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Lately, it seems like the younger generation is divided into two. One half is permanently glued to their digital device, drowning in social media, and can hardly imagine their life without Netflix and Instagram. The other half are rebelling, attempting something easily described as a “digital detox”.

A Digital detox can be defined as a period of time during which a person steps back from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers in order to disconnect to the online world. By many, it is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on real-life social interactions. Stress is proven to be caused by being connected, being online (literally), being available to anyone’s whim 24 hours per day, every day. A recent study from regulator Ofcom concluded that, on average, UK adults spend 25 hours a week online. And that number is constantly increasing.

So can classical music help us to escape the digital chokehold?

Listening to classical music

It is generally accepted that classical music has many positive effects on our brains, sometimes known as “the Mozart effect”. Listening to classical music is proven to boost memory function, sparks creativity, improves productivity and generally makes us feel happier and more relaxed. It can even improve the quality of our (much needed) sleep and help to ease symptoms of depression and melancholy. So why not to turn your phone off, take a deep breath and meditate while listening to classical music after a long working day or just before going to sleep? In our busy and over-connected world it is important to have some time for yourself, to slow things down and classical music is a perfect source of relaxation.

Learning an instrument

From recent research, musical instrument training can have a surprising effect on the structure of our brain. This concerns not only children but also adults and the elderly. Learning an instrument increases the capacity of our memory, enhances spatial reasoning and improves literacy skills. Moreover, musical training requires us to concentrate on one task at once. Concentrating on one task can help us to stay productive; not only while learning an instrument, but one can apply this knowledge to many other crucial tasks.

Attending classical music concerts

Listening to classical music encourages us to think deeply, connect better to ourselves and also connect to the people around us. Going to venues also means connecting to real people, talking to them, and socialising in real life. Sometimes we all need to take a step back from technology now and again. Attending classical music venues reminds us of being fully present in the world. Moreover, classical music concerts are beautiful, not only aurally, but also visually.

Considering all the benefits of classical music, we can utilise it to make our digital detox easier and our life more mindful and deliberate. Likewise, classical music helps us relax and put ourselves in a better mood. So, let’s switch off our mobile phones from time to time and allow us to be unavailable. Or, to put it in in the words of Chris Baréz-Brown: “Get lost in music with others and you might just find yourself.”

(Written on November 29, 2017 )

In today’s news: The Royal Opera House and Shubbak Festival have announced a London residency for Arab composers, and Facebook takes on Spotify and YouTube in the world of music streaming. Shakespeare’s Globe and Glyndebourne have announced an ‘one-off’ Hamlet event, and a group of Manchester musicians carry their new music video into new digital realms.

Classical Music Magazine

ROH and Shubbak Festival announce residency for Arab composers

The Royal Opera House and Shubbak Festival, in partnership with Abu Dhabi Festival, have announced a London residency for Arab composers.

Shakespeare’s Globe and Glyndebourne collaborate on Hamlet event

Shakespeare’s Globe and Glyndebourne have announced a one-off event which will examine the appeal of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

Music Business Worldwide

Facebook set to Challenge YOUTUBE and Spotify with ‘comprehensive music strategy’

‘The prospect of Facebook taking on the likes of Spotify and YouTube in the world of music streaming is no longer a matter of ‘if’ – it’s a matter of ‘when’.

WOSU

Taking Classical Music to Contemporary and Unusual Spaces

After completing the more-than-7-mile trek up a dormant volcano in Kruzof Island, Alaska, Bailey performed Bach on his fiber carbon cello.

BBC News Beat

The music video that changes each time you click play

This Manchester band’s new music video is configured so that you’ll never see the same thing twice.

Klassik.com

Schleswig-Holstein: 6 Millionen Euro für Sanierung der Musik- und Kongresshalle Lübeck

Das Land Schleswig-Holstein greift der Stadt Lübeck bei der Sanierung der Musik- und Kongresshalle mit weiteren bis zu sechs Millionen Euro unter die Arme.

Neue Musikzeitung

Die Stones kommen an der Freiburger Universität ins Archiv

Vor 55 Jahren haben sich die Rolling Stones gegründet. Die britische Rockband hat seither Musikgeschichte geschrieben. Nun kommen die Stones in Freiburg an die Universität: Die Hochschule beherbergt ihren Angaben zufolge künftig eines der weltweit ersten und größten Rolling-Stones-Archive.

