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Classical News

In today’s news, Pianist Stephen Hough calls for shorter classical shows to attract younger audiences, Classic FM’s Composed app is to shut down at the end of this month, and Aziz Shokhakimov wins Salzburg Festival Young Conductor award. Also, musicians plan further Dirty Dancing protests, and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus announces its 25th season.

BBC News

Pianist calls for shorter classical shows to attract younger audiences

Pianist Stephen Hough has called for classical concerts to be overhauled to attract younger audiences. Performances should be shorter with no interval, he argues, while orchestras could drop their formal dress code.

Classical Music Magazine

Composed app to shut down

Classic FM’s Composed app is to shut down at the end of this month. Launched in November 2014, the subscription music service allows users to stream music from the Decca Classics and Deutsche Grammophon catalogues, including archive and new recordings.

Aziz Shokhakimov wins Salzburg young conductor award

Aziz Shokhakimov has won the 2016 Nestlé and Salzburg Festival young conductors award. The 27-year-old Uzbekistani wins €15,000 (£12,730) and a concert as part of the Salzburg Festival 2017, which will be released on disc.

The Stage

Musicians plan further Dirty Dancing protests

Musicians are planning further protests outside venues hosting the touring production of Dirty Dancing following a dispute over the use of a backing track in the show.

The Telegraph

Meet conducting’s next superstar: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla

This young Lithuanian has been generating huge excitement since taking on her first orchestral directorship in Heidelberg, in 2010. Since then, successes have come thick and fast.


National Sawdust Broadens Its Scope in Second Season

National Sawdust, the Williamsburg-based art and music venue that quickly established itself as one of the more ambitious and enterprising presenters in the city, announced its second season Monday with an even broader mission.

The New York Times

Brooklyn Youth Chorus Announces 25th Season

The Brooklyn Youth Chorus will celebrate its 25th season with newly commissioned pieces from acclaimed composers, including Nico Muhly, Caroline Shaw and Rhiannon Giddens.

Kranichsteiner Musikpreis 2016 für Celeste Oram und Weston Olencki

Die Komponistin Celeste Oram und der Posaunist Weston Olencki haben den Kranichsteiner Musikpreis 2016 erhalten. Der im Rahmen der 48. Ferienkurse für Neue Musik in Darmstadt vergebene und mit 6.000 EUR dotierte Preis ist zu gleichen Hälften auf die Bereiche Komposition und Interpretation aufgeteilt.

RBB Kulturradio

Saisoneröffnung der Berliner Philharmoniker auch im Kino

Das Konzert der Berliner Philharmoniker zur Saisoneröffnung wird in rund 100 Kinos live übertragen. Unter der Leitung von Sir Simon Rattle spielt das Orchester am 26. August Gustav Mahlers Siebte Symphonie, zum Auftakt gibt es Pierre Boulez’ “Éclat”.

Klassik Akzente

Potsdamer Schlössernacht 2016 – Fernando Varela auf dem Mopke

Am 20. August 2016 lädt die Stiftung Preußische Schlösser und Gärten Berlin-Brandenburg zum 19. Mal in die Parkanlagen von Schloss Sanssouci nach Potsdam. Dieses Jahr mit von der Partie ist der talentierte Tenor Fernando Varela, der die Besucher mit einem eleganten Stilmix aus Klassik und Pop unterhalten wird.


New York Times Music @nytimesmusic Bobby Hutcherson, Vibraphonist With Coloristic Range of Sound, Dies at 75

BR_Klassik @BR_Klassik Hier in voller Länge zum Nachhören: Götterdämmerung bei den Bayreuther Festspielen

nmz @musikzeitung  will nicht beim Super Bowl auftreten: „Es geht nicht um “: Die britische…


Conducting’s next superstar: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla. Credit: Rii Schroer

(Written on August 16, 2016 )

Classical News

In today’s classical news The Telegraph features an interview with Nico Muhly and Iestyn Davies, Chausson’s opera has languished in the shadows for over a century and The Large Hadron Collider has ‘composed’ a piece of music which sounds like Philip Glass. The Record asks why classical music is so hard to enjoy on streaming services, the Governors Ball hits its stride, the Montreal International Musical Competition announces the three prize-winners of its 2015 Voice edition and Sir Roger Norrington is interviewed by concerti. Furthermore, 25 year old composer Matthew Aucoin is compared to Mozart, Wagner and Leonard Bernstein and Bryce Dessner invents a new instrument.

