Posts Tagged ‘history’
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In today’s news: Mass resignation of the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities, Outrage as St Sepulchre’s stops taking bookings from musicians, and what tune does Big Ben chime? Bebersee Festival to open with family concert, Dudamel’s tour in Venezuela has been cancelled, and Andreas Ambühl has to give up music career.

The Times

La Scala’s Riccardo Chailly: how to run an opera house with a diva of an audience

Riccardo Chailly, music director of La Scala, explains how he handles the heckles at home, as his orchestra prepares to play the Proms

International Piano

Yamaha announces best-ever piano upgrade bonus

Yamaha has announced details of its annual piano upgrade promotion, which offers the company’s best ever part-exchange deals.

Apollo

Mass resignation of the Presidential Committee on the Arts and Humanities

In a letter sent on Friday, all the remaining members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities resigned in protest at President Donald Trump’s refusal to condemn far-right protests in Charlottesville.

Classical Music Magazine

Outrage as St Sepulchre’s stops taking bookings from musicians

The church, where Sir Henry Wood is buried, is regularly used by ensembles such as the London Youth Choir and City Chorus, but will close its hiring programme from 2018.

Classic FM

What tune does Big Ben chime? And everything else you wanted to know about the country’s most famous bell

Before it’s silenced for four years because of restoration work, we’re delving into the history of the most famous clock tower – and bell – in the world

Limelight

Massenet, The Nose and Meistersinger headline OA’s 2018

Stars on offer include Nicole Car, Jessica Pratt, Leo Nucci, Ferruccio Furlanetto, John Tomlinson and Michael Fabiano.

Broadway World

Following Casting Controversy; Albee Estate Proves Diversity Is Allowed

As BroadwayWorld reported in May, controversy recently erupted over an Oregon production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Shoebox Theatre director Michael Streeter posted the below statement after receiving news from the Edward Albee estate.

Klassik Heute

Das Bebersee Festival eröffnet mit einem Familienkonzert

Das 15. Bebersee Festival eroöffnet in Kürze mit Beethoven und Goldberg-Variationen.

Musik Heute

Nach Maduro-Kritik: Venezuela streicht Tour von Stardirigent Dudamel

Caracas – Nach seiner Kritik an Staatschef Nicolás Maduro hat Venezuelas Regierung eine für September geplante Tour des Stardirigenten Gustavo Dudamel mit dem nationalen Jugendorchester gestrichen.

Codex Flores

Tinnitus beendet Berufsmusikerkarriere

In ungewöhnlicher Offenheit kommuniziert das Ensemble Tritonus über das Karrierende seines Mitglieds Andreas Ambühl – wegen eines unerträglich gewordenen Tinnitus.

Twitter

in 1878 Birth of Canadian Edward

Classical Music Magazine: Photo credit: Making Music

(Written on August 22, 2017 )

In today’s classical news: Beer, Bach, tweets and Tavener, older audiences know how to listen properly, and RNCM announces 2017 Honorands. After seven years Martin Hoffmann steps down as manager of the Berlin Philharmonic, and new professor at the MUMUTH school of arts Graz. Sony takes up vinyl production, and Penderecki’s music in the new Twin Peaks season.

The Guardian

Beer, Bach, tweets and Tavener: mixing up the classical concert

Can a concert that throws out all the things about the classical experience that puts may people off succeed in attracting a new audience? Cheltenham festival are having a go.

The Times

Older audiences know how to listen properly, says violin virtuoso Nicola Benedetti

The violin virtuoso has expressed outrage at suggestions that organisers of symphony concerts should focus on attracting younger crowds, at the expense of older devotees.

Music Teacher

RNCM announces 2017 Honorands

Dame Patricia Routledge, Jean-Efflam Bavouzet, Henning Kraggerud and Vasily Petrenko are among the Royal Northern College of Music’s 2017 Honorands.

Classical Music Magazine

London Sinfonietta reveals 50th anniversary season

The London Sinfonietta’s 50th anniversary season will see the ensemble explore its history and cultural legacy, and look to the future with a number of new works and projects.

