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In today’s news, Dartington International Summer School & Festival has announced the full programme of courses and concerts for 2016, and Harold Budd explains why he’s not scared to sound pretty. Also, The Guardian lists classical music’s highlights of the year, and BBC Store offers an exclusive 25% discount

The Guardian

Harold Budd: the ambient music master floats again

Returning to New York for a rare concert, the composer, whose work with Brian Eno helped shape ambient music, explains he’s not scared to sound pretty

BBC Music Magazine

Enjoy an exclusive 25% discount at BBC Store

We present the best of the BBC Store (according to us…)

Classical Music Magazine

Dartington International Summer School & Festival 2016

Dartington International Summer School & Festival has announced the full programme of courses and concerts for 2016

Sinfini

Sinfini Music on TV

Sinfini Music’s acclaimed animation of Bach’s First Prelude and Fugue from the Well-Tempered Clavier is now available to watch via a new TV app

The Guardian

The top 10 classical concerts and operas of 2015

Andris Nelsons and Simon Rattle led masterful surveys of Beethoven and Sibelius, the Proms made it great to stay up late, and opera brought moments both comic and surreal. Our combined critics list classical music’s highlights of the year

KlassikAkzente

Die Macht ist stark mit John Williams! – Diese Woche wird der Soundtrack zu “Star Wars: Das Erwachen der Macht” veröffentlicht

Einen Tag nach Kinostart des brandneuen Star Wars: Das Erwachen der Macht ist es soweit: Am 18. Dezember 2015 erscheint der originale Soundtrack zum Film aus der Feder der fünffach oscargekrönten Filmmusiklegende John Williams

NMZ

Fast eine Million Euro für zwei Kulturprojekte in Sachsen

Die Kulturstiftung des Bundes unterstützt zwei neue Projekte in Sachsen mit insgesamt rund 990 000 Euro

Klassik.com

Montserrat Caballé wegen Steuerbetrugs verurteilt

Die spanische Opernsängerin Montserrat Caballé (82) ist wegen Steuerhinterziehung zu einer Haftstrafe von sechs Monaten und einer Strafzahlung von 250.000 Euro verurteilt worden

El Mundo 

Alberto Urretxo: ‘La música clásica es la cultura popular

Es desde 1998 Trombón solista de la BOS además de profesor de Repertorio de Orquesta y Música de Cámara en el Conservatorio Superior de Euskadi

The New York Times 

The Operatic Tenor Juan Diego Flórez Shifts His Tone, and His Persona

Two decades into a starry operatic career, Mr. Flórez, at 42, is entering a new vocal phase: He is now singing the role of Edgardo in Donizetti’s “Lucia di Lammermoor,” more heroic than the bubbly coloratura characters that made him famous

Twitter

Arts Council EnglandGreat art & culture brings everyone together at . Even turkeys. Get colouring in!

Classic FM ‏Watch a horrible tuba selfie fail: (we know you want to)

PRS Foundation: Congrats to the latest round of artists funded by >>>

news16dec

Andris Nelsons with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra.
Photograph: Andrew Fox/The Guardian

(Written on December 16, 2015 )

100 years ago, on 28 October 1915Eine Alpensinfonie by Richard Strauss was premiered in Berlin by the Dresden Hofkapelle, conducted by the composer. The critics didn’t particularly like it, some even called it ‘cinema music.’

'Eine Alpensinfonie' World Premiere Programme

‘Eine Alpensinfonie’ World Premiere Programme

Strauss’s love of nature greatly influenced this atmospheric composition. For most of his life, Strauss lived in southern Bavaria at the foot of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. Eine Alpensinfonie portrays the distinct episodes of an alpine trek undertaken by Strauss and friends during which they got lost in a thunderstorm.

Although Strauss labelled the work a symphony, it doesn’t follow the typical conventions of a multi-movement symphony. The work consists of twenty-two continuous sections of music making it technically a tone poem.

Eine Alpensinfonie includes a wide range of instrumental combinations and effects, requiring an orchestra of 123 players. Strauss regarded performing this piece as the equivalent of the challenge of climbing an actual mountain.

Listen to Eine Alpensinfonie, played here by the Dresden Staatskapelle who first premiered this dramatic work on this day 100 years ago!

(Written on October 28, 2015 )

Having been performed in Todmorden, Halifax and London, reviews for Tim Benjamin’s latest opera Madame X have come flooding in. Madame X is a highly entertaining and theatrical opera, inspired by art works and music spanning not only musical history, but also the world. We have put together a selection of audience reviews to give you a taste of the show, ahead of the performance in Manchester on the 25th September.

B Stevenson said that Madame X was ‘Very funny, very dark and very moving’, deserving ‘wide recognition’, while Chris Bennett said that having seen Madame X it ‘will encourage me to see contemporary opera in the future’, which is fantastic news for festivals that promote new works such as Grimeborn. 

