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Last night, Kat, Olivia, James and Eliza attended the BBC Music Magazine Awards at Kings Place in London.

After a couple of glasses of fizz, we began the awards ceremony.  Oliver Condy, Editor of BBC Music Magazine, hobbled on stage to open proceedings, explaining how crowd-surfing at a Couperin-fuelled rave was the cause of his broken ankle a month before. Oliver then introduced his co-presenter Sara Mohr-Pietsch, (standing in for James Naughtie), and things got underway.  See below for a summary of winners.

We were especially delighted to attend to see our client, Accentus Music, pick up the Best DVD Award.  Paul Smaczny, Director of Accentus Music and producer of the winning release of Berg’s Wozzeck was there to accept the award.  He gave his heartfelt thanks to his team, and read the following from soloist Christian Gerhaher:  “I feel so incredibly satisfied that this Wozzeck production, which was—and every director should please forgive me—the most exhilarating in my life, receives the greatest acclamation. The result of visualising this extraordinary staging in that simple but nearly fully conveying way is just admirable. It brings to life the wonderful months that we and the audience spent with Berg’s masterwork one and half years ago. I would definitely call this a defining criterion of opera DVDs. Thank you all!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Special guest presenters included all-round fahionista and style guru, Gok Wan, who recently released his own curated album of opera entitled ‘Gok’s Divas’.  Comedian Alastair McGowan tickled the audience with a series of stunning impressions and tenuous puns, before presenting Best Instrumental Award to Mahan Esfahani for his recording of Bach’s Goldberg Variations. With his customary loud-mouth, Mahan gave an impassioned and thoughtful acceptance speech, leaving us with a call to action: ‘Extend classical music, and it will be limitless in what it gives back to you.’

Dame Joan Bakewell, who presented the Recording of the Year Award offered a thought-provoking address on the great value the BBC has in the classical music world, and the impact it had on her own appreciation of music. She announced the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic with Vasily Petrenko performing Tchaikovsky Symphonies as Recording of the Year.

Throughout the evening, a number of references were made to the Proms Launch, which takes place today. BBC Radio 3 Controller, Alan Davey, slightly let the cat out of the bag when he said there would be lots of concerts in a big round hall.  Unfortunately, we can’t confirm this at the moment, but watch this space.

Vocal Award Matthias Goerne, Synergy Vocals, BBC SO, Josep Pons

Opera Award Mozart Don Giovanni, MusicAeterna, Teodor Currentzis

Chamber Music Award Martinu Piano Trios, Smetana Trio

Orchestral Award Tchaikovsky Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko, Onyx

Instrumental Award Bach Goldberg Variations, Mahan Esfahani, Deutsche Grammophon

DVD Award Berg Wozzeck, Christian Gerhaher, Opernhaus Zurich, Accentus Music

Newcomer Award Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky Piano Concertos, Beatrice Rana, Antonio Pappano, Orchestra Dell-Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia

Concerto Award CPE Bach Cello Concertos, Nicolas Altstaedt, Jonathan Cohen, Arcangelo, Hyperion

Premiere Award Julian Anderson, Vladimir Jurowski, Carolin Widmann, London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

Choral Award Jonathan Harvey, Deo, The Choir of St John’s College Cambridge, Andrew Nethsingha, Signum Records

Record of the Year Award  Tchaikovsky Symphonies, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Vasily Petrenko, Onyx

Many congratulations from all of us at WildKat PR to Accentus Music, and all the other winners! We’re looking forward to next year’s awards already.

 

(Written on April 20, 2017 )

In today’s news: St Paul’s Cathedral has appointed a woman as a full member of its Choir for the first time in 1,000 years, and The Independent introduces a new video series featuring emerging artists. Species protection wants instrument makers keeping an account of inventory, and cellist Mahan Esfahani causes a scandal with minimal music. The rare 1684 Ex-Croall; McEwen violin is to be auctioned off on 28 March 2017 in London. Washington, D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra performs at NPR music, and Audra McDonald joins San Francisco Symphony.

