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Classical News

In today’s news, Beares Auctions launches new perpetual service and Anna Meredith, the proms composer ditches classical music for club bangers. Also, a series of world class classical concerts will be held at Watford Colosseum for the first time and Dane Johansen joins Cleveland Orchestra cello section

The Strad

Beares Auctions launches new perpetual service

Through the online company’s new ‘Moto Perpetuo’ platform, a constant selection of instruments and bows will be offered for sale

Hemel Today

World class classical music concert season at Watford Colosseum

For the first time ever a series of world class classical concerts will be held at Watford Colosseum

The Guardian

Anna Meredith: the proms composer ditching classical music for club bangers

The sight of a of 20ft-tall bare bum farting out iPhone messages is about the last thing anyone with jetlag would want to experience, yet Anna Meredith is revelling in it

The Strad

Dane Johansen joins Cleveland Orchestra cello section

The cellist was a member of the Escher String Quartet for five years

Die Zeit

Der gefallene Engel

Vom Missbrauchsopfer zum Konzertpianisten: James Rhodes ist der “bad boy” des Klassikbetriebs


Thüringer Landesmusikakademie bildet erstmals Leiter für Laienensembles aus

An der Landesmusikakademie Sondershausen startet am Freitag (26. Februar) erstmals ein Lehrgang für künftige Leiter von Laienensembles

Wiener Konzerthaus: Einweihung der restaurierten Orgel

Die Orgel im Großen Saal des Wiener Konzerthauses ist restauriert worden. Mit 8.696 Pfeifen ist sie die größte Konzertorgel Europas. Seit ihrer Einweihung 1913 blieb sie den Augen der Konzertbesucher jedoch hinter einem goldenen Gitter verborgen

Res Musica

Das Orchester : nouveau membre du jury des ICMA

Le magazine de la musique classique allemand das Orchester vient de rejoindre les International Classical Music Awards (ICMA) comme membre du jury

Le Figaro

Musique classique : ils ont déja tout des grands

Il a ravi le cœur des Moscovites l’été dernier, en n’emportant que la quatrième place au concours Tchaïkovski, qui lui a tout de même valu les ovations d’un Valery Gergiev plus enthousiaste que jamais


Decca Classics ‏@deccaclassics   Decca Classics and friends is out! … Stories via @nprclassical @BBCScotlandNews @VancouverOpera

Teach Through Music ‏@TTMLondon   What can we do about the isolation felt by #KS3 music teachers? Join us, @MMPeertoPeer & @MusicExLondon as we share learning @MusicEdExpo

Creative Futures ‏@Creative_fut  We think getting involved in the arts from a young age helps children make sense of their lives and strengthen bonds within communities.

Milos Karadaglic. Photo by Andy Earl of Mercury Classics.

Milos Karadaglic, who will perform at Watford Colosseum / Hemel Today


(Written on February 23, 2016 )

Whilst most luthiers seem to be men, the shortlist for Menuhin Competition 2016, is dominated by females. In the Strad’s March 2013 issue, violin maker Ute Zahn asked why there are so few female violin makers. One might assume that it’s something to do with the machines and physical work required to make a violin. However Zahn concludes that violin making is for ‘anyone with patience, passion, aptitude and determination.’ These are also some of the requirements for violin playing; it is extraordinary that out of 22 entrants in the senior category, only one is male and in the junior section there are 15 girls and only seven boys. 

 Ziyu He, 16 is the only male candidate competing in the senior category. Although Austrian, he was born in and is representing China. He started playing at the age of five and since October 2011, Ziyu lives and studies in Salzburg at the Leopold Mozart Institute of the Mozarteum University.

Ziyu He/ esc-plus

Ziyu He/ esc-plus

There are seven candidates from South Korea in the senior category but could the winner come from the UK?  With two entrants this year, this is the highest number of British competitors for twenty years. Indeed in a letter to The Times earlier this week, Julian Lloyd Webber accused the government of trying to squeeze arts subjects out of schools. Certainly compared with China, Korea and Japan, it would seem that children in Britain are given fewer opportunities and encouragement to study music or take up a musical instrument. Schools have minuscule budgets for music education and simply can’t afford to provide children with instruments and regular music classes. James Rhodes, TV presenter and classical pianist makes the point that schools would never require students to bring their own footballs and rugby balls for sports classes. There is however one privileged primary school where every student owns a violin, this is the exception though!

