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Classical News

In today’s classical news, members of Royal Albert Hall have been criticised by reselling unwanted tickets using sites such as Viagogo and StubHub for a profit, instead of returning the tickets to the hall’s official ticket system. Bogdan Roscic has been appointed as the Vienna State Opera’s next director from 2020 and New York’s Metropolitan Opera has cancelled a new production of Verdi’s La forza del destino by the Catalan director Calixto Bieito. Germany saw music sales increase over 2% last year, with vinyls and paid streaming being the largest contributors.

Classical Music Magazine

Royal Albert Hall members criticised for reselling tickets

Royal Albert Hall members have been criticised by a former president for reselling tickets outside of the hall’s official ticket return system.

Opera Now Magazine

Vienna State Opera appoints new boss

Bogdan Roscic has been appointed as the Vienna State Opera’s next director from 2020. Roscic, a senior executive in the recording industry, was considered an outsider for one of opera’s most coveted positions since he has no experience of running an opera house.

Met cancels Bieito production

In what has been described as a ‘cost-cutting measure’, New York’s Metropolitan Opera has announced that it has cancelled a new production of Verdi’s La forza del destino by the Catalan director Calixto Bieito.

Opera by 11-year-old receives ovation in Vienna

An 11-year-old British composer Alma Deutscher has received a standing ovation in Vienna for the premiere of her opera, Cinderella.

The New York Times

100 Years of New York Philharmonic Milestones, by the Earful

It was 100 years ago this Friday — on Jan. 20, 1917 — that the New York Philharmonic cut its first record.

The Washington Post

American music for an inaugural week

The National Symphony Orchestra is getting better at connecting to the world outside its doors. On Thursday night, the day before the inauguration, Gianandrea Noseda, its music director designate, led an all-American, presidentially focused program, including Copland’s “Lincoln Portrait” and suites from John Williams’s scores to “Lincoln” and “JFK.”

Klassik.com

US-amerikanische Sopranistin Roberta Peters gestorben

Die US-amerikanische Sopranistin Roberta Peters ist tot. Nach Angaben ihrer Familie starb die Sängerin im Alter von 86 Jahren an den Folgen einer Parkinson-Erkrankung.

Musik Heute

Ádám Fischer wird Ehrenmitglied der Wiener Staatsoper

Der ungarische Dirigent Ádám Fischer (67) wird Ehrenmitglied der Wiener Staatsoper. Das teilte das Haus am Donnerstag mit. Die Ernennung soll am 26. Januar nach einer Aufführung von Mozarts “Don Giovanni” erfolgen.

Musikexpress

Vinyl-Umsatz steigt auch in Deutschland auf höchsten Wert seit 25 Jahren

Der deutsche Musikmarkt ist im vergangenen Jahr um über zwei Prozent gewachsen. Vor allem bezahltes Musikstreaming (+73%) und Vinylverkäufe (+41%) konnten zulegen, während für CDs (-9,6%) und Downloads (-19,4%) im Jahr 2016 weniger Geld ausgeben wurde als im Vorjahr.

Neue Musikzeitung

Generationswechsel bei Breitkopf & Härtel

Lieselotte Sievers, geschäftsführende Gesellschafterin, hat die Geschäftsführung des Musikverlages Breitkopf & Härtel an Sebastian Mohr und Nick Pfefferkorn übergeben

Le Figaro

Investiture de Donald Trump: comment les stars américaines lui ont tourné le dos

Douche froide pour le nouveau président américain. Il imaginait son arrivée sur les marches du Capitole comme une intronisation à paillettes, avec stars à gogo et tubes à sa (dé)mesure… Le magnat de l’immobilier a vite déchanté. Retour sur la très laborieuse organisation de cette cérémonie.

France musique

La programmation du Festival d’Aix-en-Provence 2017 dévoilée

Sur son site internet, le Festival d’Aix-en-Provence a publié le programme de sa prochaine édition. Et cette année encore, création mondiale, Mozart, et de grands noms du monde lyrique s’y croiseront.

El Mundo

Más de cien Grammys para el ADDA

Claro y conciso, el presidente de la Diputación de Alicante, César Sánchez, resaltó esta cifra durante la presentación de la programación estival del Adda y de la temporada sinfónica 2017-2018 en la feria Fitur de Madrid.

Twitter

Music History @today_classical  in 2014 Death of Italian Claudio in Milan.

Music History @today_classical  in 1855 Birth of French Amedee-Ernest

BR_KLASSIK @BR_KLASSIK Die Stimme von ist zurück! Gestern in “Lohengrin” an der . Freude und Applaus!