The Telegraph

‘We didn’t want to make a sad gay oratorio’

A new musical monologue attempts to get inside the mind of Alan Turing. Sinclair McKay meets its composer, Nico Muhly, and its star, Iestyn Davies

The Guardian

Chausson’s operatic rarity Le Roi Arthus deserves clarity not banality

Chausson’s opera has languished in the shadows for over a century. Graham Vick’s new production in Paris does little to makes its case

Classic FM

The Large Hadron Collider has ‘composed’ this piece of music, and it sounds a lot like Philip Glass

Data from science’s mammoth atom-smashing machine has been transformed into a piece of music. And it’s full of triads.

The Record

Why Can’t Streaming Services Get Classical Music Right?

Why is classical music so hard to enjoy on streaming services? In one word, it’s metadata.


South Korea Sweeps Prizes in Montreal

Following ten days of intense high-level competition, the Montreal International Musical Competition (MIMC) announced the three prize-winners of its 2015 Voice edition.


„Der Dirigent muss nur die Regeln kennen“

Klanggestalter und individueller Interpret? Sir Roger Norrington hält nichts von solchen Allüren am Pult: Der Mann mit dem Taktstock habe vor allem für Freude und Selbstvertrauen im Orchester zu sorgen

Hindemith-Preis 2015 geht an David Philip Hefti

Den Hindemith-Preis des Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festivals erhält in diesem Jahr der Schweizer Komponist David Philip Hefti.

The New York Times

Governors Ball, Now in Its Fifth Season, Hits Its Stride

When Big Boi was touring as a solo act in 2011, he played a brand-new festival on Governors Island in New York Harbor. “The sound was banging — the crowd was bananas,” he reminisces. Most fondly, he recalls he had to take a ferry to get ther

npr music

A 25-Year-Old Opera Composer Who Does It All

Matthew Aucoin is being compared to Mozart, Wagner and Leonard Bernstein. He’s worked with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera in New York.

classical MPR

Bryce Dessner invents new instrument for Sō Percussion

It’s one thing to compose music for performance, and it’s another thing to compose music that requires an entirely new instrument.


Classicalite @Classicalite: Tech Talk: Enormous Produces Sound Too Low For Human Ears!

NPR Classical @nprclassical: Why can’t streaming services get classical music right?

Ruth Brons @Things4Strings: Gustavo Dudamel on why he’s staying in LA; how classical music can reach the working class –

 Iestyn Davies and Nico Muhly at Bletchley Photo: Rii Schroer

Iestyn Davies and Nico Muhly at Bletchley Photo: Rii Schroer

(Written on June 5, 2015 )

Classical News

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

The Guardian

Berlin Philharmonic deadlocked over Simon Rattle’s successor

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

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

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

The Times

Listening to new music improves memory of dementia patients

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

The Telegraph

Teach your children music with a touch of pianissimo

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

Classical Music Magazine

Friday Afternoons to launch new resources for 2015

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


New culture secretary in cabinet reshuffle

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

Die Zeit

Kein Nachfolger für Simon Rattle

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

Die Welt

Unser Musikleben wird jetzt noch vielfältiger

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

Johann-Joseph-Fux Opernkompositionspreis vergeben

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

Le Parisien

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

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

El Mundo

Sir Simon Rattle, el insustituible

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


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

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

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

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



(Written on May 12, 2015 )

Classical News


Facing the music: Nico Muhly

Boulez, Blake and Beyoncé… composer Nico Muhly shares his musical passions


Have we become too posh for the Gods?

Rupert Christiansen laments the declining popularity of the cheap seats at the opera

The Times

Wotan finds a musical home with the Hong Kong Philharmonic

The Hong Kong Philharmonic have made waves playing Wagner. Now British audiences will discover how good they are, says Neil Fisher

Classic FM

300 Android phones play Beethoven’s ‘Ode To Joy’

Google Japan has arranged a group of 300 Android phones and tablets so that they play an extract from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony.

Classical Music Magazine

John McCabe, composer and pianist: 21 April 1939-13 February 2015

John McCabe the man will be missed as much as John McCabe the musician.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Der große Eisberg über der Stadt

Die Explosion der Baukosten für die Elbphilharmonie hält Hamburg in Atem. Das neue Wahrzeichen der Stadt sollte längst fertig sein – und ist mittlerweile eines der teuersten Hochhäuser der Welt. War es das wert?

Verleihung durch Brandenburgs Kulturministerin Sabine Kunst in Rheinsberg

Komponist Siegfried Matthus mit Großem Verdienstkreuz ausgezeichnet


Wien behält seinen Meister

Das Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien (RSO), das gerade mit Christoph Becher einen neuen Intendanten bekommen hat, behält seinen Chefdirigenten, Cornelius Meister.