The Strad

Midori to join Curtis Institute of Music violin faculty in 2018

The violinist, who has taught at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music for 14 years, will join the Curtis Institute full-time from the 2018-2019 academic year

Tagesspiegel

„Mein Büro ist das Herzzentrum“

Nach sieben Jahren endet die Intendanz von Martin Hoffmann bei den Berliner Philharmonikern. Ein Gespräch über Manager und Musiker, Querelen am Kulturforum und den Geldsegen vom Bund.

Concerti

Eine Woche reicht für beides – Wettbewerb und Fest

TONALi schickt zwölf junge Geiger ins Rennen – an höchst ungewöhnlichen Orten

NMZ

Alles Oper, oder was?

René Zisterer steht im Foyer des MUMUTH – Haus für Musik und Musiktheater – und sieht sichtlich zufrieden aus.

WQXR

Listening to Penderecki’s Music in ‘Twin Peaks’

Much has been written about the eighth episode of Twin Peaks’ 2017 incarnation.

Le Parisien

Face au retour en grâce du vinyle, Sony va relancer la production

Avis aux nostalgiques mais aussi aux jeunes mélomanes, le géant japonais de l’électronique Sony va reprendre d’ici à mars 2018 la fabrication de vinyles, après un arrêt de trois décennies.

Twitter

in 1888 FP of Richard ‘s Die Feen at the Hoftheater, in Munich.

The Times: Nicola Benedetti

(Written on June 29, 2017 )

Classical News

In today’s classical news, read about Groupmuse, a service currently provided in parts of U.S., bringing classical music to your living room. BBC launches project to uncover works by female composers in joint partnership with Arts and Humanities Reserach Council. Rubicon Classics, a label that will launch in January that aims to bring a new audience to classical music by marketing itself primarily on social media and the internet. Also, Fort Worth Symphony’s strike is likely to end soon, as the management and the musicians might have reached a tentative agreement.

The New York Times

I Went to My First Classical Music Concert. It Was in My Living Room.

The smile that spread across my face a few seconds after the Zaffre Quartet began the rousing finale of Mozart’s String Quartet in G was the first hint that I’d stumbled onto something special.

CMUSE

BBC launches project to discover works by women composers

BBC Radio 3 is beginning a project to uncover the lost works of women composers in a joint partnership with the Arts and Humanities Research Council. The aim will be to locate music by forgotten composers and record it by making use of the BBC’s orchestras and choirs.

What was Mozart’s last completed composition?

Today is the 225th anniversary of the death of Mozart on 5 December, 1791. Anyone unaware of the dramatic licence taken in the play and film “Amadeus” might think that the genius composed the last bars of his Requiem on his deathbed, but reality didn’t quite live up to that story.

How does the oldest piano in the world sound?

Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano, created the instrument around the turn of the 18th century. The first hard evidence of a piano in existence comes from an inventory of goods from 1700, in which it is referred to as a harp harpsichord.

pizzicato.lu

Fort Worth Symphony Strike Is Likely To End

The management and the musicians of the Fort Symphony Orchestra have reached a tentative agreement, the Star Telegram reports.

The Violin Channel

British Violinist Sentenced to 2.5 Years Jail Over ‘Fake Cancer’ Scam

British violinist Bethan Doci has been jailed for 32 months after it was revealed she conned over $440,000 from good samaritans in a ‘fake cancer’ scam

Classical Music Magazine

Rubicon Classics to launch in January

A label will launch in January that aims to bring a new audience to classical music by marketing itself primarily on social media and the internet.

