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Over the past few weeks there has been uproar within the classical music world after the National Musicians Church, St Sepulchre-without-Newgate in Holborn, announced it would no longer be taking bookings of a non-religious nature from 2018.

The Church is where Sir Henry Wood, founder of the BBC Proms, is buried. It is also the home to a book of remembrance for musicians and windows commemorating singer Dame Nellie Melba and composer John Ireland. It has been known as the National Musicians Church for more than 70 years and is a prominent concert venue and rehearsal space that has been used by all types of musicians. Assurance had to be provided in 2013, after the appointment of Reverend David Ingall to the church, as many musicians were worried that the new priest would change the ethos of St Sepulchre as it was known. The recent move has therefore proven the need for this worry and has sparked a coming together of influential musicians to try and prevent the ban.

Since the new appointment of Reverend Ingall, the church has become part of the network founded by evangelical church Holy Trinity Brompton. The ‘evangelical group is known for its youth friendly rock-band style of worship’ and hosts the ever popular Alpha courses.  Reverend Ingall has stated in response to the reaction to the new ban; “Our ministry as the National Musicians’ Church continues to be a core part of our church’s identity and vision… While its expression may be changing, that underlying vision remains unchanged.” This, however, hasn’t settled the minds of leading musicians who believe that the “abrupt move was made without consent.”

In response to the ban on secular bookings, Richard Robbins started a petition to try and reverse the decision. He stated that “the church was particularly valued by musicians because of its heritage and for practical reasons.” He is helping to form a committee to “put forward a positive vision of what the Musicians Church actually is and to try and find a way that both music and ministry can co-exist together in a very open way.”

Photo credit: Making Music

This has consequently led to more than 50 musicians, including top composers, performers, and directors of music at cathedrals, to write a letter to The Guardian protesting against St. Sepulchre’s plans to ban non-sacred concerts. In the letter they state; “the unique ‘mission’ for St. Sepulchre’s has been to musicians, providing a welcoming space and encouraging them to be involved in running the parish. That its custodies are now willing to abandon this unique national cultural remit is difficult to understand and harder to accept.” Among those who signed the letter were Sir James MacMillan, John Rutter, Suzi Digby, Julian Lloyd Webber and Judith Weir.

Reverend Ingall has stated that “in the coming weeks we will reflect and pray, and consult with members of the musicians’ community about how best to fulfil that ministry moving forward.” The final outcome has not been announced yet, but we can hope that the hard work of Richard Robbins to start the petition and the influential musicians pays off.

Update: Over 7,000 people have signed the petition. Read all updates here.

(Written on August 29, 2017 )

Classical News

In today’s news: Ed Conway discusses the power that the arts give Britain, Classical Music Magazine announces the winner of the 2015 Joachim Violin Competition & Gramophone reports that Antonio Pappano and Warner Classics have renewed their recording partnership

The Times

Why the arts put Britain on the world stage

Our creative industries may not generate the billions that banking does. But the ‘soft power’ they give us is immense

Classical Music Magazine

Maxwell Davies battles cancer once again

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is undergoing chemotherapy once again after receiving the news that his leukaemia had returned

Classic FM

John Rutter launches hunt for lost carol composer with a little help from John Suchet

Choral composer launches search for woman who wrote prize-winning carol as a girl in 1975. Can you help find her?

Classical Music Magazine

Sergei Dogadin wins 2015 Joachim Violin Competition

The 27-year-old Russian violinist received a €50,000 (£37,077) cash prize, a CD recording with Naxos, and a number of international concert engagements following his performance of Shostakovich’s first violin concerto with Hendrick Vestmann and the NDR Radiophilharmonie


Pappano and Warner Classics renew recording

Antonio Pappano and Warner Classics are to continue their long-standing recording relationship

Der Tagesspiegel 

Die Kunst des Zuhörens

Aus einer Sparidee von Klaus Wowereit erwuchs ein utopisches Projekt: die Barenboim-Said-Akademie. Im Sommer 2016 soll sie fertig sein


Hochdekoriert! Die Verleihung des ECHO Klassik im ZDF

Der ECHO Klassik ist einer der wichtigsten Musikpreise der Welt. Am 18. Oktober werden auch zahlreiche Deutsche Grammophon-Künstler mit der begehrten Trophäe ausgezeichnet. Das ZDF überträgt den festlichen Abend


Nina Tichman wird neue künstlerische Leiterin der Andernacher Musiktage

Die Pianistin Nina Tichman, die als Solistin, erfolgreiche Kammermusikerin und auch als Lehrende an der Musikhochschule Köln tätig ist, übernimmt erstmalig die künstlerische Leitung des Festivals ‘Andernacher Musiktage’ 2016 auf Burg Namedy

