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Classical News

In today’s news, the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation will award funding to two programmes supporting and developing young musicians, the Belfast Music Society has created a new classical album for babies and Xian Zhang is the first woman to have a titled role at a BBC orchestra. Also, the Ulster Orchestra hopes to break down class barriers to classical music

Belfast Telegraph

Ulster Orchestra hoping to break down class barriers to classical music

As an Assembly investigation into working-class ‘exclusion’ from the arts continues, the UO envisages ‘composing’ at least five or six education and outreach projects

Classical Music Magazine

Young musician projects gain Lloyd Webber grants

Two programmes supporting and developing young musicians are to receive substantial grants from the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, it was announced today

The Irish News

Belfast musicians launch classical album for babies

It’s a well-established fact that listening to classic music has a soothing effect on babies and that introducing children to music at a young age is hugely beneficial

The Guardian

Xian Zhang makes conducting history as first woman to have titled role at a BBC orchestra

The Chinese-born artist is to be the BBC National Orchestra of Wales’s new principal guest conductor


Pariser Opernlogen weiter im Gespräch

Der Streit um die Entfernung von Zwischenwänden in den Logen der alten Pariser Oper Palais Garnier nimmt immer erstaunlichere Ausmaße an

Thomas Quasthoff mit Martin Buber-Plakette ausgezeichnet

Thomas Quasthoff hat die diesjährige Martin Buber-Plakette erhalten. Sie wurde ihm im Rahmen des Kulturfestivals “Euriade” im niederländischen Kerkrade verliehen


Audi Jugendchorakademie sucht neue Stimmen

Im Dezember und Januar sucht die Audi Jugendchorakademie wieder nach Gesangstalenten, die gern in einem professionellem Umfeld singen wollen. Die neuen Chormitglieder haben die Möglichkeit, bei den Audi Sommerkonzerten 2016 und mit Star-Dirigent Kent Nagano aufzutreten

El Pais

Montserrat Caballé declarará desde su casa por fraude fiscal

La soprano participará en la vista a través de una videoconferencia por motivos de salud


Comienzan los Conciertos de Navidad y Año Nuevo en el Auditorio Sony

Auditorio Sony acoge el ciclo Conciertos de Navidad y Año Nuevo en el que participan los músicos que se forman en los distintos departamentos de instrumento, canto y música de cámara de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía


Sinfini Music: @SinfiniMusic 1 Dec: time to open day 1 of our #AdventCalendar! Check back every day for prizes/goodies:

The Journal of Music:@journalofmusic Paris Residences Offered for Irish Musicians and Composers.  @cc_irlandais

Culture at King’s:@CultureatKings  #BigBangData opens 3 Dec @SomersetHouse. Artists & designers use data to explore how data is transforming society

Xian Zhang/ NJO

Xian Zhang/ NJO

(Written on December 1, 2015 )

On Friday, the Vienna Philharmonic announced that it’s crowdfunding campaign has raised an astonishing €10, 000, towards a home for asylum seekers, which it bought last month. There are still 54 days to go and over 60 000 still to raise! You can donate here:

The Vienna Philharmonic has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise  €75,000 towards buying and renovating a former inn in St Aegyd, Lower Austria. For every donation made,  the orchestra offers a special thank you in the form of CD’s, DVD’s, concert tickets and backstage passes.

Vienna Philharmonic home for refugees

Vienna Philharmonic home for refugees

Following the huge numbers of refugees arriving in Europe this year, questions of nationality, social cohesion, and belonging have arisen. These issues are especially apparent in countries such as Austria and Hungary, which have faced the greatest influxes of asylum seekers. The CEO of the Vienna Philharmonic, Andreas Großbauer believes that aiding refugees exemplifies everything that classical music stands for,  ‘When we play an opera like Fidelio, for example, the singers are singing about freedom – it struck me that if we did nothing to help the refugees coming to Austria, then our music just wouldn’t be honest anymore.’ Indeed, 40 members of the Vienna Philharmonic come from families of migration backgrounds and 20 don’t have an Austrian passport.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s campaign is of course hugely impressive, but there are also ordinary people throughout Austria continuously providing refugees with meals, blankets, clothes and shelter. On the other hand, in October’s elections, there was increased support for the Austrian far right ‘Freedom Party’. It got 31 percent of the vote, on an anti-immigrant platform that included a proposed border fence. In the face of this and of tensions throughout Europe, the crowdfunding campaign and generosity of the Vienna Philharmonic appears all the more impressive.