Die Welt

So viel Amadeus war nie. Und wird nie wieder sein

Zu Mozarts 225. Todestag setzt die Deutsche Grammophon mit einer 200 CDs umfassenden Box auch sich selbst ein Denkmal. Die Rekordausgabe ist sehr schön. Stimmt aber auch ziemlich wehmütig.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Brechts First Lady

Über viele Jahrzehnte prägte sie als Theaterschauspielerin das Berliner Ensemble. Sie sang Chansons auf den großen Bühnen und hinterließ ihre Spuren auch im Fernsehen. Ein Nachruf auf Gisela May.

klassik.com

Besucherzahlen in Interimsspielstätte um 20.000 niedriger als im Musicalzelt der Vorsaison

Oper Köln: 44 Millionen Euro Verlust, rückläufige Besucherzahlen

Twitter

Music History @today_classical #Today in 1791 Death of W. A. #Mozart in Vienna #MusicHistory #classicalmusic

Classical Music News @ClassicalMusic How do musicians’ brains process so many notes? http://dlvr.it/MplLNH #ClassicalMusic

Classic FM @ClassicFM For a truly magical carol concert, head to @StPaulsLondon this Thursday, in aid of @mssocietyuk Tickets: http://classfm.co/YLfTAw 

wildkatpr-groupmuse-an-rong-xu-nytimes

Photo: An Rong Xu for The New York Times

(Written on December 5, 2016 )

Much has been made of the Mozart / Salieri rivalry, most famously in Milos Forman’s 1984 film Amadeus.

Last Friday, The Prague Post revealed that a long-lost collaboration between the composers has been discovered by the Czech Museum of Music in Prague.

Mikhail A. Vrubel, Salieri and Mozart, 1885/ bewilderingstories.com

Mikhail A. Vrubel, Salieri and Mozart, 1885/ bewilderingstories.com

The most exciting moment is yet to come when later this week, the work will be presented to the media. Will it then be performed?

Most people have watched Amadeus, however, less widely circulated is Pushkin’s 1830 poetic drama, Mozart and Salieri, also based on the myth that Salieri murdered Mozart.

The drama mediates on the nature of creativity and illustrates the nature of genius and envy. Salieri is a man totally devoted to music, however, as he fully realises the extent of his rival, the ‘wunderkind’ Mozart’s genius as a composer, he begins to doubt his own talent. Much like in the film, Mozart has a cheerful, care-free disposition, whilst Salieri must take his work very seriously in order for it to be a success. Mozart’s God- given genius contrasts starkly with Salieri’s supposed mere human skill and endeavour; indeed ‘Amadeus’, Mozart’s middle name means ‘loved by God.’ Here, Salieri elucidates on his unbearable feelings of jealousy.

Who’d say that proud Salieri would in life
Be a repellent envier, a serpent
Trampled by people,
Gnawing sand and dust in impotence?
No one! And now — I’ll say it
I am an envier. I envy; sorely,
Profoundly now I envy. — Pray, o Heaven!

Salieri/ 'Amadeus'

Serious Salieri / ‘Amadeus’

Salieri is infuriated by Mozart’s seemingly casual approach to his composition. When Mozart plays one of his new works for Salieri and then asks whether he thinks it’s any good, Salieri bursts out:

What profundity!
What symmetry and what audacity!
You, Mozart, are a god — and you don’t know it.
But I, I know.

Mozart/ 'Amadeus'

Light-hearted Mozart/ ‘Amadeus’

You can read the very short work here or watch it here.

It is widely understood that their rivalry is greatly exaggerated and the recent the discovery of a collaborative work between the two, makes the myth that Salieri murdered Mozart even more questionable. 200 years later, the story still isn’t over; what more might their joint venture reveal?

(Written on February 16, 2016 )

Classical News

In today’s news, Classical Music Magazine reports that PRS have announced 20 winning commissions for New Music Biennial and Alison Balsom and Peter Moore join RPS/YCAT mentoring scheme. Also, Boston Orchestra loans patrons iPads and applications open for Rhinegold Charity Fund

Classical Music Magazine

PRS for Music Foundation announces 20 winning commissions for New Music Biennial 2017

PRS for Music Foundation has announced the 20 commissions selected for the New Music Biennial 2017

ABCNews

Tech at the Symphony: Boston Orchestra Loaning Patrons iPads

A night at the symphony usually means silencing cellphones and mobile devices before the music starts. But as part of an effort to draw in a younger audience, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is loaning select patrons iPads loaded with content specific to each performance

