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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 )

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.

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(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’.

Guardian 

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.

Classical-Music.com

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.

Klassik.com

Teatro Petruzelli in Bari sagt aus Geldmangel Produktionen ab

Viertgrößtes Opernhaus Italiens in finanziellen Nöten

Concerti.de

Porträt Christina Pluhar

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

Telerama.fr

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.

 

Twitter

ClassicFM: @ClassicFM It’s #InternationalLeftHandersDay so I’m playing 3 pieces with left handed connections right now http://www.classicfm.com/discover/music/left-handed-classical-musicians/ @johnsuchet1

The Guardian: @guardian Universities plug gap as government fails to support poorer students:  http://gu.com/p/4vyxv

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 >> http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/whatson/festivals-series/web-we-want …

 

 

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 )

Classical News

The Guardian

New York’s Metropolitan Opera lives to sing another day

Finally there may be a solution to the on-going Met Opera saga as they rope in an independent financial expert to impartially mediate between general manager and unions, and examine the situation thoroughly.

The Wall Street Journal

Metropolitan Opera Forecasts ‘Significantly Larger’ Deficit This Year

The Metropolitan Opera expects its deficit for the fiscal year to be “significantly larger”

The Guardian

Edinburgh festival director ends programme with work of his own

Jonathan Mills, director of the Edinburgh International Festival for the past eight years, will have one of his own works performed in this year’s festival. It will end his stint in charge of the festival.

The Telegraph

BBC Philharmonic to perform with Culture Club

As part of the ‘BBC Philharmonic Presents…. 2014’ line up, artists such as Culture Club and Clean Bandit will perform with the orchestra in radio broadcasts. These concerts are intended to ‘broaden the appeal of orchestral music’.

Health24 (via Musical Chairs)

Both pop and classical musos risk deafness

It turns out that those scathing looks to noisy brass players and  piccolos were well deserved, as this article suggests that professional musicians are 57% more likely to develop tinnitus and four times more likely to suffer from deafness than the general public.

Der Tagesspiegel

Staatsbibliothek Berlin bekommt Nachlass von Fischer-Dieskau

Zwei Jahre nach dem Tod von Star-Bariton Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau hat die Berliner Staatsbibliothek seinen Nachlass geschenkt bekommen – darunter ein von Schönberg und Barenboim signierter Konzertflügel.

Klassikakzente.de

Überwältigende Vielfalt – Schlüsselwerke des 20. Jahrhunderts in der Serie 20c

Die Klassik-Serie 20c gibt mit den zehn neuen Folgen ihrer aktuellen Staffel Einblick in die Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts

Berliner Zeitung

Ein neues Porträt von Johann Sebastian Bach

Das Bachhaus Eisenach befasst sich in einer Ausstellung mit Johann Sebastian Bachs Zahlenmystik und zeigt sein neu angeschafftes Porträt – mit 14 Knöpfen.  

Classicalite.com

Lawrence A. Johnson on the American Music Project and Its First Commission: ‘Piano Quintet’ by Composer Amy Wurtz

Writer and music critic Lawrence A. Johnson recently launched the American Music Project (AMP), a nonprofit foundation that supports performances of existing works of American classical music

 

Twitter

Opera North: @Opera_North Interesting reading – @tomservice on whether the instant access of digital streaming suits classical music http://www.theguardian.com/music/tomserviceblog/2014/aug/06/classical-music-recording-industry-paul-morley … @guardian

Les Pratt: @bonaomi1 @BBCPhilharmonic The first @ManchesterPride chamber music concert is tonight at 8pm @Chethams. Come along for some for some glorious music

Sage Gateshead: @sage_gateshead We’ve checked the place for cat burglars as – tonight! Your chance hear a £1m violin! http://bit.ly/1pYOKxR Tickets: http://www.sagegateshead.com/event/fyo14-nyo-of-gb/ …

Lancaster Jazz Fest: @LancasterJazz A massive huge thanks to @PRSFoundation who are funding our youth artists. Mega pleased #fundedbyPRSF

 

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera

 

(Written on August 7, 2014 )

Classical News

The Telegraph

Julian Lloyd Webber: the majority of music competitions are corrupt

Having retired earlier this year Julian Lloyd Webber returns to the news ahead of a talk at Birmingham City University, where he will advise students that when it comes to talent competitions it is not what you know but who you know. 

