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A very exciting initiative launched yesterday, 26th January 2015: Musical Orbit. The website is offering musicians the opportunity to book one-to-one lessons, as well as free webinars and masterclasses with some of the top principal players from major orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. Whether you have an audition, final exam or recital, through Musical Orbit you can receive bespoke feedback from industry experts on your playing to allow you to perform to your absolute best.

This opportunity means Musical Orbit is also a central online hub, allowing musicians to connect, for young artists to build relationships within the industry and to receive playing tips. Professional musicians wanting to give back to the industry can do so in their own time, anywhere in the world. The hub will also provide discounts to the most popular concerts, with promo codes that are available only on the Music Orbit website.

To celebrate this exciting project, Musical Orbit is offering the chance to win FREE music lessons if you sign up before next Monday (2nd February 2015). Get yourself over there quickly to be mentored by some of the best classical musicians in the world!

musical-orbit-logo

 

Keep up to date with news from Musical Orbit through their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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(Written on January 27, 2015 )

WildKat PR is very excited to introduce our newest client: the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS). Based at New York’s infamous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, CMS features some of the finest chamber music performances on a world stage. As well as thrilling seasoned concert goers, they also seek to engage a wider audience with chamber music through their performances, education programmes, and recording activities.

Motivated by their commitment to the continuation of the chamber music tradition, they founded CMS Two which is a prestigious, unique and wildly competitive three season residency for the most significant ensembles and individual musicians. Far from being an ‘extra’, CMS Two members take part in all aspects of the Society’s activities and it boasts alumni such as Lang Lang and Hilary Hahn.

We will be working with CMS on a very exciting concert on 8th May 2015 at London’s Wigmore Hall which, alongside standard repertoire from Schumann and Brahms will also feature the world premiere of a specially co-commissioned piece by British composer Helen Grime. This new string trio continues the longstanding relationship between the two cross-Atlantic concert halls.

CMS-logo

(Written on January 23, 2015 )

As Shakespeare himself says in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: ‘Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews, whose golden touch could soften steel and stones.’ WildKat PR could not agree more after last night’s brilliant concert from Orpheus Sinfonia at St George’s Church, Hanover Square.

The whole theme of the evening was the influence that Shakespeare’s plays have had on composers and as well as performances of Korngold, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev we were treated to two graduates from LAMDA (Andrew Nolan and Sophie Steer) who acted excerpts from the plays in between the musical programme. This addition helped achieve the goal of the Beneath the Score series: to dig deeper into the music.

MidSummer Night's Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A depiction of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo: Blogging Shakespeare

If I sat back and closed my eyes, I would not have known Orpheus Sinfonia were not an orchestra such as the LSO, such was the calibre of the playing: the woodwind, particularly the flutes, captured me from the very first chords of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the opening piece. Their vibrato was unmistakable for the rest of the concert.

One of my highlights was Korngold’s Much Ado about Nothing. Orpheus Sinfonia really showed off their versatility during this piece by capturing both the comedy of the play and unleashing long lyrical lines. I had already decided that the Korngold was my new favourite piece but by the time Delius’ The Walk to the Paradise Garden had finished, I had changed my mind. The strings meshed together blissfully, bringing out the impressionism of the piece. The cellos in particular sung out and possessed that ‘golden touch’ Shakespeare spoke of. It was also the perfect opportunity for the actors to act out the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. The silence between the notes dying away and keen applause said it all.

The conductor, Thomas Carroll, provided an insightful commentary throughout but especially before Tchaikovsky’s well known Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. He outlined the structure of the piece and the ‘characters’ that particular instruments were supposed to represent. The woodwind at the start of the piece symbolized the noble Friar Laurence whilst the constant horn rhythms acted as the heartbeat of the lovers. This explanation allowed me to hear the piece in a new way.

The venue, St George’s Church, had beautiful acoustics which really amplified the rich sound of the orchestra. The intimate setting was a nice change from a large concert hall; it meant you could see the players as they were performing and it was clear they were enjoying themselves. There were also a number of young people there and, chatting to a couple afterwards, they commented on how accessible the music had been through the combination of excerpts and explanation.

