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Starting this Saturday and continuing throughout the month of November, Wimbledon will welcome world-class artists from around the globe to perform in various venues as part of the Wimbledon International Music Festival.

Now in its sixth year, the Festival has gone from strength to strength, programming unique concerts and performances from internationally renowned musicians and actors. Supported by Arts Council England, this is Wimbledon’s most creative and expansive year yet.

Wimbledon’s War and Peace theme is particularly unique. Haydn’s ‘Nelson’ Mass will feature in the opening concert given by The Academy Choir and Baroque Players, and The Katona Twins will perform their programme ‘For Whom the Bell Tolls’, interwoven with the prose and poetry of international writers, narrated by actor Henry Goodman. Prokofiev’s celebrated ‘War Sonata’ No. 7 will also feature in young pianist Denis Kozhukhin’s recital. The festival also offers ‘Peace’ with Mozart’s ‘Exsultate Jubilate’ and fun with ‘Death by Custard’, ballads performed by Musicians of the Globe.

The centre-piece of this year’s Festival will be an original production of Stravinsky’s dramatic masterpiece The Solider’s Tale - set as a computer game, with a parachute drop in, projections, and a smart phone used as never before. Fully costumed, with seven dancers and narrator it is supported musically by an extraordinary group of musicians. All musicians are Principals from major orchestras, aside from world renowned clarinettist Michael Collins, perhaps the finest clarinet player in the world.

Other highlights include the extended jazz series in association with Maggie Black Jazz Promotions and the New Generation Artists Series. New Generation Artists performing this year include musicians from the Yehudi Menuhin School, Ars Eloquentiae, Busch Piano Trio and BBC Young Musician of the Year Martin James Bartlett.

A5 The Solder's Tale_v2

 

(Written on November 7, 2014 )

Classic FM

Karl Jenkins to judge Arts Club’s £4,000 classical music award

Calling all young musicians: entries for the Classical Music Award, launched by the Arts Club in 2013 to celebrate the best performer aged between 18-30 in the UK, close on Friday 17 October.

British Airways pairs in-flight meals with classical music

British Airways have revealed a new strategy to make in-flight food taste better – pairing specific music with their meals.

The Strad

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra receives $400,000 from Andrew W Mellon Foundation

The ensemble will use the grant to launch ‘Next Generation Orpheus’

London stringed instrument dealer J & A Beare launches its first exclusively online auction

The initial sale features 37 instruments, including a Stradivarius violin and two Guadagninis

Classical Source

Wall of Water: world premiere of Violin Concerto by Deborah Pritchard in response to paintings by Maggi Hambling (October 18 at LSO St Luke’s) 

Gramophone

Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel tear up the rulebook for Sweeney Todd

Video: a concert performance like you’ve never seen before

Slipped Disc

The string quartet that speaks

Stanford University’s St. Lawrence String Quartet are playing a Haydn Discovery series in which violinist Geoff Nuttall involves the audience in what’s really going on inside those staves.

Limelight Magazine

Politicians speak out on WA Opera “censorship”

The PM and other high ranking officials criticise “crazy” decision to cut Carmen

11Alive News

ASO musicians send memo of concern to board of directors

More than a month after the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra musicians were locked out following failed contract talks, there is still no progress to report.

Die Welt

Regisseur veralbert Putin mit schwulem Zarensohn

Die Staatsoperette Dresden gönnt sich einen Seitenhieb auf die wachsende Homophobie in Russland – mit einer pikanten Inszenierung von Lehárs “Zarewitsch”.

Heute hätte er längst seinen Oscar

Wagner klaute von ihm, Wagner hasste ihn, Wagner wäre ohne ihn kaum denkbar.

crescendo

Hummeln auf dem Opernplatz

Wer sich den Cellisten Johannes Moser, einen passionierten Kammermusiker, zum „Museums-Solisten“ wählt und ihm die Möglichkeit gibt, sein Residence-Programm selbst mitzugestalten, der muss sich auf die eine oder andere Überraschung einstellen.

