Posts Tagged ‘creative PR’
« Back to E-News

What happened in this week’s #ClassicalNews?

Classical Grammy nominations announced

The 2018 Grammy nominations have been announced, with several string performances among the classical contenders.

Laurie Anderson and the Kronos Quartet were nominated in the Best Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance category for their album Landfall, a elegiac cycle of songs that show how human memory can be stronger than catastrophe.

It competes with the Aizuri Quartet’s debut album Blueprinting, featuring five contemporary American composers; the Danish String Quartet’s album of Beethoven, Shostakovich and Bach; and Visions and Variations, an album of works by Britten, Prokofiev and the contemporary composer Ethan Wood performed by the American chamber orchestra A Far Cry.

Christina Day Martinson has been nominated in the Best Classical Instrumental Solo category for her recording of Biber’s Mystery Sonatas. She is in good company with Joshua Bell, who has been nominated for his recording of two Bruch works: the Scottish Fantasy and the Violin Concerto No 1.

The composer Missy Mazzoli is a contender for the Best Contemporary Classical Composition award, with her violinistic twist on the traditional late afternoon prayer service, the Vespers, as featured in a new video by director James Darrah.

Meanwhile, the recording of Aaron Kernis’s new Violin Concerto, featuring James Ehnes, has been nominated twice: in the Best Contemporary Classical Composition and Best Classical Instrumental Solo categories.

[via The Strad] 

Jörg Widmann und Jonas Kaufmann erhalten Maximiliansorden

Jörg Widmann and Jonas Kaufmann receive Maximilian Order

Der Komponist und Klarinettist Jörg Widmann und Tenor Jonas Kaufmann bekommen am kommenden Montag, 17. Dezember, in München den Bayerischen Maximiliansorden. Ministerpräsident Markus Söder (CSU) verleiht die Auszeichnung an insgesamt sechs Persönlichkeiten aus Wissenschaft und Kunst, wie die Staatskanzlei am Dienstag, 11. Dezember, in München mitteilte. Der Maximiliansorden gilt als höchste Auszeichnung des Freistaats auf dem Gebiet der Kunst. Mit der Verleihung verbunden ist auch die Zugehörigkeit zu einer Ordensgemeinschaft, die sich jährlich trifft.

Composer and clarinettist Jörg Widmann and tenor Jonas Kaufmann will receive the Bavarian Maximilian Order in Munich on Monday 17 December for their artistic achievements. Prime Minister Markus Söder (CSU) presents the award to a total of six personalities from science and the arts, as the State Chancellery announced on Tuesday, December 11, in Munich. The Maximilian Order is considered the highest honor of the state in the field of art.

[via SWR]

Saving Stradivari’s forests: effort to harvest precious tonewoods felled in storms

A factory in the Fiemme valley has launched a crowdfunding effort to enable it to quadruple its processing capacity before the wood deteriorates.

Storms in northern Italy in October flattened large portions of Alpine forest, including in the Fiemme valley and Paneveggio national park, where Stradivari selected spruce for the tops of his instruments.

The forests, where conditions favour the growth of spruce with a very tight and straight grain, still provide a great deal of tonewood for the manufacture of violins, guitars and piano soundboards. The nutrient-poor soil and cold winters promote a very slow growth, and trees suitable for tonewood tend to be 150-250 years old.

A local tonewood factory, Ciresa, is now grappling with the problem of an oversupply of felled trees which will begin to deteriorate as the months wear on.

Ciresa has now launched a crowdfunding initiative to enable it to make the necessary investment. It is offering two options: luthiers and existing customers can deposit an amount as advance payment on future orders; music lovers and anyone else concerned about 200-year-old tonewoods ending up as firewood, can simply make a cash deposit which Ciresa will refund within three years.

Ciresa will issue a receipt and a violin-shaped keepsake made out of Fiemme spruce. The company will offer the IOUs in three tiers:

  • Save a small log of Stradivarius’ tone wood: €80
  • Save a big log of Stradivarius’ tone wood: €150
  • Save a tree of Stradivarius’ tone wood : €300

[via The Strad]

(Written on December 14, 2018 )

Bundesverband Musikindustrie criticises YouTube campaign against Article 13

Germany’s music industry association BVMI criticizes the YouTube campaign against Article 13 of the planned EU copyright reform. 