Musik Heute

Bis zwölf Jahre Wartezeit für ein Abo: Wiener Philharmoniker werden 175

Die Wiener Philharmoniker sind gefragt wie nie. Allein im März haben die Musiker in den USA, in Deutschland, in Wien und in Paris mehr als zehn Vorstellungen. Am (heutigen) Dienstag feiert das renommierte Orchester sein 175. Jubiläum.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Boykott von Brexit-Befürwortern?

Der “Iron Maiden”-Sänger Bruce Dickinson will unbedingt raus aus der EU. Wenn Rock-Idole für den Brexit stimmen, geraten Fans in eine Zwickmühle.

Classical Source

Tudor Mass experience created in chapel visited by Henry VIII, for the first time in nearly 500 years

The unique sound of a Tudor Lady Mass has been created for the chapel where Henry VIII would have heard it, almost 500 years ago.

Neue Zurcher Zeitung

Mendelssohn: Romantiker oder Protestant?

Noch heute wird hauptsächlich der Romantiker Mendelssohn bewundert – der protestantische Kirchenmusik-Komponist hat es schwer. Das Freiburger Barockorchester versucht unter Pablo Heras-Casado den Brückenschlag.

Le Monde

Le chef d’orchestre Louis Frémaux est mort à 95 ans

Prédécesseur de Simon Rattle à l’Orchestre symphonique de Birmingham, il a porté la musique française en terre britannique.

Le Figaro

Trois questions à…Pascal Nègre

Seigneur de la pop, du rap, de l’électro et du rock, Pascal Nègre impose à nouveau son jeu, un an après son départ forcé d’Universal Music France.

Twitter

BBC Music Magazine  Is Britain really at the forefront of choral music? makes the argument for a new approach

Music History   in 1842 First official performance of the Orchestra

Image: WOSU

(Written on March 28, 2017 )

Yesterday marked the unveiling of ‘Apple Music‘ – pioneering app, streaming service and 24 hour radio which claims to bring ‘the largest and most diverse collection of music on the planet’ directly to your fingertips.

According to Jimmy Iovine, “Online music has become a complicated mess of apps, services and websites” and in the classical music world, this statement could not be more true. Despite the plethora of options available to the tech-savvy listener, how is it that classical music lovers are still struggling to find recordings of their favourite pieces online? In a recent article on The Record, Anastasia Tsioulcas argues that the problem lies with metadata (the information that coexists with every digital music file.)

But what does this actually mean? Well, if you have ever tried to find a specific aria or overture on Spotify for example, you have probably already fallen victim to this complex phenomenon. Who do you select as the artist? The composer? The orchestra? The soloist? The opera company? The conductor? Unlucky for you, the answer is different every time. Just one incorrect search term and you risk eliminating the result you are looking for.

From Grooveshark to Pandora, numerous streaming and downloading websites have appeared on our computer screens over the past decade, but none of them provide such a comprehensive selection of music, the possibilities to connect with artists nor the personalized services which ‘Apple Music’ promises to do. With its Worldwide Debut on 30 June, we will be interested to see whether this new interactive app will put an end to our classical music streaming struggles. If it does, $9.99/month seems like a small price to pay.

(Written on June 9, 2015 )

Classic FM Online

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa to retire from opera stage?

New Zealand opera singer Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has suggested that she will retire from the opera stage, on the eve of her 70th birthday.

Leonard Slatkin encourages concert audience to use mobile phone cameras

Conductor Leonard Slatkin surprised attendees at a Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert by encouraging them to take photos and videos of the performance with their phones, and to post them on the internet via social media.

Gramophone

Founder of Lyrita Richard Itter has died

Richard Itter was the founder of Lyrita Recorded Edition as a mail-order subscription label in 1959 (with the first LPs issued the following year) and over the next 32 years created a superb catalogue of largely orchestral British music.

Daily Mail

CHRIS DEERIN: I adore classical music. How can I pass the baton to a new generation?

Chris Deerin on Classical Music

Rafael Bonachela: From Madonna to JS Bach

Sydney Dance Co’s AD used to chose Madonna over flamenco, but nowadays it’s classical that sets his toes tapping.