 

The Guardian

How we made the Live/Revive/Lament opera performance app

Silent Opera’s latest show includes your mobile phone as one of the cast, encouraging you to use their app to delve deeper into the performance.

 

The Guardian

Both Israelis and Palestinians are losers in this conflict

Conductor and co-founder of the West Eastern Divan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim,  covers his perspective on the on-going conflict. The West-Eastern Divan Orchestra will be performing at the BBC Proms.

 

Classicalite

Peter Gelb of Metropolitan Opera to Union Workers: Prepare for LockoutPeter Gelb, the Metropolitan Opera’s general manager, warned that a lockout of union workers is imminent if the opera house’s singers, orchestra members, stagehands and other employees cannot reach a labor agreement with management by next week.

 

Die Zeit

Frank Castorf will vielleicht die Bayreuther Festspiele verklagen.

 

Die Welt 

“Es gibt keine militärische Lösung”

Der Dirigent Daniel Barenboim hat einen israelischen und einen palästinensischen Pass. Hier schreibt er, warum gerade Hoffnungslosigkeit der Situation einen Ausweg aus dem Konflikt weisen könnte.

 

Berliner Zeitung
Deutschlands einzige feste Kino-Organistin

Anna Vavilkina begleitet im Babylon am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz die Stummfilme. Mit Dutzenden von Registern und Effekten für Regen und Brandung. Sie ist Deutschlands einzige Kino-Organistin in Festanstellung.

 

Le Figaro

Le Festival de Salzbourg s’ouvre sur fond de tracas financiers

Dimanche s’ouvrira en Autriche l’un des rendez-vous musicaux les plus prestigieux du monde. Pourtant, dans la ville natale de Mozart, la mauvaise gestion financière et les querelles internes menacent la bonne tenue de cette 94e édition.

 

 

Twitter

NPR Classical@nprclassical The clock is ticking for the Metropolitan Opera… Labor strife may trigger a shut down next week. http://n.pr/1pglmWd

 

Tasmin @tasminlittle Tonight, tonight, TONIGHT!!! @bbcproms @BBCPhilharmonic #VeryExcited

 

Glyndebourne @glyndebourne A bit late to the party, you can now follow us on Instagram http://instagram.com/glyndebourne 

 

Barbican @barbicancentre One day to go to #walthamstowgardenparty have you planned your visit yet? http://ow.ly/zx1Jn 

 

Classic FM @classicFM Very soon I’ll be giving you a final chance to play to win an amazing musical trip to Europe to see Royal Concertgebouw Orch. @johnsuchet1

 

 

 

Photo: Rex Features

Photo: Rex Features

(Written on July 25, 2014 )

Classical News

The Telegraph

Audience ejects crowd-surfer from classical concert

Scientist is thrown out of “accessible and informal” classical concert by fellow audience members after attempting to crowd-surf.

Classic FM

London Philharmonic Orchestra to star in Wimbledon advert

Musicians will star in an advert for ESPN, promoting Wimbledon 2014 – and met Rafael Nadal on court!

Classic FM

$10million Stradivarius violin fails to sell at auction

An antique violin hidden in a wardrobe for 25 years was expected to sell for an eight-figure sum this week – but failed to reach the reserve price.

The Guardian

Soprano Tamar Iveri released by Opera Australia for anti-gay comments

Public angry after posting on the Georgian singer’s Facebook page appears to describe gay people as ‘faecal masses’.