Classical Music Magazine

Alison Balsom and Peter Moore join RPS/YCAT Philip Langridge mentoring scheme

Trumpeter Alison Balsom will mentor trombonist Peter Moore as part of the Royal Philharmonic Society/YCAT Philip Langridge mentoring scheme (PLMS)

Early Music Today

Applications open for the Rhinegold Charity Fund

Charities operating within the music sector are invited to submit their applications for the Rhinegold Charity Fund 2016/17

NMZ

Orchestervereinigung fordert Ende des Lohnverzichts

Die Deutsche Orchestervereinigung (DOV) hat ein Ende des Lohnverzichts bei sächsischen Theatern und Orchestern verlangt

Der Tagesspiegel

Dirigent und Diener

Anmut und Präzision: Vasily Petrenko dirigiert das RSB – mit Tine Thing Helseth als Trompetensolistin

Pizzicato

Emmerich Smola Förderpreis 2016 geht an…

Laura Telly Cambier und Lukhanyo Moyake sind die Gewinner des diesjährigen Emmerich Smola Förderpreises.

Le Monde

Laurent Bayle : « A la Philharmonie, il y a encore beaucoup à imaginer »

La Philharmonie de Paris aura traversé, non sans tapage, sa première année. Le 14 janvier 2015, quelques jours après les attentats à Paris et à Montrouge (Hauts-de-Seine), le bâtiment ouvrait ses portes en présence du président de la République, François Hollande

Le Parisien

Le centenaire du compositeur Henri Dutilleux célébré au-delà de la polémique

Le centième anniversaire de la naissance d’Henri Dutilleux, dont la musique à la fois moderne et très accessible a su conquérir un vaste public, devrait permettre de faire oublier la polémique née au printemps autour de la pose d’une plaque à Pari

Twitter

Royal Academy Music@RoyalAcadMusic Congrats to alumni duo Alexander Sitkovetsky (#Strings #violin) and Wu Qian (#Piano), @LincolnCenter Emerging Artist Award winners

BSO@BSOrchestra   I added a video to a @YouTube playlist http://youtu.be/mBfx6sKnc0M?a  Interview with Jac van Steen – Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Music History@today_classical  #Today in 1883 Birth of German #conductor Hermann #ABENDROTH #MusicHistory #classicalmusic

Peter

Peter Moore/Classical Music Magazine

(Written on January 19, 2016 )

Classical News

In today’s news, a 17 year-old female conductor breaks down barriers in Afghanistan, and Harpist Catrin Finch describes how a Welsh settlement in Patagonia survives through music. Also, the UK music sector shows rapid growth, and Shoichi Yabuta has been announced as the winner of the Geneva Competition 2015 composition prize

International Arts Manager

UK music sector shows rapid growth

The UK’s music industry is making itself heard, as a new report shows its importance to the country’s economy

BBC Music Magazine

Female conductor breaks down barriers in Afghanistan

A 17 year-old conductor makes history in Kabul

Classical Music Magazine

Shoichi Yabuta wins Geneva composition prize

Shoichi Yabuta (Japan) has been announced as the winner of the Geneva Competition 2015 composition prize

Independent

Georg Friedrich Haas on ‘Morgen und Abend’: ‘I don’t do melodies’

‘Expect soundscapes, not harmonies’, says the composer of his Covent Garden premiere

The Guardian

Catrin Finch’s Patagonia diary: ‘Wales survives here through music’

The BBC National Orchestra of Wales is midway through an ambitious tour of Argentina, Chile and Uruguay, including a community residency celebrating the 150th anniversary of Y Wladfa, the Welsh settlement in Patagonia. Harpist Catrin Finch kept a diary of the first week of the residency