“The current version of Article 13 is the result of intense dispute. In recent years, all stakeholders have had their say and have been heard. YouTube suddenly reacting in the final stages and spreadig panic gives the impression that the company is not really ready to take responsibility”, says Florian Drücke, chairman of the BVMI.


BBC newsreader Richard Baker dies aged 93

Richard Baker, who introduced the first BBC television news bulletin in 1954 and became a leading news presenter, has died at the age of 93.

Known for his rich, deep tones and calm, avuncular manner, Baker was closely associated for many years with the BBC’s classical music coverage. He presented the annual Last Night of the Proms and hosted programmes on Radio 2 and Radio 4, beginning his broadcasting career in 1950 on the Third Programme, later to become Radio 3.

The BBC director general, Tony Hall, said Baker was “at the forefront of the creation of the modern news presenter”. He said: “Later, he became a great advocate for classical music, presenting many much-loved programmes. But more than that, he was quite simply a lovely and charming man. Our sympathies are with his many friends and family.”

[The Guardian]

Bells ring for climate change

Church bells will be chimed across Europe in the first week of December to protest climate change, coinciding with World Climate Day and the Climate Change conference in Katowice, Poland.

Turmglockenspiele are the loudest and furthest sounding musical instruments in Germany. An initiative wants to use them to encourage people to tackle climate change.

World Climate Day this year coincides with the start of the World Climate Change Conference in Katowice, Poland, on December 3. Protesters are expected to ring bell chimes (Carillons) throughout Germany. The occasion is the demonstration of environmental protection associations under the motto “Stop coal! Climate protection now!” in front of the Chancellery, as part of the  Klimaglocken 2018  initiative on Wednesday, 21. November, announced in Berlin. The same melody will be played everywhere, and it comes from the 96-year-old German composer Klaus Wüsthoff, whose idea for the “climate bell” was already implemented last year.


Levine Andrade, founding member of the Arditti Quartt, has died

The Indian-born British violinist, violist, conductor and composer Levine Andrade died this morning, aged 64. He had been unwell for some time and was taken into hospital on Monday night, where he spent the next few hours with family.

Andrade, who was tutored by Yehudi Menuhin at the legendary violinist’s school and continued his training at the Royal Academy of Music, was well known in the field of contemporary music. He was a founder member of the Arditti Quartet, with whom he played for 16 years, before retiring in 1990 to spend more time with his violinist wife Frances and their children.

Andrade leaves behind four children, Joshua, Olly, Jacob and Lola, and three grandchildren. The family has set up a fund to help with funeral costs and to place in trust for Lola Andrade, who is just 15.

[The Strad]

The Vienna State Opera receives the Tourism Prize by the Vienna Economic Chamber

Die Wiener Staatsoper wurde von der Wirtschaftskammer Wien mit dem jährlich vergebenen Tourismuspreis geehrt. Laudatorin Elisabeth Gürtler betonte in ihrer Ansprache, die Staatsoper sei ein wesentlicher Anziehungspunkt für den Qualitätstourismus in dieser Stadt und sorge für einen großen ökonomischen Effekt mit über 600.000 Opernbesuchern pro Jahr.

The Vienna State Opera was awarded the annual Tourism Prize by the Vienna Economic Chamber. In her speech, laudator Elisabeth Gürtler emphasised that the State Opera was a key attraction for quality tourism in this city and ensured a great economic return with over 600,000 opera visitors a year. The award was accepted by Opera Director Dominique Meyer.

[Pizzicato Magazine]

(Written on November 23, 2018 )

What happened in this week’s Classical News? 

Poorer children in UK priced out of learning to play musical instruments, report warns

‘To deny people who cannot afford music lessons the possibility of trying is criminal’ – David Arnold, composer

Poorer families in the UK are at risk of under-representation in the music industry as children are being priced out of learning to play musical instruments, a new report suggests.


Families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, earning less than £28,000, are half as likely (19 per cent) to have a child learning an instrument than families who earn at least £48,000 (40 per cent).

 The figures from the Musicians’ Union (MU) also show that more than two in five (41 per cent) of those from low-income families say instrumental music lessons are beyond their household budgets.

Global Royalty Collections Hit Record High

Global royalty collections for creators of music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature rose to a record high of €9.6bn (£8.4bn) in 2017, according to the CISAC Global Collections Report 2018.