20, 000 people took to the streets in Vienna in September to demonstrate against the ill treatment of refugees/ Lhv news

20, 000 people took to the streets of Vienna in September, to demonstrate against the ill treatment of refugees/ Lhv news

It might seem like a huge amount of money to direct to housing just four families, but the orchestra also wants to set an example and inspire others. The whole community is committed to the project and to integrating the asylum seekers in the long term; they will be taught German and the home will be a place for cultural exchange and benefit concerts. The campaign is raising money to provide more than just accommodation.

The Vienna Philharmonic has consistently had a strong focus on charity work. Throughout the year, it raises money for ‘Light in Darkness’, the Red Cross, Amnesty International and victims of landmines, it also gives charity concerts in hospitals. On September 28th, the orchestra gave a benefit concert which raised €116,892.73 towards the refugee crisis. Their latest campaign to house and permanently support 16 immigrants deserves particular congratulations!

(Written on December 1, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, St. John’s Smith Square joins REMA, a report finds that cities are recognising the benefits of culture and the Vienna Philharmonic is funding a home for asylum seekers. Also, Classical Music Magazine discusses concerns that the BBC’s funding will be cut again

Classical Music Magazine

St John’s Smith Square joins REMA

St John’s Smith Square is now a member of REMA (the European Early Music Network)

Arts Professional

Cities recognise benefits of culture, report finds

Local authorities envisage a shift away from direct provision of cultural services, but are preparing to lead by articulating a vision, brokering partnerships, and sourcing new funding

Classic FM

One of the world’s greatest orchestras is funding a home for asylum seekers

The Vienna Philharmonic is one of the world’s oldest orchestras, best known for its performances of great classical music. But now it’s announced a project to create a home for refugees in Austria

Classical Music Magazine

All who love music should campaign to save the BBC

The Conservative government is preparing its policy on the BBC’s future. The Green Paper published by government raises concerns that the BBC’s funding will be cut again, or that it will be significantly downsized. The effect that this might have on employment opportunities for musicians could be catastrophic

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Avantgardist der Klänge

Der Komponist Helmut Lachenmann wird 80 Jahre alt. Er hat verschiedene Geräusche in seine Arbeiten integriert. Seine Oper “Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern” gilt als eines der Hauptwerke unserer Zeit

Drei Musikprojekte mit Junge Ohren Preis ausgezeichnet

Drei Musikproduktionen und -projekte sind am Donnerstagabend in der Villa Elisabeth in Berlin mit dem Junge Ohren Preis ausgezeichnet worden


Hontvári Gábor gewinnt 7. Dirigierwettbewerb der Mitteldeutschen Musikhochschulen

Der Weimarer Musikstudent Gábor Hontvári hat den 7. Dirigierwettbewerb der Mitteldeutschen Musikhochschulen gewonnen. Damit habe bereits zum siebten Mal infolge ein Student der «Weimarer Dirigentenschmiede» den Wettbewerb der drei Hochschulen für sich entscheiden können

The New York Times

Andrew Norman on Loving ‘Star Wars’ and Pushing Musical Boundaries

When Andrew Norman was growing up, “Star Wars” was the only film his family owned on video. Fascinated by John Williams’s classic score, Mr. Norman decided when he was young that he wanted to be a composer


El Centro de Investigación y Documentación Musical de la UCLM se asocia al CSIC

La Universidad de Castilla-La Mancha (UCLM) cuenta con la primera Unidad Asociada al Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) en el ámbito de la Música y la Musicología


Top Classical News:  ‏@topcmnews Soprano Hannigan shatters classical music’s glass ceiling – Malay Mail Online  #ClassicalMusic

BBC Radio 3:@BBCRadio3  Music in Time: JS Bach never wrote an opera, but the St. Matthew Passion comes pretty close #EssentialClassics

Classical Orchestras:@OrchestrasToday  BBC Radio Christmas highlights 2015

Cities recognise benefits of culture

Cities recognise benefits of culture

(Written on November 27, 2015 )

Scriabin, who died 100 years ago this year, was the first composer to associate colours with music; he believed that there is an aesthetic connection between musical harmony and shades of colour. The Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky was inspired by Scriabin, amoung others including Wagner. Kandinsky wanted to create what Scriabin had for music, but for colours and feelings. Kandinsky, had his own colour theory to match colours with musical tones or instruments.

Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky (1913)

Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky (1913)

There is a possibility that Scriabin had Synaesthesia, a condition where a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggers a sensation in another, such as sight. In Scriabin, music triggered a vision of certain colours in a ‘union of his senses’. Each note corresponded to a specific colour: C-red, G-orange, D-yellow, A-green, E-sky blue, B-blue, F#-bright blue, C#-violet, G#-lilac, D#-flesh, A#-rose, F-deep red. However, some composers such as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, disagreed with Scriabin about which keys related to which colours. It is believed that Messiaen and Liszt were also synaesthete, although the condition isn’t common even in people with perfect pitch. 

A piano illustrating which colour corresponds to which key

A piano illustrating which colour (according to Scriabin) corresponds to which key

Scriabin was also deeply philosophical and mystical; he had visions of other worlds and he wished to transport his audiences to other realms through his music. He had planned a great piece, the Mysterium, which would be performed in a half temple in India. The spectacle would include a light show engulfing performers and audience members, who would sit across a pool of water. Incense and acrid smoke would be blown across the scene, costumed speakers reciting texts would parade with the dancers and Scriabin would sit at the piano surrounded by the orchestra. Scriabin died before the composition was complete, this dream was never realised.  He once boasted that only his music could express the inexpressible.

A few years before his death, Scriabin produced a colour keyboard with colour lamps, known as  a clavier à lumières. In the score for Prometheus: The Poem of Fire (1910), Scriabin described how his clavier à lumières should accompany the orchestra. The colour organ was to be played like a piano but instead of emitting sound, it projected coloured light onto a screen. The only performance using the color organ as Scriabin had envisioned, was in New York in 1915. This was the year that Scriabin died, of an untreated infection under his famed moustache. It seems that Scriabin had vast sources of inspiration and had he lived longer perhaps more of his dramatic, other- worldly dreams would have been realised. 

Scriabin performing in St. Petersburg in April 1915 (his last recital)

Scriabin performing in St. Petersburg in April 1915 (his last recital)

(Written on November 17, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and Classic FM announce their partnership, renowned timpanist Richard Horowitz dies at 91, and Grange Park Opera moves into Bamber Gascoigne’s crumbling stately home. Also, The Telegraph questions the relationship between jazz and classical music

The Telegraph

Eddie Gomez: ‘jazz and classical both have a swing’

Are classical music and jazz like oil and water, or can they be fused into a fascinating new hybrid?

The Guardian

Opera company to move into Bamber Gascoigne’s crumbling stately home

Former University Challenge host allows Grange Park Opera to take up residence on derelict 400-acre Surrey estate he inherited from great aunt

Classical Music Magazine

NYOGB and Classic FM announce partnership

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYOGB) has been announced as Classic FM’s Orchestra of Teenagers, a partnership intended to ‘inspire a new generation of young concert-goers’

The Telegraph

Opera singer performs on train after wild boar collision causes eight-hour Eurostar delay

London to Paris passengers stranded overnight after head-on collision with wild boar in “Calais forest”, as opera singer steps in to lift spirits

The New York Times

Richard Horowitz, Timpanist and Craftsman of Conductors’ Batons, Dies at 91

Richard Horowitz, in 2008, was a renowned timpanist who spent 66 years and some 10,000 performances with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

Der Tagesspiegel 

Ein Chef zum Verlieben

Der 32-jährige Brite Robin Ticciati unterzeichnet seinen Vertrag als Chefdirigent des Deutschen Symphonie-Orchesters ab Herbst 2017


Oper in Kopenhagen muss sparen

Das Königliche Theater in Kopenhagen, zu dessen wichtigsten Aufgaben die Oper gehört, muss sparen. Die Regierung hat drastische Subventionskürzungen angekündigt

