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Classical News


Watch: the world’s fastest-playing pianist

Ukrainian Lubomyr Melnyk claims that he plays 19.5 piano notes on each hand every second

Classic FM

How I wrote… Pas de Deux – James Horner

The ‘Titanic’ takes us through his first foray into concert music for 30 years – and the first major double concerto for violin and cello since Brahms.

The Strad

42nd International Viola Congress to take place in Portugal this month

150 international violists will travel to Porto to perform on and discuss the instrument

Classical Music Magazine

The Orfeo cancellation: why ENO pulled the plug

For John Berry, ENO’s artistic director, it was a bitter pill to swallow when he realised he would have to abandon the L’Orfeo project.

Classical Source

National Choir of the Year Competition 2014: The UK’s most prestigious choral competition heads to Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall with Gareth Malone

Join the search for Choir of the Year 2014


Royal Northern Sinfonia appoint Julian Rachlin as Principal Guest Conductor

The violinist and conductor will join Principal Conductor Lars Vogt at the Sinfonia

Musik Heute

Studien: 14 Millionen Deutsche musizieren in der Freizeit

Mindestens 14 Millionen Menschen in Deutschland musizieren in ihrer Freizeit oder singen im Chor.

Landesmusikakademie NRW veröffentlicht Jahresprogramm 2015

Die Landesmusikakademie NRW veranstaltet im kommenden Jahr 88 Kurse und Lehrgänge.

Nicht-EU-Musiker ohne Festanstellung müssen Basel verlassen

Nachdem bekannt wurde, dass Arbeitsbewilligungen für Musiker aus Nicht-EU-Ländern durch einen Mitarbeiter des Amts für Wirtschaft und Arbeit (AWA) in der Vergangenheit entgegen der geltenden Gesetzgebung erteilt worden waren, treibt der Kanton Basel-Stadt nun die Ausweisung der Musiker voran.

The New York Times

Met Asks Stars to Share Fiscal Pain

The Metropolitan Opera, whose financial struggles led it to cut the pay of its orchestra, chorus, stagehands and other workers last summer after a labor battle, said Wednesday that it was also asking its solo singers voluntarily to lower their fees, including some of opera’s biggest stars.

Le Parisien

Musique en streaming: YouTube met la pression sur Spotify

La plateforme de vidéo en ligne YouTube a lancé mercredi un nouveau service payant de musique en ligne avec lequel il s’affirme comme un rival des plateformes de streaming comme Spotify, dont l’essor continue de susciter des tensions avec l’industrie musicale.


Classic FM ‏@ClassicFM: Begin your Friday with 15 incredible classical music facts: 

Gramophone ‏@GramophoneMag: Happy birthday #Aaron Copland, the ‘first indisputably great American composer’. What’s your favourite Copland work?

ABRSM ‏@ABRSM: Congratulations to @musicforyouth on a wonderful Schools Prom! Three fantastic concerts with some of the UK’s most talented young musicians.

james-horner-conducting-1373550049-article-0James Horner. Photo: Classic FM

(Written on November 14, 2014 )

Classical News


Venezuela’s El Sistema music scheme is ‘model of tyranny’, UK academic says

Supporters rush to defend ‘beacon of social justice’ as study shows project fails to reach disadvantaged youth


ENO blames Arts Council cuts after production of Orfeo is cancelled

The English National Opera has been forced to cancel a forthcoming production “for the first time in recent memory” as a direct result of severe cuts to its funding earlier this year.

Classical Music Magazine

Dickon Stainer appointed to lead Universal’s classical activities

Dickon Stainer has been appointed president and chief executive of global classics at Universal Music Group, with overall responsibility for all of UMG’s classical output including Deutsche Grammophon, Decca, and Sinfini Music.

The Strad

Six winning 2014 Young Concert Artists announced, including four string players

The New York organisation will promote the winning musicians with concerts and management

Sinfini Music

Kyung Wha Chung

The celebrated violinist Kyung Wha Chung has announced her London comeback in December after an absence of nearly 20 years.