Global royalties from digital income topped the €1bn mark for the first time (£761.6m), with a 24 percent increase in 2017.

Figures over five years also show that digital royalty collections have nearly tripled (up 166 percent), boosted by the streaming boom and video streaming services.

Across all regions, Europe led the way in 2017, with $4.9m (£3.7m) in collections, up 5.2 percent.

The UK is the third largest collecting country in Europe, with annual growth in 2017 up 4.9 percent. It follows Germany in second place (up 13.9 percent) and France as the largest collecting country in Europe (up 2.6 percent).

Music for Youth Proms get underway

The Music for Youth (MFY) Proms at the Royal Albert Hall are the apex of the national music charity’s entire annual season. The performances ran from Monday 5th until Wednesday 7th November.

Across three nights, a thousand young musicians from across the country took to the stage, showcasing full-scale orchestral pieces, jazz arrangements, chamber works, rock and choir performances.

Founded in 1970, Music for Youth (MFY) is a national youth music charity that provides free opportunities for over 60,000 young people aged 21 and under to both perform and experience live music, through a season of nationwide festivals, concerts and projects.

Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and EUYO commemorate the Armistice

Conductor Andrew Manze united forces from Hannover and Liverpool for two special performances of Benjamin Britten‘s War Requiem.  The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) joined the NDR Radiophilharmonie Orchestra and the Knabenchor Hannover Choir for the performances on the 3rd and 10th November.

Both Liverpool and Hannover are UNESCO Cities of Music, and both were hugely affected by the war: over 90% of Hannover city centre was destroyed by bombing, and more than 12,000 soldiers from Liverpool signed up to fight the war at sea.

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) will also commemorate the Armistice, performing with chief conductor Vasily Petrenko beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris during a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of World War One.

The event is organised by the French government, and will be attended by many world leaders. The orchestra will perform Ravel’s Bolero, and works by Yo-Yo Ma and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo.

(Written on November 9, 2018 )


We are looking for a Junior Account Manager to join WildKat PR in London!


Do you think you would be suitable for this position? Have a read through our job description below.

WildKat PR

WildKat is a creative agency for culture and music. We offer PR, marketing, branding, social media and event management for institutions and artists. We are the only performing arts agency working internationally, with offices in London, Berlin and New York.



Job Description

WildKat PR is offering an exciting opportunity to join our London team. Working with the Founder, Director of the London Office and Account Managers, you will learn how to develop and execute creative PR campaigns across the classical music and cultural industries in order to generate coverage and publicity for our clients.

Key Duties

As a Junior Account Manager:

  • To assist the Account Managers with their set of clients, working with them in securing press, attracting new audiences, helping to improve their brand, organising events
  • To think creatively about how you (and your colleagues) approach campaigns. You will be asked to continually make new connections and approach your work in innovative ways. You will be expected to challenge how we, and the industry, are doing things
  • To integrate digital media into campaigns. This means exploring new technology and developing ways to include it in client campaigns
  • To take a leading role in the development and execution of unique, creative campaigns to promote your clients and the company
  • To write copy in relation to clients’ needs, including: fact sheets, bios, blogposts, newsletters, brochures
  • To liaise with journalists to generate and secure media coverage for clients
  • To organise client events, as needed. This includes: concerts, VIP receptions, industry networking events
  • To attend all relevant artists’ events (which regularly occur outside of office hours) including meetings and performances
  • To network within the industry to build your reputation and that of the company
  • To be willing to grow into a more senior role

Opportunities of working with WildKat PR:

  • Small, open plan office
  • Chance to do diverse things within the role and expand your skillset quickly
  • Gain wider industry experience, not just PR
  • Supportive colleagues and management welcoming your fresh ideas
  • Personalised creative skills training and coaching
  • Collaboration with mainstream brands and projects
  • Opportunities for travel
  • Sociable atmosphere
  • Staff benefits, which include annual ski trip, Friday drinks, office yoga, opportunity for sabbatical and 6 hour working days


Person Specification


  • Interest in classical music, culture, and the arts
  • A fast learner, able to absorb information quickly and confidently put it into practice
  • Ability to remain calm when working under pressure and to manage conflicting deadlines
  • Proven administrative and organisational skills
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Ability to take initiative and responsibility when working alone
  • Ability to work as part of a team
  • High degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • A strong interest in online media
  • Self-motivated
  • Good standard of computer literacy (Word, Excel, WordPress)

Desirable but not essential

  • 3-6 month internship in an arts PR organisation or similar experience
  • Experience in PR, marketing or social media

Salary: £20,000 per annum (plus opportunities for bonuses) for full-time role

We are open to receiving applicants looking for a part-time role as an Account Manager. Please ask Olivia Brown for more details on this.