Vergoldeter Flügel von Elvis für 600.000 US-Dollar versteigert

Ein mit Blattgold überzogener Flügel, auf dem der Rock’n’Roll-Musiker Elvis Presley spielte, wurde für über 600.000 US-Dollar versteigert


10-Year-Old Charlie Kirby to Conduct Star Wars Theme With Columbus Symphony

A young musician will premiere with the Columbus Symphony as he has with several other large orchestras across the nation. Charlie Kirby, a 10-year-old on the rise to fame, will conduct his favourite from John Williams Star Wars‘ favorite, “The Imperial March.”


Jesús Torres gana el Premio de Composición AEOS-Fundación BBVA

Torres ha sido el ganador de la VIII edición del Premio de Composición AEOS – Fundación BBVA, dotado con 18.000 euros y el estreno de la obra por parte de las 27 orquestas que integran la Asociación Española de Orquestas Sinfónicas


Sinfini Music.‘s opera Morgen und Abend opens tonight : we interviewed him

The StradLondon’s has appointed András Keller as professor of from January 2016

Classic FMIntroducing our Orchestra of Teenagers, the incredible :

National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

(Written on November 13, 2015 )


WildKat PR is pleased to welcome Dartington Music: Summer School & Festival to its roster.

For 4 weeks each August, the Summer school and festival take over Dartington Estate in the South Devon countryside. During the day, the summer school offers courses ranging from jazz and opera, chamber and orchestral music, choral and early music, folk, poetry, world music and multimedia. These courses are tailored to participants of all ages and levels of ability.

In the evening, a concert series comprising over 80 performances is open to summer school attendees and the general public.

Renowned performers and teachers travel to Dartington from around the world to join this fantastic annual event. It has previously played host to composers and performers including Igor Stravinsky, Benjamin Britten, Alfred Brendel and Imogen Cooper – among many others.

Artistic Director Joanna MacGregor curates Dartingon’s cultural offering, and has broadened both the educational and performance sides since her inaugural festival in 2015. This diverse annual event now sits alongside the best summer schools and festivals in the world.

Full programme details for 2016 will be announced at the launch on the 14th December. Watch this space for the announcement!

(Written on November 6, 2015 )

Classical News

In today’s news, Classical Music Magazine discusses why the women in music debate is more important than ever and ABRSM launches an initiative to get more primary school children interested in classical music. Also, The Statesman reports that the Delhi Classical Music Festival is drawing a large audience

Classical Music Magazine

The women in music debate is more vital than ever

In the late 1980s, my generation emerged from college believing we could have it all. We imagined the battle for ‘Women’s Lib’ had been won and we would be its beneficiaries

Arts Desk

10 Questions for Nicola Benedetti and Wynton Marsalis

He’s a jazz composer, she’s a classical violinist: put them together, what have you got?

BBC Music Magazine

ABRSM launches ‘Classical 100’ initiative

New scheme to interest primary school children in classical music launched

The Statesman

Delhi classical music fest draws large audience

A music festival featuring maestros like Begum Parveen Sultana and Pandit Bhajan Sopori began here on Monday with the promise of enthralling Delhi’s classical music connoisseurs


Stanislaw Skrowaczewski zum Ehrendirigenten der Deutschen Radio Philharmonie ernannt

Der polnisch-amerikanische Dirigent und Komponist Stanislaw Skrowaczewski wird auf Vorschlag des Orchesters zum Ehrendirigenten der Deutschen Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern ernannt


Gärtnerplatz-Intendant: Sanierung als „Damoklesschwert“

Zum 150-jährigen Bestehen des Münchner Gärtnerplatztheaters plagen dessen Intendanten Josef Köpplinger Sanierungssorgen. Es sei noch nicht klar, wann genau der Spielbetrieb im Stammhaus in der Münchner Innenstadt nach der millionenschweren Sanierung wieder aufgenommen werden kann

Sujin Bae gewinnt Giulio-Perotti-Gesangswettbewerb

Die südkoreanische Sopranistin Sujin Bae hat den 4. Giulio-Perotti-Gesangswettbewerb in Ueckermünde gewonnen


Martin Scorsese Confirms Leonard Bernstein Biopic, Renews Paramount Deal

Martin Scorsese, a household name in filmmaking, has announced that he will renew his development deal with Paramount. On the list of upcoming projects is a biopic about the West Side Story composer, Leonard Bernstein


Martin Fröst Suffers From Inner Disease

Swedish clarinettist Martin Fröst, 44, has cancelled his upcoming appearances with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra due to Meniere’s disease, an inner-ear disorder


Youth Music:@youthmusic  Our friends at @DRGUK are supporting Youth Music with a donation for every guitar sold!

