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Today’s Classical News Round-Up

Belgian builds musical bridge across the Bosphorus

Belgian musician Tristan Driessens found his inspiration and his calling east of the Bosphorus, becoming one of the West’s few masters of the oud and of Ottoman classical music.

In an interview with AFP News, Driessens tells of how he is helping to build a musical bridge for others, working with refugees arriving from the east to help preserve and develop their musical culture in European exile.

Driessens became artistic director of Refugees for Refugees, a group that brings together refugees who have fled to Belgium from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and as far as Tibet to play concerts and record new music together in Brussels.

A record, named “Amerli” after an Iraqi town besieged by the Islamic State jihadist group, was released in May 2016 by the world music educational association Muziekpublique.

Among the group are Dolma Renqingi, a Tibetan singer, Asad Qizilbash, a Pakistani who plays the sarod, another form of lute, Afghan troubador Aman Yusufi and “musicians who have such important experiences, as refugees and as human beings, in the realm of music”.


Classical pianist Hunter Noack reimagines the concert hall in the spectacular outdoors

In the cliffs and tall trees of northern Oregon, a place of spectacular beauty, the unexpected floats through the air – the elegant melody of classical music.

“My mom and I were just saying, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if you could just have a piano and go anywhere?'” Hunter Noack said. So that’s what he did, traveling across the Pacific Northwest and introducing classical music to new audiences in some wild places.

He tows his nine-foot Steinway piano all over the state with a pickup truck and a flatbed trailer. With the help of a few friends, the flatbed becomes a stage.

Noack grew up hiking, fishing and hunting in Oregon. He left to follow his dreams – classical music training in the States and overseas. But he decided to come back to where he came from, leaving behind the grand concert halls for the grand outdoors and taking what he loves back to the place he calls home.

Noack said there are more distractions when playing outdoors, but he pointed to the upsides: “I love to just be able to close my eyes or between pieces, take a breath in, fresh air – I think it affects how I play”.


In this reimagined concert hall, Noack hopes to remove the normal barriers to classical music. There are free tickets, casual clothes, and the opposite of formal seating – like perching on a rock overlooking the stage. A third of his audience has never attended a classical music concert. But even those who have likely haven’t done it like this: wearing wireless headphones to encourage wandering.

“With the music in your headphones, the music becomes a soundtrack to your experience in the landscape,” Noack said. He’s winning over the classical skeptics.

“I said to my friend if she would have invited me to a classical music concert, I would have said ‘nahh’ but this was tremendous,” audience member Meg O’Brien said.

(via CBS) 


Marek Janowski Neuer Chefdirigent 

Die Dresdner Philharmonie bekommt zur Saison 2019/20 den Chef ihrer Wahl: Marek Janowski hat in Dresden seinen Vertrag als Chefdirigent unterschrieben. Damit gewinne die Philharmonie einen der führenden deutschen Dirigenten für das Repertoire des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, freut sich das Orchester. Marek Janowski löst Michael Sanderling ab.

Janowski wird das Orchester drei Spielzeiten leiten und dabei das Profil prägen und weiterentwickeln, so die Dresdner Philharmonie. Im Herbst vergangenen Jahres hatte der Orchestervorstand die Intendantin des Orchesters Frauke Roth sowie die Kulturbürgermeister Annekatrin Klepsch beauftragt, mit dem Wunschkandidaten Janowski zu verhandeln.

Janowski hat die Dresdner Philharmonie bereits von 2001 bis 2003 geleitet. Seine erste Amtszeit hatte er 2003 aus Ärger über das Hin und Her bei der Planung eines neuen Konzertsaals für Dresden vorzeitig beendet.

80-year-old Marek Janowski has signed his contract as Principal Conductor of the Dresden Philharmonic, after being voted in by the orchestra for the 2019/20 season.

He returns to the orchestra after having already conducted them from 2001 to 2003 and has now come back from his retirement to lead the Philharmonic for three seasons. 

(via BR-Klassik)

(Written on September 20, 2018 )

„Food & Farm“ portraitiert Musiker der Bamberger Symphoniker

Wir sind von guten Geschichten begeistert, wir lieben Musik und noch viel mehr, wir sind innovativ. Und: wir schauen über den Tellerrand und generieren Artikel in außermusikalischen Medien für unsere Kunden.