WildKat PR is an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their ethnicity, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation, or age.

To apply, please send your CV and covering letter to with the subject title ‘WildKat Junior Account Manager application’ by 5pm on 16th November 2018.

(Written on November 5, 2018 )

What happened in this week’s #ClassicalNews?

Top industry names honoured in BBC Woman’s Hour power list

Beyoncé has been named music’s most powerful woman by BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour.

The superstar came first in a list of the industry’s 40 most influential women, thanks to her feminism, activism and empowering musical messages. Taylor Swift, Adele and Dua Lipa were also included on the power list, which was unveiled as part of BBC Music Day.

The top 40 didn’t just recognise big-sellers and global stars, making room for the unsung heroes who work behind the scenes to champion women.

Third place went to Vanessa Reed who, as CEO of the PRS Foundation, has persuaded more than 100 festivals to sign up to a 50:50 gender balance on their line-ups by 2022.

The top 10 also includes Marin Alsop, who became the first female conductor to lead the Last Night of the Proms in 2013, and Chi-chi Nwanoku, who founded Europe’s first professional majority black and minority ethnic orchestra, Chineke!

[via BBC]

UK Musicians’ Union calls for special touring visa for musicians post-Brexit

The Musicians’ Union (MU) in the UK is calling on the government to include provision for a touring visa for musicians in any Brexit plans.

‘Any EU touring visa must be affordable, multi-entry, admin-light and cover all EU member states,’ the organisation said in an announcement, coupled with a petition inviting signatures from ‘musicians, fans and all those who want to see music remain a viable career’.

The petition text notes that ‘Musicians, and other creative and cultural workers, are a distinct workforce with specific needs. Visa and customs rules post-Brexit need to account for that.’

[via the Strad]

The Met Is Creating New Operas (Including Its First by Women)

For the first time in its history, the Metropolitan Opera is commissioning operas by women. It is hoping to adapt beloved novels like “Lincoln in the Bardo” and “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.” And it will venture beyond the walls of its opera house to collaborate with the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Public Theater.

These are some of the plans that Yannick Nézet-Séguin, who just became the Met’s first new music director since 1976, is making with Peter Gelb, its general manager, as they try to woo broader audiences and turn the page on what has been difficult time for the company.

The company has asked Missy Mazzoli to write an opera based on George Saunders’s ghostly novel “Lincoln in the Bardo,” and is planning to stage Jeanine Tesori’s opera “Grounded,” based on the George Brant play about a fighter pilot sidelined by pregnancy who goes into drone warfare. They are the first two women commissioned to write operas for the Met, which has only performed two operas by female composers in its history: Kaija Saariaho’s “L’Amour de Loin” in 2016 and Ethel M. Smyth’s “Der Wald” in 1903, which were both written elsewhere.

[via The New York Times]

$2.5m Mellon Foundation grant launches Boston classical music initiative

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has awarded a $2.5 million grant to New England Conservatory, in consortium with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Youth Symphony Orchestras, the Community Music Center of Boston, and the string education program Project STEP, to launch the new Boston Bridge to Equity and Achievement in Music initiative.

The initiative is designed to fund the musical education of middle- and high-school-age classical musicians from historically underrepresented communities, creating individually tailored programs of study with the participating organizations to set them up for professional success.

[via Boston Globe]

(Written on September 28, 2018 )

Friday #ClassicalNews Round Up

US pianist Eric Lu wins top prize at Leeds competition

The 19th Leeds piano competition was won on Saturday night by Eric Lu, a 20-year-old from Boston in the United States, whose sparkling and supremely confident performance of Beethoven’s fourth piano concerto secured him the top place, and also the Hallé orchestra prize.

(via The Guardian)

Spitalfields Music launch their 2018 festival

Spitalfields Music Festival will open on the 1 December. 

The first event is an evening of Byrd held at the Tower of London.