Brighton Early Music:@BREMF Coming up this week – the earliest opera by a female composer. Watch our #FreeRuggiero preview film #Brighton #Hove

British Council Arts: @BritishArts Read this @GdnCulturePros article on the importance of nurturing smaller #arts organisations

BBC Music Magazine 'Classical 100' Initiative

BBC Music Magazine
‘Classical 100’ Initiative

(Written on November 3, 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 )

Today, the WildKat London office share our favourite symphonies.

Victoria: Mozart’s Symphony No. 40, composed 1788.

“It was one of the first symphonies I heard, it was also one of the first pieces of classical music to send a shiver down my spine!”

It is sometimes referred to as the “Great G minor symphony”, to distinguish it from the “Little G minor symphony”, No. 25. The two are the only minor key symphonies Mozart wrote. 

Fleur: Mahler’s  Symphony No. 4,  composed in 1899 and 1900.

“It was one of the first symphonies I performed at school so it has a special place in my heart – the beginning of the 3rd movement is epic and almost un-Mahler-like but still so clever.”

Symphony No. 4 is characterised as one of Mahler’s most accessible symphonies, being the shortest and most lightly scored, with less heavy brass and a smaller string section. The final movement is based on Mahler’s orchestral setting of the song ‘Das Himmlische Leben’, composed in 1892.

Ellie also chooses a Mahler Symphony, Symphony No. composed in 1901 and 1902.

Mahler completed this Symphony during one of the happiest periods of his life. During the winter prior to beginning the Fifth Symphony, Mahler had met Alma Schindler to whom he proposed in 1901. It is said that in the tender, lyrical Adagietto of the fourth movement, Mahler expresses his love for Alma.

Olivia: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6. composed in 1808.

“The context of the music shines through very much and you can really feel Beethoven’s emotions. It’s more programme music – telling a story – and it’s perfect for new audiences.”

Last year, Orpheus Sinfonia presented Revolution: The Beethoven Effect which explored Beethoven’s symphonies and how they transformed our view of what a symphony is. Music from his symphonies was performed alongside images, and  readings of excerpts from his letters. The orchestra really delved into the details to make a fascinating event!

 Sarah: Janáček’s Sinfonietta, composed 1926.

Janáček dedicated the Sinfonietta to the “Czechoslovak Armed Forces”. He wanted it to express “contemporary free man, his spiritual beauty and joy, his strength, courage and determination to fight for victory.” The music depicts scenes from Janáček’s home city of Brno following the announcement of Czech independence. 

Amelia: Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, composed 1894-95.

This music tells the adventures of Till Eulenspiegel, a German peasant folk hero. In modern German, the name means “owl glass,” or “owl mir­ror,” however in the middle ages when the tales were collected, the name had a more sinister meaning as the owl was sometimes regarded as the devil’s bird. Eulenspiegel was a trickster and the music cleverly captures his mischief and roguishness. 

(Written on October 26, 2015 )

The Legend of Zelda: Symphony of the Goddesses is a concert tour featuring music from Nintendo’s Legend of Zelda video game series. It brings Zelda fans and symphony goers alike an entirely new, exciting multimedia experience presenting over 28 years of music from The Legend of Zelda franchise.

Symphony of Goddesses does not only refer to the concert programme itself, but also recounts storylines from several games in The Legend of Zelda series.

Jason Michael Paul Productions and Nintendo produced the concert series with producers Jeron Moore and Chad Seiter. The all-new arrangements are designed to be as epic and thrilling as the Legend itself. Also, Amy Andersson is the musical director and conductor for the 2015-2016 season.

(Written on October 21, 2015 )