürchtet, dass durch das Freihandelsabkommen mit den USA die europäische Vielfalt der Musik und Filme, bei Büchern und in Theatern leidet. Eine Wissenschaftlerin warnt, sogar, dass das deutsche, „über 300 Jahre gewachsene Kulturmodell in Trümmern liegen“ werde.


El Sistema auf Bayrisch

Ob singen, ein Instrument spielen oder jodeln: In der Bayrischen Philharmonie kann jeder alles lernen. Hauptsache er liebt Musik.



London Symphony Orchestra: @LondonSymphony Very pleased to be back at @lsostlukes this morning (after a month of maintenance in the venue!) for rehearsals with Sir Antonio Pappano.

Cause4: @OfficialCause4 Today is @UN #WorldHumanitarianDay find out who our #HumanitarianHeroes are

London Chamber Orch: @LCO_orchestra We’d love to tell you more about the LCO – if you see us with some flyers at the @bbcproms tonight, come and say hello!

Royal Albert Hall: @RoyalAlbertHall There are still tickets available for tonight’s Laura Mvula Prom – seats from £6.60 or stand as a Prommer for £5. …

Music Teacher: @MusicTeacherMag The 2014 Britten Young Songwriter Competition is open! Part of @aldeburghmusic’s @fridayPMs project:




 Photo: Rex Features

Photo: Rex Features



(Written on August 19, 2014 )

Classical News

The Telegraph

BBC Proms 2014: Benedict Mason premiere, review: ‘breathtaking’

The big reveal of Benedict Mason’s latest BBC commission was unlike anything the proms had seen. With musicians spread around the hall and the arena being cleared of prommers.

The Guardian

Frans Brüggen obituary

As one of the pioneers of the revival of Early Music, and one of the key influencers in the expansion and awareness of Recorder repertoire, this obituary is a touching tribute to a man who reminded us of the beauty of the music of the past.

Guardian Culture Professionals Network

The future of new music is at risk if we continue to undervalue composers

A study carried out by Sound and Music identifies that composers are expected to create new music for ‘shockingly’ low fees.


Kranichsteiner Musikpreise gehen nach USA und Großbritannien

Darmstadt. Die 1982 geborene amerikanische Komponistin Ashley Fure und das britische Ensemble „Distractfold“ erhalten in diesem Jahr den Kranichsteiner Musikpreis.


Europäischer Komponistenpreis für junge Musiker an Usbekin Sadikova

Der Europäische Komponistenpreis für junge Musiker ist an die Usbekin Aziza Sadikova verliehen worden.

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Mozart aus der Asche gelesen

Nicht alles war ganz verloren, was 2004 dem Brand in Weimar zum Opfer fiel. Mit neuen Methoden gelingt es jetzt sogar, unlesbar gewordene Handschriften wieder sichtbar zu machen.

The New York Times

Licia Albanese, Exalted Soprano, Is Dead at 105

Licia Albanese, an Italian-born soprano whose veneration by audiences worldwide was copious even by the standards of operatic adulation, died on Friday at her home in Manhattan.


CBSO: @TheCBSO A month today we perform #Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. Find out more in this great listening guide by @philharmonia

ClassicFM: @ClassicFM I’ve fantastic new Album of the Week from @HopeViolin @DGclassics & will offer an ‘escape to paradise’.@johnsuchet1

Scottish Chamber Orc: @SCOmusic 31 Aug Edin – join us for exciting family music workshops from @VirginMoney Fireworks Concert @edintfest. Book now!

Musicians’ Union: @WeAreTheMU U-turn in Liverpool brings recognition for buskers … via @artspro #KeepMusicLive

ArtsProfessional: @ArtsPro #APNews: @ArtsCouncilNI clients told to plan for five per cent cuts from previously announced budgets



 Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

Photo: Benjamin Ealovega

(Written on August 18, 2014 )

While the extinction of the dinosaurs may have had something to do with a meteor, it is likely that the decline of orchestras is down to just as many debatable factors. From financial climate change, to developments in technology and changes in personal taste, there are numerous elements of change that the industry has little control over.

In the article from today’s Times, Iván Fischer heralds the evolutionary approach for orchestras, as he claims they must ‘adapt or die’. With his own Budapest Festival Orchestra being open to innovation he believes that it is the only way to truly mitigate against the terminal decline of orchestras around the world.

The Budapest Festival Orchestra are trying to bring in different audiences in order to break the white, middle-class, middle-aged, well-educated norm. While this isn’t wholly true in concert halls today, as a lot has already been done to correct the imbalance, it is still a perceived barrier to many. The BFO perform in midnight concerts to appeal to younger audiences, seating them on beanbags and giving them discounts on ticket prices if they turn up on a bike. All are intriguing innovations that could work for many orchestras and concert venues to lure in the younger generations.