Die Welt

Marek Janowski dirigiert Frank Castorfs “Ring”

Er wollte nie wieder etwas mit der Bühne zu tun haben. Doch Bayreuths mythischer Orchesterabgrund hat ihn schwach gemacht.

Wenn ein Muslim am Broadway austickt

Eine New Yorker Dinnerparty wird zur griechischen Tragödie: Für sein Vier-Personen-Stück “Disgraced” erhielt Ayad Akhtar im vergangenen Jahr den Pulitzerpreis.

Debatte um Stuttgarter Konzerthaus nimmt Fahrt auf

CDU-Fraktion regt Initiative zum Bau eines Hauses mit 4.000 bis 5.000 Plätzen an

Evelyn Herlitzius erhält Faust-Theaterpreis als beste Sängerin

Die Sopranistin Evelyn Herlitzius hat den Theaterpreis “Der Faust” als beste Sängerdarstellerin erhalten.


EXCLUSIVE: Director Gerard McBurney on “A Pierre Dream,” the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Multimedia Portrait of Pierre Boulez

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the life and work of Pierre Boulez, the esteemed composer and conductor who will turn 90 in March, with a brand-new Beyond the Score production of “A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez,” on November 14 and 16 at Symphony Center.

I Care If You Listen

How To Take Charge Of Your Finances As A Musician (Part I)

Kudos for choosing to make a life from your passion!


Classic FM ‏@ClassicFM: Superstar tenor @AlfieBoe shares some advice for singers:

EnglishNationalOpera ‏@E_N_O: ICYMI earlier this week, ENO Director-in-Residence Peter Sellars talks about his spiritual side:  #ENOGospel

Intermusica ‏@IntermusicaLtd: “New works, new instruments”: @colincurrieperc tells the story of his #MetalWoodSkin festival in the @GdnClassical

YCA11Six winning 2014 Young Concert Artists announced. Photo: Brian D. Bumby

(Written on November 12, 2014 )


Emma Thompson takes on role in Sweeney Todd musical in West End

Actor to play piemaker Mrs Lovett in Stephen Sondheim’s work after Broadway run and after 25 years away from London stage

Classical Music Magazine

Making Music report: More playing, but progression is limited and class remains an issue

The playing of instruments among children has increased by 35% since 1999, a new study has found, although issues of access, progression and class remain apparent in the music education sector.

Classic FM

Oppan Lang Lang style! Pianist to perform with PSY

Chinese pianist Lang Lang is to join forces with Korean pop sensation PSY at this year’s Asian Games, Incheon 2014.

Classic FM

Singer dismissed from festival after ‘impersonating Hitler in front of German choir’

David Barclay has been excluded from the Three Choirs Festival in Worcester after reportedly making a joke about the Holocaust and impersonating Adolf Hitler during a rehearsal with the Chemnitz Opera.

The Strad

Cellist Yo-Yo Ma receives Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw Prize

The artist was honoured for his longstanding contribution to the venue

The Argus

Super soprano stops the show to tackle thief

A SUPER soprano snatched back charitable donations from a thief midway through her classical recital.

Die Welt

Auf, auf zum lustigen Intendantenjagen

Wiens Bühnen kommen nicht zur Ruhe. Nach dem Abgang von Franz Welser-Möst als Generalmusikdirektor der Staatsoper kündigte jetzt Dirigent Bertrand de Billy die “Lohengrin”-Premiere. Wegen einer Minute.

Preisträger des Brahms-Wettbewerbs 2014

500 junge Musiker aus 51 Nationen traten an


Interview mit Michael Andreas Häringer

„Ich komponiere lieber große Orchesterstücke.”

The New York Times

Tibor Rudas, Classical Music Impresario, Dies at 94

Tibor Rudas, an irrepressible impresario who took classical music from concert halls to casinos and from there to baseball stadiums and the Eiffel Tower, helping to propel the Three Tenors to global glory, died on Sept. 8 at his home in Santa Monica. Calif.