A wonderful evening overall, make sure you look out for details of the next one.

Orpheus-SMALL Orpheus Sinfonia. Photo: The Stage

 

 

(Written on January 23, 2015 )

Following the success of their previous concert, here at WildKat PR we have been looking forward to our client Orpheus Sinfonia’s next Beneath The Score concert: ‘The Shakespeare Influence’. The evening’s music will be inspired by the works of Shakespeare and include works from composers such as Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The performance will also be interspersed with readings by two young talented actors from some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘Much Ado about Nothing,’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

The Beneath The Score series aims to bring classical music to new audiences and expand the knowledge of the experienced, by exploring the meaning behind the work during the concert. The first concert, which explored Beethoven’s life and revolutionary influence, included readings of extracts of his diaries and images to bring the music more to life. Indeed, many audience members, newcomers and seasoned concertgoers alike, commented on how much they learnt as well as how much they enjoyed the music. One person remarked how she did not realise how early Beethoven’s deafness set in whilst another was very new to the experience and so learnt much more than he knew before.

The concert will be performed by the talented Orpheus Sinfonia, an orchestra composed of recently graduated musicians emerging from study into the profession, and conducted by conductor, cellist and presenter Thomas Carroll. The Shakespeare Influence will take place this Thursday (22nd January 2015) at 19:30pm at St George’s Church in Hanover Square. Tickets can be found here. It promises to be a fascinating and uplifting evening.

Find Orpheus Sinfonia on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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The Orpheus Sinfonia in Concert. Photo found at orpheusfoundation.com

 

 

(Written on January 19, 2015 )

It was reported by the Guardian yesterday (17th December 2014) that the famous Milan opera house, La Scala, has introduced a 5 minute grace period to allow latecomers to take their seats, not because it disrupts the performance, but because they are becoming increasingly angry at the ushers. In practice, this will mean that the performance will start 5 minutes later than the scheduled time. La Scala is well known for being strict about latecomers, with some audience members having to wait for up to 85 minutes for an appropriate break to slip in. Indeed, the Guardian notes that the only known exception was in 1972 when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were 10 minutes late for the opening night of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Paolo Grassi, the head of opera at the time, commented about the incident that ‘late arrivals at La Scala are not allowed.’

La Scala

Photograph: REUTERS/Brescia/Amisano

Sure, if someone has bought a ticket to one of the most prestigious opera venues in the world, one can understand why they would want to ensure they had the full experience: the lights dimming, the anticipation in the air, the first notes of the overture and the curtain finally rising. But, VIP or not, is this really an excuse for aggression towards employees? I’m not sure ‘excuse’ and ‘aggression’ should ever be in the same sentence. The Royal Opera House advises those attending to arrive 30 minutes before the performance begins and, as in most venues, provides 10 minute, 5 minute and 2 minute warnings until the start.  With all this information, it is not the ushers’ fault that someone is late. Equally, if you had secured a highly in demand La Scala ticket, one would assume you would ensure you arrived on time? With circumstances beyond our control such as the weather or traffic, it may not even be the latecomer’s fault, but that is still no reason for rudeness.

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Photograph: EPA

Furthermore, if opera goers are aware of this grace period, it runs the risk of not eliminating the problem but merely delays the problem five minutes later than before. On the other hand, as one commenter (ID2665677) on the article points out, the first 5 minutes are often taken up by the entrance of the orchestra and tuning up anyway so, in this case, where is the harm in allowing admissions during this time?

If the new measures do stop ushers from being made to feel uncomfortable then it has my blessing, it’s just sad that it is necessary.