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Photo: New York MET Opera/ Rhinegold

(Written on January 20, 2017 )

Classical News

In our news today, popstar Prince died at the age of 57, the world celebrates Menuhin’s centenary with #Menuhin100, Joshua Bell joins US cultural mission to Cuba and Anna Clyne wins the 2016 Hindemith Prize for her outstanding contemporary compositions.

The New York Times

Prince, an artist who defied genre, is dead at 57

Prince, the songwriter, singer, producer, one-man studio band and consummate showman, died on Thursday at his home, Paisley Park, in Chanhassen, Minn. He was 57.

The Big Issue

Bow down to Yehudi Menuhin’s genius

This Friday is the 100th birthday of one of the most remarkable musicians of modern times. The great violinist, conductor, pedagogue and humanist Yehudi Menuhin – or Baron Menuhin of Stoke d’Abernon – was born on April 22, 1916, and would have reached his century this week, were he alive.

The Strad

Violinist Joshua Bell joins US cultural mission to Cuba

The US government has this week sent a cultural mission to Cuba following President Barack Obama’s visit to the country last month, signifying a thaw in diplomatic relations.

Classical Music Magazine

Anna Clyne wins €20,000 Hindemith Prize

The 2016 Hindemith Prize has been awarded to Anna Clyne. Awarded annually by Germany’s Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, the €20,000 (£15,750) award recognises outstanding contemporary composers.

Leonard Slatkin to assume new role in Lyon

Leonard Slatkin will become honorary musical director of the Orchestre national de Lyon on 1 September 2017. The specially created role ensures that Slatkin will continue to work with the orchestra until at least 2020; he will conduct for at least six weeks over the 2017/18 season and four weeks the following season.

Pizzicato

Milan’s Teatro Lirico will reopen in 2017

The renovation works at Teatro Lirico in Milan have been delayed, according to Italian media. The theatre is closed since 1998 and was scheduled to reopen by the end of 2016.

Epochtimes.de

Experte: Streaming ist zentraler Treiber im Musikmarkt

CD-Verkäufe bleiben in Deutschland aus Expertensicht trotz Musik-Downloads und Streaming-Diensten noch lange wichtig.

FAZ

Der Meister des musikalischen Alleingangs ist tot

Vor wenigen Tagen musste sich Prince wegen einer Grippe im Krankenhaus behandeln lassen. Jetzt wurde der Musiker tot in seinem Haus gefunden. Seine künstlerische Bedeutung für den modernen Pop, Funk und R&B lässt sich kaum ermessen.

Die Welt

Heilige Entjungferung auf offener Bühne

Warum faszinieren uns Rollendebüts klassischer Sänger nach wie vor? Die Opernfans fiebern dafür jahrelang und reisen ihren Lieblingen um den Globus nach. Eine aktuelle Spitzenumschau.

Klassik.com

Richard-Wagner-Preis der Stadt Leipzig für Waltraud Meier

Die Sängerin Waltraud Meier erhält den Richard-Wagner-Preis der Stadt Leipzig. Die Auszeichnung ist mit 10.000 Euro dotiert und wird von der Leipziger Richard-Wagner-Stiftung verliehen.

France musique

A Milan et Séville, l’amiante mine les opéras

Deux affaires judiciaires liées à la présence d’amiante placent le Teatro alla Scala de Milan (Italie) et le Théâtre Maestranza de Séville (Espagne) dans une situation délicate.

Twitter

Caterina Grewe @Caterina_Mai The CD is now available to purchase online:

Live Music Now @LiveMusicNowUK Details of our extraordinary 100 events to celebrate # Centenary today are here. We hope to see you there!

BBC Radio 3 @BBCRadio3 Yehudi Menuhin born today 100 years ago. A tribute to him coming up soon on Breakfast with

wildkat-pr-prince

Photograph: Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

(Written on April 22, 2016 )

WildKat PR is excited to hear that Ilaria Borletti Buitoni has become The European Union Youth Orchestra‘s newest Trustee.

Ilaria was born in Milan, has strong entrepreneurial experience, founded an NGO which supports medical and educational programs in East Africa, and holds a number of international positions on non-profit boards throughout the humanitarian and cultural sectors. She also founded the Borletti-Buitoni Trust which helps outstanding young musicians to develop and sustain international careers with awards that fund tailor-made projects.