American Composers Orchestra Honors Andy Akiho with $15,000 Grand Prize from the Underwood Emerging Composer Commission

The American Composers Orchestra (ACO) has named their 2014 Underwood Commission award to Andy Akiho. In addition to the accolade, the American-born composer will also be awarded a $15,000 prize for a future work to be premiered by the ACO.

NPR music

Watch A Sweet Little Butterfly Nearly Crush A Woman’s Hopes And Dreams

As Ota played for the judges, a butterfly first landed in her hair and then settled on her left eyebrow as she continued to perform.


IntArtsManager ‏@IntArtsManager: Beautiful Vivienne Westwood dress is up for grabs, proceeds supporting the brilliant @StreetwiseOpera. Get bidding! …

London Philharmonic @LPOrchestra: Our 2014/15 London season starts in one week! Watch Vladimir Jurowski introduce the season in our new video 

Boosey & Hawkes @Boosey_London: ’My Father, The Iron Curtain and Me’ – brilliant documentary about A. Panufnik to win here: 

Sinfini Music @SinfiniMusic#Callas‘ voice may have lacked the creamy quality of other sops, but ‘always expressed truth’

Emma Thompson and Bryn TerfelEmma Thompson and Bryn Terfel. Photo: John Snelling/Getty Images

(Written on September 17, 2014 )

Classical News

The Telegraph

Dame Vera Lynn urges UK to ‘stay together’

Dame Vera Lynn is the latest star to sign the better together campaign, ahead of the Scottish referendum.

The Telegraph

Britannia saves the day

The Telegraph suggests that it is preposterous that presenters have been requested to not mention the upcoming referendum during the Last Night of the Proms.

The Times

Edward Gardner: ‘Do people in government watch what we do at the Coliseum?’

Edward Gardner is about to embark on his eighth and final season as director of the English National Opera.

International Arts Manager

Classical:NEXT announces 2015 jury

The Jury for the 2015 event will include Etienne Abelin, Swiss musician and co-founder of classYcal; Heloísa Fischer, founder of Brazil’s Viva Música!; Scottish-born Neil Wallace, programme director at de Doelen Concert Hall in Rotterdam; and British arts manager and consultant Jane Williams.

Die Welt

 ”Ich liebe es, wenn es singt”

Wolfgang Rihm, Deutschlands berühmtester Komponist, hat mit drei neuen Solo-Werken ein Konzerte-Jahr. Erst kam das Klavier, dann das Horn, schließlich ein Trio. Warum das so ist, erklärt er hier.


Winrich Hopp

Der künstlerische Leiter des Musikfests Berlin Winrich Hopp im Kurzinterview

New York Times

Andris Nelsons Gets Ready to Lead the Boston Symphony

Andris Nelsons, the 35-year-old Latvian conductor who this month became the venerable orchestra’s music director, and who doesn’t even drive a car, had come upon a new toy.

SF Gate

S.F. Opera musicians ratify new 4-year contract

With a minimum of strife or public posturing, members of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra have ratified a new contract with the company that provides the musicians with annual raises of 3 percent a year for the next four years.


In Other Words: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Blocks ‘Comments’ Section on Website, Tightens Security Measures

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has started a significant downturn amid negotiations between musicians and management.


Halle Orchestra: @the_halle What a fantastic concert with #KinshasaSymphony and choir! Good luck on rest of tour to @southbankcentre, @Colston_Hall + @RWCMD

Martin Chilton: @MartinChilton As #jazz guitarist Nigel Price @Nigethejazzer prepares for a UK tour he talks to @LondonJazz Ed Sebastian Scotney

ArtsProfessional: @ArtsPro #APNews: Arts should use ‘wellbeing analysis’ to make stronger case for #artsfunding, report finds

Milos: @MilosGuitar So excited to perform #Aranjuez with @liverpoolphil @RoyalAlbertHall. Bring on #ClassicFMlive on 23 Sept!  @ClassicFM


Picture, The Times

Picture, The Times


(Written on September 12, 2014 )

Classical News

Berlin Philharmonic appoints one of its youngest members

18-year-old trumpeter Florian Pichler will join the brass ranks.