What do you think? Tweet us your opinions @WildKatPR

 

(Written on December 18, 2014 )

Classical News

The Guardian

La Scala opera house introduces five-minute grace period for latecomers

Performances at Milan opera house to begin five minutes after scheduled time to stop spectators becoming angry with ushers

Sarah Connolly’s Christmas playlist

Mezzo Sarah Connolly shares her festive playlist, with a sublime selection of vocal music old and new

The Times

Blair Tindall on Mozart in the Jungle and the seamy side of orchestral music

For a jobbing classical musician the late 1970s and 1980s were lucrative, and hedonistic, recalls female oboist Blair Tindall. Now an all-star cast has brought her racy memoirs to the small screen

The Telegraph

Can this man save the arts in England?

Rupert Christiansen welcomes Darren Henley, the new chief executive of Arts Council England

International Arts Manager

EU explores potential of science and culture in international relations

The European Union has launched a new €25m grant for research into cultural and scientific diplomacy.

KlassikAkzente

Willkommen 2015 mit Katherine Jenkins im ZDF – Ein wohlklingender Start ins neue Jahr

Zum Ende eines Jahres schaut man zurück – und gleichzeitig macht sich schon eine gespannte Erwartung auf das neue Jahr breit.

Pizzicato

‘Teatro Real’ spart und erwartet trotzdem Überschuss für 2015

Das ‘Teatro Real’ in Madrid hat für 2015 ein Sparbudget vorgelegt, das den von 53 % (2009) auf 30 % (2015) gesunkenen öffentlichen Subventionen Rechnung trägt.

KulturPort.De

Sponsoring bei Jazz-Festival bricht ein

„Viele Festival- und Konzert-Veranstalter, insbesondere aus der Jazz-Szene, stehen im nächsten Jahr vor großen Herausforderungen.

Musik Heute

Düsseldorfer Symphoniker spenden an action medeor

Die Düsseldorfer Symphoniker haben über 30.000 Euro an das Medikamentenhilfswerk action medeor gespendet.

Codex Flores

Musizierende Jugendliche haben bessere Bildungschancen

Jugendliche, die schon in jungen Jahren Musikunterricht hatten, haben bessere Schulnoten als andere.

The New York Times

$58 Million Is Sought for Theater

Second Stage in Push for Money to Buy Helen Hayes

Twitter

CBSO ‏@TheCBSO : You can see some amazing photographs of our visit to Abu Dhabi over on our Facebook page: http://on.fb.me/1wOr8Cj

Music & Opera ‏@MusicOpera: #EvelynHerlitzius is Katerina in the new @deutsche_oper Berlin’s Lady Macbeth (from 25/1) ! http://bit.ly/1AK16jX 

Philharmonic Society ‏@RoyalPhilSoc : Come on twitter! Help us put instruments round the tree 4 young musicians. Think of the look on their little faces.. http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/young_musicians/christmas …

Katherine-Jenkins

Photograph: © Decca / Chloe Mallett

(Written on December 18, 2014 )

Classical News

Classical Music Magazine

Abigail Pogson appointed to manage Sage Gateshead

Spitalfields Music chief executive Abigail Pogson is to become managing director of Sage Gateshead in May, taking over from Anthony Sargent.

The Guardian

WNO puts opera’s ‘invisible people’ on stage

Welsh National Opera performing project puts the spotlight on the stagehands

The Times

Parents dig deep to fund piano lessons

Parents are spending more on music lessons than any other out-of-school activity, according to a study.

The Independent

Tristan and Isolde: Should an opera production be changed if audiences dislike it?

The Royal Opera’s ‘Tristan and Isolde’ alienated audiences with its high wall on stage. Now it has been changed. Thank goodness opera directors do listen sometimes, says Jessica Duchen

The Telegraph

The 10 best pieces of Christmas classical music

Fed up of carols and mind-numbing festive hits? Ivan Hewett offers the best classical pieces for the season

Classic FM

Cellist banned from breastfeeding in dressing room at £1,000-a-year private members club

The Oriental Club in central London banned cellist Katherine Jenkinson from taking her 11-week old baby and a babysitter into her dressing room.

Musik Heute

Musikmesse Classical:NEXT 2015 öffnet Registrierung

Die vierte Ausgabe des internationalen Klassik-Meetings findet vom 20. bis 23. Mai 2015 im niederländischen Rotterdam statt.