However, the question that will be asked is what does this give/take from orchestral concert going. Traditionalists will be harking that it is in fact this kind of innovation that kills orchestras, while the opposing corner will rebut with the same evolutionary, forward-thinking stance that Fischer proposes in this article.

What is clear though is that demands are being placed on orchestras and those who manage them to be more creative, whether it is with their funding or engagement methods. Today also saw the Guardian Culture Professionals Live Chat about crowd-funding, which is being cited as a revolutionary change to fundraising. James Hopkirk, Editor of IdeasTap suggested ‘As arts funding gets cut back further and further and artists have to become more self-sufficient and entrepreneurial I think it’s [crowd-funding] only going to become more prevalent…’. A similar call for change has been echoed by organisations such as Nesta in their report ‘The New Art of Finance – Making Money Work Harder for the Arts’.

Essentially what all of these changes are demanding is that we are more creative, which is surely what the arts do best. It’s a philosophy that WildKat have embraced fully, with enormous success. No one is saying that creative minded people have to go and play with the stock market, or perform brain science to see what attracts people to classical music- just that we are considerate of all demographics, what makes them want to get involved or why they might want to resist, and if this is something we can change.

Rising to the challenges that the arts face is one best met by creative people- luckily our industry is brimming with them.


(Written on August 13, 2014 )

Classical News

The Times

Iván Fischer: Symphony orchestras have only a few decades left

Ivan Fischer gives orchestras of the twenty-first century the prognosis of ‘adapt or die’.


How to crowdfund your next arts project – live chat

A live chat will be happening on the Guardian’s culture professionals network today from 12pm, to discuss how the arts may use crowd-funding to bridge the supply/demand gap in fundraising.

Musical training found to improve language and reading

US researchers have found that learning a musical instrument can improve a child’s reading and language skills, as well as being better at processing sounds and language.

Die Welt

Das Glück in Boston ist die Absage für Berlin

Der 35-jährige Lette Andris Nelsons ist einer Top-Kandidaten als Rattle-Nachfolger der Berliner Philharmoniker. Hier sagt er, warum er dafür nicht mehr in Frage kommt. Jedenfalls gegenwärtig.

Teatro Petruzelli in Bari sagt aus Geldmangel Produktionen ab

Viertgrößtes Opernhaus Italiens in finanziellen Nöten

Porträt Christina Pluhar

Die Lautenistin Christina Pluhar will keine Genregrenzen akzeptieren und mischt barocke Tänze mit Fado

Les partitions de la Grande Guerre auscultées sur France Musique

14-18 a influé sur la musique classique. La station de radio consacre vingt émissions de trente minutes au sujet.



ClassicFM: @ClassicFM It’s #InternationalLeftHandersDay so I’m playing 3 pieces with left handed connections right now @johnsuchet1

The Guardian: @guardian Universities plug gap as government fails to support poorer students:

EFG London Jazz Festival: @LondonJazzFest 2014 marks 200 years since birth of #AdolpheSax, inventor of the #saxophone. If you’re visiting Belgium, don’t miss #sax200 @mimbrussels

Simon Hopkins: @SimonHopkins The @southbankcentre have launched the  WebWe Want festival with an intriguing set of twitter questions >> …



Photograph: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Martin Barraud/OJO Images Ltd/Getty Images

Photograph: Compassionate Eye Foundation/Martin Barraud/OJO Images Ltd/Getty Images




(Written on August 13, 2014 )

This weekend WildKat PR fled the city and headed to Cornbury Park, the 800-year-old, 1,700-acre Oxfordshire deer park and setting for Wilderness Festival. The Festival is renowned for its gastronomic delights as much as the eclectic musical line-up, this year featuring headline artists from Burt Bacharach to London Grammar.

Wilderness 2014

Wilderness 2014

This was our third time at Wilderness Festival with three of our clients – both current and upcoming – performing over the course of the weekend. Silent Opera staged their latest production Live/Revive/Lament on Saturday evening on the Wilderness Stage. Silent Opera premiered the full production at Aldeburgh Music this Summer and have since performed at Kensington’s Saatchi Gallery as part of the InTransit Festival. In addition, eccentric cellist Gabi Swallow performed with her urban family at the Wilderness Stage on Friday 8th August 2014. Donned with appropriate festival headpieces and striking make-up, Gabi and her urban family performed a range of contemporary and classical music, which included Vivaldi’s Summer and a little Piazolla.

Gabi Swallow and Her Urban Family

Gabi Swallow and Her Urban Family

Another treat for the WildKat PR team was newcomer Poppy Ackroyd who also took to the Wilderness Stage on Friday afternoon. Despite the rain, a huge crowd assembled on the bales of hay for her set, where she performed her own compositions on the violin and keyboard, accompanied by some unique visuals.