Classical Source

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra to perform the complete Beethoven symphonies over six days opening its 2014-15 season 

Back by popular demand, all nine Beethoven Symphonies will be performed over six days. These concerts come immediately after the same team will have performed this cycle in the composer’s home town of Bonn as part of Beethovenfest.

The Guardian

SoundCloud introduces ads so it can pay musicians and other creators

Initiative is starting small, but with plans to make 175 million listeners pay off for individual artists and major labels alike.

Bonner Rundschau

Bewegte und bewegende Geschichte

Den 125. Geburtstag des Vereins Beethoven-Haus wird mit einer großen Sonderausstellung unter dem Titel „Bewegte und bewegende Geschichte“ gewürdigt, die einen großen Bogen von der Gründung bis in die „Jetztzeit“ schlägt.

Tiroler Tageszeitung

Britischer Tenor gewann Innsbrucker Barockoper-Wettbewerb

Rupert Charlesworth (27) räumte neben dem Jury- auch den Publikumspreis ab.


A Innsbruck, un festival entre compétition vocale et musique ancienne

Consacré à la musique ancienne et baroque, le festival autrichien promeut les jeunes talents.


The Classical Source: @ClassicalSource News: Licia Albanese, soprano, dies aged 105 #MadamaButterfly @MetOpera 

Classical Music: @ClassicalMusic_ Here’s Tom Eisner on the widespread use of beta blockers and booze in the classical world: 

EnglishNationalOpera: @E_N_O ”The job is never, ever dull. I’m always learning something new.” Meet Jacey, @E_N_O‘s head of sound: 




(Written on August 22, 2014 )

Classical News

The New York Times
Metropolitan Opera Clears Last Hurdle in Labor Talks
The Metropolitan Opera and the union representing its stage hands reached a contract deal early Wednesday morning.

The Guardian
Peter Maxwell Davies at 80: ‘The music knows things that I don’t’

Last year Peter Maxwell Davies was given six weeks to live. Despite ‘absolutely revolting’ chemotherapy and a blood clot that almost killed him, he went on to complete his 10th Symphony, and now he’s about to celebrate his 80th birthday

The Telegraph
The fear of performance that can lead us to ecstasy

Most of us need this form of nervous excitement, this whiff of danger, to be at our best

Daniel Barenboim: My orchestra is a political laboratory

As Daniel Barenboim brings his West-Eastern Divan Orchestra to the Proms, he talks about the problems of the Middle East

The Times

If you want a bargain, avoid shops piping classical music

Having classical music on in the background turns people into less savvy shoppers, a study found, while pop makes us sharper at finding a bargain.
Festivalleitung zieht positive Bilanz nach außergewöhnlicher Ausgabe von Young Euro Classic 2014
Ein außergewöhnlicher Jahrgang des Festivals Young Euro Classic ist am Sonntag (17. August) in Berlin mit großem Erfolg zu Ende gegangen.
Italian Soprano, Puccini Star Licia Albanese Dies Aged 105
Licia Albanese, one of the great Italian sopranos of the 20th century, has died.

Symphony Space Announces New Artistic Director, Fulbright Scholar and Carnegie Hall Exec Andrew Byrne
The latest from Symphony Space comes to us via DotDotDotMusic, who is pleased to announce that Andrew Byrne will be hopping on as the new Artistic Director on September 15.


Classic FM: @ClassicFM Is the symphony orchestra doomed, or alive and well? – there have been robust comments from both sides:

English National Opera: @E_N_O  How do you reinvent familiar repertoire? Conductor @TimMurray5 explains all:

Telegraph Classical: @TeleClassical Why horn players are terrified of Richard Strauss

Sinfini Music: @SinfiniMusic  Great balance between hi-tech and art:@sfballet principal Maria Kochetkova (@balletrusse) on Ballet meeting Robotics:

Photo : Logan K. Young

Photo : Logan K. Young

(Written on August 20, 2014 )

Classical News

The Independent

Opera is the new circus

Showman Gerry Cottle was dragged to see the latest production of ‘Cosi Fan Tutte’ and had an epiphany.