La Vanguardia

Nace el ‘MUV!’ para impulsar la música en directo en Valencia

Además de actuaciones, habrá un debate sobre la importancia social y económica de la música y su papel en la construcción de ‘marca-ciudad’

San Francisco Classical Voice

MacKellan to Leave 42nd Street Moon

Few performing arts organizations are identified so closely with their founder/director as 42nd Street Moon is with Greg MacKellan, so it’s surprising news that he is leaving the positions/organization/town at the end of the 2015-2016 season


Jazz UK: @JazzUK Which #4JazzFestival artists should we focus on this week? @JulArgTetra @ImagineerUK @mishamamusic @CTobinSinger… Tweet your favourites!

Barbican Centre @BarbicanCentre ‘Conducting is a gift of nature… how you feel the movement of the music’: Riccardo Chailly talks to @GuardianMusic 

Aldeburgh Music ‏@aldeburghmusic .@BBCSuffolk big conversation this morning is: what’s the right age to start taking children to classical concerts? What do you think?

Sergei Dogadin Classical Music Magazine

Sergei Dogadin
Classical Music Magazine


(Written on October 13, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news John Rutter celebrates his 70th birthday, and violinist David Garrett cancels his Proms in the Park appearance in London. Classical Music Magazine asks if the John Lewis model can be applies to orchestras, and The Little Orchestra Society plans to cut performances by half as it tries to get back on firmer financial footing and reinvent itself for a younger audience.


Monteverdi’s Orfeo: ‘a brilliant and compelling fable to the inalienable power of music’

Monteverdi might be surprised to find himself hailed as the inventor of the opera, and he disclaimed the role of revolutionary, but his Orfeo is a radical, innovative and extraordinary work

Classic FM

John Rutter celebrates his 70th birthday: ‘I’m still 27 inside’

John Rutter reflects on his career as one of the most celebrated and popular composers of the modern era – and he’s looking forwards, not backwards.

The Strad

Violinist David Garrett cancels Proms in the Park appearance in London

The German musician announced his withdrawal on his Facebook page

Classical Music Magazine

Could the John Lewis model be applied to our orchestras?

In the July issue of CM, my article ‘Are our orchestral musicians “violin operators” or “evangelists for our art”?’ challenges us to find a way to make our musicians both employees and owners of their orchestras.

All Africa

Nigeria: I Want to Change Perception About Classical Music – Chichi Nwanoku

Chichi Nwanoku is a United Kingdom-based Nigerian artiste who is making her mark in Chamber Music. The recipient of the MBE Award from the Queen of England, speaks about her love for music and making a difference in black and minority ethnic groups with her foundation, Chineke! She also talks about her upcoming Europe’s first Black and Minority Ethnic professional orchestra.

Die Welt

Kirill Petrenko nimmt Abschied von Bayreuth

Der Dirigent Kirill Petrenko geht mit sinfonischer Wucht. Sein Regisseur Frank Castorf hat sich im dritten Jahr weniger Mühe gegeben mit dem “Ring”. Als Konsequenz seiner nihilistischen Ziellosigkeit.

Der Tagesspeigel

Sommermatineen im Musikinstrumenten-Museum Weißwein und Wachtraum

Bei der vierten Sommermatinee im Musikinstrumenten-Museum spielt das Quartet Tokio Berlin einen heiteren Haydn – und einen viel zu ernsten Beethoven.

Klassik Akzente

Aus alt mach’ neu – 64 neue alte Titel bei “Manufacture on Demand”

Insgesamt 5000 Aufnahmen erscheinen in maßgeschneiderter kleiner Auflage wieder auf dem Markt. Mit dabei: Raritäten des Klassik-Labels Mercury Living Presence.

The New York Times

The Little Orchestra Society Limits Schedule and Aims for Younger Audience

The orchestra — an important part of New York City’s music scene since 1947 that has focused in recent years on classical music for children — plans to cut the number of performances it gives next season nearly in half as it tries to get back on firmer financial footing and reinvent itself to appeal to new generations of concertgoers.

France Musique

Le chef Andris Nelsons prolongé à Boston

Le chef d’orchestre letton Andris Nelsons a prolongé son contrat de directeur artistique de l’Orchestre symphonique de Boston. Il est maintenant lié avec la phalange américaine jusqu’au terme de la saison 2021-2022.


