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In todays news: A new programme for Spitalfields, Sistema’s Scotland children’s orchestra brings the noise, the Edge is helping out musicians in the flooded Texas area, the Chicago Lyric Opera recieves a suprise funding and you should listen to music while you work. A central place in Leipzig will be named after Kurt Masur, the results are in for this years Concours Nicati. In Florence the Franco Zeffirelli Center will opens its doors this September, while the director of the Rossini Festival in Pesaro quits after 38 seasons.

BBC News

Children’s orchestra makes a Big Noise in Dundee

Sistema Scotland’s fourth children’s orchestra has launched in Dundee backed by a £325,000 funding boost.

Billboard

The Edge Helping to Replace Instruments for Musicians Affected by Hurricane Harvey

The Edge’s Music Rising charity, which provided new instruments to musicians in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and restored school music programs in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy, is now focusing its efforts on raising funds for Hurricane Harvey relief.

The Telegraph

Why you should listen to music while you work, according to scientific findings

Some prefer to labour in peace. Others find blaring their favourite tunes helps keep them productive. Hitherto it has been matter of personal preference. But now scientific research has uncovered that listening to music can actually be beneficial while you work.

Classical Music Magazine

Spitalfields Music announces 2017 festival

Spitalfields Music has revealed the programme for its 2017 Festival, which has been guest curated by conductor André de Ridder.

Classical Music Magazine

Derek Bourgeois (16 October 1941– 6 September 2017)

English composer Derek Bourgeois has died aged 75.

John Maxwell Geddes (1941-2017)

Composer John Maxwell Geddes has died following a short illness.

Slipped disc

Shock as Rossini Festival Boss quits after 38 Seasons

The resignation of Gianfranco Mariotti today came as a shock to the Italian opera infrastructure.

Klassik.com

Millionenspende für die Chicago Lyric Opera

Die Chicago Lyric Opera, eines der größten Opernhäuser der Vereinigten Staaten, hat eine Spende in Millionenhöhe erhalten.

Codex Flores

Preisträgerinnen des diesjährigen Concours Nicati

In Bern sind die Gewinnerinnen des diesjährigen Concours Nicati bestimmt worden. Den Hochschul-Wettbwerb für die Interpretation zeitgenössischer Musik haben zwei Klarinettistinnen und eine Geigerin gewonnen.

BR Klassik

Posthume Ehrung für den grossen Dirigenten

Bereits seit 1989 war Kurt Masur Ehrenbürger der Stadt Leipzig. 1997 wurde er Ehrendirigent des Gewandhausorchesters, das er zuvor fast dreißig Jahre lang als Kapellmeister geleitet hatte.

France Musique

Un centre dédié à l’univers de Franco Zeffirelli voit le jour à Florence

Installé dans un ancien couvent à l’architecture baroque, situé juste derrière le Palazzo Vecchio, le Centre International des arts du spectacle Franco Zeffirelli est prêt à accueillir le public.

Twitter: # #

 

the Children’s orchestra in Dundee

(Written on September 8, 2017 )

In today’s news: The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s classical music event is tomorrow, and Dean Aaron Dworkin named as the new leadership from the Michigan School of Music. Schauspielhaus Cologne’s Head Dramaturg Thomas Laue to be Artistic Director of Nibelungen-Festspiele Worms, and Dresden Symphony plans a trans-boundary concert at the wall between USA and Mexico. Changes in Heidelberger Frühling Festival are being planned, and to adjust for the Easter time – suit music.

Gramophone

Music for Holy Week and Easter

This week on the Gramophone website we will be exploring some of the finest music written for Holy Week and Easter with three special articles.

The Strad

Violinist Lisa Ji Eun Kim to join the Boston Symphony Orchestra

Kim, who is currently serving as a second violinist with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, has previously performed as a BSO substitute player.
The Guardian

Globe director Dominic Dromgoole swaps stage for screen

After 10 years at the Globe, Dominic Dromgoole will direct and produce films, following in the footsteps of Stephen Daldry and Sam Mendes.