Die aktuelle Ausgabe der „Food & Farm“, Magazin für Natur und Lebensart, portraitiert erstmals Musiker der Bamberger Symphoniker und berichtet über ihre umwelt- und naturbewusste Lebensweise, ihren Gemüse- und Obstanbau und ihre eigene Tierhaltung.

„Food & Farm“ wird in Deutschland, Österreich, der Schweiz, Benelux, Spanien und Italien mit einer Auflage von 90.000 Exemplaren veröffentlicht.

 

 

 

Für PR-Arbeit braucht man oftmals viel Geduld und einen langen Atem. Doch wenn das Resultat stimmt, hat es sich gelohnt. Mit den Bamberger Symphonikern verbindet WildKat eine bereits über 5-jährige Zusammenarbeit. Neben Konzerten und CD-Veröffentlichungen kümmern wir uns auch um das Erreichen neuer Zielgruppen. Wir treffen uns regelmäßig mit dem Team des Orchesters und mit den Musikern, um deren Hobbies, Lebensweisen, besondere Talente etc. kennenzulernen und daraus Geschichten zu entwickeln.

Im Sommer 2016 sprachen wir erstmals mit dem Ehepaar Trunk, das hauptberuflich bei den Symphonikern spielt, und nebenher mit der Familie eine Art Selbstversorgerhof aufgebaut hat. Wir besuchten sie, um uns einen eigenen Eindruck zu verschaffen und waren überwältigt! Die Geschichte war authentisch, voller Lebensfreude, Naturverbundenheit und damit etwas wirklich Besonderes. Die Pitches gingen raus – und „Food & Farm“ biss an. Im Sommer 2017 erhielt Familie Trunk Besuch von einer Journalistin und einem Fotografen des Magazins. In der Juli/August-Ausgabe 2018 wurde der Artikel nun abgedruckt.

Kurz verweilen und einen Blick in den Artikel werfen? Dann hier klicken.

Und wir sind natürlich schon längst wieder an einer neuen Geschichte dran…

  

 

WildKat steps outside of the box!

“Food & Farm” writes about musicians from the Bamberg Symphony

We’re excited by great stories, we love music and so much more, we’re innovative, and we step outside the box in order to publish articles about our clients in unusual and non-music related publications.

The current edition of “Food & Farm”, a magazine for nature and lifestyle, has produced a portrait of two musicians from the Bamberg Symphony, a married couple with a family of their own, and writes about their environmentally friendly and nature conscious way of living, their fruit and vegetable plots and the rearing of their own livestock.

“Food & Farm” is published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain and Italy with a print run of 90,000 copies per edition.

When it comes to PR, one must often have a lot of patience and be able to wait with bated breath for quite some time before one sees results. However, when the results come and the hard work pays off, boy is it worth it! WildKat PR has been working closely with the Bamberg Symphony for more than five years, taking care of concert and CD promotion and focusing on reaching out to new target groups. We regularly meet the orchestra’s administrative team and the musicians to get to know them better and to talk about their hobbies, lifestyle, special talents and so forth, and from there on to find and develop great stories.

We firstly spoke to the Trunk couple, who play with the orchestra as their main profession, in the summer of 2016 and spent a delightful time learning about how the family first developed their own style of independent living and self-subsistence. We visited the family to get our own idea of their setup and were utterly amazed! Their story was authentic and truly showed their joy for life and connection to nature. It was really something rather special. We then released a pitch about the couple – and “Food & Farm” took the bait. The Trunk family were visited by a journalist and a photographer from the magazine in the summer of 2017 and the story has just been published in the July/August 2018 edition.

Fancy a read? Click here for a sample of the full article!

And, of course, we’re already working on another story…

 

 

(Written on July 5, 2018 )

WildKat PR is delighted to welcome award-winning composer Douglas Knehans to our roster of artists.

Image: Douglas Knehans © Tina Gutierrez Photography

 

Knehans’ music is about immediacy, drama, power, playfulness, architecture, harmonic structure, melodic expressiveness and more importantly depth and dimension. His music is about both love and life and a number of important critics see it that way too when they say his music “… tells an exciting story, ever- intensifying in color, thematic ideas, texture and tempo.” (The Washington Post)

His latest release Unfinished Earth is inspired by the relationship between nature and mankind. The disc features two works – “Tempest” and “Unfinished Earth” – represent contrasting views of how the external metaphors of wind and earth reflect more intimate internal worlds of the human heart and mind. The release is brought to life by the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Mikel Toms, and features soloists Gareth Davies, Principal Flautist of London Symphony Orchestra.” 