Klassik.com

Neuer Vorschlag zu Kulturkürzungen in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

Die Landesregierung von Mecklenburg-Vorpommern hat den Kommunen im Osten des Bundeslandes einen neuen Vorschlag für Kürzungen in der Theaterlandschaft unterbreitet.

Montserrat Caballé widerspricht Spekulationen über Karriereende

Opern-Diva will “auf der Bühne sterben”

Codex Flores

Hat Baronin von Rothschild zwei Chopin-Stücke geschrieben?

Zwei erst im 20. Jahrhundert publizierte mutmassliche Chopin-Stücke, ein Nocturne in c-Moll und ein Walzer in a-Moll, sollen in Tat und Wahrheit Werke der Chopin-Schülerin Baronne Nathaniel de Rothschild sein.

El Mundo

El Teatro Real equilibra sus cuentas y espera ya superávit en 2015

El presupuesto para 2015 es de 43.659.192 euros y se prevé un superávit de 500.000 euros

Pizzicato

Big Gift For The Curtis Institute Of Music

The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia announces a combined $11.5 million in gifts from Board Chair Nina Baroness von Maltzahn, including a $10 million endowment gift to establish the Nina von Maltzahn President’s Chair held by Roberto Díaz.

Twitter:

BBC Music Magazine ‏@MusicMagazine: Radio 3 Christmas carol competition finalists announced: http://www.classical-music.com/news/radio-3-christmas-carol-competition-finalists-announced …

The Bridgewater Hall ‏@BridgewaterHall:  @GarethMalone pulls together a new Military Wives super-choir. First episode tonight on @BBCTwo at 9pm: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b04vkfft …

Music in the Round ‏@MusicintheRound:  We wish Beethoven a Happy Probably-His-Birthday! @HTimw @LeonoreInfo @elias_quartet @johnsuchet1

WNOPhotograph: Unheard Voices – CREW, WNO Photograph: WNO

(Written on December 16, 2014 )

Classical News

The Strad

UK’s Birmingham Conservatoire unveils plans for its new home

The facility is set to open in 2017

The Telegraph

First Canterbury Cathedral all-girl choir makes its Christmas concert debut

The first ever Canterbury Cathedral girls’ choir is to perform its debut Christmas concert after winning over doubters.

Injured violinist spent 10 years playing music in her head

The virtuoso Kyung Wha Chung, who lost the use of her finger in 2005, will play her first London concert in a decade at the Royal Festival Hall in December

The Guardian

In defence of the viola

The viola was the instrument of choice for Mozart, Haydn, Bach, Dvorák and Beethoven; Jimi Hendrix and John Cale both played it; violinists turn to it to improve technique. So why is the viola the butt of jokes?

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Große Oper in der Wüste von Oman

Der Sultan von Oman hat seinen Untertanen ein Opernhaus geschenkt.

Die Welt

Hauptsache, es ist deutsche Wertarbeit

In China hat die Klassik noch eine Zukunft: Mit Richard Strauss wirbt das Musikfestival in Peking für den Westen.

Spiegel Online

Berliner Ensemble: Oliver Reese wird Nachfolger von Claus Peymann

Der bekannteste deutsche Theatermacher tritt ab: Claus Peymann verlässt das Berliner Ensemble.

Codex Flores

Bartoli bleibt in Salzburg bis 2012 Pfingstfestspielleiterin

Cecilia Bartoli hat ihren Vertrag als Künstlerische Leiterin der Salzburger Pfingstfestspiele bis 2021 verlängert.

Pizzicato

World Coral Day Takes Place December 7

The international choral event is meant to extol the values of solidarity, peace and understanding.