The Telegraph

iTunes Festival may force imminent iOS 7.1 update

A well-connected Apple blogger claims that iOS 7.1 will be released within days as it is needed to support new features to allow the upcoming iTunes Festival in Texas to be live-streamed to devices around the world

Die Welt

Wanderhuren aus dem finsteren Zeitalter der Oper

Lange waren Barockopern etwas für Nerds. Heute gibt es eine ganze Industrie, die sie als gefühlige Events vermarktet. Wie die Alte Musik die Klassikbranche und die Seelen retten soll.
Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on March 5, 2014 )

Classic FM Online

Alfie Boe and friends unite for Parkinson’s concert

Comedy duo Armstrong & Miller are set to reform for charity concert in London’s Royal Albert Hall in June, performing alongside a host of classical stars including Julian Lloyd Webber and Alfie Boe.

Leonard Nimoy to guest with Boston Pops Orchestra

Leonard Nimoy, star of Star Trek and legend of sci-fi, will appear at two Boston Pops Orchestra concerts in May.

The Guardian

Hidden sheet music in Hieronymus Bosch triptych recorded by blogger

Notes written on the posterior of one of the many tortured denizens on a panel of The Garden of Earthly Delights has been composed

NME sales fall below 20,000

IPC Media music magazine reports drop in circulation of 21.1% year on year, with rival Q down 14.2%

Classicalite

Sir James Galway Announces ‘First Flute’ Internet Instruction Series, Suitable for Beginners and Advanced Players Alike

American pianist Jonathan Biss and Swiss flutist Emmanuel Pahud have engaged the ever-expanding internet with web-based music teaching series, and now Ireland’s own Sir James Galway will follow their URL suits.

Classical Music Magazine

London Mozart Players announce details of new structure

Croydon-based chamber orchestra the London Mozart Players has announced details of what will become its new structure after its current managing director, Simon Funnell, leaves at the end of next month as the result of ‘a major funding problem’.

Der Tagesspiegel

Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

In der unendlichen Geschichte um das Hamburger Prestigeobjekt konnte ein weiterer Bauabschnitt beendet werden. Nach den Auseinandersetzungen der vergangenen Jahre zeigen sich derzeit alle Beteiligten kooperativ und optimistisch.
Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on February 14, 2014 )

The Telegraph

Katherine Jenkins: why classical music snobs are wrong

Singer Katherine Jenkins speaks of classical music snobs, the perils of the internet, and why she refuses to adopt a “sexier image”

Claudio Abbado’s death marks the end of an era

Cool-tempered Italian conductor Claudio Abbado, who died aged 80, was a genuine hero for countless musicians and music-lovers. John Allison pays tribute to one of the last giants of the podium

Classic FM Online

Katherine Jenkins re-signs record deal with Decca

Katherine Jenkins has signed a new record deal with the label that first signed her up, Decca records

The New York Times

For Revered Concertmaster, the Start of a Long Goodbye

Farewells Begin for New York Philharmonic’s Glenn Dicterow

BBC News

Theatre by candlelight opens at the Globe

Fourteen years after the opening of Shakespeare’s Globe, the vision of its founder has been fully realised. The thatched amphitheatre on London’s South Bank now stands cheek by jowl with a brand new, old theatre: the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

Killing actress Sofie Grabol stars in James plays

Three new plays about 15th Century Scottish kings are to form the centrepiece of the National Theatre of Scotland’s new programme.

Music Week

Are you in support of age ratings for online music videos?

Debate surrounding an appropriate age-rating system for online music videos was reignited again last week with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) saying it wants one introduced as soon as possible

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on January 21, 2014 )

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 )

Global Post

French luxury piano maker Pleyel plays its final notes

Top-end French piano maker Pleyel, whose instruments were used by the likes of Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy and Franz Liszt, announced Wednesday it will end production by the end of the year

Star Tribune

For Minnesota Orchestra, a fresh start

Recent times have seen the end of The Minnesota Orchestra, but the future suggests there may be a Minnesota Symphony Orchestra… there is an ensemble, a venue and an endowment. All that is needed now is a vision

SF Gate

‘Unsound’ documentary explores collapse of music industry

San Francisco based musician and producer Mikael “Count” Eldridge (DJ Shadow, Galactic) is currently raising funds through an IndieGogo campaign to complete “Unsound,” a documentary that explores the collapse of the music industry in the wake of the Internet