Sir John Tusa, Co-Chairman of the Trustees of the European Union Youth Orchestra: “the Trustees are delighted that Ilaria Borletti Buitoni has agreed to join us. She brings great musical experience and a significant additional European dimension to our membership. She will make a big contribution to the next stages of the development of the Orchestra and what it represents in Europe. We look forward to working with her.”

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(Written on April 6, 2016 )

Classical News

In today’s news, the Los Angeles Times discusses the patterns which persist in classical music Grammy nominations, Nikolaus Harnoncourt announces his retirement and Paavo Järvi replaces Nelsons at The Royal Concertgebouw. Also, Italian Prime minister Matteo Renzi attends La Scala’s season opener, despite the theatre being listed as a potential terrorist target

Los Angeles Times

Patterns persist in classical music Grammy nominations

One development in the classical-music Grammys during the last several years has been the inclusion of more diverse corners of this vast field……Yet patterns sometimes persist

The New York Times

Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Early-Music Pioneer, Announces Retirement

The great Austrian conductor and early-music pioneer Nikolaus Harnoncourt announced his retirement this weekend, as he celebrated his 86th birthday

Classissima

Amsterdam replaces Nelsons

The Royal Concertgebouw has scrambled up subs for Andris Nelsons, who is out for several weeks with a shoulder complaints

The Guardian

Italy’s Matteo Renzi defies security fears for a night at the opera in Milan

Prime minister joins La Scala’s season opener, which is often met by anti-austerity protests and this year took place amid concerns over terrorism

Die Zeit

Wenn Ideen an die Sonne wollen

So frei ist ihre Musik und so fein – eine Begegnung mit der großen koreanischen Komponistin Younghi Pagh-Paan zu ihrem 70. Geburtstag

FAZ

Komm in den totgeschützten Park

Bayern besitzt ein Grundstück in bester Lage, wie geschaffen für den neuen Münchner Konzertsaal. Bauen will der Freistaat dort nicht – aus Angst vor ein paar Protestplakatklebern

Klassik.com

Karan-Armstrong-Preis für Regisseur Martin Berger

Der Regisseur Martin Berger ist Träger des ersten Karan-Armstrong-Preises, der an der Deutschen Oper Berlin verliehen wurde. Berger wird für seine Inszenierung der Johann-Strauß-Operette “Die Fledermaus” an der Staatsoper Hannover ausgezeichnet

El arte de la fuga

Bejun Mehta vuelve al Teatro Real

Aclamado por la crítica actual por su bella voz, envolvente y aterciopelada, y por la fuerza dramática de sus interpretaciones, Bejun Mehta vuelve al Teatro Real en un momento especialmente dulce de su carrera, precedido de grandes éxitos en los más importantes teatros y festivales de Europa y de Estados Unidos

El Pais

En busca de rollos de pianola

La Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona desarrolla un sistema de digitalización de los populares soportes musicales de los años 30

Twitter

Aldeburgh Music:@aldeburghmusic  Local children have made 1000s of stars to celebrate recycling for the concert hall foyer. http://www.aldeburgh.co.uk/news/1000-suffolk-stars

Telegraph Music:@TeleMusicNews Did Adele really copy Kurdish singer Ahmet Kaya with Million Years Ago? http://bit.ly/1OfA2i6

Royal College Music:@RCMLondon Talented RCM musicians present an absorbing programme of live visuals & music this Thursday, curated by @rua_mannion http://www.rcm.ac.uk/events/listings/details/?id=854839

Nikolaus Harnoncourt leading the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2010/ Photo: Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

Nikolaus Harnoncourt leading the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra at Carnegie Hall in 2010/  Hiroyuki Ito for The New York Times

 

(Written on December 8, 2015 )

Italy, the country where opera was born around 1600, is home to more than 800 opera houses, many of which have been neglected. A combination of bad management and budget cuts under the Berlusconi government meant that opera houses were severely underfunded, resulting in musicians’ salaries being cut. In some cases, musicians weren’t paid for months on end; many protested and went on strike. By 2013, spending on Italy’s cultural heritage had dropped from €165 million in 2008 to €75 million.

Protests against cuts in Italy's culture budget outside La Scala, Milan in December 2010

Protests against cuts in Italy’s culture budget outside La Scala, Milan in December 2010

Italian opera houses have always relied on state and regional grants, making them more dependent on the state than their counterparts in the UK, which benefit from more private investment. This is however not the case for La Scala in Milan, or Il Teatro Lirico in Turin, as in larger Italian cities, opera houses tend to receive more corporate sponsorship. Opera in smaller cities, such as Florence, has therefore been affected most severely by the cuts in government funding.

