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Everyone listens to music. We can surely all agree that music is a big part of our lives, whether that be listening to the radio or a Spotify playlist on the way to work, letting our hair down in a nightclub on a Friday night, or watching a visiting orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, music is something that everyone can relate to. So why are researchers warning of the extinction of music in secondary schools in England?

The government introduced the English Baccalaureate (EBacc) in 2010, with a goal to increase the take-up of ‘core’ academic subjects like mathematics and science. This move, however, has left the arts lagging behind. The Ebacc does leave space for students to take arts subjects and there is no solid evidence that the new syllabus has affected GCSE arts subject entries. However, in the New Schools Network report on the EBacc and the arts, it has been found that ‘schools have misunderstood the intention behind the EBacc, using its introduction to reduce funding for the teaching of the arts.’ This has therefore led to a decline in the number of qualified arts teachers, correlating with declining figures on music teacher PGCE courses.

The music industry contributes £3.5 billion to the economy, and it is well known that arts education improves job prospects by making young people more creative, tolerant and broad-minded. It is therefore strange that it is not taken as seriously as one of the ‘core subjects’ that the government view as most important to a child’s education. Catherine McKinnell stated in debates on arts subject inclusion and petition in February 2016: ‘I feel that the Government’s policy and approach at the moment fundamentally risks undermining the benefits that can come from that experience… at the most fundamental level, we need these skills for our economy. If we put off children and young people who can flourish in those areas even though they may struggle in some other ones, the evidence shows that that would be a worrying trend.’

Photograph: Newsteam

Not only does music enrich the economy, but it is also good for you. A study from the University of London’s Institute of Education ‘found that exposing children to classical music can aid in developing better concentration levels, self-discipline and social skills.’ Music is both valuable for the economy and for the individual and in Finland, teaching music and learning to play an instrument is the norm. It is, as stated by Stephen Moss in his article, Why not put music at the heart of education?, ‘the foundation of  children’s schooling (in Finland); it should be the model for us to follow.’

So what are we waiting for?

(Written on August 17, 2017 )

Classical News

Today’s news, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra has reached an agreement and announces its new 6-year contract with its musicians. Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Chorus is looking to recruit new members. Also, English National Opera has announced changes to its board and governance.


The Buffalo News

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra announces 6-year contract with musicians

Good news announced Saturday at the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra’s season-opening concert in Kleinhans Music Hall. BPO musicians have reached an agreement with the orchestra’s management on a new six-year contract.

The Wall Street Journal
R.E.M.’s Mike Mills Blends Classical and Rock on Upcoming Album

R.E.M.’s Mike Mills spent decades performing in front of millions, but it’s his latest work that makes him nervous. This past June, the bassist and keyboard player premiered a new piece of music, “Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra” with the Toronto symphony.

Classical Music Magazine

Alison Willis wins London Concord Singers composition competition

Alison Willis has won the London Concord Singers‘ 50th anniversary composition competition.

Young People’s Chorus of NYC appoints first composer-in-residence

The Young People’s Chorus of NYC (YPC) has appointed Michael Gordon as its inaugural composer-in-residence. The three-year position will see Gordon compose at least one new work inspired by New York City each season, give workshops and masterclasses, and serve on a committee as an artistic adviser.

RSNO Chorus seeks new members

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra’s Chorus is recruiting for new members. Formerly the Glasgow Choral Union, the Chorus is Scotland’s oldest choir still in operation and in 2018 will celebrate its 175th anniversary.

ENO announces board changes

English National Opera has announced changes to its board and governance. Patti White, Patty Dimond and Phil Edgar-Jones have replaced Glyn Barker, David Buchler, and David Harrell (stepping down following seven, nine and nine years of service respectively) on the ENO board.

The Irish Times

Musician misses home but story ends on a positive note

Marja Gaynor loves the spontaneity of Irish musicians. In her native Finland musical gatherings are pre-planned, the violinist says.