Classical Music Magazine

St Paul’s Cathedral Choir appoints first female full member in 1,000 years

St Paul’s Cathedral has appointed a woman as a full member of its Choir for the first time in 1,000 years.

1684 Stradivarius to be auctioned in London

A rare violin known as the Ex-Croall; McEwen, which was made by Antonio Stradivari in 1684, is to be offered for sale at auction in London on 28 March 2017 by Ingles & Hayday. The guide price is £1.3-£2m.

The Independent

Introducing Music Box – live video sessions by The Independent

Its simple raison d’être is to give talented artists a platform in an increasingly competitive industry for up-and-comers – where they can share their music with both their current fans and potential new ones.

The Washington Post

Two pianists show the difference between playing and performing

On Sunday at the Phillips Collection, Dennis Russell Davies, the well-known conductor and pianist, took off his jacket before performing it with his wife, the pianist Maki Namekawa, and observed to the audience that people might want to watch them fighting over who gets to use the pedal.

BBC

Bulgarian radio gets modern music back after dispute

The public radio broadcaster in Bulgaria is able to play modern music for the first time in two months, now that a dispute over copyright which saw its ratings rise has been resolved.

Skandal-Konzert um Mahan Esfahani

Kurz nach 17.00 Uhr: Applaus in der Kölner Philharmonie für den Cembalisten Mahan Esfahani und das Ensemble Concerto Köln. Schon seit über einer Stunde spielen sie ein nettes Sonntagskonzert: Musik von Bach, Musik von Górecki. Nun greift Mahan Esfahani zum Mikrofon und kündigt ein Solostück an.

Klassik.com

Sopranistin Sonja Knittel gestorben

Die Sängerin Sonja Knittel ist tot. Sie starb im Alter von 91 Jahren an ihrem Wohnsitz in einem Nürnberger Vorort.

Berliner Morgenpost

Oboen bekommen einen Stammbaum

Neue Artenschutz-Bürokratie bringt deutsche Instrumentenbauer in eine schwierige Lage. Naturschutzbehörden wollen Nachweise haben

npr music

The National Symphony Orchestra: NPR’s House Band For A Day

It’s become an annual tradition for NPR to host a live band in our studios for a full day. This year, we upped the ante and invited around 70 musicians from Washington, D.C.’s National Symphony Orchestra

broadwayworld.com

Audra McDonald to Join San Francisco Symphony in ‘PRIDE’ Concert After North Carolina Cancellations

On April 4, 2017, Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, along with Broadway star Audra McDonald, celebrate the Bay Area’s spirit of inclusion and diversity with a special concert in Davies Symphony Hall recognising and supporting the Bay Area LGBTQ community.

Twitter

Classical Music News Eat your heart out, Met: Vienna Opera sells out most nights

Music History  in 1888 FP of ‘s Pezzo capriccioso for cello with piano accompaniment in Paris.

mahan-esfahani-cembalist-108-_h-558_v-img__16__9__xl_w-994_-e1d284d92729d9396a907e303225e0f2d9fa53b4
Image: BR Klassik

(Written on February 28, 2017 )

WildKat PR is extremely proud to announce our partnership with the Academy of Ancient Music, one of Britain’s foremost period-instrument ensembles.

Founded over 40 years ago, AAM boasts a discography of 300 recordings, and has been an associate ensemble of the Barbican Centre since 2012. It is led by Music Director Richard Egarr—who celebrates 10 years at the helm during the 2016-17 season—and regularly collaborates with celebrated scholars and performers including Robert Levin, and Alina Ibragimova.

wildkat-pr-egarr

AAM and Egarr are known for their vibrant playing—‘transmitting the kick of an energy drink’ (Financial Times)—alongside the informed and crafted approach they bring to all they do. Its principal players (including Pavlo Beznosiuk, Bojan Čičić, and Joseph Crouch) take a leading role, giving the AAM its distinctive character, with many experienced voices adding to the mix.