Knehans’ works have been released on various record labels which earned him numerous commissions, awards and fellowships in Australia and the United States from the Victorian Council, MacDowell Colony and Leighton Artist Colony. He has also worked with leading ensembles including the Canberra Symphony Orchestra, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, and soloists like soprano Merlyn Quaife throughout his career. Once hailed by Fanfare Magazine for his “incisive, hauntingly beautiful recordings”, it’s no wonder that Knehans has garnered the attention and warm appreciation of audiences and performers around the globe.

We’re excited to be running a UK press campaign for the release of Knehans’ new release Unfinished Earth. The recording will be available to stream on NAXOS MUSIC LIBRARY and purchase on Ablaze Records from 6 April 2018. 

(Written on January 30, 2018 )

In today’s news, Vienna celebrates the 150th anniversary of Strauss’ Donauwaltz, and an insight into the role classical crossovers play in radio broadcasting. A classical revolution is arising in Madras, and Mandy Parnell surfaces as a hidden powerhouse influence in modern music. The Grammys tackle race politics from last weekend’s award ceremony, and the Vienna Philharmonic plays an homage to Schubert.

The Guardian

Master blaster: the woman making Björk, Aphex Twin and Eno sound so good

Parnell is one of the country’s leading mastering engineers, and this is where the likes of the Chemical Brothers, Max Richter and Brian Eno come to hear their finished tracks. Parnell has polished a huge number of albums here including, last year, Jamie xx’s In Colour and Aphex Twin’s Syro.

Classical Music Magazine

Chamber concert in aid of Arco project

Students at Birmingham Conservatoire are holding a chamber music concert later this month in aid of the Arco (Cape Gate MIAGI Centre for Music & Birmingham Conservatoire) project, which sees strings students aged between eight and 16 in South Africa participate in weekly instrumental Skype lessons given by academics, current students and alumni of Birmingham Conservatoire.

The Washington Post

Do the Grammys have a race problem? No, their president says — they’re like Trump’s election

The Grammys’ race problem followed the awards show all the way to the stage this year, when a white singer once again beat an acclaimed black artist for the top honor — but this time called attention to the fact.

BBC News

How an Indian maestro is taking classical music to the masses

India’s southern Indian city of Chennai (Madras) is witnessing a musical revolution of sorts.

The Harvard Press

Warner Free Lecture: The ‘other’ sounds of nature in music

Explosive, turbulent, violent—these are not the usual words to describe classical music inspired by the sounds of nature. And yet, by contrast, their musical presence adds richness to the perfect pitch of the hermit thrush’s song, the jazz riffs depicting clouds, the rhythmic sound of the surf at the seaside, and more.

Klassik

Wien feiert 150-jähriges Jubiläum des Donauwalzers von Johann Strauss

Die Johann-Strauss-Gesellschaft Wien hat eine Feier zum 150-jährigen Jubiläum des sogenannten Donauwalzers von Johann Strauss (Sohn) ausgerichtet.

neue musikzeitung

Eine kleine Tagesbegleitmusik

Was Crossover für klassische Musik in öffentlich-rechtlichen Kulturradios bedeutet

concerti

Interview Daniel Barenboim

Man kann seine Visionen wie ein Prophet in die Welt hinaustragen, man kann sie aber auch ganz einfach verwirklichen. Daniel Barenboim gehört zu letztgenannter Spezies: als genialer Pragmatiker, der seine Kräfte und Mittel dazu nutzt, seine Ideen in die Wirklichkeit umzusetzen.

The New York Times

Highlights From the Met Opera’s 2017-18 Season

A starry new production of “Tosca”; the American premiere of Thomas Adès’s “The Exterminating Angel,” based on a Buñuel film; and a Mozart work set in Coney Island are among the highlights of the Metropolitan Opera’s 2017-18 season.

The Vienna Philharmonic Remembers Schubert

Franz Schubert’s Symphony No. 8, nicknamed “Unfinished,” forms the centerpiece of a three-part concert series by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra that opens on Friday, Feb. 24.

Twitter

Classical Music News Vienna remembers Jewish roots of its most famous tune

Music History  in 1884 FP of ‘s Orchestral Suite No. 2, in Moscow.

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Image: BBC News

(Written on February 16, 2017 )

WildKat PR is excited to announce our new client ECC100 Records!