Deutschlandradio Kultur

Wir haben eine gute Zeit!

Wie kommt ein Chor zu diesem Namen? Ganz einfach: Er wurde am Psychologischen Institut der Uni Jena gegründet.

Codex Flores

Australiens Politik übt sich in Schadensbegrenzung

Nachdem sich die Western Australia Opera mit ihrem Bann von Bizets Carmen aus Gründen der politischen Korrektheit zum Gespött der Welt gemacht hat, macht nun die Politik auf Schadensbegrenzung.

classicalite

Fused Muse Ensemble Draws Attention to Environmental Issues Through Music, Dance and Video at Constellation in Chicago

Is it possible for artists to influence people’s attitudes toward global concerns through their art?

The Spectator

The drunk conductor who ruined Rachmaninov’s career

The disastrous first performance of Rachmaninov’s First Symphony has cast a shadow over the work ever since

Twitter

Classic FM: @ClassicFM Peugeot have made a piano. Love or hate? (more pics here: http://classfm.co/1fKf2O )

Classical Music: ‏@ClassicalMusic8 Winchester Orchestra of San Jose debuts new season, new leader – San Jose Mercury News http://dlvr.it/7D8lPW

Guardian Classical: @GdnClassical BBC Radio 3 doesn’t score highly with Ed Vaizey | Media Monkey http://gu.com/p/42fje 

Telegraph Classical: @TeleClassical Why the injustice against Joseph Haydn? http://tgr.ph/1u807FH 

The Classical Source: @ClassicalSource Preview: The Marriage of Figaro – Metropolitan Opera Live in HD on Sat 18

Orpheus‘Orpheus Chamber Orchestra’ Photo: via The Strad

(Written on October 16, 2014 )

WildKat PR are thrilled to announce that William will be performing in Germany with his recital tour during the 2014/2015 season.

He will begin the tour with a performance in Bonn at the Beethoven-Haus Kammermusiksaal on 5 October at 6pm and then in Bielefeld’s Rudolf-Oetker-Halle on 8 October at 8pm, accompanied by pianist Nico de Villiers. The programme, titled “Eine musikalische Reise – Liederabend mit William Berger”, will include music by Schubert, Haydn, Mahler and Mozart, songs by British composer Jonathan Dove and a selection of French melodies.

The tour continues in March 2015 with renowned pianist Julius Drake for performances in Munich, Hamburg and Berlin.

To find out more information and to buy tickets please click here.

Poster Bielefeld 1-2 A2

(Written on September 17, 2014 )

Jorge Grundman’s album A Mortuis Resurgere: A Resurrection of Christ is being released in the US today.

The work, which features the Brodsky Quartet and soprano Susana Cordón, has been composed as a “follow on” from Haydn’s Seven Last Words of our Saviour on the Cross and was premiered during Easter week 2013. Its religious nature means that the work has been composed with church performance in mind. In the composer’s words; “The characteristic of a church as an acoustic space is its very long reverberation time, making listening difficult in some passages, often rendering the voice unintelligible. I thus conceived the work for an average reverberation time of four to five seconds.” This concern with directness of expression and focus on acoustic effect is based on Jorge’s avid interest in acoustic science which has influenced many of his compositions.

A Mortuis Resurgere was described on UK website Arts Wrap as having “a wonderful range of emotions that have perfectly been interpreted by both Cordon and the Brodsky Quartet”. Also reviewed on SA-CD.net, it has been complimented as being accessible to both the religious and non-religious; “To a non-believer, this human drama is beautifully portrayed and lavished with rich expressiveness by the relatively small, and thus intimate, musical forces, ending with energetic jubilation as it does. To a believer, this fine performance might well fulfil Grundman’s hope that listening could induce a religious experience in them.” It has subsequently received criticial acclaim in the US prior to its release, winning the Boston Metro Opera Concert Award for Four Sad Seasons Over Madrid and the Boston Metro Opera Director’s Choice Award for God’s Sketches.