Juliette Roos, 20 along with Louisa Staples, 15 and Mathilde Milwidsky, 21 are the three outstanding violinists who will be fighting it out in the senior category for the UK.

Roos was in the strings final for BBC Young Musician 2012, she won her first prize at the age of six and has performed as soloist, in orchestra, chamber ensembles and in masterclasses ever since.

The 2016 Menuhin Competition takes place at Royal Academy of Music, London from 7-17 April. It is Yehudi Menuhin’s Centenary; the 11 day festival features major concerts from London’s best orchestras and international soloists celebrating all things Menuhin. Given the unprecedented number of females shortlisted for this year’s competition, it looks likely that a girl will win. What does the next one hundred years of the Menuhin’s legacy have in store for us?



(Written on January 8, 2016 )

The findings of the Panic! survey published by Create this week painted a bleak picture as they confirmed what has already been suspected – that the arts are dominated by the middle class, as people from working class backgrounds aren’t given the same opportunities to work in cultural industries.

Create London

Create London

The survey revealed some shocking statistics: on average men working in cultural industries earn 32% more than women working in the sector and nearly 90% of respondents have worked for free at some point in their career. This suggests that it is essential to have parents who are able to lend financial support, just to get a foot in the door of the arts industry.

So how can the arts sector broaden the diversity of its workforce? Schools could play a pivotal role in encouraging and educating children in culture. Many parents don’t have the time or inclination to do so themselves and arts organisations and classes outside of school are expensive.

Indeed, all children should have the right to an education in the arts. Not only can it bring happiness, but music, drama and art classes are also linked to emotional and social development, as well as academic achievement. Apart from this, if state educated children are never offered an education in the arts, they may never be able to consider employment in cultural industries. Surely diversity is essential for the arts to progress?

There are organisations which do a fantastic job promoting diversity and exposing less privileged people to culture. JazzUK, focuses on learning and participation, and aims to reach out to young people from diverse cultures and backgrounds, particularly those who are disadvantaged. Opera North sets a great example; it believes in giving all young people access to opera and always ensures children from poorer areas have priority. James Rhodes’ Instrument for every child initiative has put over 7000 instruments into the hands of Britain’s children. If schools can’t afford to offer such opportunities, such initiatives are vital.

Opera North, Children's Chorus/ Opera North

Opera North, Children’s Chorus/ Opera North

At a later stage in our education, universities play an important role in encouraging young people to explore the arts industry; internships in the cultural sector can be organised and funded by universities during summer holidays. All too often students are unaware of opportunities in the arts, as universities focus almost purely on promoting careers in non-arts sectors, such as law and accounting. 

A career in the arts should not just be for those who can afford it. Talent is everywhere so the opportunities to use it, should be everywhere too. Not only does everyone deserve to benefit from and experience the joy of working in the cultural sector, diversity in the workforce is essential to the future of originality in the arts. 




(Written on November 25, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, James Rhodes’s autobiography reveals his sexual abuse as a boy and his subsequent battles with mental illness, Xian Zhang has been appointed as the next music director of the New Jersey Symphony and Ludovico Einaudi answers 10 questions. Also, JazzUK relaunches with community festival and music director Emmanuel Villaume extends his contract in Dallas

The Guardian

Gilbert and Sullivan: are their women a joke too far?

The cruel misogyny of many of G&S’s plots make their operas increasingly unpalatable – and unfunny – in today’s age. Ahead of the return of The Mikado and its monstrous Katisha to the Coliseum, a fan wonders what is to be done

The Times

James Rhodes: ‘You can’t just erase my past’

It is almost exactly half a year since an author and musician was able to walk out of the Supreme Court and reveal his real name and the autobiography that chronicled, in unflinching detail, his sexual abuse as a boy and his subsequent battles with mental illness

Classical Source

New Jersey Symphony appoints Xian Zhang as music director

Xian Zhang has been appointed as the next music director of the New Jersey Symphony, starting with the 2016-17 Season and succeeding Jacques Lacombe

The Arts Desk

10 Questions for Composer Ludovico Einaudi

What are the elements that make up Einaudi’s music?