The Guardian

Orchestral manoeuvres in the car park

Level seven of a multi-storey car park in southeast London isn’t where you’d expect to hear Sibelius’s Fifth Symphony. Nonetheless, that’s where the Multi-Story orchestra are performing. Founders Kate Whitley and Christopher Stark explain how it works.

The Telegraph

Let’s honour the Great American Songbook

Children should be introduced to those classics sung by the likes of Frank Sinatra.

The New York Times

Lee Hyla, 61, Who Mixed Rock and Jazz Into Classical Works, dies

Lee Hyla, an American composer whose work married the formal rigor of classical music with the driving energy of rock and the improvisational abandon of jazz, died on June 6 in Chicago. He was 61.

Iowa Public Radio

Is Parity Time Here for the Classical Violin?

Have women achieved parity in the violin profession?

Die Welt

Nachhaltiges Beben

Um seine Klassikszene wird München beneidet. Jetzt sorgen unglückliche Zufälle wie der Rücktritt von Lorin Maazel bei den Philharmonikern und der Streit um die Klassikwelle B4 für Verwerfungen.

Der Tagesspiegel

Festival Young Euro Classic: Die Welt zu Gast in Berlin

In diesem Jahr wird “Young Euro Classic” zweigeteilt: Ende Juni sind die Jugendorchester im der Philharmonie zu erleben, im August dann im Admiralspalast. Und auch das Programm ist 2014 außergewöhnlich.

musik heute

Über 65.000 Besucher beim Bachfest Leipzig

Mehr als 65.000 Menschen haben das Bachfest Leipzig besucht. Die Gäste aus 32 Nationen erlebten 107 weitgehend ausverkaufte Veranstaltungen, teilten die Veranstalter am Sonntag mit. Im Mittelpunkt des Musikfestivals stand der zweitälteste Bach-Sohn Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, von dem allein 56 Werke aufgeführt wurden.

concerti

Festivalguide: Horizont-Erweiterungen

Ein besonderer Ort, fern des Konzertalltags: Die Sommerlichen Musiktage Hitzacker leben den Festivalgeist in Reinkultur.

El Mundo

Las ‘Cuatro estaciones’ en ‘remix’

Max Richter explica cómo se rehace una de las piezas más conocidas del repertorio clásico según los parámetros de la música electrónica.

Twitter

Telegraph Classical: ‏@TeleClassical  People diary: Opera anger over ‘anti-Semitic’ claim http://tgr.ph/1ntGN2d 

Musical America: ‏@MusicalAmerica Charleston Symphony Taps Music Director http://buff.ly/1lRgAcB  

Bristol_Old_Vic_BJ_2949054b

The Bristol Old Vic

Photograph: Alamy

(Written on June 23, 2014 )

Booking for the 2014 BBC Proms opens tomorrow and like a lot of you, we’ve already budgeted well over a month’s rent for tickets. But we thought we’d each try and narrow it down to just one totally unmissable Prom. It was tough, and amazingly none of our picks were duplicates.

Our highlights include Prom 5 with the Tonhalle Orchestra and Julia Fischer; Prom 22 – the War Horse Prom; Prom 26 with the EUYO under Semyon Bychkov; Prom 48  - Jonathan Biss with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra; The Budapest Festival Orchestra in Prom 52; Marin Alsop’s return for Prom 63 after her triumphant appearance at the LNOTP last summer, and the Orkney inspired Prom 70.

Check out our reasons why on our Pinterest board, and tell us which Proms you won’t be missing.

BBC Proms 2014

(Written on May 16, 2014 )

Twinsburg Bulletin

Orchestra may face uphill battle attracting youth

Parker Perry on the difficulties of attracting young people to classical music performances

San Fransisco CBS Local

Community Rallies To Save Peninsula Symphony After Embezzlement

San Mateo – The Peninsula Symphony is making music again, thanks to the generosity of members and supporters who rallied to raise money for the volunteer organization after an embezzler emptied the orchestra’s bank accounts.