More information on the album can be found here.

IMG_2980

 

 

Jorge Grundman

Photograph: Official site of Jorge Grundman

(Written on June 23, 2014 )

The Strad

LeoGroup purchases multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin with digital currency bitcoin

Financial advisory firm Leo Group LLC has purchased a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin from the maker’s ‘golden period’ using bitcoin – the first time an instrument of such value has been bought using the digital currency.

Classical Music Magazine

NMC overcomes funding crisis arising from Holst Foundation’s dissolution

NMC, the label devoted to recording works by British contemporary composers, has overcome a funding crisis which threatened to overshadow its 25th anniversary celebration.

Classic FM Online

The Lark Ascending tops Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014

 the soaring violin melody has taken the number one spot in the Classic FM Hall of Fame 2014. Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2, the piece at the top of the chart for the past three years, now sits at number two.

Julian Lloyd Webber awarded ISM’s Distinguished Musician Award

The British cello star picked up the award from the Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) in partnership with Classic FM at the ISM conference in Birmingham Conservatoire this afternoon.

Guardian

How to do justice to Christ’s Last Words

Haydn’s meditations on Christ’s Seven Last Words are among the great pieces of Easter music. But could Ruth Padel, steeped in Darwin and Freud, write poetry about this cornerstone of Christianity?

The Hollywood Reporter

Musicians Union Slams Lionsgate Over ‘Draft Day’ 

The American Federation of Musicians is pressing the case that U.S. films and television programs should be scored domestically, not overseas, especially when they receive U.S. production tax credits.

New York Times

Every Number Tells a Story

In a series called Collected Stories, the composer David Lang curates an alluring set of programs that explore the idea of storytelling in music.

Tofaki

Smiling with a cramp

Nils Frahm is re-creating living spaces in his studio

Berliner Zeitung

Barenboim und Domingo: Sonne über dem Tonsatz-Gestrüpp

Ein Stelldichein der Leichtigkeit und Inbrunst lieferten sich die Staatskapelle unter Daniel Barenboim mit dem gefeierten Tenor Plácido Domingo bei ihren Feiertagskonzerten.

Classical Music on Twitter

Classic FM: @ClassicFM He’s topped the #HallOfFame once again. Here’s 8 reasons why we love Vaughan Williams: http://classfm.co/RWV8

Arts Professional: @ArtsPro #Goodwatch: @LDNmusicmasters debate on class, race, and classical music http://bit.ly/1ndxA2E

Jim McCauley: @JimMcCauley Classical nerds angry about game soundtrack, game nerds angry about classical nerds. This could run and run! http://halloffame.classicfm.com/2014/chart/position/7

Michel van der Aa: @vanderaanet Call for scores, composers competition on freedom -> http://callforscores.wordpress.com/

Lincoln Center: @LincolnCenter Free concert Thursday! Pianist Jenny Lin plays classical works & Broadway standards. http://bit.ly/1kP9UPG

The Strad

The Strad

 

(Written on April 22, 2014 )

Tickets for harpsichordist Eddy Grossenstein’s UK concerts are now on sale!

Eddy’s European concerts have enjoyed considerable success, and now he is bringing his performing talents to the UK. From the end of March to the end of May he will undertake a series of concerts in England and Scotland.

On his decision to perform in the UK and the venues he will be playing in, Eddy commented:
“I have chosen the venues because they are beautiful and historic places with amazing acoustics. I have played prolifically on the continent and now I am choosing to come to the UK because the concert-going public here are one of the most enthusiastic in the world. In the UK, people go to concerts to listen to good music. And just for it.”

Eddy’s first concert will be on March 29th in the beautiful St Andrew’s Church, Cheltenham.

For a full list of dates and to buy tickets, please see Eddy’s website.

Eddy Gro, 1

 

(Written on March 3, 2014 )

It’s a long-long weekend, it’s the Jubilee Weekend – it’s a WildKat party!