The festival’s curator, conductor André de Ridder, said: ‘It’s a great honour to be able to share this festival line-up with you and to have had the opportunity to continue to develop our vision for a 21st-century music festival, with the Spitalfields Music family.’

The festival will feature performances by soprano Mary Bevan, lute player Liz Kenny, turntablist Shiva Feshareki, and Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry.

(via Rhinegold)

Brains of jazz and classical musicians work differently, study reveals

A study published by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences (MPI CBS) in January found that musicians who work in the two fields demonstrate substantially different brain activity, even when they’re playing the same music.

The research could help explain why musicians seem to excel in one or other style, and not usually in both.

Classical pianists tend to focus on the second step – the ‘how’. This means their focus is on technique and the personal expression they add to the piece.

Jazz pianists on the other hand focus on the ‘what’, meaning they are always prepared to improvise and adapt the notes they’re playing.

(via ClassicFM)

Oper Halle: Ariane Matiakh wird Generalmusikdirektorin

Die französische Dirigentin Ariane Matiakh wird neue Generalmusikdirektorin der Staatskapelle und der Oper Halle. Die 38-Jährige trete zur Spielzeit 2019/20 an, teilte die Theater, Oper und Orchester GmbH am Montag mit. Matiakh übernimmt die Nachfolge von Josep Caballé Domenech, dessen Vertrag in diesem Sommer nach fünf Jahren nicht verlängert wurde.

French conductor Ariane Matiakh is the new music director of the Staatskapelle and the Oper Halle. Her contract will begin from the 2019/20 season, announced the managing director of the Bühnen Halle on Monday. Matiakh succeeds Josep Caballé Domenech, whose contract was not renewed after five years.

(via musik-heute)

Belgian builds musical bridge across the Bosphorus

Belgian musician Tristan Driessens found his inspiration and his calling east of the Bosphorus, becoming one of the West’s few masters of the oud and of Ottoman classical music.

In an interview with AFP News, Driessens tells of how he is helping to build a musical bridge for others, working with refugees arriving from the east to help preserve and develop their musical culture in European exile.

(via Yahoo)

(Written on September 21, 2018 )

We are incredibly proud to announce that our founder, Kat Alder, has been shortlisted for the Arts and Culture category at the Women of the Future Awards 2018!

The Women of the Future Awards, founded by Pinky Lilani in 2006, were conceived to provide a platform for the pipeline of female talent in the UK. 

The Arts and Culture award acknowledges the creative forces of the future – rising stars among performing and visual artists and those behind the scenes.

Kat founded WildKat PR 10 years ago in 2008 and the agency has since gone from strength to strength, opening the Berlin office in 2014, with Paris set for 2019.

With this nomination Kat is following in impressive footsteps, with Emma Mooney from Northern Ballet taking the Arts and Culture prize last year. Last year’s nominees from other categories hail from such well-known brands and organisations as the English National Opera, the Bank of England and BT.

Another congratulations goes to Ella Marchment: opera director, founder of SWAP’ra, and a previous WildKat client. Ella co-founded SWAP’ra in response to a frustration with the unconscious gender bias in the industry and to provide a supportive platform to effect positive change for women and parents in opera.

The full list of this year’s nominees for the Arts and Culture award is as follows:

Kathleen Alder, WildKat PR
Leaf Arbuthnot, The Sunday Times
Joanna Ham, HAM
Ella Marchment, SWAP’ra

The awards ceremony will take place on Wednesday 14th November 2018 in London. Best of luck to all nominees!

(Written on September 20, 2018 )

Today’s Classical News Round-Up

Belgian builds musical bridge across the Bosphorus

Belgian musician Tristan Driessens found his inspiration and his calling east of the Bosphorus, becoming one of the West’s few masters of the oud and of Ottoman classical music.

In an interview with AFP News, Driessens tells of how he is helping to build a musical bridge for others, working with refugees arriving from the east to help preserve and develop their musical culture in European exile.

Driessens became artistic director of Refugees for Refugees, a group that brings together refugees who have fled to Belgium from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and as far as Tibet to play concerts and record new music together in Brussels.

A record, named “Amerli” after an Iraqi town besieged by the Islamic State jihadist group, was released in May 2016 by the world music educational association Muziekpublique.