Mark Constantine, founder of organic cosmetic company LUSH, had a feeling that vinyls would make their comeback when he founded ECC100 Records, a UK-based vinyl record label. He was right – vinyls have reached groundbreaking sales figures this year. They take us back to when music was combined with a beautiful artwork on the cover, when albums were eagerly anticipated, and every element of the music, art and sleeve notes were dissected, digested and discussed. ECC100 Records aims to honour that time and to bring the listener a unique experience by sitting down to actively listen to an album instead of having music played in the background.

wildkat-pr-ECC100 logo

“A journey through ancient stone circles and a descent to the centre of the Earth”

On 4th November, ECC100 Records will release Set In Stone, a pioneering concept album composed by renowned musicians and producers John Metcalfe (Peter Gabriel, The Pretenders, The John Metcalfe band) and Simon Richmond (Neneh Cherry, Imagined Village, The Bays). It is inspired by ancient stone circles and merges classical music with technological sounds; the modern with the ancient. Some of its songs were recorded outdoors amongst nature.

wildkat-pr-SetInStone_Cover

We are looking forward to work with ECC100 Records on the release of Set In Stone!

Keep up to date with news from ECC100 Records through their websiteFacebook, twitter and, as always, through the WildKat PR blog.

(Written on September 6, 2016 )

Schubert (1797 – 1828) wrote over 600 Lieder, some of which became immediately popular, whilst others remained unknown until after his death.

Throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, composers including Schumann, Brahms, Wolf and Richard Strauss also wrote Lieder, and they all acknowledged Schubert as the pioneer of the form. Unfortunately, Goethe (1749-1832) never opened a package of Schubert’s Lieder, which was sent to him in 1816. Had he done so, Schubert would probably have become well known further afield while he was still alive. 

Schubert set to music the works of a wide range of poets and Goethe in particular was a constant inspiration. Goethe had a special interest in the relationship between poetry and music; to him, music was essential. In a letter from 1822, he wrote: “He who does not love music does not deserve to be called a human being; he who merely loves it is only half a human being; but he who makes music is a whole human being.” The musicality of his poetry attracted many composers.

Here are some of Schubert – Goethe’s most famous compositions.

Gretchen am Spinnrade (Gretchen at the Spinning Wheel): written when Schubert was just 17 years old. The music is set to a text from Goethe’s Faust, in which Gretchen is anxious about her love for Faust, whom she barely knows. This is Schubert’s first setting of a text by Goethe.

Goethe-Gretchen

Heidenroeslein (Wild Rose): this is a very sweet piece, and you can hear elements of German folk song which, along with a sense of unaffected simplicity and closeness to nature, were important for composers of Lieder.

0_Heidenroeslein_Otto_Schloss__325x510_

Der Erlkoenig (The Erlking): this was the first of Schubert’s works to be published. The text tells a dark tale of the death of a young boy who encounters a supernatural being. Schubert uses different vocal ranges, as one singer unusually plays all four characters.

csm_Erlkoenig_Eckart_26f20ea6ba

Goethe measured the success of a Lied by whether the meaning of the text had been produced in musical form. In his renditions, Schubert unites his music with Goethe’s words successfully, just as Goethe would have wished.

 

(Written on November 2, 2015 )

100 years ago, on 28 October 1915Eine Alpensinfonie by Richard Strauss was premiered in Berlin by the Dresden Hofkapelle, conducted by the composer. The critics didn’t particularly like it, some even called it ‘cinema music.’

'Eine Alpensinfonie' World Premiere Programme

‘Eine Alpensinfonie’ World Premiere Programme

Strauss’s love of nature greatly influenced this atmospheric composition. For most of his life, Strauss lived in southern Bavaria at the foot of Germany’s highest peak, the Zugspitze. Eine Alpensinfonie portrays the distinct episodes of an alpine trek undertaken by Strauss and friends during which they got lost in a thunderstorm.

Although Strauss labelled the work a symphony, it doesn’t follow the typical conventions of a multi-movement symphony. The work consists of twenty-two continuous sections of music making it technically a tone poem.

Eine Alpensinfonie includes a wide range of instrumental combinations and effects, requiring an orchestra of 123 players. Strauss regarded performing this piece as the equivalent of the challenge of climbing an actual mountain.

Listen to Eine Alpensinfonie, played here by the Dresden Staatskapelle who first premiered this dramatic work on this day 100 years ago!