New York Post
City’s first orchestra music charter school to open in 2017

In a development that is sure to be music to the ears of city parents, a new, orchestral-themed charter school is scheduled to open in upper Manhattan next fall — the first of its kind in the Big Apple.

nmz

Thomas E. Bauer wird Intendant der Festspiele Europäische Wochen

Der Bariton und Kulturmanager Thomas E. Bauer ist zum neuen Intendanten der Festspiele Europäische Wochen Passau berufen worden.

Klassik heute

Piano Days in Hamburg – Klangerlebnisse mit neuester Hybridtechnologie

Klavierspielen ist schwer, teuer und nur etwas für Klassikfans? Mit diesem Klischee möchte CASIO aufräumen und ruft erstmals die CASIO Piano Days ins Leben.

Der Tagesspiegel

Wo die Freie Szene in Berlin zuhause ist

Berliner Off-Zentrale: Die Sophiensæle sind seit 20 Jahren der Flagship-Store des Freien Theaters und Tanzes.

Twitter

Speakeasy @WSJspeakeasy R.E.M.’s Mike Mills blends rock and classical music on upcoming album: http://on.wsj.com/2cCw3TF

BBC Philharmonic @BBCPhilharmonic “Classical Music is more relevant to the future” – an oldie but a goodie from Paul Morley in @Guardian

Classical Music @ClassicalMusic_ Two weeks until @CityMusicF‘s @RhinegoldLive! Don’t miss out – reserve your free ticket now

wildkat-pr-gregory-rsno-chorus-director

Photo by: Mark Hamilton (RSNO Chorus Director, Gregory Batsleer)

(Written on September 20, 2016 )

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

This video takes us on a journey through the Finnish landscape which inspired his music. Erkki Korhonen talks of the “landscape which came to his mind when he composed Finlandia and “opened his soul.”

The video was made in co-production with the Sibelius 150th Anniversary and the London Philharmonia Orchestra.

#vlogtober 8th

(Written on October 8, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, Nigel Farndale criticises audiences for booing Guillaume Tell, a tribute to Sibelius in the Telegraph and Christian Thielemann is appointed music director of Wagner festival. Also, hidden choral gems to be uncovered by BBC Radio 3 and RPS.

Guardian

Thielemann makes history as first music director for Bayreuth – with free parking

The controversy-torn Wagner festival has appointed Christian Thielemann as its first independent music director. Unusually, this news emerged in the car park

Telegraph

We should be applauding not booing the new Guillaume Tell

Challenging art, such as the new version of ‘William Tell’, ought to shock and surprise its audience, says Nigel Farndale

Finland: On the trail of Jean Sibelius

To mark 150 years since the composer Jean Sibelius’s birth, Harriet O’Brien seeks out the Finnish landscapes that inspired him

The Times

The audience was the real outrage at this opera scandal

Don’t apologise for that controversial rape scene. Anna Picard explains why

Classical Source

Encore Choral: Hidden choral gems to be uncovered by BBC Radio 3 and RPS

Works by Oliver Knussen, Robert Saxton and Jonathan Lloyd amongst hidden gems of contemporary British choral music to be broadcast and performed live across the UK in 2016/2017

Klassik-heute

Christof Prick wird Chefdirigent des Beethoven Orchesters Bonn

Der in Hamburg geborene Dirigent leitete zuvor als Generalmusikdirektor die Orchester in Saarbrücken, Karlsruhe und Hannover und war außerdem Music Director des Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Für die Saison 2016/2017 ist es der Stadt Bonn gelungen, Christof Prick als Chefdirigenten für das Beethoven Orchester Bonn zu engagieren.

Klassik.com

Wiener Staatsoper erzielt Einnahmerekord

Die Wiener Staatsoper konnte eigenen Angaben zufolge für die vergangene Saison einen Einnahmerekord verzeichnen. Sie erwirtschaftete rund 34 Millionen Euro.

Pizzicato

Moscow Music Critics Awards Special Prize to Lucas Debargue

The members of the Moscow Music Critics Association surprised by giving their Special Award to the last-placed pianist in the official list, yet one of the favourites of this year’s Tchaikovsky competition, 24 years old French pianist Lucas Debargue.