Spiegel

Bewunderter Pianist aus New Orleans: Allen Toussaint ist tot

Er fuhr einen goldenen Rolls-Royce, Kennzeichen “Piano”: Als Musiker spielte er mit Paul McCartney, seine Lieder coverten die Rolling Stones, er prägte den New Orleans Soul. Nun ist Allen Toussaint auf Tournee gestorben – er wurde 77 Jahre alt

nmz 

Komponist Georg Friedrich Haas: Liebevoller Umgang mit dem Tod

Emotionen wachrütteln, Schmerz hören, das sind die Anliegen von Georg Friedrich Haas. Seine Themen kreisen um Leben und Tod. Haas sprach in einem dpa-Interview über seine Zusammenarbeit mit dem norwegischen Star-Autor Jon Fosse

Klassik.com

John Neumeier mit Kyoto-Preis ausgezeichnet

Der Choreograph und Ballett-Intendant John Neumeier hat den diesjährigen Kyoto-Preis in der Sparte Kunst und Philosophie erhalten

Scherzo 

El Museo Lázaro Galdiano abre su temporada musical

El concierto del 16 de noviembre abre la temporada musical en el Museo Lázaro Galdiano a cargo del pianista Enrique Lapaz

El Mundo 

Streaming: el futuro de la música ya se puede escuchar

Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play Music, Deezer, Tidal… ¿Qué ofrece cada plataforma? ¿Por qué gastarse el dinero en una? Una guía para no perderse en la ‘Nube’ sonora

Twitter

Time Out MusicClubbing + classical music = Minimalism with :

Breaking CLE News A Jam-Packed Week of Classical Music Events You Shouldn’t Miss: There’s lots to highlight this week, and a number…

Classical 101The Many Moods of Classical Music in Bond Films

nov11Getty/BBC Music Magazine

(Written on November 11, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, Vienna State Opera extends its live streaming service, and the 2015 BBC Radio 3 auction in aid of BBC Children in Need offers the chance to own handwritten manuscripts by living composers. Also, The Guardian scolds John Humphrys’ remark about the price of opera tickets, arguing that it’s time to scotch this cliche

The Guardian

It’s time to scotch the cliche that opera tickets are too expensive

John Humphrys is just the latest to repeat the myth that opera tickets are prohibitively expensive. Look at the figures. In fact, opera houses offer tickets that are among the cheapest for any live event in the country

Classical Music Magazine

Vienna State Opera extends live streaming service

Vienna State Opera is expanding its offer to cable and satellite television, users of Apple TV and Amazon’s Kindle Fire devices, as well as discussing bringing other opera companies on to its platform, while dramatically cutting its subscription prices

Classical Source

Distinguished living composers donate original handwritten manuscripts to support BBC Children in Need’s 2015 Appeal

The 2015 BBC Radio 3 auction in aid of BBC Children in Need offers the public a chance to own a piece of musical history 

The Strad

Chicago Symphony Orchestra appoints two new violists

Sunghee Choi and Youming Chen join the orchestra from the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Kansas City Symphony respectively

KlassikAkzente

Multimediales Musikerlebnis – Die Apple TV Klassik App

Zusammen mit dem Apple TV der 4. Generation hat Apple einen eigenen App Store für den Fernseher gelauncht. Für die so entstandene neue Plattform haben Touchpress und DG die erste Klassik App für den TV entwickelt

Pizzicato

Schlagzeuger Simone Rubino erhält Credit Suisse Young Artist Award

Der Schlagzeuger Simone Rubino erhält den diesjährigen Credit Suisse Young Artist Award. Die Jury unter Vorsitz von Michael Haefliger, Intendant von ‘Lucerne Festival’, vergab den mit CHF 75.000 zum neunten Mal

nmz

Aus sich selbst heraus bewegt

Douglas Lilburn, dessen Geburtstag sich am 2. November zum hundertsten Mal jährt, war nicht nur Neuseelands überragender Komponist, sondern ein Meister von universellem Karat, eine singuläre Stimme in der unglaublichen Vielfalt der Musik des 20. Jahrhunderts

The New York Times

BalletNext and Abraham.In.Motion Experiment With Jazz

BalletNext, was having its first rehearsal with the Tom Harrell Quintet, and the musicians were playing something a little different from the recording that the dancers had been practicing to for weeks

San Francisco Classical Voice

Young San Franciscian Herding Music in Mongolia

It’s a globe-girding exercise to follow Dimitri Staszewski’s travels from San Francisco to Mongolia, where he is studying the country’s ancient music, contributing to its preservation

Twitter

BBC Radio 3Our auction is up! Own original manuscripts from 5 distinguished living composers

ABRSMGood luck to everyone taking their Music Theory exam today!! Here are ten tips for exam day!