International Arts Manager

JazzUK relaunches with community festival

Heulwen Phillips, project director at JazzUK, on bringing the company out of the ashes and what its new #4Jazz Festival is doing for the community

Hamburger Museen starten am 27. November erste Instaswap-Aktion Deutschlands

Vom 27. November bis zum 1. Dezember besuchen sich die Instagrammer der Hamburger Museen gegenseitig und schauen hinter die Kulissen

Will Liverman gewinnt Stella Maris-Wettbewerb

Der US-amerikanische Bariton Will Liverman hat den internationalen Gesangswettbewerb “Stella Maris” gewonnen. Er erhielt sowohl den mit 15.000 Euro dotierten Publikumspreis als auch ein Aufnahmeprojekt bei einem renommierten Plattenlabel

Codex Flores

Cottet Solocellist des Symphonieorchesters des BR

Der 28-jährige Genfer Cellist Lionel Cottet, ein Absolvent des Mozarteums Salzburg und der New Yorker Juilliard School, wird laut dem Musikjournalisten Norman Lebrecht Erster Cellist des Symphonieorchesters des Bayerischen Rundfunks


Emmanuel Villaume Extends Contract in Dallas

The Dallas Opera has announced contract extensions for Music Director Emmanuel Villaume and General Director & CEO Keith Cerny as well. Both contracts have been extended to June 30, 2022

El Mundo

Una invitación al relax con tintes de África y Brasil

Para Juan Llamas, la guitarra “se convirtió en una obsesión” y presenta su música como una mezcla de flamenco y jazz


Top Classical News @topcmnews :  Facing the music: Esa-Pekka Salonen

Royal Collage Music @RCMLondon : Great to hear RCM musicians and on Friday’s : (from 58.45)

Classic FM @ClassicFM :  It’s not too much to ask, isn’t it?
Screen shot 2015-11-23 at 11.43.35

James Rhodes at the Classical Brit Awards in 2009 Stuart Mostyn/ Redferns/ Getty Images

(Written on November 23, 2015 )

In today’s news, The Guardian writes that the elite can’t decide who’s cultured, and the BBC report on pianist Ayham al-Ahmad’s glimmer of hope amid the Syrian refugee crisis. Also, James Rhodes believes that there is a link between music, creativity and mental health, and the BBC apologise for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon in Proms program

The Guardian

We can’t leave it to the elite to decide who’s cultured

Why should love of opera be a key cultural indicator? What about those of us who prefer rap, or Bob Dylan, and have no desire to be like the posh few

BBC Music Magazine

Leif Ove Andsnes in new Beethoven documentary

The Norwegian pianist examines Beethoven’s five piano concertos

The Times of Israel

BBC apologizes for ‘anti-Semitic’ cartoon in music program

Hook-nosed caricature of violinist Leopold Auer, printed in pamphlet for Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, sparked outrage

The Guardian

Forget the mad genius composer myth: music is good for the mind

The cliche of the reclusive composer who loses their mind over manuscript is unhelpful. But, says pianist James Rhodes, there is a link between music, creativity and mental health that is both real and beneficial to people’s well-being


Syria refugee crisis: Yarmouk pianist’s perilous journey to Greece

Amid the ruins of the destroyed Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp on the outskirts of Damascus, pianist Ayham al-Ahmad provided a rare glimmer of hope amid the devastation

New York Times

New York Philharmonic Accompanies ‘On the Waterfront’ and ‘The Godfather’

The idea behind the Art of the Score series, one of the most popular innovations of the New York Philharmonic in recent years, could not be simpler: classic films are screened at Avery Fisher Hall with the Philharmonic playing the score live

Die Welt

Hier macht sich der Tenorprinz endlich dreckig

Und der Dirigent John Eliot Gardiner hilft ihm ganz wunderbar beim Erwachsenwerden: Juan Diego Flórez singt in London mit Glucks Orpheus seine erste barocke Bühnenrolle

Berliner Zeitung

Marek Janowski wird RSB-Chefdirigent

Das Rundfunksinfonieorchester Berlin bekommt einen neuen Chefdirigenten. Auf Marek Janowski folgt Wladimir Jurowski


Diese Unterwelt ist die Hölle

Großes Finale beim Musikfest Berlin – mit “Orfeo” nach Claudio Monteverdi, den Philharmonikern mit Carl Nielsen und Karlheinz Stockhausen

El País

Plácido Domingo dirige un concierto en México por los 30 años del seísmo

El tenore español protagoniza un homenaje en Tlatelolco, el lugar donde ayudó a rescatar a cuatro familiares que murieron bajo los escombros