(Written on October 28, 2015 )

2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius (1865-1957)

This video takes us on a journey through the Finnish landscape which inspired his music. Erkki Korhonen talks of the “landscape which came to his mind when he composed Finlandia and “opened his soul.”

The video was made in co-production with the Sibelius 150th Anniversary and the London Philharmonia Orchestra.

#vlogtober 8th

(Written on October 8, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

This year’s classical music anniversaries – and some less usual suspects

Composer anniversaries fuel concert programmes the world over. So here are a few musicians we should be celebrating this year alongside Nielsen and Sibelius

Cerys Matthews: arias to impress a lover

Our musical agony aunt’s alter ego Dr Crotchety offers advice for a Welsh tenor who wants to wow his new love

International Arts Manager

New funding links art and nature

A new US initiative will celebrate the intersections between art and nature, as part of a grant jointly launched by the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Park Service.

Gramophone

Mezzo Elena Obraztsova has died

The Russian mezzo-soprano Elena Obraztsova has died at the age of 75.

Der Tagesspiegel

Klassik an der Autobahn

Am Mittwoch wird Jean Nouvels Philharmonie de Paris eröffnet.

Elbphilharmonie soll 2017 eröffnet werden

Skandalbaustellen gibt es nicht nur in Berlin: Auch Hamburg hat mit der Elbphilharmonie ein schier unendliches Projekt.

Die Welt

Überflieger prallt auf Marmor

Benjamin Millepied übernimmt den Chefsessel am Pariser Opernballett.

Musik Heute

Christian Reif gewinnt Deutschen Operettenpreis für junge Dirigenten

Der Publikumspreis ging an den Franzosen François López-Ferrer.

Le Parisien

La chanteuse d’opéra russe Elena Obraztsova est décédée à 75 ans

La chanteuse d’opéra russe Elena Obraztsova est décédée lundi à l’âge de 75 ans suite à un arrêt cardiaque, a indiqué la fondation caritative fondée par la célèbre mezzo-soprano russe dans un communiqué.

Twitter:

London Symphony Orch ‏@londonsymphony :  As for the “fantasy” outfit @HanniganBarbara mentioned she’d be wearing for this Thursday’s concert… you’ll have to wait and see! 😉

Sinfini Music ‏@SinfiniMusic : NEWS: New collaboration between @RoyalOperaHouse & @RoundhouseLDN with Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo

Arthur Cormack ‏@artmaccarmaig :  @BBCSSO coming to #Portree High School in project with @HighlandCouncil – Friday 13 February. Tix from @arosskye

elena-obraztsova_0

Elena Obraztsova. Photo found at Gramophone

(Written on January 13, 2015 )

Classic FM Online

Eric Whitacre to work with Pentatonix?

The choral composer met the ‘Daft Punk’ singers in London, discussing the possibility of working together

Huffington Post

Tom Hodge On The Nature Of Collaboration

Composer and Pianist Tom Hodge examines the nature of musical collaborations, and specifically, the challenges of writing new music with another person

The Telegraph 

Mt Annan McDonald’s employs classical musical to deter loitering youths at night

With the dulcet tones of Pavarotti and his fellow tenors filling the airwaves, the carpark at Mt Annan McDonald’s has been much quieter in the past few weeks. The McDonald’s store started playing classical musical late at night recently to deter young people from loitering at the store

The Arts Desk

The journey to hell in Theresienstadt

The violinist Daniel Hope introduces Refuge in Music, his new film on the musicians of Terezín

BBC News 

How Martin guitars became an ‘American Stradivarius’

Vintage Martin guitars – the finest of which sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars – are sought after by musicians around the world for their distinctive tone and timeless design

Deadline Detroit

The Diva and the Ducks: Visiting Opera Singer Chooses Urban Farm For Detroit Lodging

Soprano Nicole Cabell is definitely NOT a diva. In fact, she’s explaining why opera shouldn’t be exclusively perceived as an elitist art form

Forbes

The World’s Highest-Paid Musicians 2013

Madonna pulled in $125 million over the past year, making her the highest-paid musician in the world. The bulk of her millions came from the tail end of her MDNA Tour, which grossed $305 million. She augments her income with heady merchandise sales at concerts, as well as her Material Girl clothing line and Truth or Dare fragrance

New Music Box

Audience Cultivation in American New Music

Historically, new music has sought to confront general audiences with unexpected sounds and forms.  The present, however, sees the milieu of new music splintered into factions, each with its own loyal but marginal audience

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

 

(Written on November 22, 2013 )