The Strad

American violinist Stephen Waarts wins Young Concert Artists auditions

Violinist Stephen Waarts was the only string player among the three first-prize winners of this year’s Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York

From the archive: The tale of the King of Spain Strads

The set of decorated Stradivari instruments housed at the Royal Palace of Madrid made news recently when they received their first public performance, by the Quiroga Quartet from Spain

Der Tagesspiegel

Sein Weg mit Karajan

32 Jahre lang hat Peter Csobadi als Pressesprecher dem Dirigenten Herbert von Karajan treue Dienste geleistet. Zuvor war der Ungar bereits Sekretär Ferenc Fricsays gewesen, SFB-Redakteur und Pressechef der Berliner Festwochen. In einem Hörbuch erzählt der 90-Jährige nun aus seinem Leben

Global Post

Global Post

(Written on November 14, 2013 )

Gramophone

Jonathan Manners named chief executive of Academy of Ancient Music

Jonathan Manners replaces Michael Garvey, who leaves to become director of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales in December

Classic FM Online

Runners encouraged to ‘Beat Beethoven’ in charity race

Classical music-loving runners are being encouraged to run 5k or walk 2.75k in the time of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5.

Ocarina-playing world record attempt under threat

A choir of schoolchildren hoping to break the record for the greatest number of ocarina players gathered together at one time are desperately seeking volunteers to help their attempt take place

The Telegraph

The Battle of Ideas: are we still able to listen to music properly?

The noise all around us is robbing us of our ability to hear, says Ivan Hewett

Let’s be upstanding for our hymns of praise

‘Worship songs’, feebly crooned to the sound of strummed guitars, are no substitute for the inspiring paeans of the past

CRI English

Experts Urge Classic Music Traditions Back in China

Scholars specializing in Chinese music traditions recently gathered in Beijing to discuss how the decline of classical music education, which also emphasizes ethical education, may cause many problems in contemporary Chinese society

The New York Times

As Downloads Dip, Music Executives Cast a Wary Eye on Streaming Services

As sales of CDs have plunged over the last decade, the music industry clings to one comfort: downloads continue to sell briskly as people fill their computers and iPods with songs by the billions

The Washington Post

Valentina Lisitsa: The pianist who won the Internet

Ukrainian pianist Valentina Lisitsa, 43, has dared to tamper with traditional formula, using YouTube as her empty stage

Klassik.com

Spannungen zwischen Stadtführung und Festspielleitung?

Diskussion um Einfluss der Stadt Bayreuth auf Richard Wagner-Festspiele

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on October 21, 2013 )

The Telegraph

Group perfoms Icelandic hymn in German train station

YouTube video shows Icelandic indie-folk group spontaneously burst into song in Wuppertal station, west Germany

Charlotte Church: female pop stars told ‘take clothes off, show you’re an adult’

Charlotte Church has criticised the music industry as she said young women were being coerced into using sexual imagery to sell their records

AZ Family

Tent City inmates treated to classical music concert

PHOENIX — The magic of Mozart was brought to inmates at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Tent City Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota Daily

Bill would change orchestra ownership

The bill, authored by Phyllis Kahn, would make the Minnesota Orchestra publicly owned

Music Industry News

Yamaha trumpets new instruments

Yamaha unveiled the newest instruments in its Xeno range of trumpets to over 90 VIP Yamaha brass and woodwind dealers from 16 European countries

Tech Radar

Spotify has 20 million songs, but 20% have never been played

Internet music streaming giant has huge catalogue, yet 4 million songs have still to be played

The Guardian

Music events pulled in 6.5 million people to tune of £2.2bn last year

Visit Britain report shows overseas visitors made up 6% of punters but accounted for 20% of money spent attending festivals and gigs

HMV can learn from Rough Trade when it comes to music retail

With its focus on curation and creating a destination store, the independent chain proves there’s more to selling than price

Der Tagesspiegel

Mehr Demokratie hören

Einst umstritten, heute Ikone: Vor 50 Jahren wurde die Berliner Philharmonie eingeweiht. Hans Scharoun hatte erfolgreich für seinen visionären Konzertsaal gekämpft. Eine Zeitreise

The Telegraph

The Telegraph

(Written on October 15, 2013 )