The Times

Florence has a new classical music festival

The New Generation Festival features performances from the world’s finest young musical talents in the spectacular gardens at the Palazzo Corsini Al Prato

The Violin Channel

Dean Aaron Dworkin Has Resigned from Michigan School of Music

Dean Aaron Dworkin is set to step down from the leadership role at the University of Michigan School of Music – effective from August 15th

WDR

Steinway setzt auf selbstspielende Flügel

Der amerikanische Hersteller von Klavieren und Flügeln, Steinway & Sons, verkauft nun auch selbspielende Flügel.

concerti

Thomas Laue wird neuer Künstlerischer Leiter der Nibelungen-Festspiele

Der derzeitige Chefdramaturg am Schauspielhaus Köln wird zur Spielzeit 2018 Künstlerischer Leiter der Nibelungen-Festspiele Worms

Neuemusikzeitung

Der Heidelberger Frühling macht sich mit dem Schwerpunkt „Neuland.Lied“ für das Kunstlied stark

Das Festival Heidelberger Frühling will die Stadt nun wieder zu einem Zentrum der Liedkultur machen

The New York Times

Chuck Berry Is Hailed as a Rock Trailblazer and a St. Louis Hero at His Funeral

The four-hour funeral on Sunday afternoon honored a musician who helped forge rock ’n’ roll but never moved away from his hometown and continued faithfully playing gigs there until he was in his late 80s

WQXR.org

20 Classical Music Selections to Enhance Your Cooking Experience

A stereotype that has been proven again and again is the belief that musicians love to cook

Herald Live

Feast of light classical music

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University’s music department will be taking guests on a classical music journey with its Opera Lights concert tomorrow at the South Campus Auditorium.

Twitter

36 s60th anniversary concert of on 15 May with

3Bislang unbekanntes Manuskript eines -Liedes entdeckt?

Image: The Violin Channel

(Written on April 11, 2017 )

Italy, the country where opera was born around 1600, is home to more than 800 opera houses, many of which have been neglected. A combination of bad management and budget cuts under the Berlusconi government meant that opera houses were severely underfunded, resulting in musicians’ salaries being cut. In some cases, musicians weren’t paid for months on end; many protested and went on strike. By 2013, spending on Italy’s cultural heritage had dropped from €165 million in 2008 to €75 million.

Protests against cuts in Italy's culture budget outside La Scala, Milan in December 2010

Protests against cuts in Italy’s culture budget outside La Scala, Milan in December 2010

Italian opera houses have always relied on state and regional grants, making them more dependent on the state than their counterparts in the UK, which benefit from more private investment. This is however not the case for La Scala in Milan, or Il Teatro Lirico in Turin, as in larger Italian cities, opera houses tend to receive more corporate sponsorship. Opera in smaller cities, such as Florence, has therefore been affected most severely by the cuts in government funding.

The 2013 Italian opera crisis was exasberated by the  financial crisis, and only Milan’s La Scala, Teatro Regio, Turin and La Fenice, Venice were able to pay their bills on time. As a result opera became even less mainstream in the country of it’s birth.

So, how has Italy attempted to solve this crisis? Opera houses are now putting on more modern productions and technology, and social media is being used to show behind the scenes production, via live blogs. La Scala leads the way with translation screens in seats for non Italian speakers, in an attempt to make the art form more accessible.

In May, La Scala premiered ‘CO2’, a contemporary opera which aims to make us acknowledge our responsibility for the planet. It nicely coincided with Expo- Milan 2015, the theme of which was ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’. The opera featured quick scene changes and videos. It was well reviewed.

On a smaller scale, a crowd-funding campaign called ‘adopt a theatre’ has been established by a group of  European singers, to raise money to help bring Italy’s opera houses back to life. So far, the campaign has has resulted in residents of Bevagna, Perugia donating 8,000 to relaunch the Francesco Torti opera theatre. The campaign is now being exported around the country.

The stunning Teatro Francesco Torti in Perugia, saved by the 'adopt a theatre' campaign is launching three new operas.

The stunning Teatro Francesco Torti in Perugia, saved by the ‘adopt a theatre’ campaign is launching three new operas.

Further measures being taken to increase revenues involve opera houses sharing their stages with cinemas and dancers. La Fenice in Venice is adapting its programme to suit the tastes of the huge numbers of tourists who visit the city.

With minimal government support, opera houses in Italy have taken steps to save themselves from collapse, management is being reorganised and as in the UK, modern audiences are being targeted. Opera in Italy may well flourish again, thanks to innovative ideas and initiatives being taken, however these are only first steps, and funding is still short. Perhaps the future of opera houses, particularly those in smaller cities, is not secure just yet.