The 2013 Italian opera crisis was exasberated by the  financial crisis, and only Milan’s La Scala, Teatro Regio, Turin and La Fenice, Venice were able to pay their bills on time. As a result opera became even less mainstream in the country of it’s birth.

So, how has Italy attempted to solve this crisis? Opera houses are now putting on more modern productions and technology, and social media is being used to show behind the scenes production, via live blogs. La Scala leads the way with translation screens in seats for non Italian speakers, in an attempt to make the art form more accessible.

In May, La Scala premiered ‘CO2’, a contemporary opera which aims to make us acknowledge our responsibility for the planet. It nicely coincided with Expo- Milan 2015, the theme of which was ‘feeding the planet, energy for life’. The opera featured quick scene changes and videos. It was well reviewed.

On a smaller scale, a crowd-funding campaign called ‘adopt a theatre’ has been established by a group of  European singers, to raise money to help bring Italy’s opera houses back to life. So far, the campaign has has resulted in residents of Bevagna, Perugia donating 8,000 to relaunch the Francesco Torti opera theatre. The campaign is now being exported around the country.

The stunning Teatro Francesco Torti in Perugia, saved by the 'adopt a theatre' campaign is launching three new operas.

The stunning Teatro Francesco Torti in Perugia, saved by the ‘adopt a theatre’ campaign is launching three new operas.

Further measures being taken to increase revenues involve opera houses sharing their stages with cinemas and dancers. La Fenice in Venice is adapting its programme to suit the tastes of the huge numbers of tourists who visit the city.

With minimal government support, opera houses in Italy have taken steps to save themselves from collapse, management is being reorganised and as in the UK, modern audiences are being targeted. Opera in Italy may well flourish again, thanks to innovative ideas and initiatives being taken, however these are only first steps, and funding is still short. Perhaps the future of opera houses, particularly those in smaller cities, is not secure just yet.

 

(Written on November 4, 2015 )

Yesterday evening the No Hunger Orchestra opened a concert at Expo Milan to raise awareness of the fight against undernutrition in lieu with World Food Day, which is today!

The concert was organised by the European Commission’s humanitarian department, along with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Almost 800 million people are still undernourished, 51 million are children under the age of 5. No Hunger Orchestra plays instruments made from the non-edible parts of food from one part of the world, to communicate what is missing in the other part of the world.

The instruments were created by the European Commission and the NGO Action Against Hunger for World Food day 2013.

The idea is that music is a universal language. More than 150,000 people watched the 2013 concert via online streaming and 752 people created instruments made of non-edible parts of food and uploaded their videos.

In this video, EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, presents the orchestra.

(Written on October 16, 2015 )

It was reported by the Guardian yesterday (17th December 2014) that the famous Milan opera house, La Scala, has introduced a 5 minute grace period to allow latecomers to take their seats, not because it disrupts the performance, but because they are becoming increasingly angry at the ushers. In practice, this will mean that the performance will start 5 minutes later than the scheduled time. La Scala is well known for being strict about latecomers, with some audience members having to wait for up to 85 minutes for an appropriate break to slip in. Indeed, the Guardian notes that the only known exception was in 1972 when Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were 10 minutes late for the opening night of Verdi’s Un Ballo in Maschera. Paolo Grassi, the head of opera at the time, commented about the incident that ‘late arrivals at La Scala are not allowed.’

La Scala

Photograph: REUTERS/Brescia/Amisano

Sure, if someone has bought a ticket to one of the most prestigious opera venues in the world, one can understand why they would want to ensure they had the full experience: the lights dimming, the anticipation in the air, the first notes of the overture and the curtain finally rising. But, VIP or not, is this really an excuse for aggression towards employees? I’m not sure ‘excuse’ and ‘aggression’ should ever be in the same sentence. The Royal Opera House advises those attending to arrive 30 minutes before the performance begins and, as in most venues, provides 10 minute, 5 minute and 2 minute warnings until the start.  With all this information, it is not the ushers’ fault that someone is late. Equally, if you had secured a highly in demand La Scala ticket, one would assume you would ensure you arrived on time? With circumstances beyond our control such as the weather or traffic, it may not even be the latecomer’s fault, but that is still no reason for rudeness.

scala-milano_2572468b

Photograph: EPA

Furthermore, if opera goers are aware of this grace period, it runs the risk of not eliminating the problem but merely delays the problem five minutes later than before. On the other hand, as one commenter (ID2665677) on the article points out, the first 5 minutes are often taken up by the entrance of the orchestra and tuning up anyway so, in this case, where is the harm in allowing admissions during this time?