DCMS: Check out our new account to keep up-to-date on all things &

Southbank Centre: Grab a coffee & head for the gongs!! Enjoy a new type of elevenses with our Javanese orchestra. Today 11am:

Sinfini Music: Regietheater: high art or pretentious claptrap? A Y-fronted weighs in on the debate

Ludwigshafen_23.03.09_031Violinist David Garrett cancels Proms in the Park appearance in London. Photo: Wikipedia

(Written on August 4, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Alan Titchmarsh: the joy of Christmas carols

Carols such as Away in a Manger and God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen make Christmas – and we have John Rutter to thank

The Independent

Christmas 2014: ‘Silent Night’ named nation’s favourite carol

The carol ousted long-running favourite ‘O Holy Night’ from the top spot

BBC Music Magazine

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge performs ‘Hark! The Herald Angels Sing’

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International Arts Manager

New prize for young classical musicians

Warner Music Group has announced the creation of the Warner Music Prize, a new award to be given to a classical musician aged 18-35 ‘who demonstrates exceptional talent and promise, regardless of any label affiliation’.

Classic FM Online

Pierre Boulez awarded Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award

Conductor and composer Pierre Boulez will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 57th GRAMMY Awards on 7 February 2015.


Orchestersterben in Italien geht weiter

Vier italienische Orchester wurden in den letzten zwei Jahren liquidiert

Mailand: Wer zu spät kommt, wartet nun doch im Foyer

Intendant Pereira rudert nach Protest der Pünktlichen zurück


Der schöne Glanz der Vergangenheit

Schein oder Sein? Ungarns Regierung lässt in Budapest die Pracht der k.u.k.-Monarchie neu erblühen – das lockt Kulturtouristen an

Codex Flores

Bilanz 13/14 des Zürcher Opernhauses

Das Opernhaus Zürich hat in der Saison 13/14 330 Vorstellungen präsentiert, die 233‘021 Eintritte generiert haben.

El Mundo

Adjudicado el decorado del Teatro Real para el caballero de la esquina

La segunda edición de la subasta de objetos de vestuario y ‘atrezzo’ del Teatro Real de Madrid se salda con el 75% de las piezas vendidas.


Guardian Classical @GdnClassical: Tim Ashley’s introduction to opera: Politics 

Classicalite @Classicalite: The Gershwin Hotel Updates Facade and Renames to #TheEvelyn, Remembers Art and Music Past … @klassikcom: Bariton Wolfgang Koch als Kammersänger ausgezeichnet  #Oper #Gesang #Bariton

Skyline of Budapest photo: Hungarian National Tourist Office (via concerti)

Skyline of Budapest
photo: Hungarian National Tourist Office (via concerti)

(Written on December 23, 2014 )

Classical News


John Rutter’s Christmas playlist

Today, conductor, choral composer and one of the UK’s most-loved musicians shares his festive playlist with us.


Opera Review of 2014: the start of opera becoming the domain of the elite?

Despite some unforgettable singing this year, 2014 suggests rot is developing beneath opera’s plastered surface, says Rupert Christiansen

The Times

Neil Fisher: ‘This year has felt like the nastiest for audience wars’

There’s one thing I know I’ll enjoy about seeing a play at Shakespeare’s Globe or its new baby cousin the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, and that’s the end.

Classic FM

Pierre Boulez awarded Lifetime Achievement GRAMMY Award

Conductor and composer Pierre Boulez will be honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 57th GRAMMY Awards on 7 February 2015.

Classical Music Magazine

Where will Darren Henley and Peter Bazalgette take ACE?

When the news came through of Darren Henley’s appointment as chief executive of Arts Council England, cries of ‘of course’ could be heard across the country.

Die Welt

Hacker tun es für die Sache, die Medien für Geld

Sony-Leaks ist kein stolzer Moment für Hollywood. Auch ich bin Opfer der Cyber-Kriminellen. Noch skandalöser als ihre Tat ist aber das Verhalten der Medien. Eine Philippika von Aaron Sorkin.

Musik Heute

Liszt-Klavierwettbewerb Weimar – Bayreuth nimmt Bewerbungen an

Der Wettbewerb findet vom 20. Oktober bis 01. November 2015 statt. Anmeldeschluss ist der 20. Juli 2015.

WDR startet Wettbewerb für Amateur-Chöre

Der Westdeutsche Rundfunk (WDR) veranstaltet im kommenden Jahr erstmals einen Wettbewerb für Amateur-Chöre aus Nordrhein-Westfalen.