Among the group are Dolma Renqingi, a Tibetan singer, Asad Qizilbash, a Pakistani who plays the sarod, another form of lute, Afghan troubador Aman Yusufi and “musicians who have such important experiences, as refugees and as human beings, in the realm of music”.

Classical pianist Hunter Noack reimagines the concert hall in the spectacular outdoors

In the cliffs and tall trees of northern Oregon, a place of spectacular beauty, the unexpected floats through the air – the elegant melody of classical music.

“My mom and I were just saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just have a piano and go anywhere?'” Hunter Noack said. So that’s what he did, traveling across the Pacific Northwest and introducing classical music to new audiences in some wild places.

He tows his nine-foot Steinway piano all over the state with a pickup truck and a flatbed trailer. With the help of a few friends, the flatbed becomes a stage.

Noack grew up hiking, fishing and hunting in Oregon. He left to follow his dreams – classical music training in the States and overseas. But he decided to come back to where he came from, leaving behind the grand concert halls for the grand outdoors and taking what he loves back to the place he calls home.

Noack said there are more distractions when playing outdoors, but he pointed to the upsides: “I love to just be able to close my eyes or between pieces, take a breath in, fresh air – I think it affects how I play”.

In this reimagined concert hall, Noack hopes to remove the normal barriers to classical music. There are free tickets, casual clothes, and the opposite of formal seating – like perching on a rock overlooking the stage. A third of his audience has never attended a classical music concert. But even those who have likely haven’t done it like this: wearing wireless headphones to encourage wandering.

“With the music in your headphones, the music becomes a soundtrack to your experience in the landscape,” Noack said. He’s winning over the classical skeptics.

“I said to my friend if she would have invited me to a classical music concert, I would have said ‘nahh’ but this was tremendous,” audience member Meg O’Brien said.

(via CBS) 

Marek Janowski Neuer Chefdirigent 

Die Dresdner Philharmonie bekommt zur Saison 2019/20 den Chef ihrer Wahl: Marek Janowski hat in Dresden seinen Vertrag als Chefdirigent unterschrieben. Damit gewinne die Philharmonie einen der führenden deutschen Dirigenten für das Repertoire des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, freut sich das Orchester. Marek Janowski löst Michael Sanderling ab.

Janowski wird das Orchester drei Spielzeiten leiten und dabei das Profil prägen und weiterentwickeln, so die Dresdner Philharmonie. Im Herbst vergangenen Jahres hatte der Orchestervorstand die Intendantin des Orchesters Frauke Roth sowie die Kulturbürgermeister Annekatrin Klepsch beauftragt, mit dem Wunschkandidaten Janowski zu verhandeln.

Janowski hat die Dresdner Philharmonie bereits von 2001 bis 2003 geleitet. Seine erste Amtszeit hatte er 2003 aus Ärger über das Hin und Her bei der Planung eines neuen Konzertsaals für Dresden vorzeitig beendet.

80-year-old Marek Janowski has signed his contract as Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic, after being voted in by the orchestra for the 2019/20 season.

He returns to the orchestra after having already conducted them from 2001 to 2003 and has now come back from his retirement to lead the Philharmonic for three seasons. 

(via BR-Klassik)

(Written on September 20, 2018 )

The 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments is a triumph in Warsaw

When it comes to the making of pianistic history, no venue worldwide has witnessed more than Warsaw’s Philharmonic Hall. The annals of the Chopin Competition read like a Who’s Who of pianism and have featured more big-name prize-winners – including Maurizio Pollini, Martha Argerich and Krystian Zimerman – than any other musical contest.

But the Chopin Competition is not resting on its laurels, or even laureates, and with the launch this month of the 1st International Chopin Competition on Period Instruments it has again produced Chopin playing of the highest order.

Award gala and concert after First International Chopin Piano Competition on period instruments. 14th September 2018, Warsaw, Poland
photo by Wojciech Grzedzinski/NIFC

This new event was hotly contested by 30 players from nine countries. The eventual winner was Poland’s Tomasz Ritter, second prize was shared between Naruhiko Kawaguchi (Japan) and Aleksandra Świgut (Poland), and third prize went to Krzysztof Książek, also of Poland.

The rules here required contestants to play some Bach in the first round, plus polonaises by Chopin’s Polish predecessors. Participants were also able to choose from a range of instruments of the sort Chopin would have known, not only Erards and Pleyels but pianos by the makers Buchholtz, Graf and Broadwood. This made the jury’s work tougher: unlike homogenised modern instruments, piano design in the 19th century was still evolving, and the instruments had far more individuality.