Chicago Tribune

Kenneth G. Pigott, president and CEO of Lyric Opera of Chicago, dies at 71

Kenneth G. Pigott was that rarity among leaders of cultural institutions: a visionary board president who could speak knowledgeably about the art form he served and who took an active, influential role in moving the institution forward.

Le Monde

Jean Nouvel traîne son bébé en justice

Suite du bras de fer entre l’architecte et la Philharmonie de Paris – cette fois, devant les tribunaux.

La Croix

Deux soirées avec Philip Glass à Châlons-en-Champagne

Jeudi 12 et vendredi 13 février, le grand compositeur américain, chef de file de la musique minimaliste, est venu jouer une sélection de ses œuvres.Philip Glass a réservé sa venue en France pour la Comète, scène de Châlons-en-Champagne.

El País

La música ya es invisible

Aunque fueron apenas seis segundos, no pasaron desapercibidos. Durante la gala de los Goya, vimos un veloz montaje de imágenes de fallecidos del cine español durante 2014, incluyendo a Peret y Paco de Lucía. Perfectamente justificado: el rumbero protagonizó comedias, el guitarrista puso música a películas. Pero lo que sentimos algunos espectadores fue amargura… y envidia.


Osmo Vanska and the Minnesota Orchestra to Perform in Cuba at the International Cubadisco Festival in May

In light of the nation’s newfound friendship with Cuba, the Minnesota Orchestra announced Thursday that it would travel to Havana to play two concerts in May. This would be the first major American orchestra to play there since President Obama normalized relations with the estranged nation.


BBC Radio 3 @BBCRadio3: “I’ve had an idea about how I’d like the programme to start…” Programme about making programmes, from @soundslikenina 

Deutsche Grammophon @DGclassics: Don’t miss @SinfiniMusic‘s video interview with @SteveReich talking music and influences: …

Classic FM @ClassicFM: This 8-year-old taught himself piano by watching YouTube videos – you can watch him play here: 

690101be-b2e7-11e4-_854334cJaap van Zweden and the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. Photo: The Times

(Written on February 16, 2015 )

The Telegraph

Sakari Oramo: ‘Britain was my destiny’

Finland’s Sakari Oramo talks to Ivan Hewett about the challenges of becoming the BBCSO’s new chief conductor – and his uncanny sense of homecoming


Setting up a classical ensemble in the current climate is hard, but bowing to popular tastes is not the way

The London International Players are helping to bring classical music to new audiences

Arts Journal

Renée Fleming cancels UK for family emergency

Renée Fleming has cancelled a keenly-awaited orchestral concert in Oxford today. Her replacement will be Sylvia Schwarz

The Guardian

Just don’t call it ‘indie classical’

Nico Muhly, Olafur Arnalds and new generation of composers are successfully transposing classical tropes to a rock setting

ABQ Journal

New classical music organization debuts

Led by Artistic Director David Oberg, ‘Orchestra of Discovery’ in Albuquerque debuts Tuesday, Nov. 5 as small chamber ensemble

Incorporated Society of Musicians

HMRC agrees to reverse National Insurance rules

Good news for professional musicians as HMRC agrees to reverse National Insurance rules

Digital Music News

Head North: Ontario Sets Aside $45 Million to Fund Its Music Industry…

The province of Ontario has set aside $45 million CAD (~$43M USD) for a new Ontario Music Fund

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Zeitlos überwältigend

Es klingt wie ein wehmütiges, spätes Wiedersehen: Anne-Sophie Mutter hat nach fast 30 Jahren wieder ein Studioalbum mit den Berliner Philharmonikern aufgenommen. Auf “Dvořák” interpretiert die große deutsche Geigerin ein leidenschaftlich-romantisches Violinkonzert

The Telegraph

The Telegraph


(Written on November 4, 2013 )

Ben Frost who has been described by Time Out Magazine as a ‘laconic composer’ has adapted Iain Banks’ cult novel ‘The Wasp Factory’ into an opera, premiering tonight, at The Royal Opera House and showing until the 8th of October. There is much anticipation as to what the opera will be like and how this famous book will be interpreted, the Independent are confident that: ‘in all likelihood, [Banks] would have enjoyed the music.’

Ben Frost is a composer born in Australia but based in Reykjavik, Iceland, and is widely recognized for his experimental music which fuses multiple genres from post-classical electronic minimalism to dark metal. He has released a number of albums and has collaborated with a wide range of artists including Nico Muhly, and Brian Eno, by whom he was chosen to be part of the Rolex Mentor and Protegé program.