 

(Written on November 4, 2015 )

Classical News

Guardian

New concert halls – the good, the bad, and the rumours

Jonathan Nott’s move to Geneva will coincide with a new concert hall for the city, Jansons battles on for a hall in Munich fit for his world-class orchestra; and if rumours are to be believed, a similar project might help lure Rattle back to the UK….

Classic FM

Alexandre Desplat wins Bafta for Grand Budapest Hotel score

French composer Alexandre Desplat has won the Original Music Bafta award, beating off competition from Hans Zimmer.

Gramophone

Alan Gilbert to leave the New York Philharmonic

Another major orchestra begins the search for a new music director

BBC Arts and Entertainment

World premiere of Vivaldi’s earliest known work

The newly-discovered earliest known work by Italian baroque composer Antonio Vivaldi is being premiered at a concert on Monday in Florence, at the city’s renowned Uffizi art museum.

‘Phantom of the Opera’ arrested in police chase

An audience member has been arrested at the Vienna State Opera for persistently sneaking into more expensive seats.

Süddeutsche Zeitung Magazin

Sagen Sie jetzt nichts, Gregory Porter

Der Jazz-Sänger über seine größte Schwäche, ein imaginäres Treffen mit Nat King Cole und seine Ballonmütze.

pizzicato

‘Neue Stimmen’-Wettbewerb startet in die Edition 2015

Junge Operntalente aus aller Welt können sich bis zum 31. März 2015 für den Internationalen Gesangswettbewerb ‘Neue Stimmen’ der Bertelsmann Stiftung bewerben.

Klassik.com

Thomas Quasthoff debütiert in Verbier als Dirigent

Nach Aufgabe der Gesangskarriere 2012 nun Wechsel der Profession

Musik Heute

Düsseldorfer Symphoniker: Ádám Fischer wird Erster Konzertdirigent – Alexandre Bloch Principal Guest Conductor

Ádám Fischer wird ab der Saison 2015/16 Erster Konzertdirigent der Düsseldorfer Symphoniker.

The New York Times

Voices Fresh and Familiar at the Grammy Awards

Grammy Winners 2015: Beck, Sam Smith, Pharrell and Beyoncé Thrive

Le Figaro

Pumeza Matshikiza, la Callas des townships

Avec sa voix chaude, son timbre de velours et son vibrato élégant, l’artiste sud-africaine a tout d’une star lyrique en devenir.

Twitter

ClassicalToday @ClassicalToday: And the classical Grammy winners are… http://bit.ly/1DVyAxh

Klassik.com @klassikcom: WestLB-Sammlung soll mit Stiftung und Sponsoren gerettet werden http://klassik.com/?4sU33  #Kulturpolitik #Geige #Stradivari

KlassikAkzente @klassikakzente: Anfang Februar hat das Warten ein Ende! Wir zeigen einen ersten Einblick in The French Collection von Piotr Beczala https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2u6rcTnqBOM …

Pumeza Matshikiza Photo: Le Figaro

Pumeza Matshikiza
Photo: Le Figaro

(Written on February 9, 2015 )

Classic FM Online

Flute virtuoso’s instruments ‘destroyed by US customs’

Performer Boujema Razgui claims his 13 handmade wooden flutes have been destroyed by U.S. customs officials after being deemed to be ‘agricultural products’

BBC Music Magazine

BBC Young Musician category finalists announced

Violinist Nicola Benedetti to take on ambassadorial role for 2014 competition

The Wall Street Journal

Where the Craftsmen Are Women

A visit to an out-of-the-way atelier in Florence where an all-female team restores historic fortepianos

BBC news

Call for major record labels to change for digital age

Over the past 20 years the music industry has had to deal with plummeting CD sales, online piracy and new ways of listening to music via the internet. Are online streaming services the future for the music industry?

Billboard

The 20 Most-Pirated Musicians Of 2013

Though on the decline, piracy is alive and well

Der Tagesspiegel

Wo Europas Kultur sich feiert

Klein und fein: Lettlands Metropole Riga und das nordschwedische Umea sind Europas Kulturhauptstädte 2014

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on January 3, 2014 )