If the new measures do stop ushers from being made to feel uncomfortable then it has my blessing, it’s just sad that it is necessary.

What do you think? Tweet us your opinions @WildKatPR

 

(Written on December 18, 2014 )

Classic FM Online

Barenboim to conduct Abbado tribute at La Scala

Daniel Barenboim, the current music director of La Scala, will lead the Milan opera house’s orchestra in a tribute to former La Scala director Claudio Abbado, who died on Monday.

The Guardian

Daniel Barenboim returns: Southbank Centre launches 2014-15 classical season

With 20 new commissions, a percussion festival and performers including Barenboim, Gustavo Dudamel, Simon Rattle and Maria João Pires, the commitment to contemporary music is core.

BBC News

Canterbury cathedral’s first girls’ choir to make debut

For nearly 1000 years the only voices heard singing in Canterbury Cathedral’s choirs were male – but that will all change when the cathedral’s first girls’ choir makes its debut this weekend.
New York Times

Where a Storied Classical Label Embraces Rockers

Deutsche Grammophon, once the most staid of the world’s classical music labels, is releasing “St. Carolyn by the Sea,” a collection of works by Bryce Dessner, best known as a guitarist in the National, and Jonny Greenwood, the lead guitarist in Radiohead. The album, recorded by the Copenhagen Philharmonic, led by André de Ridder, is due out March 3.

The Independent

With most lyric theatres in Italy unable to pay bills or wages, the financial crisis afflicting the birth place of the art form appears more serious than ever – and is prompting those involved in opera to call for a rethink on how its theatres are funded and operated.

A look at the homes of classical stars

BBC News

BBC News

 

 

(Written on January 24, 2014 )

BBC News

Titanic violin could reach record price at auction

The violin that was played as the Titanic sank in 1912 has gone on public display before it goes up for auction this weekend. The guide price for the violin is £300,000, making it the single most valuable piece of Titanic memorabilia.

Gramophone

Signed and handwritten letter by Richard Wagner to be auctioned in Barcelona

A handwritten letter by Richard Wagner, dated 1881 to a Spanish newspaper editor, is due to be auctioned on October 24 at Barcelona auction house, La Suite. It includes a discussion of the character of Lohengrin.

Riccardo Chailly to be new music director of La Scala

Unofficial reports are emerging in the Italian press that Riccardo Chailly will be the next music director of the world-renowned opera house in Milan when Daniel Barenboim steps down in January 2017

BBC Music Magazine

New study reveals link between musical taste and age

Researchers at Cambridge University have identified five categories of taste over a lifetime and discovered that people are likely to disengage with certain genres as they grow older.

South Florida Classical Review

Pianist Kuerti stricken while performing in Coral Gables

Near the end of the first work in an all-Beethoven recital in metro Miami, the 75-year-old Canadian began playing the same phrase over and over. Kuerti showed increasing disorientation and  eventually left the stage and was taken by ambulance to South Miami Hospital. It has not been confirmed whether this onstage neurological incident was a stroke.

PR Week

WildKat PR wins work from music management agency Manners McDade

Management agency and music publisher Manners McDade, which has clients including media composers and instrumental album artists such as Tom Hodge, Poppy Ackroyd, Noel Fielding and Chris Morris, has appointed WildKat PR.

Brand Republic News

WildKat PR wins work from music management agency Manners McDade

The music PR agency will be working with Manners McDade’s entire roster of clients.

Gramophone

Gramophone

 

 

 

 

 

(Written on October 18, 2013 )

WildKat PR are thrilled to be working with Daniel Harding, a conductor who belongs in the elite circle of world class conductors: a true leader in his generation.

Daniel’s current positions include Music Director of the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and Music Partner of the New Japan Philharmonic; as well as Artistic Director of the Ohga Hall in Karuizawa, Japan and the lifetime honour of Conductor Laureate of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Daniel began his professional career at the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, after assisting the revered Sir Simon Rattle. He then moved on to the Berlin Philharmonic where he assisted Claudio Abbado, before conducting the orchestra at the Berlin Festival.

His upcoming engagements include a new production of Verdi’s Falstaff at La Scala in Milan. Tickets for the performance are available here

This is followed by Der fliegende Holländer at the Staatsoper Berlin in April; a wonderful must-see production, with tickets available here.

For more information, visit Daniel’s website here

Julian Hargreaves

(Written on November 8, 2012 )