(via the Guardian)

Theater und Orchester mit sinkenden Besucherzahlen

Der Deutschen Bühnenverein, die Arbeitgebervereinigung der deutschen Theater und Orchester, hat die Theaterstatistik für die Saison 2016/17 veröffentlicht. In ihre sind die wichtigsten Wirtschaftsdaten der Theater und Orchester in Deutschland dokumentiert. Für die Statistik hatten rund 140 Staatstheater, Stadttheater und Landesbühnen, 128 Orchester, 210 Privattheater und 84 Festivals ihre Daten geteilt.

Bei öffentlich getragenen Organisationen stiegen die Zuschüsse um hundert Millionen Euro auf etwa 2,6 Milliarden Euro, was eine Erhöhung um 3,7 Prozent darstellt. Die Zahl der Vorstellungen ist dagegen von 67.257 auf insgesamt 65.794 Veranstaltungen zurückgegangen. Dies stellt einen Rückgang um 2,2 Prozent dar. Die Eigeneinnahmen der Orchester und Theater blieben dennoch mit rund 551 Millionen Euro stabil.

Die Besucherzahlen sind im betrachteten Zeitraum von 21 Millionen Interessierten um rund 500.000 auf 20,5 Millionen Zuschauer gesunken.

The German Stage Association has published the theatre statistics for the 2016/17 season.  About 140 state, city and national theatres, 128 orchestras, 210 private theatres and 84 festivals shared their data.

For publicly funded organisations, grants increased by one hundred million euros to some € 2.6 billion, an increase of 3.7 percent. By contrast, the number of performances has fallen from 67,257 to a total of 65,794 events. This represents a decline of 2.2 percent. However, the individual revenues of the orchestras and theatres remained stable at around 551 million euros. The number of visitors had also fallen by about 500,000 to 20.5 million viewers. 

(via Klassik)

(Written on September 19, 2018 )

Classical Music – News Round-Up

Estonian cellist Marcel Johannes Kits wins George Enescu International Cello Competition

The Estonian cellist Marcel Johannes Kits has won first prize in the cello category of the George Enescu International Competition after a final in which he performed Shostakovich’s Cello Concerto No 1 in E flat major in front of a jury including David Geringas and Raphael Wallfisch.

The 23-year-old cellist, who is studying at the Berlin University of the Arts with Prof. Jens Peter Maintz, will receive €15,000, along with the chance to perform at the Enescu Festival.

The second prize went to Yibai Chen (China) and the third prize went to Stanislas Kim (France), who will receive €10,000, and €5,000 respectively.

Held biennially in Bucharest, Romania, the George Enescu International Competition focuses on four disciplines: violin, cello, piano and composition.

The violin competition failed to award first place prize to any competitors.

Vikram Sedona (Italy, 18 years old) won second place and third place was occupied by Giuseppe Gibboni (Italy, 17 years old).

The third finalist, Ukrainian Orest Smovzh (27 years old) received a special award consisting of a series of Masterclasses offered by Silvia Marcovici and Mihaela Martin.

Oper Halle: Ariane Matiakh wird Generalmusikdirektorin

Die französische Dirigentin Ariane Matiakh wird neue Generalmusikdirektorin der Staatskapelle und der Oper Halle. Die 38-Jährige trete zur Spielzeit 2019/20 an, teilte die Theater, Oper und Orchester GmbH am Montag mit. Matiakh übernimmt die Nachfolge von Josep Caballé Domenech, dessen Vertrag in diesem Sommer nach fünf Jahren nicht verlängert wurde.

Matiakh studierte in Wien bei Leopold Hager, besuchte Meisterklassen mit Seiji Ozawa und erhielt künstlerische Impulse von Nikolaus Harnoncourt und Adam Fischer. Von 2005 bis 2009 war sie erste Assistentin an der Opéra und dem Orchestre National de Montpellier.

French conductor Ariane Matiakh is the new music director of the Staatskapelle and the Oper Halle. Her contract will begin from the 2019/20 season, announced the managing director of the Bühnen Halle on Monday. Matiakh succeeds Josep Caballé Domenech, whose contract was not renewed after five years.

(Written on September 18, 2018 )