AAM remain at the forefront of the historically-informed performance movement, and pride themselves on sharing little-known gems with a wider audience, evidenced in their latest release, the sonatas of Dario Castello.

wildkat-pr-aam

We look forward to working with AAM over the coming months as they look ahead to the launch of their 2017-18 season, and performances of Handel’s Messiah, Bach’s St John Passion, and Purcell’s opera King Arthur.

See Academy of Ancient Music’s website, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, as well as WildKat PR Blog, for their latest news.

(Written on October 13, 2016 )

Classical News

In today’s news, NMZ reports about the increasing streaming market in Germany while BBC takes a look on streaming services and piracy on the Indian market. Also, how presidential candidates constitute their identity in music, a festival dedicated to emigrated composers, and a music machine powered by 2000 marbles.

Independent

How music could help you to concentrate while studying

Should we follow what research says, or is listening to music while working just down to individual preference?

BBC

Will streaming help India’s music sales?

Piracy is a big problem for the music industry everywhere but in India it’s stopped the industry generating the kind of sales you might expect in such a large market

The Guardian

Pop for politics: how candidates brand themselves with music

From Katy Perry to David Bowie, the music presidential candidates blast reflects their tastes – and political personalities

The Guardian

Classical superstar Ludovico Einaudi: I’m inspired by Eminem

He has been the soundtrack to everything from The X-Factor to This Is England. Iggy Pop, Ricky Gervais and Nicki Minaj love him. And his concerts are packed with young fans. Meet Ludovico Einaudi

Wired

This incredible music machine is powered by 2,000 marbles

The internet is no stranger to ridiculously complex attempts to make music with technology

Die Zeit

H-Moll, du liebe Güte!

Tumult in der Kölner Philharmonie, Konzert abgebrochen: Wie eine Phasenverschiebung von 1967 die Bildungsbürger überfordert und ihre Angst vor der Gegenwart offenbart

NMZ

Streaming boomt – Musikmarkt in Deutschland wächst kräftig

Der deutsche Musikmarkt ist im vergangenen Jahr dank neuer Internet-Angebote noch stärker gewachsen als zunächst angenommen

Focus

Jüdisches Museum widmet Festival ausgewanderten Komponisten

Das Festival „intonations“ vom 16. bis 21. April widmet sich unter anderem den zur Zeit der Nationalsozialisten emigrierten Künstlern Arnold Schönberg, Erich Wolfgang Korngold und Hanns Eisler

Washington Post

Give me a break: classical musicians who step away.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard did it quietly. Evgeny Kissin did it in a casual remark to a presenter. Piotr Anderszewski, evidently, has done it in an interview with the website Humans of New York

Le Figaro

Jean Rondeau, le clavecin au cœur

Révélation des Victoires de la musique en 2015, le claveciniste français publie son deuxième opus chez Warner: Un «opéra sans paroles» où dialoguent Rameau et Royer

Twitter

kulturradio vom rbb “Ein bewegender Konzertabend!” Andrea Handels über das Sonderkonzert für & Helfer in der Philharmonie

neue musikzeitung Kulturphysik 101: 2016/03 +++ Angela Merkel weiht in Greifswald einen…

Manuel Brug Semperoper: 2016/17: Such’ den Thielemann!

Photograph: Samuel Westergren / Wired

Photograph: Samuel Westergren / Wired

 

 

 

(Written on March 3, 2016 )

Classical News

Guardian

The musical and environmental mindfulness of John Luther Adams

The activist and composer is inspired by the natural processes he sees all around him – but refuses to let politics take charge of the music

The Times

Richard Morrison: Classical music cannot turn a deaf ear to sexual abuse

The recent film Whiplash has put psychological abuse in music firmly into the public consciousness

Classic FM

Andrew Collins joins Classic FM as new host of Saturday Night at the Movies

Award-winning writer and Film Editor for Radio Times to host weekly film music programme.