France Musique

Une scène de viol collectif fait polémique au Royal Opera House

Une scène de viol collectif dans une mise en scène de Guillaume Tell de Rossini au Royal Opera House à Londres a été copieusement huée par le public et a suscité l’indignation de certains critiques.

Classical Word

Festival D’Aix-en-Provence Launches 2015 Season Today

Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2015, under the leadership of General Manager Bernard Foccroulle, will present world premiere productions of operas by Handel and Mozart

Tweets

Guillaume Tell

(Written on July 2, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, watch Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim play the last movement of Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos. Another pianist, Lang Lang, also speaks to the Guardian about his musical tastes which includes Pharrell and Bernstein. Elsewhere, there is an obituary for Brian Couzens, the founder of Chandos Records. He was also a champion in classical music recordings for audio engineering. Dolly the Sheep also features in today’s classical news: Steve Reich and Beryl Korot’s video-opera Three Tales comes to the Science Museum in London. It is the first opera to ever be performed live at an IMAX Theatre. Also, can you spot a Strad? Classic FM’s new game puts your ear to the test.

The Guardian

Watch Argerich and Barenboim perform the final movement of Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos – video

Martha Argerich and Daniel Barenboim, two legendary musicians – both born in Buenos Aires in the early 1940s – are friends and musical partners.

Facing the music: Lang Lang

Kempff and Kleiber, Rubinstein and Bernstein, and getting Happy with Pharrell – pianist Lang Lang on the music that inspires him

Classical Music Magazine

Obituary: Brian Couzens, 17 January 1933 ‒ 17 April 2015

Brian Couzens, the founder of Independent label Chandos Records and for three decades a standard-setter in audio engineering of the classical recording industry, has died after a short illness. He was 82.

Sinfini

Dolly the Sheep will make a surprise reappearance in London this week, as a Steve Reich opera examining the increasing dominance of science in society receives a performance at the world-famous Science Museum. 

Three Tales is the result of a creative collaboration between the minimalist composer Reich and his wife, the pioneering video artist Beryl Korot.

Classic FM

Blind test: can you recognise the sound of a Stradivarius?

Just how good does a Stradivarius sound, and could you pick one out in a blind test? The Strad magazine staged one to find out.

concerti

Das junge Gesicht der Alten Musik

Jazz, Renaissance, Moderne: Nuria Rial ist offen für Vieles – doch ihr Herz gehört den Arien des Barocks

pizzicato

Pietari Inkinen Named Chief Conductor Of The Japan Philharmonic

Finnish conductor Pietari Inkinen (he turns 35 by the end of the month) has been named the Chief Conductor of The Japan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Pereira wärmt alte Ideen auf: Oper auf dem Flughafen

Der Intendant der Mailänder Scala, Alexander Pereira, will im September 2015 die Oper ‘L’elisir d’amore’ von Gaetano Donizetti am Mailänder Flughafen Malpensa aufführen.

klassik.com

Deutscher Pianistenpreis für Yekwon Sunwoo

Der Koreaner Yekwon Sunwoo (26) ist vom “International Piano Forum” mit dem Deutschen Pianistenpreis ausgezeichnet worden.

Le Figaro

Des mélomanes pas toujours dans le tempo

Le nouveau public de la Philharmonie de Paris applaudit parfois à des moments jugés inopportuns par ceux qui maîtrisent les codes du concert. Mais qu’importe le rituel  si l’enthousiasme est là!

NPR Music

Julia Wolfe Wins Music Pulitzer For ‘Anthracite Fields’

Julia Wolfe, a composer associated with the new-music collective Bang on a Can, has won the Pulitzer Prize for music for Anthracite Fields.

MIT Technology Review

What Makes a Violin Powerful

Study identifies features that boost a violin’s sound.

Twitter

Phil Miller ‏@PhilipJEMiller : Big announcement for Scottish Opera today, unveiling it’s new music director.