Silent Opera

Silent Opera

The British, bunting-clad, boutique festival was idyllic, and we have carefully stowed our wellington boots and feather headdresses until next year…





(Written on August 11, 2014 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Puccini’s Italian tragic love affair house up for sale

The home that served as a romantic retreat for Giacomo Puccini and his married lover in 1886 is up for sale in Lake Como for €400,000.

The Guardian

Daniel Harding: ‘Telling a young musician to be patient is like telling Wayne Rooney to score more goals’

Conductor of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Daniel Harding, talks about his work under Simon Rattle, his musical development and his current projects.

The Telegraph

La Traviata at Glyndebourne: what the audience thought

Having been broadcast online live on 10th August, the telegraph have interviewed audiences of La Traviata from Glyndebourne.

The Times

The I, Culture Orchestra: uniting troubled countries through music

The I, Culture Orchestra are a youth orchestra who unites 18-28 year olds from nations including Poland, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, some of the most conflict-ridden countries in the world. Azerbaijan and Armenia have technically been at war since 1988, yet the young players sit together and make music harmoniously. They will be performing at the Edinburgh International Festival on the 17th August.

Der Tagesspiegel

Doch ein Punk

Das Bundesjugendorchester beginnt bei Young Euro Classic erwachsen, getragen, pflichtbewusst – und zeigt schließlich doch, was in ihm steckt.

Martha Argerich wird Ehrenmitglied des West Eastern Divan Orchestra

Ehrung anlässlich eines gemeinsamen Konzerts im Teatro Colon verliehen.

The Australian

Classical composer Peter Sculthorpe dies

CLASSICAL composer Peter Sculthorpe has been lauded as a musical giant following his death.

Dutch News

Christina Deutekom dies at 82

The world famous Dutch coloratura soprano Christina Deutekom died on Thursday evening.

Le Monde

Polémiques budgétaires à l’Opéra de Paris

L’Opéra de Paris serait-il dispendieux ?



Time Out London: @TimeOutLondon Hurry! Tickets for Hamlet at the @BarbicanCentre are on sale NOW:

The Times of London: @thetimes Read Richard Morrison’s interview with @NickyBenedetti on doubling up at the #EdFringe

IdeasMag: @IdeasMag Should you give up on your creative dreams? @Jennie_Nicole has her say:

Sinfini Music: @SinfiniMusic Do children need to be taught to listen to music properly? So says @lauramvula



Photograph: Mario Nunes Vais/ Alinari Archives/Corbis

Photograph: Mario Nunes Vais/ Alinari Archives/Corbis




(Written on August 11, 2014 )

WildKat PR is delighted to welcome Cantate to its roster. Cantate is a mixed-voiced youth choir that have recently returned from the World Choir Games in Latvia as double gold medal winners. The choir, based in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire, have achieved international acclaim since being founded by Michael Kibblewhite in 1994, and are currently celebrating their twenty-year anniversary. Cantate now stretches across three choirs and has a reputation for innovative and dynamic musical performances of the highest quality. It remains open for anyone to join without audition at a level that suits them, and embraces Classical, Show and Pop repertoire as well as music from all around the world.

In addition to regular tours to Europe including Bordeaux, Paris, Assisi and Venice, the choirs also perform in their home areas of Essex, Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire throughout the season. They have also performed at various prestigious venues in the south of England, including the Royal Albert Hall, the Royal Festival Hall, 10 Downing Street and annually at the family carol service at St. Paul’s Cathedral. Other accolades including winning gold in the 2008 World Choir games in Austria, winning highest placed English Children’s Choir at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, winning top awards at the National Music Festival for Youth and winning the Mid-Somerset Music Festival. The choir has also featured on BBC Radio 2 and BBC Songs of Praise, and have worked and recorded under conductors such as Sir Andrew Davis and John Rutter.

Cantate offers young people unique musical training. All members are given percussion and rhythm workshops as a crucial part of their education in the choir, starting with simple Samba rhythms and moving to complex presentations of rhythm and movement that are a feature of many of the concerts. Although the main intake for Cantate is for the training choir, which accepts children from aged eight, older students are always welcome to join at a level that reflects their previous experience.

Since 2010 Cantate has been led by Nicholas Shaw and Graham Instrall, who head an inspirational team of pianists, directors and singing teachers. They are proud to have the active support of three honorary patrons: Baroness Genista McIntosh, Lord Walker of Gestingthorpe and composer Mark-Anthony Turnage.


For more information, please visit Cantate’s website and check Cantate’s Twitter and Facebook pages.





Cantate in competition

Cantate performing at the 2014 World Choir Games

(Written on August 8, 2014 )