Royal Opera HouseIf you’re based in the USA have a look at our cinema website for details of what’s showing near you ^E

newsnov4

Carmen at the Royal Opera House. The cheapest seats for the current production are £11. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/for the Guardian

(Written on November 4, 2015 )

Classical News

The Telegraph

Love songs are for girls

A history of love songs reveals their place at the forefront of social change but fails to do women justice, says Ivan Hewett

The Strad

Violin maker claims to have discovered the location of buried Nazi treasure

Cyril Whistler says he has cracked the code hidden in the score of Gottfried Federlein’s ‘Marsch-Impromptu’

Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra cancels US tour

The ensemble cites a government cut in its touring budget

Classical Music Magazine

Philip Borg-Wheeler: Why is Sibelius still a foreign language to so many?

This year marks the 150th anniversaries of two deeply original Nordic composers, Sibelius and Nielsen.

Richard Morris heads winners at Music Teacher Awards for Excellence

Richard Morris, the consultant and chairman of the Yehudi Menuhin School, has been honoured with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence.

Zeit Online

“Reden kostet nur Zeit”

Annäherung an den fabelhaften Dirigenten Kirill Petrenko, der sich an der Bayerischen Staatsoper erstmals mit Wagners “Ring” beweist.

Die Welt

Wenn Herr Fleischwurst sich für Mozart ausgibt

Albrecht Mayer ist der Star-Oboist der Berliner Philharmoniker. Aber die Solo-Stücke, die er spielt, muss er oft mühselig in staubigen Archiven suchen. Dabei stößt er manchmal auch auf Hochstapler.

pizzicato

Philharmonisch-Symphonisches Durcheinander in Seoul

Aus Korea, dem Land, aus dem die jungen Musiker scharenweise nasch Europa strömen und in allen Wettbewerben die meisten Kandidaten stellen, kommen schräge Töne: Das ‘Seoul Philharmonic’ wird im Streit zwischen seiner Ex-Managerin Park, den Verwaltungsangestellten und dem Chefdirigenten Myung Whun-Chung zerrissen.

Thomas Hengelbrock erhält Karajan Musikpreis

Im Rahmen einer Aufführung des Oratoriums „Elias“ von Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy am Samstag, 30. Januar 2016 findet die Preisverleihung statt.

Classicalite

Soprano Sarah Brightman Plans To Be First Diva To Sing on ISS Space Adventure, Spends $52 Million

Perhaps one of the world’s most famous sopranos, Sarah Brightman, announced a while back that on Sept. 1 she will be on board Soyuz flight TMA18M bound for the International Space Station hundreds of miles above Earth.

Twitter

British Council Arts ‏@BritishArts : Music fans in London, attend this FREE event @SouthbankCentre to celebrate Nowruz (New Year for Iranians). 20 March: http://bit.ly/1BPtPr1 

Opera North ‏@Opera_North : Ever heard of The Emerald Isle? It’s a comic 2 act opera by #ArthurSullivan! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvB2DKFpJRg … #TriviaTuesday

Classic FM ‏@ClassicFM : Eight composers, and eight treble clefs: http://classfm.co/2Cvzwo 

Hilter-Schatz / MittenwaldFederlein’s Marsch-Impromptu’ score with highlighted annotations. Photo: The Strad

(Written on March 17, 2015 )

In the run up to International Women’s Day this Sunday (8th March), WildKat PR are turning the spotlight onto influential and inspiring female figures in classical music, past and present.

Today’s focus is on Dame Ethel Smyth, a female composer of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, who was also an extremely active suffragette. Such was her devotion to women’s rights that she gave up her music for two years to fight for the cause.