Classic FM

Viola tennis racket is ‘the ultimate viola joke’

Viola tennis anyone? A new video has emerged offering a different way to conceive the string instrument during the summer months.

The Guardian

Maxwell Davies: ‘The best way to get people to the festival was to involve their children’

The St Magnus festival celebrated Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ 80th at a special concert involving the local community and Max’s compositions for children.

The Guardian

Symphony guide: Knussen’s Third

Knussen’s third symphony is only 15 minutes in length but it covers a massive musical and emotional spectrum.

Classic FM

Child drummer plays stunning solo with orchestra: video

The video, posted by a Facebook user called Fabio Ibrahim El Khoury (though the origin of the video is unknown), has been shared over 150,000 times.

Mitbegründer des Festivals Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad gestorben

Der künstlerische Leiter und Mitbegründer des Festivals Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad, Thierry Scherz, ist laut einer Mitteilung des Veranstalters verstorben. Informationen der Berner Zeitung zufolge nahm sich Scherz am 1. Juli in Wien das Leben. Er hinterlässt Frau und zwei Kinder.

Rundfunkchor Berlin streikt für Tarifvertrag

Der Berliner Rundfunkchor ist erstmals in seiner Geschichte in einem zeitlich unbefristeten Streik getreten. Die Sänger protestieren damit gegen die Ablehnung eines ausgearbeiteten Tarifvertrags durch das Kuratorium der Rundfunkorchester und -chöre GmbH (ROC).

La Nazione

Ritorna il Festival della Mente

TRE giornate con 60 relatori e 39 incontri, tra conferenze, spattacoli, workshop e momenti di approfondimento, per esplorare la nascita e lo sviluppo dei processi creativi.


The Opera Critic: @theoperacritic  $750,000 grant will help Houston Grand Opera produce 5 new works

AustinCivicOrchestra: @ATXCivOrchestra  Top violinist taking classical music behind bars and to the streets. #classical #music

Classical Music: @ClassicalMusic_ Nicola Benedetti awarded @MakingMusic_UK‘s Sir Charles Grove Prize for her #musiced advocacy: 



Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutti at the English National Opera

Photograph: Mike Hoban




(Written on July 9, 2014 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Arts Council Funding decision day summary

English National Opera see funding cut by 29%, 670 arts groups share annual grants totalling 340m a year and only a small increase in funding outside London.

The Independent

English National Opera the biggest loser in Arts Council funding shake-up

The English National Opera was the highest profile loser as its grant was slashed a third in the Arts Council’s three year funding shake up, while concerns were raised over the number of regional organisations to lose funding.

Classic FM

Michael Giacchino reveals pun-heavy Planet of the Apes track listing

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes composer Michael Giacchino’s original score track listing has been revealed, and it’s full of ape and monkey-related puns.

Schubert on the beach

Giant Schubert sand sculpture built for East Neuk Festival

The Indian Express

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan’s sarod goes missing on British Airways flight

The Padma Vibhushan sarod maestro had gone to London along with his wife Subhalaxmi for a performance at Dartington College to celebrate the life of Rabindranth Tagore on June 21 and returned on the night of June 28.

The Ballymena Times

Big Flute Challenge Call

Being held in the province on September 13, the musical extravaganza has real potential to be the World’s biggest event for flautists. Participants will perform together in the Kings Hall Complex in an official attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the Largest Flute Ensemble. The current world record is held in Japan and was achieved by 3,742 flautists in 2011.

Mozartfest Würzburg zieht positive Bilanz

Über 25.000 Zuschauer bei Auslastung von 92 Prozent.

Berliner Staatsoper mit Rekordauslastung 2013/14

Insgesamt 183.000 Besucher und 88 Prozent Auslastung im Schiller Theater.

Deutsche Welle

Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier wird Schirmherr des Orchestercampus

Zum dritten Mal wird beim Beethovenfest Bonn im September ein Jugendorchester aus der Türkei auftreten. Das sei ist ein wichtiger Beitrag zum Ausbau der kulturellen Beziehungen, so der Minister.