BBC News Magazine

The Iranian and Israeli who make chamber music together

Mahan Esfahani and Avi Avital are an unusual musical partnership.

Classical Music Magazine

Mark Simpson joins BBC Phil as composer in association

The BBC Philharmonic has announced that 26-year-old Mark Simpson will be its new composer in association, with a term beginning in September 2015 and ending in 2019.

Süddeutsche.de

Furioses Instrumentalduo rockt auf zwei Cellos

Zwei junge kroatische Musiker begeistern unter dem passenden Namen “2Cellos” die Musikwelt.

Die Welt

Sie ist einfach immer die Süßeste

Wer sich mit Luciano Pavarotti schon die Milch teilte, muss einfach Sängerin werden: Die wundervolle Sopranistin Mirella Freni, die zärtlich großäugige Mimì für Generationen, feiert 80. Geburtstag.

audiophil

ECHO 2015

Und die Nominierten sind…

BMW WELT JAZZ AWARD 2015

BMW Welt Jazz Award 2015 unter dem Motto „Playing my Guitar“

Le Figaro

José Van Dam, le maître chanteur

INTERVIEW - Pour les 75 ans du baryton-basse, Warner Classics lui consacre un coffret d’anthologie dans sa nouvelle collection « Autograph ». L’occasion de revenir sur sa carrière et de refaire le monde de l’opéra.

El Mundo

Palabras que son notas que son Historia

Tomás Marco relaciona en un curso obras literarias y musicales con su propio contexto en un ciclo en la Casa del Lector.

Twitter

Classic FM @ClassicFM: 12 pictures to prove Jonas Kaufmann is the best-looking man in classical music: http://classfm.co/4N1Kha 

The National Lottery @TNLUK: From the @RoyalOperaHouse to singing groups for the elderly, you’ve helped fund 16,900 music projects…pass us a recorder #ThankYouThursday

Southbank Centre @southbankcentre: Explore the rich history & architecture of #SouthbankCentre on one of our fascinating tours: http://j.mp/SCtours 

db65efe1-8698-4df4-8511-4bb9b26f88b0-1020x612‘If my work doesn’t function as music, then all the poetic programme notes and extra-musical justifications in the world mean nothing’ … John Adams. Photo: Robin Marchant/Getty Images

(Written on February 27, 2015 )

Last night, the 7th December 2014, the WildKat PR team had the pleasure of attending our client, mandolin player Avi Avital‘s concert with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse with its wooden structure and beautiful gold patterned backdrop perfectly complimented the mainly baroque programme whilst the candlelight atmosphere added to the sound of the mandolin and harpsichord and transported us back to the world of stately court dances and Shakespeare. All that was missing was the fashion of the day.

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The Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. Photocredit: Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre

There was a clear camaraderie and friendship between Avi and Mahan with plenty of knowing looks during the pieces, hugs during applause and banter inbetween pieces. One exchange was particularly amusing with Mahan, whilst Avi was re-tuning, commenting: ‘you only have six strings, you should try a hundred!’ Indeed, both mandolin and harpsichord performed centre stage solos but were equal partners when playing together. It was clear why Avi has been described by The New York Times as having ‘stunning agility;’ I was sure he was going to break a string during the first Allegro of Scarlatti’s Sonata for Mandolin and Basso Continuo in D minor (K90). Similarly, according to Mahan’s twitter page (@MahanEsfahani)  he has been described by the BBC as a ‘harpsichord ninja.’ I’m sure the whole audience can affirm that; he made the instrument sound elegant and sophisticated whilst driving the tempo.