Twitter

ASMF Orchestra ‏@ASMForchestra: This Wednesday @WithJohnHurt performs with @ASMForchestra ………. in a shop window?!?! http://bit.ly/1FHlwLS 

London Sinfonietta ‏@Ldn_Sinfonietta: Check out our trailer for Birtwistle’s birthday celebration: http://vimeo.com/112900015  #birtwistlebirthday

ArtsProfessional ‏@ArtsPro: MbroCouncil spent £28.28 per head on culture & heritage. What did your council spend? http://bit.ly/1tDc45B  (pdf)

Canterbury Cathedral Girls ChoirMembers of the Canterbury Cathedral Girls Choir rehearse for their first Christmas concert at Canterbury Cathedral Photo: Gareth Fuller/PA

(Written on December 1, 2014 )

In just under three weeks, the UK’s premiere symphony orchestra for children will take to the stage at one of London’s most prestigious venues for their Winter Concert.

The National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain’s Main Orchestra and Under 13 Orchestra will both perform challenging works, demonstrating their impressive musical talents and outstanding professionalism.

Principal Music Director of the NCO, Roger Clarkson, will conduct the Under 13 Orchestra who will perform Walton’s Spitfire Prelude and Fugue, Grofé’s ‘Sunrise’ and ‘On The Trail’ from Grand Canyon Suite, as well as works by Tchaikovsky.

The NCO’s Main Orchestra will perform Holst’s The Perfect Fool, Bernstein’s West Side Story – Symphonic Dances and Moncayo’s Huapango, with guest conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa.

Come along on 7th December 2014 to Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall at 7:30pm to be inspired by the NCO. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the website here.

NCO photo 2 (Alex von Koettlitz)

(Written on November 18, 2014 )

WildKat PR are happy to announce the return of The Berkeley Ensemble to the client roster. The Berkeley Ensemble, a collective of Southbank Sinfonia musicians formed in 2008, have partnered with Resonus Classics to provide an excellent opportunity for composers in Britain. Known for their inspiring performances of British chamber music, their latest competition encourages composers to explore the legacy of the early twentieth-century philanthropist, Walter Willson Cobbett. Cobbett supported the British school of chamber composition, paving the way for Bridge and Turnage to name a few.

The prize of a £500 commission will be awarded to a composer who produces a work that is scored for any combination of instruments drawn from 2 violins, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn, bassoon and piano. The composition must be a self-contained movement, that is 8 to 12 minutes in duration. The work must be totally original, having never been performed in public or submitted for another competition.

Up to 16 entrants will be selected to participate in the semi-final masterclass on either 26th October or 9th November. Following this a maximum of 6 works will be performed in front of a panel at the New Cobbett Prize Grand Final at The Forge on Wednesday 10th December 2014. The winners and runners up will have their work recorded for commercial release by the Berkeley Ensemble on the Resonus Classics label in 2015.

As well as the competition, the Berkeley Ensemble will be performing in concerts inspired by Cobbett’s legacy and also supporting a series of composition masterclasses lead by Michael Berkeley and other leading British composers. The details of these concerts are listed below.

Please send entries to Berkeley Ensemble New Cobbett Prize, 36 Durban Road, London SE27 9RP. They must arrive by the 1st September 2014.

To enter the competition you must be 35 or under, a resident in the UK and not currently contracted to a publisher. All entries will be assessed anonymously. For more details and terms of the competition please see the website.

 

Cobbett’s Legacy I: In the shadow of Brahms

16 September 2014- 7:30pm- The Forge.

Tickets £12 (£10)

 

Cobbett’s Legacy II: Towards an English music

26 October 2014- 11:00am2:00pm- The Forge

Tickets £12 (£10) (to include tea/coffee)

 

Composition masterclass: 2pm – 5pm

Free entry to the masterclass with a ticket to the morning concert.

£3 entry for masterclass only

 

Cobbett’s Legacy III: Modern Britain

9 November 2014- 11:00am-2:00pm- The Forge

Tickets £12 (£10) (to include tea/coffee)

 

Composition masterclass: 2pm – 5pm

Free entry to the masterclass with a ticket to the morning concert.

£3 entry for masterclass only

 

New Cobbett Prize Grand Final

10 December 2014- The Forge

 

Louise Mather

Louise Mather

 

 

 

(Written on August 22, 2014 )