The Jubilee Weekend is upon us, London is decked out in flags and all things festive and we feel compelled to share our favourite regal and patriotic music with you. That bunting would just look so out of place if it weren’t for some royal tunes to go with it.

So here are some of our favourite (some seriously superb, some simply fun) musical choices for the royal weekend! Wave those flags, get the beverages and the food out and let’s sing and sway along!

Handel – Music for the Royal Fireworks

Composer under contract of George II for the fireworks in London’s Green Park on 27 April 1749 Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks celebrated the end of the War of the Austrian Succession. When published, Handel wished to present the work as an overture but the Crown had it given the title “Music for the Royal Fireworks” as propaganda in favour of an otherwise unpopular Treaty and monarch.

Thomas Arne’s – Rule Britannia! 

Rule Britannia was  was originally composed for Alfred, a masque about Alfred the Great, and first performed at the country home of Frederick, Prince of Wales (the eldest son of George II and father of the future George III, as well as the great-grandfather of Queen Victoria), on 1 August 1740, to commemorate the accession of George II and the third birthday of the Princess Augusta.

We know several people who are huge fans of this diva-off:

 

Walton – Crown Imperial

Despite being composed for King George VI’s brother, Edward VIII, Crown Imperial was first performed at the coronation of King George VI in 1937.

Widor - Toccata from Symphony No 5

Probably one of Widor’s best known works, the Toccata from Symphony No. 5 for Organ has been performed at the weddings of many members of the Royal Family, including Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince William.

Haydn – “Kaiser” Quartet

To round off our playlist, we’re recommending Haydn’s String Quartet Op. 76 No. 3, which was composed while he was employed at the court of Prince Nicolaus Esterházy II and boasts the nickname ‘Emperor’ because Haydn quotes the melody from ‘God Save Emperor Francis’.

(Written on June 1, 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.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/music/classical/article3278958.ece

 

(Written on January 9, 2012 )

Following the huge success of the 2011 Music@Malling Festival, Thomas will conduct a one-off Christmas concert on 17th December 2011 conducting the highly-acclaimed ensemble, Chamber Domaine. Featuring music by Mozart and Sibelius in a candle-lit venue, this concert promises to be the perfect occasion to enjoy some festive music in an exquisite setting.

Programme:

Sibelius – Romance

Mozart – Divertimento in D K. 136

Sibelius – Rakastava

Interval 

Sibelius – Valse Triste

Mozart – Divertimento in B K137

Sibelius – Andante Festivo

Mozart – Divertimento in F K 138

Tickets are £15 for adults and free for children. For booking more information please call 01732 770 929.

Next year Music@Malling Festival will feature the work of Huw Watkins and Judith Bingham alongside MendelssohnMozart and Haydn.

(Written on December 7, 2011 )

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

Gramophone Blogs

500 years of St. Johns College, Cambridge

Andrew Nethsingha looks to the future as The Choir of St John’s College, Cambridge marks the 500th anniversary of the College.

Gramophone News

Tears as Helsinki Philharmonic plays Sibelius’ Eighth fragments

Extraordinary scenes as composer’s own orchestra plays controversial sketches for the first time.

The Guardian -Tom Service

Leif Segerstam: weird and wonderful symphonic master

Maverick, eccentric? Words can’t describe this prolific Finnish composer – which probably explains his symphonies’ titles.

The Telegraph

ENO’s new Eugene Onegin is a great show: shame about the casting though.

Eugene Onegin is the perfect opera in search of the perfect production, which it rarely gets. I’ve seen some stinkers in my time – including the infamous Brokeback Mountain staging in Munich several years ago, which transformed Lensky and Onegin into cowboy lovers and the grand ball in St Petersburg into a nightclub dance routine done by all-male chorus line in big hats, boots, and little else.

The Times

Takács Quartet: Haydn String Quartets

Nothing in Haydn is innocuous. This isn’t music for multi-taskers: the more closely you listen, the more gripping and mischievous it becomes…

 

(Written on November 18, 2011 )