Opera Rara ‏@OperaRara : Missed Sir Mark Elder on @MusicMattersR3 on Sat? Catch up here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b05qyhfz … – inc an extract from our new release #LesMartyrs

Opera North ‏@Opera_North : WOW. As if #singing #QueenoftheNight isn’t HARD enough, try hanging upside down by silks. @rainellesara #coloratura http://bit.ly/1D93NuI 

Lang-Lang-1 high res2

Lang Lang. Photo: Pro Musica

(Written on April 21, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

‘I hope our artistic leaders will heed Sachs’s advice. The survival of ENO may depend on it’

Wagner’s Hans Sachs could teach today’s politicians a thing or two about the value of art, writes Iain Paterson, who makes his debut in the role at ENO this weekend

The Independent

Bryn Terfel interview: Britain’s best-loved baritone looks back on his ‘wonderful journey’ through the world’s greatest operas

Gods. Murderers. Dictators. Ghosts. Bryn Terfel is used to playing them all, and more.

The Strad

Julian Lloyd Webber to sell his Stradivarius cello

The cellist was forced to retire from performing last year due to a neck injury

BBC Music Magazine

Aldo Ciccolini (1925-2015)

The great pianist has died at the age of 89

BBC Radio 3 to celebrate International Women’s Day

Two weeks of programming will champion the work of female composers and performers

Classical Music Magazine

Barry Ife: ‘Let’s lift the lid on the myths and mysteries of the professional music world’

‘As principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, I have the good fortune to work with some of the most outstanding young musicians, actors and theatre technicians in the world.’

Süddeutsche.de

Klang allein ist nicht alles

München ist entrüstet, weil es keinen neuen Konzertsaal bekommt. Verständlich. Aber es gibt noch viele weitere Gründe, warum die Musiklandschaft im Vergleich zu anderen Städten wie Freiburg so blass wirkt.

Berliner Zeitung

Der Karneval der Kulturen findet statt

Der bisher auf der Kippe stehende Karneval der Kulturen in Berlin wird laut dem RBB auch in diesem Jahr stattfinden. Integrationssenatorin Dilek Kolat (SPD) habe sich mit den beteiligten Gruppen geeinigt, zitierte der Sender am Mittwochabend Kolats Sprecher.

Die Welt

“Der Tod hat sich immer für mich interessiert”

Luc Bondy ist einer der bedeutendsten Regisseuren. Gerade läuft seine Version von Tschechows “Iwanow” in Paris. Ein Gespräch über Antisemitismus in Frankreich und seine Ideen fürs Berliner Ensemble.

The New York Times

‘Tristan’ to Open Met Season in 2016

The inventive Polish director Mariusz Trelinski, whose eerie, film noir-influenced double bill of Tchaikovsky’s “Iolanta” and Bartok’s “Bluebeard’s Castle” at the Metropolitan Opera is winning praise, has received an even bigger assignment form the company: a new production of Wagner’s “Tristan und Isolde” that will open the Met’s season in 2016.

pizzicato

Ten Seconds Of A Naked Salome Create Protest In Northern Ireland

A new production of Richard Strauss’s Salome has raised a storm of protest in Belfast.

artsjournal

Simon Rattle Talks Sibelius

The Berlin Philharmonic’s chief conductor and Finnish music journalist/Sibelius expert Vesa Sirén spend an hour talking about the composer’s music – and what the Philharmoniker find easy and difficult about it.

Twitter

Sinfini Music ‏@SinfiniMusic : NEWS: @MancCamerata principal cellist to play Elgar on loaned 17th-c Strad: http://bit.ly/16gy2Hh  @RNCMvoice

Royal Opera House ‏@RoyalOperaHouse:Just over a week to go for young composers (aged 11-16) to enter our Fanfare competition! http://www.roh.org.uk/learning/schools-and-colleges/fanfare … ^P

Culture Republic ‏@culture_public :Interesting new app being piloted allows users to rate arts experiences http://bit.ly/1D1gH1L  & #marketers can get anonymous data on users.