A particular highlight for me was Beethoven’s Andante Con Variazioni, D-Dur WoO 44/2 for mandolin and harpsichord. When I first saw this on the programme I was intrigued as I was unaware that Beethoven wrote for such instruments. Avi and Mahan told us that Beethoven had indeed composed four Sonatinas for mandolin and harpsichord and a recently discovered letter, penned by the composer himself, had revealed that they were intended as a love poem to his nineteen-year-old crush. Beethoven and the lucky lady would have played the music together as an act of intimacy in a society with rigid restrictions on the interactions between men and women. Knowing the story behind the work, we were able to hear the ‘flirtations’ between the instruments as both showed off in an attempt to impress the other.

Another noteworthy moment was Avi’s own and (he admits) only composition Kedma. Meaning, ‘Eastwards’ or ‘towards the orient’ in Hebrew, Kedma certainly conjured up exotic scenes through the sound of the mandolin itself, pentatonic influences and dissonant chords. This was all to the thrill of the audience, one of whom shouted: ‘when is the premier of opus 2?’

All in all, we had a very musical and informative afternoon with two of the best musicians in the world. WildKat PR looks forward to more.

Avi-Avital--Mahan-Esfahani

Avi Avital and Mahan Esfahani at the Bristol Proms 2014. Photo: SWNS found at Universal.de

 

 

(Written on December 8, 2014 )

What an incredibly busy month we have had in the WildKat PR offices this past month. As the countdown to Christmas begins earlier and earlier each year, so does the classical industry’s busiest period before the candlelit concerts and masses of Messiahs begin to take over.

Kennedy Center-Washington

At the beginning of the month, the London office waved off a few of the team as they joined the New York office for China’s NCPA Orchestra on their debut North America and Canada tour. Beginning in Chicago at the Symphony Center, the team guided the Orchestra to Washington’s Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in New York and the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia, before jet-setting off to Canada visiting Ottawa, Toronto and finally Montreal. WildKat managed the marketing of the tour through our classical music specialist in-house design company Classical Music Design, who produced everything from flyers to posters, print adverts to animated adverts online. We also hosted a reception for the New York concert, welcoming  some of New York’s most prestigious industry members.

Verizon Hall, Philadelphia

The London Account Managers also caught up with John Brancy whilst in New York to talk about his European campaign ahead of next year, as he was performing in two concerts, with the New York Festival of Song at Kaufman Center in New York and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston.

Back in London we’ve been traveling between North West and South West London for Hampstead Arts Festival and Wimbledon International Music Festival respectively. Hampstead Arts Festival launched with a personal debut from Natalie Clein who performed the first of two concerts where she performed all six of Bach’s Cello Suites. Wimbledon International Music Festival began just a few days later with the Academy Choir & Baroque Players who performed in vocal and choral masterpieces of War and Peace – the theme for the Festival. Both Festivals ran throughout November and were incredibly successful, with numerous events selling out!

photo

We also attended the launch of Orpheus Sinfonia‘s new #BeneathTheScore, where audiences were treated to anecdotes, letters and relatively unknown facts about Beethoven and his symphonies. The first concert Revolution: The Beethoven Effect was a huge success. Keep an eye out for our audience reaction video blog, coming soon! Meanwhile the Berkeley Ensemble’s composition prize semi-final took place at one of our favourite venues, The Forge. The final will take place on 10th December 2014 – find out more here. There was also a great talk that a few of us attended, hosted by the wonderful YPIA team. Guardian Culture Professionals Network’s Matt Caines led the discussion “from Intern to CEO” with V&A Director Prof. Martin Roth and Royal Opera House’s CEO Alex Beard. This was a truly interesting and insightful event, and great to catch up with lots of familiar faces.

Over in Berlin, the WildKat team moved offices and are now settled in Prenzlauer Berg. Drop in and say hi if you’re in the area! The team also attended some really great events including the first PODIUM Festival concert at one of Berlin’s most cutting-edge classical music venues, the Radialsystem V at the River Spree. The concert was fittingly called ‘Radium’ and featured light-shows and 360° surround-sound performances. Our WildKat clients were also very busy this month with the Managing Director of Bamberg Symphony Marcus R. Axt interviewed on the German BR TV channel for the show alpha-Forum to discuss the new season 2014/15, new ideas like their encore! project and much more. Our new client Konzertdirektion Prof. Victor Hohenfels organised a great and sold out concert with horn soloist Radek Baborák in the Berlin Philharmonie. Another exciting opportunity for soprano Caroline MacPhie who, after the success of her album launch in London, moved to Berlin and auditioned for a few management companies, one accompanied by Carolin – a great new experience for both.