The Wasp Factory has already been performed at the Bregenz Festival in Austria and last week in Berlin, where it ‘received acclaim’ according to The Independent. With Frost’s ‘atmospheric, often presenting troubling and multilayered soundscapes’ as described by Time Out, it seems that Frost’s style is perfectly suited for the transformation of this dark novel.  In his recent interview with The Times, Frost expressed that he is ‘not interested in making works that are anything other than arresting. Good music should hit you like a suicide.’ With this approach from Ben Frost, one can imagine that The Wasp Factory is an engaging opera to experience.

To read more, pick up a copy of this week’s Time Out, and the full article from The Independent is available online, as is The Times feature on Ben Frost and The Wasp Factory. Tickets are available to buy online from the Royal Opera House.

You can also follow Ben Frost on Twitter and Facebook.

The Independent

Arifa Akbar, The Independent

(Written on October 2, 2013 )

The Telegraph

Thomas Blumire: young composer who defies barriers

At 19, Thomas Blumire is a promisingly talented and already accomplished composer, currently hoping to study for a degree in music.

Ian Bostridge on Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau: ‘I’d never have sung without him’

English tenor Ian Bostridge tells how the late Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau came to inspire him.

Classical music dead? Nico Muhly proves it isn’t

The Manhattan-based composer Nico Muhly – the hottest talent in contemporary classical music – is so attracted to everyday drone noise that he’s composed an album in tribute.

The Guardian

How Maurice Sendak helped me stage his operas

Months before his death, the children’s author met director Netia Jones to discuss opera versions of his famous stories.

ArtsJournal – Slipped disc

‘I don”t do crossover’, says YouTube’s most watched pianist

One of the things I like best about Valentina Lisitsa is her lack of guile.


Baritone Derek Hammond-Stroud has died

The English singer Derek Hammond-Stroud has died; he was 86.

Obituary: Alexander Arutiunian, composer

Alexander Arutiunian has died at the age of 91 in Yerevan, the city of his birth.

LA Times

Jazz impressions with Chris Botti

Trumpeter Chris Botti tours constantly with his instrumentals. He dishes on his career, his latest album, ‘Impressions’, and musical collaborations.

(Written on May 29, 2012 )


Violinist Israel Baker Has Died, Aged 92.

The violinist Israel Baker has died at his home in Los Angeles aged 92.

Thomas Quasthoff Withdraws From The Spotlight.

Citing ill health, the German baritone retires.

BBC News

Letter Penned By Beethoven Uncovered In Germany.

A letter written by composer Ludwig van Beethoven has emerged in Germany after being left in a will.

BBC Music Magazine

BBC Proms Launches Competition For Young Composers.

Entries to be judged by composers including Stuart MacRae and Nico Muhly.

New York Times

Carnegie Hall To Establish National Youth Orchestra In 2013.

Ireland has one. Norway has one. Sweden has one, and it will be at Carnegie Hall on Jan. 26. Even Iraq has one.

The Telegraph

Jonathan McGovern: New Face.

Jonathan McGovern is a 26 year-old baritone who looks poised for a brilliant career.


(Written on January 12, 2012 )

New York Times

A Symphony of Floorboads, Pipes and Stairs

“You’re going to have a house, and the house makes music. When you get here, you’ll figure it out.” One of New Orleans’ most recent and innovative musical offerings

Slipped Disc: Norman Lebrecht

My Demo Choirmaster Wins…An International Emmy

‘Gareth Goes To Glyndebourne’ wins an Emmy

The New Yorker

The Long Haul

Alex Ross on Nico Muhly

The Independent

Yes: From Total Discord To Sweet Harmony

Bonnie Greer’s television run-in with Nick Griffin didn’t just provoke feverish debate – it was also the catalyst for a new opera

The Times

Bringing Bach To The Blackberry Generation

Richard Morrison on an exciting new approach to the St. Matthew Passion




(Written on November 22, 2011 )

Tonight at London’s Southbank Centre, the London Sinfonietta launch Exquisite Labyrinth: The Music of Pierre Boulez.

Pierre Boulez – avant-garde figurehead since the 1940s, musical giant on the world stage and author of some of the key progressive works in musical modernism – is celebrated over one weekend. As well as hearing the composer himself conducting a special performance of his masterpiece Pli selon pli, with the esteemed Ensemble InterContemporain – which he founded in the 1970s – there is an opportunity to hear almost all his piano works played during one day by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich.

You can hear pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard, composer Nico Muhly and Gillian Moore, Southbank Centre’s Head of Contemporary Culture, discuss Exquisite Labyrinth in the Southbank Centre’s podcast:

Exquisite Labyrinth: The Music of Pierre Boulez by southbankcentre

(Written on September 30, 2011 )