More than 300,000 people attended concerts this summer. Find out more facts here:

Catch Downton last night? has John Lunn’s wonderful score next. LISTEN >

Cafes were better in the C18th. Bach’s 5th harpsichord concerto was mere background music for Zimmerman’s in Leipzig

News 21st

‘Music is the only medicine that has never let me down’ … James Rhodes/ The Guardian

(Written on September 21, 2015 )

Controversy surrounding Nicola Benedetti’s interview with Scotland on Sunday last month, in which she argued that children should be exposed to classical music whether they like it or not, certainly has sparked debate as to whether this approach helps or hinders children’s learning and appreciation of the great classical works.

The benefits that music has on the human brain are largely undisputed. Neuroscientist and musical educator Anita Collins elucidates these, with particular attention to the playing of instruments, in a TED-Ed talk. In short, listening to music stimulates the brain, and playing it is even more constructive – ‘stimulating practically every area of the brain at once…and especially the visual, auditory and motor cortices’ and we’ve all heard of the Mozart Effect.

This is interesting stuff, but we are all aware that children and teenagers would rather listen to the Top-40 or perhaps the latest indie record from those bands that you or I wouldn’t have heard of. So shouldn’t we just let them? And if we do let children listen to what they want, when they want, what does the future of classical music look like?

Concert pianist James Rhodes seems to hit the nail on the head in his article in the Guardian where he explains the necessity for music to be taught in a different way to fractions or the Ottoman Empire. It is, after all, there to be enjoyed, as well as promoting brain development. He tells of his own experience and the 30 years it has taken for him to ‘undo the damage’ of being dragged to the opera against his will as a child. And he was one of the lucky ones. Many people never do have this musical epiphany, and go through their whole adult life without ever truly appreciating classical music, or even giving it a second chance. Perhaps the reason for this is purely down to the fact that we associate classical music with school, exams, and being forced to practice scales against our will.

So what is the solution? Eliminating classical music from the curriculum and hoping children will stumble across it by themselves seems like a risky strategy. Rhodes suggests stopping the segregation between genres – presenting classical music alongside hip-hop and rock. However, this will not be an easy task – hundreds of years of technological advances, changing mind-sets and cool new bands lie between Tallis and Taylor Swift, but perhaps today’s teens would be surprised and maybe even interested to see just quite how close the links are between Lady Gaga’s ‘Alejandro’ and Monti’s ‘Czárdás’? And do they know that it’s Handel they’re hearing each time they flick over to watch the Champion’s League?

It’s only a start, but if we show children just how ingrained classical music already is in their daily lives, at least they’ll be engaged. Then we can start to branch out into some tracks that they might not already know. Who knows, maybe some will even be inspired to do some research of their own and ‘discover’ some of the great works before we even get there.

Share your thoughts and opinions with us in the comments below or tweet us!

Young girl playing the piano, UK...B5T28D Young girl playing the piano, UK

Photo: Edward North/ Alamy

(Written on June 22, 2015 )

Classical news

In today’s news, The Telegraph reveals that good music speeds up our heart beat, a new group try to prove that Beethoven had African roots and Wagner’s great-granddaughter is removed from the board of the Bayreuth Music Festival 2015 by her own sister. Also, James Rhodes tells a tale of public school abuse and how music saved his life.

The Telegraph

Good music always makes your heart beat faster

Labelling certain music as “good for the heart” is typically simplistic science. We should listen to the music we enjoy for a truly invigorating experience

James Rhodes: How music saved the concert pianist’s life

Rhodes’ tale of public school abuse – ‘Instrumental: a Memoir of Madness, Medication and Music’ – fails as a memoir

The Guardian

Back to the future: I’m in the Moog again

Why is Will Gregory rooting around in skips for 70s analogue monosynths? Because, for electronic musicians, they revive the expressive thrill of performance

Does Beethoven’s music reveal his African roots?

A new album by the group Beethoven Was Black aims to prove that the polyrhythms of the composer’s music point to west African heritage. But does their quest open up a more important debate in classical music?