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Also, lots of congratulations and cake this month as we’ve had lots of WildKat birthdays – Account Managers Olivia, Clara and Carolin celebrated their birthdays, as well as our lovely University of Leeds Year in Industry colleague Rhian.

As busy as November was, we’re definitely still looking forward to December for the National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain’s Winter Concert, Avi Avital’s recital at The Globe with Mahan Esfahani, Moritz Eggert’s concert with the German pop duo 2RAUMWOHNUNG and a Christmas concert organised by the Konzertdirektion Prof. Victor Hohenfels.

The offices are open until midday Christmas Eve and we re-open on 2nd January 2015.

P.S. Look out for our Christmas cards which are on their way to you now!

(Written on December 2, 2014 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Living Symphonies: when an ecosystem becomes an orchestra

24 speakers have been installed in Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent to create a natural symphony.

The Guardian

Why does the BBC assume its audience won’t like new music?

The BBC have cut Harrison Birtwistle’s Sonance Severance 2000 from the televised performance by the National Youth Orchestra. While they suggest that it will be performed in a special programme, concerns are mounting over the BBC’s fear of televising new music.

The Telegraph

Laura Wright: ‘I want to show that strength can be sexy’

Soprano, rugby player and official RFU anthem singer, Laura Wright tells the telegraph all about her perfect weekend and her wish to inspire young female athletes.

The Independent

Salomé’s feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

The independent’s article explores Salome as both an opera and Wilde’s story ahead of the BBC Prom tomorrow and the conversation between Pacino and Stephen Fry at the BFI Southbank, which will be screened nationwide.

The New York Times

The Dissatisfied: To Leave or Not to Leave?

Spectators Walk Out of a Show for Many Reasons

The New York Times

France’s New Music Temple

Philharmonie de Paris Prepares to Open Amid Controversy

Die Welt

Der Meister ist tot. Wer wird der neue Meister?

Im schweizerischen Luzern merkt man, wie schwer es ist, einen Nachfolger für das von Claudio Abbado gegründete Festivalorchester zu finden. Auch bei der Musikakademie steht die Nachfolgersuche an.

Klassik.com

Bayreuther Festspiele in der Krise?

Ein Tief über dem Grünen Hügel

Klassik.com

Musikwettbewerb der ARD in München startet

Deutschland sucht den Klassik-Superstar

La Croix

Les 25 ans du festival Sinfonia en Périgord 

Le festival célèbre dignement son quart de siècle avec une programmation centrée sur la voix.

Twitter

Southbank Centre: @Southbankcentre 70 couples are getting married @southbankcentre this weekend! http://j.mp/1rYpqtP  #BigWeddingWeekend

Classic FM: @ClassicFM Placido Domingo and @TheSixteen’s Harry Christophers take the Ice Bucket Challenge. Brilliant! http://classfm.co/vYzZOQ  #ClassicFMnews

London Bach Society: @bachlive Congrats @MahanEsfahani @BBCRadio3 @BBCInTune on his @GramophoneMag award. He plays JSB’s Well-Tempered Clavier Bk1 at LBS Bachfest 3/4/ Nov

Benjamin Britten: @BrittenOfficial Today at 3pm, Lucy Walker plays and discusses Britten’s solo piano music in his beautiful Library. The Red House itself is open 2-5pm today.

 

The grass is singing … Living Symphonies Image from Guardian

The grass is singing … Living Symphonies
Image from Guardian

(Written on August 29, 2014 )