S Lester gave 4 stars and said ‘A very entertaining and enjoyable pastiche of 18th century opera with modern overtones’, picking up on Madame X’s stylistic influences. E Hancock suggested that Madame X was ‘witty and bitingly satirical’ and J Finnerty wrote that ‘several days after the performance and I’m still thinking about issues raised and revisiting parts of the opera in my head to enjoy them again’.

And the highest praise yet comes from Ray McArthy who said ‘the harshest critic I know, my mum, thoroughly enjoyed the show. High praise indeed’!

Many of those who have given feedback awarded 4 or 5 stars to Madame X, and you can leave your own feedback here.

The next performance of Madame X will take place on 25th September 2014 at the RNCM Theatre. You can purchase tickets here.

For more updates on Madame X visit the website, Twitter or Facebook.

madame-x-dress-7

 

(Written on September 1, 2014 )

The New York Times

Favorite Sounds, Early to Environmental

Classical music critics of The New York Times select their favorite recordings of 2013

Dallas Observer

Dallas Symphony Announces New Assistant Conductor

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra announced Tuesday morning that American conductor Karina Canellakis will join the orchestra as assistant conductor beginning in 2014

Slipped Disc

‘For many years, she gave all the important violin premieres’

Maria Lidka, a Hitler refugee who has died at the age of 99, was a formidable figure in British musical life, performing concertos with all the main orchestras and devoting herself to the works of young composers

The Wagnerian

The Wagnerian Readers Choice Awards – 2013. Stage 1 Semi Finals: The Singers

Presenting the first annual “The Wagnerian Readers Choice Awards” dedicated to those that have “shone” in some part of the “Wagnerian world”

BBC News

Apollo Theatre: Ceiling collapses during show in London

Seventy-six people have been injured, seven seriously, after part of a ceiling in London’s Apollo Theatre collapsed during a show, police say

Der Tagesspiegel

Schützenswerte Orchesterlandschaft

Der Deutsche Musikrat will die einmalige Orchesterlandschaft der Bundesrepublik von der Unesco schützen lassen. Das erweckt den Eindruck, als hätten wir hierzulande das alleinige Recht auf musikalische Vielfalt gepachtet

BBC News

BBC News

(Written on December 20, 2013 )

Classic FM Online

Cricket ‘choir’ sounds like human voices

A ‘choir of crickets’ that sounds like humans singing has divided the critics after a Soundcloud clip has surfaced online

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain announces 2014 players

Following two rounds of auditions over eight weeks in Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and London, 165 new players have been admitted to the National Youth Orchestra 2014

Gramilano

Riccardo Muti’s Ernani cancelled amid chaos at Rome Opera

Massive job losses are expec­ted at Rome Opera after it was announced that the theatre would go into receiv­er­ship after debts of 29 mil­lion euros ($39m) at the end of 2011. As the recent Bray Law states that if a theatre goes into receiv­er­ship, 50% of admin­is­trat­ive and tech­nical posts must be axed, the uni­ons are on the side of theatre dir­ector Catello De Mar­tino for maybe the first time

The Guardian

Antony Gormley: sculpting a new South Bank

Built in 1951, the Southbank Centre is an architectural landmark that attracts 25m visitors a year. But will it survive another 50 years? Sculptor Antony Gormley on why bulldozing the site would be better than the planned revamp

WQXR

Top Five Expressions of Thanks in Classical Music

There are compositional conventions for strong emotions and passions, such as love, anger, glee, and sorrow. Giving thanks, though, requires a bit more nuance—a challenge for any skilled composer. Luckily, as we prepare for Thanksgiving, there have been plenty of composers up to the task, especially in the five pieces that follow

Arts Journal

A respected Italian maestro has died

Angelo Campori, an associate of Leonard Bernstein who conducted at the Met and the Vienna Opera, has died aged 79

Winter woes: Conductor tosses lozenges at coughing Chicago audience

On Saturday night, Michael Tilson Thomas … went offstage and emerged with two large handfuls of loose cough lozenges, which he tossed underhanded into the main floor audience seats

Alberto Vilar is being held in a cell with no heating, books or music

The convicted fraudster and former opera philanthropist is being held while a judge hears his appeal against having his bail revoked, suddenly and without good reason

Die Welt

Klavier und Kitsch sind ziemlich beste Freunde

Früher hatte der Komponist Ludovico Einaudi den Respekt der Avantgarde. Bis er anfing, sentimentale Stücke und Soundtracks zu schreiben. Nun lieben ihn nur noch die Massen. Ein Besuch in Mailand

The Guardian

The Guardian

(Written on November 26, 2013 )