As common to many women of middle class origins at the time, music and music theory lessons were undertaken only as part of a ‘ladylike’ education and not a serious career option. Yet, for Ethel, these inspired her to relocate to the Leipzig Conservatoire when she was 19 where she studied composition, much to her Father’s disapproval who preferred for her to marry.

Ethel Smyth Picture

Bassano. Dame Ethel Mary Smyth Image: National Portrait Gallery, London

In Leipzig she studied under Carl Reinecke and Heinrich von Herzogenberg and it was around this time that her work was introduced to Brahms. He commented, with what she realised afterwards was not a compliment but actually ‘scathing irony,’ ‘So, this is the young lady who writes sonatas and doesn’t know counterpoint.

Despite Brahms’ comments, Smyth’s works were received with critical acclaim, particularly her String Quintet in E Major. Highly respected critic, Wilhelm Altmann, wrote ‘this quintet clearly showcases the composer’s tremendous talent.’ Her Symphonic Serenade in D, secured her recognition with both public and press.

Her introduction to Emmeline Pankhurst in 1910 sparked her passionate involvement in the Suffragette movement. Indeed, she was sentenced to two months in jail for breaking an anti-suffrage politician’s window with a brick! The movement also influenced her music: she wrote The March of the Women which became an anthem for suffrage and was sung by the women on marches.

So, what can we learn from Ethel today? Clearly, her uncompromising commitment to women’s rights is something which is still very important (although we do not condone her violent methods). Whilst there are many wonderfully talented female musicians, there is still a distinct lack of women composers and conductors and Ethel’s determination to buck the trend in 20th Century England is something our industry should celebrate and encourage.

Check back here tomorrow for the next in our series on Marin Alsop!

suffragettes_372

A Suffragette protest in London. Photograph: PA

Sources: WomenComposers.org

Spartacus Educational

The Telegraph

(Written on March 4, 2015 )

Today, 28th January 2015, the Department for Education published their new plans for the content of GCSE and A Level Music exams to be brought into effect from autumn 2016.

The state of music education has been a hot topic in recent weeks and months and was particularly publicised by pianist James Rhodes’ Channel 4 documentary and subsequent ‘Don’t Stop the Music’ campaign to give every child the opportunity to learn a musical instrument. Fueling the fire, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, warned in November 2014 against studying arts subjects in favour of science and maths, arguing that the arts would ‘hold them [students] back for the rest of their lives’. Many prominent musicians such as Nicola Benedetti spoke out against this statement.

The main changes to note from today’s announcement is that, at both levels, the dates open to study are being widened from 1700 to 1900 (this narrowness has been widely criticised) to 1650 to 1910.  This means a much large portion of the Baroque period is included and will now account for the beginning of Bach and Handel’s lives who were both born in 1685. Although the Baroque period is usually said to begin in 1600, 1650 is still a much more standardized year to begin musical education than the original guidelines. The same can be said of the additional 10 years at the end of the timeline. Indeed, bringing music education in line with widely recognised facts in the classical music industry is surely only a positive thing. For this development we have ISM’s Protect Music Education campaign to thank.

Interestingly, commentators have also noted that the usual overwhelming focus on the Western Classical Tradition at GCSE and A Level has been changed to include a compulsory study outside of this. As the world, business, finance and politics become more interconnected, understanding other countries’ history and culture is increasing in importance. Part of this is understanding others’ music and I think this change in the curriculum is a good starting point.

Another positive change, although small, is a change of phrasing: ‘performance and composition’ has become ‘performing and composing’. This subtle difference somewhat removes the pressure on the final outcome of recitals and compositions but emphasises the enjoyment of all parts music making: practising, refining, crafting harmony, correcting errors, discovering that pupil’s personal style. Again, ISM’s campaign was successful.

Hopefully these changes will contribute to the widening belief that music education is beneficial and relevant but that it will also encourage more young people to experience the enjoyment of music.

Bass_and_Treble_clef

Photo: Wikipedia

 

(Written on January 28, 2015 )