Neue Musik für alte Filme: Neuvertonung von historischen Stummfilmen aus der Sammlung des DB Museums

In der Filmsammlung des DB Museums schlummern wahre Schätze der Reichsbahn-Filmstelle aus den 1920er-Jahren.

The Washington Post

Just Asking: Opera singer Soloman Howard on the football field vs. the stage

The rising star explains how emotional opera can be.


New Hope For A New York City Opera Renaissance

In March 2015 New York will celebrate the career of conductor Julius Rudel (+ June 26, 2014) and his contribution to the closed New York City Opera as principal conductor and director for 22 years from 1957 to 1979.


EnglishNationalOpera@E_N_O: #ENOGoldenWest and #ENOCellini have made the top 2 spots in @TelegraphOpera Top 5 Operas of 2014! 

Music Education UK@MusicEdUK: £75m to be distributed to music hubs in 2015/6: 

Gdn Culture Pros@GdnCulturePros: Miss this yesterday? Access to music should be every child’s basic right, says singer-songwriter  #musiced

pierre-boulez-1348074034-article-2Pierre Boulez. Photo: Classic FM

(Written on December 19, 2014 )

The Guardian

Vanessa-Mae gears up for Winter Olympics 2014 bid

Violinist swaps keys for skis, as she prepares for first event in her quest to represent Thailand at Sochi Games next year

Classic FM

Beethoven best for fitness workouts

Studies show classical music readies the brain for exercise and helps maintain focus during a workout session.

Deceptive Cadence, NPR 

Obama’s ‘Hope And Virtue’ Distilled In A Song

On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama was sworn in as the first African-American president of the United States. And Monday, President Obama will be sworn in again — this time on a most auspicious day, the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.

Planet Hugill

London Philharmonic Orchestra new season

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s 2013/14 season at the Royal Festival Hall is remarkably strong and shows and admirable intention to develop programming outside the routine.

Slipped Disc

Just in: Vienna will live stream Holocaust opera premiere

A chamber opera on the Nazi euthanasia of 790 sick or disabled children in a Vienna hospital will be performed this Friday, ahead of International Holocaust Day, at the Austrian Parliament and streamed live on the internet at 1700 GMT.


John Rutter: An agnostic speaks out on writing sacred music

The best-selling choral composer is now writing for the harp, but it’s not all choirs of angels.

Classical Music Magazine

Murray Johnston wins £73,000 plus costs after WNO’s unfair dismissal

Murray Johnston was unfairly dismissed in 2008, ruled an employment tribunal appeal, and he has now been awarded compensation plus costs.

Music Week

Universal, Warner and Sony plan HMV ‘rescue operation’ – report

Universal Music, Warner Music and Sony are reportedly set to discount the price of CDs and DVDs for HMV and offer the retailer generous credit terms in an attempt to rescue it from going out of business.



Classic FM

(Written on January 22, 2013 )

Classic FM

New In Harmony project launches in Leeds

Children at a primary school in Leeds will enjoy a new programme of music tuition and regular performance opportunities in 2013, thanks to the In Harmony project which launched today at Windmill Primary School.

Carols for Christmas winners announced

The winners of the national Carols for Christmas competition have been announced. Choral legends John Rutter, Stephen Cleobury and David Hurley selected winning pieces to be workshopped and performed on 18 December.


Francesco Piemontesi records debut album for Naïve Classics

Young Swiss-Italian pianist Francesco Piemontesi was at BBC Maida Vale studios during November to record his debut album for Naïve with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Jiři Bělohlávek.


NPR names its top 10 classical music albums of 2012

At first glance, the top picks for 2012 may seem to range far and wide, from a fresh take on an epic late Beethoven string quartet to cellist Maya Beiser playing spaciously layered new music by Michael Harrison.

Slipped Disc

Seasonal cheer: BA concedes points on cello flights

BA have agreed to grant Steven Isserlis’s cello air miles (or Avios points, as they’re called)!

The Met’s first authentic Aida

Norman Lebrecht on the world’s first Afro-American opera singers

The Wagnerian

Dijon Opera announce new Ring Cycle in 2013 – in two days!

Dijon Opera have announced that in 2013 they will perform an entirely new, fully staged Ring Cycle in a festival lasting just two days! Each day will see performances of two of Wagner’s Dramas: Rheingold and Walkure on day one followed by Siegfried and Götterdämmerung on day two.

Wagner makes the front pages of the Italian media – again

One hundred and fifty years after they helped forge their home nations’ ideas of pride and patriotism, Wagner and Verdi have proved they can still provoke a bust-up between Germany and Italy.

Classic FM


(Written on December 10, 2012 )