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WildKat PR is delighted to welcome back Music@Malling for the fifth year. Music@Malling 2018 will take audiences on a journey through music and time: placing the music of contemporary composers alongside classical, jazz, vocal, world and film music in and around the stunning historic venues and landscapes of West Malling, Kent, from 16th – 29th September. Combining a hugely successful outreach programme with a firm commitment to new music, the eighth Music@Malling festival comprises 28 events across 14 days. A unique festival in Kent that has built audiences from scratch engaging people from the local area, region and beyond.

This year, outreach work includes 1,800 children from 20 primary schools composing theme tunes for the theme park rides in The Great Enormo, a 21st Century Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, written by Michael Rosen and set to music by husband and wife team, Morgan Pochin, featuring Chamber Domaine.



Concerts include an exciting array of artists; Tenebrae, Chamber Domaine, Tippett Quartet, leading young pianist Vanessa Benelli Mossel, organist Rupert Jeffcoat, outstanding Cellists Peter Gregson and Richard Harwood, Vocalist and Violinist Lizzie Ball, Violinist Thomas Bowes, guitarists Morgan Szymanksi and Craig Ogden, and James Pearson – Artistic Director of Ronnie Scott’s.


Contemporary composers are celebrated alongside composer greats; from Master of Queen’s Music Judith Weir, Owain Park, Debussy, Elgar, Tavener, Vaughn Williams, Parry, Bridge, to Bach alongside unsung composing talents such as Eugène Ysaÿe.

Notable periods of history are commemorated including The Armistice with Charles Dance, legendary actor narrating a programme with readings from Siegfried Sassoon and newly discovered correspondence from leading figures from the 20th century. Also ahead of its World Premiere at London’s V & A in November and to mark the end of the prestigious Frida Kahlo “Making Her Self Up” exhibition, Lizzie Ball and Morgan Szymanksi, will be previewing a selection of works from Corrido – A Ballad for The Bravetaking musical and visual inspiration from the cultural landscape of Frida’s time in the inspiring All Saint’s Church, Tudeley with its famous Marc Chagall windows.

Thomas Kemp, Artistic Director, says: ‘Music@Malling 2018 promises to be our biggest festival yet!  Including works by Debussy, Elgar, Vaughn Williams, Stanford, Parry, Bridge, Ysaÿe, Walton and Delius.  Judith Weir – Master the Queen’s Music and a leading contemporary composer, is featured across five programmes and will be giving a talk about her music and how it connects with the past.  I am also delighted to have side-by-side events, a jamming session with James Pearson and Go Compose to inspire young musicians from across Kent. I started my violin lessons in the kitchen at West Malling Primary and I know that I would have been thrilled to have such an opportunity’.

(Written on July 9, 2018 )

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 )

Classic FM

Delius study weekend celebrates 150th anniversary

A study weekend celebrating the 150th birthday of Frederick Delius is to take place at The British Library in September.

Domingo’s 140th opera role sparks Twitter competition

Plácido Domingo’s latest operatic role, his career 140th, has led to a Twitter-based competition from the LA Opera.

Arts Journal: Slipped Disc

Just in: Dudamel loses his #1 flute

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is crowing at having grabbed principal flute David Buck from the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

Who’d appoint a choirboy to captain the national team?

England, for one.

Our new cricket captain, Alastair Cook, sang in the choir of St Paul’s Cathedral and won a scholarship to the associated school.

Wall Street Journal

In Turkey, One City Fine-Tunes Rules on Percussion Players

Miss a Beat and Get Drummed Out; ‘We Don’t Want Amateurs Here’

San Francisco Classical Voice

Klaus Heymann: Defy Labels, to Be the One

There was a time, not so long ago, that Klaus Heymann was accused of trying to destroy the classical music industry. That was around the same time that the world realized that Naxos, Heymann’s budget-record label, was not just another series of CDs in the bargain bin.


The Pitfalls of Carrying Musical Instruments on Planes

Cellist Recalls ‘State of Panic’ After Checking Instrument

Klaus Heymann – San Francisco Classical Voice

(Written on August 31, 2012 )

The Telegraph

Let’s have much more opera on the beach

Garsington has proved a hit when beamed to the sands of Skegness.

The chromatic slithering of Delius leaves me cold

Delians claims his music evokes the soul of the forgotten English landscape, but I don’t hear that.

The Independent

Heads up: Wednesday from Light

Opera aims shy hight with 150 performers and 4 helicopters.

Opera al fresco? What could possibly go wrong?

Stag beetles and bats are among the hazards of outdoor performances, says Michael Volpe, head of Opera Holland Park. And don’t get him started on the weather…

The Guadian

A guide to Kaija Saariaho’s music

All composers are dreamers. But very few have dared to dream sonic images of such magnetic power as those that Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho has conjured in her music for ensembles, orchestra, opera houses, electronics and soloists.

Take your seats for Swindon: the Opera

Production with 250-strong cast and crew made up of local people shines spotlight on working-class family life.

BBC Music Magazine

Evelyn Lear (1926-2012)

The soprano who appeared with every major opera company in the US dies aged 86.

LA Times

Woody Allen revisits opera in ‘To Rome With Love’

In his latest movie “To Rome With Love,” Woody Allen plays Jerry, a retired music executive and former opera director who travels to Italy to meet his daughter’s fiancé.