Le Monde

Festival d’Avignon : une forte majorité du personnel vote pour le maintien

Près de 80 % des salariés ont voté mardi pour la tenue d’un « festival militant », avec de possibles actions pendant son déroulement. Le Festival doit commencer vendredi.



Telegraph Classical: @TeleClassical Jessye Norman: Dress size has nothing to do with opera singing 

Telegraph Classical: @TeleClassical The Arts Council deserves more credit than it gets 

Barbican Centre: @BarbicanCentre Tip tapping on your keyboard all day? Be more creative… Try Patatap art & music app @Guardian #digitalrevolution 

A pyrotechnician from Emergency Exit Arts lights a flaming depiction of William Shakespeare during a firework display at the Royal Shakespeare Company. Photograph: SUZANNE PLUNKETT

A pyrotechnician lights a flaming depiction of William Shakespeare during a firework display at the Royal Shakespeare Company marking the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare's birth in Stratford-upon-Avon

(Written on July 2, 2014 )

Classical News

The Independent

David Lister: It’s right to relax concert rules, but try not to get carried away

Even radicals have to rein in their lack of inhibition sometimes. Symphonic crowd-surfing feels a step too far, and a potentially dangerous one at that.

The Telegraph

Why English National Opera needs to back British singers

Rupert Christiansen applauds the late Earl of Harewood’s work with English National Opera but looks forward to a new era for the company.

Norman Lebrecht is wrong to single out artist managers as unworthy of honours

Norman Lebrecht seems to have a thing about music industry string-pullers who stain the purity of art in their pursuit of money and influence.

The New York Times

Early Music and Its Future

The weeklong Early Music Festival: NYC showed that the city has the potential to catch up to Boston and San Francisco.

Le Figaro

Un violoncelliste joue dans un abattoir pour promouvoir le classique

Révélée par 20 Minutes, la vidéo du musicien jouant au milieu de pièces de viande est la première du projet Bliss de la plateforme 3ème Un concept qui vise à faire rimer classique avec ludique. 

El Mundo

 Compases hacia la edad de oro de los músicos clásicos españoles

La sala sinfónica del Auditorio Nacional acoge esta tarde el futuro y presente de la música clásica de nuestro país

Wiener Zeitung

“Gezi Concert” im Wiener Volkstheater

Ein “globales Zeichen für Demokratie, Freiheit und Humanität” wollen der türkische Komponist Fazil Say, die Pianistinnen Ferhan und Ferzan Önder sowie der Percussionist Martin Grubinger am Freitag (30.5.) im Wiener Volkstheater mit ihrem “Gezi Concert” setzen. Unterstützt von der Württembergische Philharmonie Reutlingen kommt Says Komposition anlässlich des Jahrestags der Proteste zur Aufführung.

Die Welt

Bloß nicht fett werden als Opernsänger!

Vittorio Grigòlo ist einer der besten Tenöre der Welt. Aber das Leben aus dem Koffer ist ungesund und anstrengend. Zur Entspannung tunt der Italiener Autos. Einen Hubschrauber hat er auch entworfen.T

Der Tagesspiegel

Das Projekt Haydn 2032: Piano, piano 

Der Dirigent Giovanni Antonini und das Alte-Musik-Ensemble Il Giardino Armonico wollen alle 107 Sinfonien von Joseph Haydn neu aufnehmen. Jetzt startete das Projekt mit einem Konzertmarathon im Berliner Radialsystem.

Focus Online

 Erstmals seit dem 18. Jahrhundert Crowdsurfing zu Händel: Mann fliegt aus Konzertsaal

 Wer bei einem Konzert richtig mitfeiern will, lässt sich beim Crowdsurfing über die Köpfe des Publikums tragen. Doch bei einem klassischen Konzert kommt das offenbar nicht gut an, wie ein Musikfan jetzt lernen musste. Dabei war er nur einer Aufforderung gefolgt.