New York Times

Robert Ashley, Opera Composer Who Painted Outside the Lines, Dies at 83

Robert Ashley, an American composer who helped wrestle opera into the 20th century, and in so doing broadened the genre in strange, unexpected ways, died on Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 83.

Blog TO

Why the TTC is playing classical music in the subway

‘Nefarious youths’ pacified by classical music

Classical Music Magazine

Analysis: What is the Arts Council’s This England report all about?

Arts Council England has published its response to the independent report Rebalancing our Cultural Capital, which last autumn showed how arts subsidy is heavily weighted in favour of London and against the regions (with 90% of government arts funding going to the capital).

Digital Music News

Music Sales in Germany Rise for the First Time in 15 Years…

Time and time again, we’ve heard about countries with declining music sales, largely due to declines in physical sales not being offset by increases in streaming revenue.  Germany now joins nations like Sweden and Norway in breaking that trend.

Die Welt

Der Schönheit weihte sie ihr Leben

Kiri Te Kanawa war die erste Māori, die als Opernsängerin Weltkarriere machte. Ihr weicher, cremiger Sopran wurde besonders von älteren Dirigenten geliebt. Heute wird sie 70 Jahre alt.
Digital Music News

Digital Music News

(Written on March 7, 2014 )

The Telegraph

Bullies almost forced me to quit Royal College of Music, says soprano Laura Wright

Soprano Laura Wright said she was bullied by students at the Royal College of Music who accused her of dumbing down classical music and almost forced her to leave

Know

Listen Like a Pro: Secrets from Classical Music Judges

At the Menuhin Competition, the pre-eminent international competition for young violinists being held at UT this week, technical excellence is expected; it’s a given for the field of 42 contestants from around the world.

Classic FM Online

Megadeth’s Dave Mustaine on classical music: “It’s made me a better player”

Dave Mustaine of Megadeth explains his love of classical music ahead of his concert with the San Diego Symphony, where he’ll be performing works by Vivaldi and Bach on his very own specially modified electric guitar.

Guardian Liberty Voice

Blind Boone: African American Pianist of Classical Music and Ragtime

The inability to see did not prevent “Blind” Boone from becoming a nationally known concert pianist whose performances combined classical music and ragtime.

Gulf News

Classical music greats to gather in Dubai again

Season three of the monthly Emirates NBD Classics concert series is back this week

Limelight Magazine

Slava Grigoryan pays tribute to Paco de Lucía

Adelaide’s Guitar Festival chief writes on the passing of an inspiration

Guardian Liberty Voice

Guardian Liberty Voice

(Written on February 27, 2014 )

This week cellist and pianist David Finckel and Wu Han have been in Europe. The weekend saw a concert in Berlin where the “Power Couple” performed at Kammermusiksaal Berliner Philharmonie on Sunday 16th. Repertoire was the complete cello Sonatas, and the concert was a fantastic event for all who attended.

Live on BBC Radio 3 In Tune on Monday, Sean Rafferty introduced the Chopin piece that David and Wu Han played together on air (Largo from the Chopin cello sonata in G minor) as the first piece that David and Wu Han played together. Professional musicians to the core, the duo performed a beautiful, sensitive and technically perfect rendition of the piece despite having only flown in from Berlin the night before speaking and performing on BBC Radio 3 In Tune.

“Who’s running chamber music in New York while you’re away then?” A playful question from Sean Rafferty, however with some truth in the joke. The Lincoln Centre is the core of American chamber music and is largest performing arts complex in America. As joint artistic directors of The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, David remarked that it is their “duty to represent chamber music”. Alongside this, David and Wu Han discussed the opportunities that Radio opened up for them over seas and the acheivements that followed in their careers, long days, a love for music, and exceeding their own expectations of what they would achieve for themselves as musicians.

A fascinating, hardworking and very musically gifted pair, it is worth having a listen to the show. You can listen again to their performance and discussion on BBC Radio 3 In Tune  and catch them live at Wigmore Hall on 14th April with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

 

(Written on February 21, 2014 )