The Independent

Bayreuth Music Festival 2015: Musical differences see Wagner’s great-granddaughter removed from board and banned from the event

The composer founded the festival in 1876, but a family feud has seen Eva Wagner-Pasquier barred from attending by her own sister

Südwest Presse

Viele Premieren und eine monströse Zahl

Den Spielplan für die Saison 2015/2016 stellten am gestrigen Mittwoch das Staatstheater Stuttgart vor – aber die Kosten für die nötige Generalsanierung des Opernhauses machten Schlagzeilen: 400 Millionen Euro.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Wer braucht schon Apple Music?

Apple hat nun auch einen Streaming-Dienst. Davon gibt es mittlerweile viele. Wieso sollte man die zehn Euro im Monat für „Apple Music“ ausgeben? Viele gute Gründe gibt es nicht.


Französisch-deutsche Freundschaft nach Noten

Beim Festival International de Colmar setzt Vladimir Spivakov auf Festivaltradition und Kontinuität

Elbphilharmonie: Kostenanstieg bleibt ohne juristische Folgen

Der extreme Kostenanstieg beim Bau der Elbphilharmonie von ursprünglich 77 Millionen auf aktuell 850 Millionen Euro bleibt für die Verantwortlichen juristisch folgenlos. Nach einjährigen Ermittlungen auf der Grundlage des 725 Seiten umfassenden Berichts des Parlamentarischen Untersuchungsausschusses (PUA) hat die Staatsanwaltschaft Hamburg die Akte offiziell geschlossen.

The New York Times

Orchestra in Turin, Italy, Names James Conlon as Principal Conductor

James Conlon, the versatile New York-born maestro, is returning to Europe for his next podium: he will become the principal conductor of the RAI National Symphony Orchestra in Turin, Italy, in 2016, the orchestra said on Tuesday.


Colston Hall ‏: The art of conducting a room full of monosynths talks about his Ensemble’s approach

BBC Music Magazine ‏: Good morning! Did you know that the first ever performance of Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde took place today? OK. You probably did…

Royal Academy of Music: Peter Cropper, who believed passionately in the power of music to change lives: obituary,


Does Beethoven’s music reveal his African roots? Photograph: Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images (taken from The Guardian)

(Written on June 10, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news the BBC have announced the extension of their Ten Pieces project to secondary schools, however Ivan Hewett comments that we shouldn’t dumb down music for teenagers and lists his alternative pieces. Pianist James Rhodes has won the right to publish his autobiography after a lengthy legal battle to get the injunction lifted. Also, Harmonia Mundi is set to be sold to the Belgian independent recording group PIAS.


BBC’s Ten Pieces extends classical music programme to teenagers

Nationwide scheme will play Wagner and Verdi in secondary school halls and classrooms to encourage pupils to embrace classical music

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse

Rights groups hail supreme court decision to lift injunction barring publication of book in which concert musician discusses being repeatedly raped as a child


Don’t dumb down classical music for teenagers

The BBC’s list of classical music pieces for teenagers is patronising. Ivan Hewett recommends some alternatives

The Times

Opera Holland Park, the down-to-earth company taking on Glyndebourne

It is a warm sunny day in Kensington, the sort of day that James Clutton and Michael Volpe, the producer and general manager of Opera Holland Park, will want when their season opens on June 2.

Classical Music Magazine

Harmonia Mundi set to be sold to Belgian independent PIAS

The Belgium-based independent recording group PIAS (Play It Again Sam) is poised to buy struggling French classical company Harmonia Mundi.

Die Welt

Die Plebejer von Bonn proben den Aufstand

Nur die Berliner Philharmoniker dürfen ihren neuen Chef selbst wählen. Das konnten sie nicht. Bonns Beethoven-Orchester weiß, wen es will. Das aber ist den Politikern egal. Misstöne sind programmiert.


Erhöhte Gagen der Bühnenkünstler und Orchestermusiker in Deutschland

Nach den rezenten Warnstreiks haben sich der Deutsche Bühnenverein als Arbeitgeberverband der Theater und Orchester und die Künstlergewerkschaften heute in Köln auf Gagenerhöhungen für die künstlerischen Mitarbeiter der Stadttheater, Staatstheater und Landesbühnen sowie für die Musiker der Orchester verständigt.

New Instrument: The Celloridoo

By designing a new musical instrument, an Iranian designer won Bronze prize at the A’Design Awards 2015, the World’s largest design competition. Aidin Ardjomandi’s new instrument Celloridoo is a composite one, combining a chordophone which is a bowed stringed instrument and an aerophone which is inspired from Didgeridoo, an Australian wind instrument.