Telegraph Music: @TeleMusicNewsWhy #classical music audiences should be free to behave as they wish:

GoClassical: @GoClassicalUK  Another study proves link between music education and the brain … #classicalmusic

Blackheath Halls: @BlackheathHalls Not just known for great #comedy. We also have our #CommunityOpera coming up. Get more info on it here 

It’s right to relax concert rules, but not to get carried away:

David Lister

Photo: The Independent

(Written on June 24, 2014 )

It would seem that state-funded arts organisations are having a bit of a rough time at the moment. Subsequent to Harriet Harman‘s discontent at the lack of inclusion by state-funded organisations, Andrew Mellor of the New Statesman has also weighed in on the argument. This time it is the lack of appropriate advertising which the likes of the Royal Opera House and the English National Opera- “Ads range from totally unfathomable[...]to the borderline conceited”- are suffering for. According to Mellor “What opera needs is a new audience intake, people who aren’t on the mailing list and don’t have the CDs at home”. This is an opinion which indisputably chimes with all types of music, and whilst classical music is, well, classic, it is getting increasingly difficult for this genre to compete with rugged-looking, curly-haired, blue-eyed boy bands and the curvy, feminist, female soloists which dominate the popular music charts and whose faces we see plastered across newspapers, television and the internet 24 hours a day . Without infiltrating everyday life and being more accessible, Mellor is right, opera and classical music will succumb to exclusivity as a result of “ineffectual” and “inappropriate” advertising.

WildKat PR places particular emphasis on promoting clients through mainstream press, as well as music press, in order to generate interest from the general public. An extremely innovative team enabled Cellist Alban Gerhardt to embark on an interactive radio tour in summer 2010. He was the first classical musician to tour national mainstream radio stations, where listeners could phone in and suggest unusual places for Gerhardt to perform Bach Cello Suites. Eventual performance venues therefore included a protest rally, a student house, a supermarket isle, and even a maternity ward, to but name a few. As a result, there bloomed national and international press coverage, both in print and on television and videos of his tour went viral.

Another huge success was the launch of the “Classical Takeover” in 2012. WildKat was keen to bring the work of composer Max Richter to the attention of the general public. His work Recomposed: The Four Seasons has divided audiences and the industry but hit Number 1 in iTunes UK over the weekend after the Takeover. The idea was to approach stores and venues which could be ‘taken over’; in other words, the venue would donate a stereo, on which a movement of Richter’s ‘recomposition’ could be played. Several high profile venues took part including Hoss Intropia, and a Spanish boutique brand on Regent Street who even created and styled four outfits for each of the Four Seasons. The Takeover was launched at London Fashion Week when the finale of the Jonathan Saunders show was taken over by the Spring movement and ended with Takeovers of Apple stores in London and New York.

Finally, a true testimony to the power of mainstream advertising is in the case of violinist Daniel Hope. Hope was booked onto BBC Breakfast, which draws a daily audience of 1.5 million, in July 2013 to promote his album Spheres. By the next morning, Hope had rocketed to no.1 on iTunes UK and was also top ten in the classical music charts. WildKat had placed Hope in view of an inquisitive general public and had, once again, generated intense mainstream interest in a classical artist.

The way in which WildKat PR utilises the mainstream press is one of the things which makes us so unique. A team capable of thinking outside of the box (a box which classical music seems to be beating its arms and legs against with all its might) enables the general public to access classical music and to express an interest. Mellor is right, opera and classical music should not be something directed at the people who “are already on the mailing list”; instead more should be done to imagine creative ways in which to make it appeal to the general public. WildKat has been utilising the mainstream press creatively ever since it began in 2007 and continues to do so. Whilst the industry keeps TALKING about it, WildKat is busy DOING it. So perhaps others in the industry need to take a leaf out of our book: let’s bring classical music to people in a way that doesn’t scream “CLASSICAL MUSIC AND OPERA IS BORING AND OUTDATED AND ONLY FOR PEOPLE WHO WENT TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS” and perhaps Harriet Harman may be faced with an audience of a slightly different demographic the next time she goes to the Opera.


Opera Anna Nicole premieres at London’s Royal Opera House



(Written on June 13, 2014 )