NEWSpg-44-terfel-1-barda

Bryn Terfel in ‘Der Fliegende Holländer.’ Photo” The Independent

 

(Written on February 5, 2015 )

The Telegraph

Sakari Oramo: ‘Britain was my destiny’

Finland’s Sakari Oramo talks to Ivan Hewett about the challenges of becoming the BBCSO’s new chief conductor – and his uncanny sense of homecoming

Gramophone

Setting up a classical ensemble in the current climate is hard, but bowing to popular tastes is not the way

The London International Players are helping to bring classical music to new audiences

Arts Journal

Renée Fleming cancels UK for family emergency

Renée Fleming has cancelled a keenly-awaited orchestral concert in Oxford today. Her replacement will be Sylvia Schwarz

The Guardian

Just don’t call it ‘indie classical’

Nico Muhly, Olafur Arnalds and new generation of composers are successfully transposing classical tropes to a rock setting

ABQ Journal

New classical music organization debuts

Led by Artistic Director David Oberg, ‘Orchestra of Discovery’ in Albuquerque debuts Tuesday, Nov. 5 as small chamber ensemble

Incorporated Society of Musicians

HMRC agrees to reverse National Insurance rules

Good news for professional musicians as HMRC agrees to reverse National Insurance rules

Digital Music News

Head North: Ontario Sets Aside $45 Million to Fund Its Music Industry…

The province of Ontario has set aside $45 million CAD (~$43M USD) for a new Ontario Music Fund

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Zeitlos überwältigend

Es klingt wie ein wehmütiges, spätes Wiedersehen: Anne-Sophie Mutter hat nach fast 30 Jahren wieder ein Studioalbum mit den Berliner Philharmonikern aufgenommen. Auf “Dvořák” interpretiert die große deutsche Geigerin ein leidenschaftlich-romantisches Violinkonzert

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

 

(Written on November 4, 2013 )

The London-based Turkish pianist AyseDeniz Gokcin released an EP album towards the end of 2012, uniting her love for rock and classical music. The young pianist transformed three Pink Floyd songs in the style of Franz Liszt and performed her arrangements on a classical piano – no electronics involved.

She wanted to pay homage to Liszt and celebrate his 200th anniversary as well as Pink Floyd’s music-making – ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, ‘Wish You Were Here’ and ‘Hey You’ all feature on her EP.

Following an article on her release on Prog Rock Magazine Online, which can be read here, AyseDeniz has received worldwide recognition. First published on 26th December 2012, the piece has been shared on Facebook nearly 300 times and tweeted directly from Prog Rock Magazine Online by many a reader. The feature has continued to spread; first translated into Hungarian for Hard Rock, followed by a translation into Spanish for Esquiz Ofrenia. AyseDeniz’ article was then shared on major music websites in Finland, Brazil, Italy, Greece, the Netherlands, Turkey and many more. And so her Lisztified interpretation of Pink Floyd has gained fans worldwide.

You can download her album here

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/pink-floyd-lisztified-fantasia/id561516020

AyseDeniz will be performing at St James’, Piccadilly on 25th April.

And for more information about AyseDeniz – visit her website http://www.aysedeniz.org/Pianist.html or follow her on twitter https://twitter.com/ADpianist

aysedeniz-gokcin-pink-floyd-liszt-1357834669-old-article-0

(Written on January 16, 2013 )

Every day the WildKat team scan the newspapers and blogs online to bring you a digested list of the day’s classical music news.

Gramophone

At home with Sibelius

Hearing Finnish music on its own soil, and visiting Ainola

The Guardian

A fight at the opera as conductor quits Italy for new role in America

Rome’s Teatro dell’Opera theatre threatens to sue New York Met for poaching world-renowned Italian conductor Fabio Luisi

The New York Times

At Monk Competition, a Sound Worth Returning To

While emulating the late Thelonious Monk is not a requirement of the international piano competition that bears his name, his trademark dissonance was on display.

The Telegraph

Madam Butterfly, Mid Wales Opera, Theatr Hafren, Newton, review

Mid-Wales Opera’s version of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly bravely opts for a touch of kitchen-sink realism.

The Times

Not in Our Time at Cheltenham Town Hall

The spoken utterances of President George W. Bush aren’t a composer’s usual quarry when searching for texts — I can’t think why.

(Written on September 13, 2011 )