Cambreling bis 2018 Stuttgarter Generalmusikdirektor

Sylvain Cambreling bleibt bis 2018 Generalmusikdirektor der Oper Stuttgart. Der 66-Jährige habe seinen Vertrag entsprechend verlängert, teilte das Haus am Mittwoch mit.

Le Figaro

La Philharmonie de Paris atteint le demi-million de visiteurs

Malgré les polémiques autour du retard, du coût des travaux et de l’ouverture prématurée, la nouvelle grande salle de concerts a déjà accueilli 500.000 personnes en cinq mois.


Classical Music : . will return to Rotterdam in 2016

YCAT Today’s the day! The final round of are today at , with 8 very talented musicians

Classical:NEXT . will be covering – read about it here (German) and look out for videos throughout the week!

Pianist James Rhodes wins right to publish autobiography telling of abuse

(Written on May 21, 2015 )

Classical News

Much of today’s news is reporting the deadlock of the members of the Berlin Philharmonic: they failed to come to a decision over their next chief conductor yesterday. In the Guardian, pianist James Rhodes asks Education Minister Nicky Morgan if she can properly fund classical music education in schools. Elsewhere, the Times report that listening to new music can help to improve the memory of people suffering with dementia. Also, John Whittingdale has been appointed the next Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport, following the General Election last week.

The Guardian

Berlin Philharmonic deadlocked over Simon Rattle’s successor

Orchestra members to vote on new chief conductor within a year after 11 hours of talks end without agreement

Nicky Morgan, please give us the money to teach British kids classical music | James Rhodes

Classical music education needs to be properly funded so children come to it by choice, rather than being force-fed. Surely the education secretary can help?

The Times

Listening to new music improves memory of dementia patients

Music can have a profound effect on people with dementia, helping them to respond, communicate and even improve their memory, according to one of the first experiments into its impact.

The Telegraph

Teach your children music with a touch of pianissimo

Of course we want our children to love and appreciate classical music, but heavy-handedness risks turning them off

Classical Music Magazine

Friday Afternoons to launch new resources for 2015

The Friday Afternoons initiative will launch new resources for 2015 on 8 May, including a new song cycle commissioned from Nico Muhly.


New culture secretary in cabinet reshuffle

Ex-chair of the culture select committee – and classic rock fan – John Whittingdale has been appointed Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport in UK PM David Cameron’s new Cabinet.

Die Zeit

Kein Nachfolger für Simon Rattle

Die Wahl des neuen Chefdirigenten der Berliner Philharmoniker ist ohne Ergebnis geblieben. Die Musiker wollen sich noch ein Jahr Zeit lassen mit ihrer Entscheidung.

Die Welt

Unser Musikleben wird jetzt noch vielfältiger

Heute wählen die Berliner Philharmoniker einen neuen Chef. Und “Die Welt” startet einen eigenen Klassik-Blog. Hier erklärt der Autor von “Brugs Klassiker” warum und wofür.

Johann-Joseph-Fux Opernkompositionspreis vergeben

Der Deutsche Martin Hiendl und der Australier Matthew Shlomowitz haben den Johann-Joseph-Fux Opernkompositionspreis gewonnen.

Le Parisien

Le mystère autour du chef du Philharmonique de Berlin reste entier, nouveau vote “dans l’année”

Malgré 11 heures de débats entourés de mystère, les musiciens de l’Orchestre philharmonique de Berlin se sont séparés lundi sans avoir élu leur chef, repoussant ce scrutin aux airs d’élection pontificale à un nouveau vote “dans l’année”.

El Mundo

Sir Simon Rattle, el insustituible

Los músicos aplazan la elección del nuevo director durante un año tras deliberar durante 12 horas sin encontrar sustituto


Corinne Morris ‏@corinnemorris : £600 already raised towards the Gala Concert for Nepal I’m organising together with many wonderful musicians…. 

Help Musicians UK ‏@HelpMusiciansUK : As featured in @MusicWeek, our trustee @jmorrishppl talks about the vital role we play for musicians 

Spitalfields Music ‏@SpitsMusic : The #MusicalRumpus cast are warming up ready for our performance at Arc in the Park @Comm_Links

John-Whittingdale-008 John Whittingdale. Photo: Graeme Robertson/Guardian 



(Written on May 12, 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.


Photo: Wikipedia


(Written on January 28, 2015 )