Arts Journal – Slipped Disc

Boulez is out of the BBC Proms

Pierre Boulez has been forced to withdraw from the BBC Proms as a result of continuing difficulties with his eyesight. He is in doubt for the Lucerne Festival.

The Times

Daniel Barenboim’s hazardous Proms mission

‘You need t be brave to join this opera’, says Daniel Barenboim. ‘Our mission is vital’.

Proms highlights: what to book for 

With the Proms starting on Friday, here are highlights from Berlioz, Beethoven, Boulez, not to mention Wallace & Gromit.

5 minutes with Sarah Connolly

Sarah Connolly, 49, is an English mezzo-soprano, widely viewed as one of the world’s finest.

(Written on July 10, 2012 )

The Telegraph

Tamsin Little on Delius: regrets of a lost composer

Violinist Tamsin Little tells Ivan Hewett why she loves the music of Delius.

The opera voice: Gianni Schicchi by Puccini

If you were ever in doubt that opera could be hilarious then Puccini’s one-act opera Gianni Schicchi will convince you.

NY Times

Evelyn Lear, Versatile Soprano, Dies at 86

Evelyn Lear, an American soprano who became a star in Europe in the 1950s and later won acclaim in the United States for singing some of the most difficult roles in contemporary opera, died on Sunday.

Arts Journal – Slipped Disc

Chariots of Fire composer: ‘success breeds creative paralysis’

If you missed a rare interview with Vangelis in the sports pages of the Observer, you’ll want to catch up on the Greek composer’s thoughts on economic crisis and its relation to creative impotence.

Jessica Duchen

The Trouble with Sponsorship

More people these days are making their feelings known about where sport and the arts get their necessary lucre. And it’s not a moment too soon. But where do we go from here?


Opera experiment at the Sydney Opera House

Presenting Erich Korngold’s Die tote Stadt has compelled Australia’s national opera company to think outside the box – literally.

(Written on July 5, 2012 )

The Independent

An inventive addition to the Proms: Wallace promises a grand day out

Multi-talented Wallace is turning his hand to composing, with a new commission for this year’s Proms.

The Guardian

Proms 2012 celebrates best of Britain – youth, royalty, and Wallace & Gromit

Festival’s 118th season also features Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Orchestra’s Beethoven cycle and marks Delius, Debussy and John Cage anniversaries.

The Times

São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra debuts at the Proms

São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra amazes audience with their new maestro, the American conductor Marin Alsop.

Commentary: Richard Morrison’s view of the Proms 2012

With an emphasis on youth and visits from three of Europe’s greatest orchestras, the Proms should more than hold its own against the Olympics.

Classical Music Magazine

New Sam letter is conciliatory after ‘divisive and unhelpful’ furore

A further open letter has been sent in the ongoing public debate over the current and future work of contemporary music organisation Sound and Music (SAM).

Norman Lebrecht

Wow! My Fair Lady at the BBC Proms

With the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympics, this summer promises to be unlike any other, and as such the Proms is delighted to be part of the London 2012 Festival.

The political maestro they just can’t fire

We’ve been receiving further messages of discontent from South Korea about the conductor Shinik Hahm, who is now taking legal action against seven players in the KBS Symphony Orchestra for supposedly blackening his character.

Eminent cellist ends his playing career

Heinrich Schiff has pulled out of a festival in Southwest Germany, saying he no longer wants to play cello.


(Written on April 20, 2012 )

Jessica Duchen’s Classical Music Blog

Hooray For Haydn.

Haydn is named a member of the top ten most performed composers of 2011.

The Guardian

Delius: Beauty In The Ear Of The Beholder.

His life was as romantic and colourful as his exquisite music, yet his works are rarely performed today. Delius deserves better, writes Julian Lloyd Webber.

LA Times

Gustavo Dudamel’s Mahler Project.

The Los Angeles Philharmonic’s mammoth tribute to the composer is an unprecedented musical feat for the conductor.

New York Times

New York City Opera Declares Rehearsal Lockout.

Talks break down at City Opera.

The Independent

Twenty Years Of Brahms & Liszt: Meet The Classic FM DJs Who Have Made Fugues Funky.

For decades, classical music was considered fusty and exclusive. One broadcaster has changed all that.

Sergei Prokofiev: Beyond ‘Peter And The Wolf’ – The Rehabilitation Of Stalin’s Composer.

Prokofiev followed ‘the bitch goddess success’ back to Soviet Moscow – or so the story goes. Think again, Vladimir Jurowski tells Andrew Stewart.

The Times

Gabriel Prokofiev Takes On The Family Business.

Fancy a classical club night? The composer Sergei Prokofiev’s grandson’s is a dab hand at making worlds collide.


(Written on January 9, 2012 )

The Guardian

Delius’s string concertos may be unfashionable – but I love them.

Tom Service praises Delius.

LA Times 

Inner-City Arts names Joseph Collins as new CEO and President.

Inner-City Arts, the nonprofit organization in downtown L.A.’s Skid Row that provides free arts education to disadvantaged youth, has named Joseph A. Collins as its new president and chief executive officer.

Slipped Disc: Norman Lebrecht

Poland remembers the Pianist’s 100th birthday.

Władysław Szpilman, the pianist who was hidden by a German officer in Warsaw and became the subject of Roman Polanski’s Oscar-winning movie, was born 100 years ago yesterday.

The Telegraph

Classical music just got cool. 

Lucy Jones goes to the Yellow Lounge in London.


(Written on December 6, 2011 )