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A very exciting initiative launched yesterday, 26th January 2015: Musical Orbit. The website is offering musicians the opportunity to book one-to-one lessons, as well as free webinars and masterclasses with some of the top principal players from major orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Mozart Players. Whether you have an audition, final exam or recital, through Musical Orbit you can receive bespoke feedback from industry experts on your playing to allow you to perform to your absolute best.

This opportunity means Musical Orbit is also a central online hub, allowing musicians to connect, for young artists to build relationships within the industry and to receive playing tips. Professional musicians wanting to give back to the industry can do so in their own time, anywhere in the world. The hub will also provide discounts to the most popular concerts, with promo codes that are available only on the Music Orbit website.

To celebrate this exciting project, Musical Orbit is offering the chance to win FREE music lessons if you sign up before next Monday (2nd February 2015). Get yourself over there quickly to be mentored by some of the best classical musicians in the world!

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Keep up to date with news from Musical Orbit through their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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(Written on January 27, 2015 )

WildKat PR is very excited to introduce our newest client: the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center (CMS). Based at New York’s infamous Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, CMS features some of the finest chamber music performances on a world stage. As well as thrilling seasoned concert goers, they also seek to engage a wider audience with chamber music through their performances, education programmes, and recording activities.

Motivated by their commitment to the continuation of the chamber music tradition, they founded CMS Two which is a prestigious, unique and wildly competitive three season residency for the most significant ensembles and individual musicians. Far from being an ‘extra’, CMS Two members take part in all aspects of the Society’s activities and it boasts alumni such as Lang Lang and Hilary Hahn.

We will be working with CMS on a very exciting concert on 8th May 2015 at London’s Wigmore Hall which, alongside standard repertoire from Schumann and Brahms will also feature the world premiere of a specially co-commissioned piece by British composer Helen Grime. This new string trio continues the longstanding relationship between the two cross-Atlantic concert halls.

CMS-logo

(Written on January 23, 2015 )

As Shakespeare himself says in The Two Gentlemen of Verona: ‘Orpheus’ lute was strung with poets’ sinews, whose golden touch could soften steel and stones.’ WildKat PR could not agree more after last night’s brilliant concert from Orpheus Sinfonia at St George’s Church, Hanover Square.

The whole theme of the evening was the influence that Shakespeare’s plays have had on composers and as well as performances of Korngold, Tchaikovsky and Prokofiev we were treated to two graduates from LAMDA (Andrew Nolan and Sophie Steer) who acted excerpts from the plays in between the musical programme. This addition helped achieve the goal of the Beneath the Score series: to dig deeper into the music.

MidSummer Night's Dream

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A depiction of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Photo: Blogging Shakespeare

If I sat back and closed my eyes, I would not have known Orpheus Sinfonia were not an orchestra such as the LSO, such was the calibre of the playing: the woodwind, particularly the flutes, captured me from the very first chords of Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the opening piece. Their vibrato was unmistakable for the rest of the concert.

One of my highlights was Korngold’s Much Ado about Nothing. Orpheus Sinfonia really showed off their versatility during this piece by capturing both the comedy of the play and unleashing long lyrical lines. I had already decided that the Korngold was my new favourite piece but by the time Delius’ The Walk to the Paradise Garden had finished, I had changed my mind. The strings meshed together blissfully, bringing out the impressionism of the piece. The cellos in particular sung out and possessed that ‘golden touch’ Shakespeare spoke of. It was also the perfect opportunity for the actors to act out the famous balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. The silence between the notes dying away and keen applause said it all.

The conductor, Thomas Carroll, provided an insightful commentary throughout but especially before Tchaikovsky’s well known Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture. He outlined the structure of the piece and the ‘characters’ that particular instruments were supposed to represent. The woodwind at the start of the piece symbolized the noble Friar Laurence whilst the constant horn rhythms acted as the heartbeat of the lovers. This explanation allowed me to hear the piece in a new way.

The venue, St George’s Church, had beautiful acoustics which really amplified the rich sound of the orchestra. The intimate setting was a nice change from a large concert hall; it meant you could see the players as they were performing and it was clear they were enjoying themselves. There were also a number of young people there and, chatting to a couple afterwards, they commented on how accessible the music had been through the combination of excerpts and explanation.

A wonderful evening overall, make sure you look out for details of the next one.

Orpheus-SMALL Orpheus Sinfonia. Photo: The Stage

 

 

(Written on January 23, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Harry Brunjes to replace Martyn Rose as ENO chairman

Brunjes will remain in the role until a permanent replacement can be found

BBC Music Magazine

Join us at the BBC Music Magazine Awards 2015!

Buy tickets to our ceremony at Kings Place, London

The Strad

German orchestras focused on music education, finds survey

According to the latest survey compiled by the German Orchestra Association, the 2013–14 orchestral season encompassed 4,160 concerts for children and young people – 94 per cent more than in the same period ten years ago.

British violinist Fenella Barton on overcoming rheumatoid arthritis

Conquering pain taught the solo and chamber musician to play as if every performance was her last

Gramophone

The tenor Waldemar Kmentt has died

The Austrian tenor Waldemar Kmentt has died; he was 85

Classic FM

Are these the ten best string players ever?

Some of history’s legendary violinists, cellists and viola players make up our top 10. Do you agree? Have your say – and vote for your favourite

Zeit Online

“Pophörer sind nicht dumm oder falsch erzogen”

Wie wird ein Song zum Hit? Der Musikwissenschaftler Volkmar Kramarz beschäftigt sich seit Jahrzehnten mit dieser Frage. Jetzt hat er das Erfolgsrezept gefunden.

pizzicato

‘Ulster Orchestra’ aus dem Schlimmsten raus

Das Parlament Nordirlands hat jetzt ausreichend Geld in Aussicht gestellt, um das nahezu bankrotte ‘Ulster Orchestra’ zu retten.

Houston Grand Opera Raises $172.9 Million

Houston Grand Opera got a tremendous response to their performance campaign.

Klassik.com

Russischer Komponist droht Regensburger Theater mit Klage

Lubchenko im Streit mit Regisseur Purcarete über Uraufführung von Doktor Schiwago

El Mundo

Unidad Editorial apoya a la Fundación Albéniz

El grupo editor de EL MUNDO patrocinará la cátedra de contrabajo de la Escuela Superior de Música Reina Sofía.

Twitter

Southbank Centre @southbankcentre : #Wagner’s #Ringcycle at Royal Festival Hall – 100 musicians Over 18 hours of music with film projections on giant screens  #Classical1516

The Royal Ballet ‏@TheRoyalBallet : Choreographer George Balanchine was born #onthisday in 1904. Brilliant ‘Balanchineisms’: http://www.roh.org.uk/news/i-am-a-cloud-in-trousers-the-sayings-of-george-balanchine … ^C

BBC Proms Team ‏@bbcproms : The 2015 Inspire Young Composers’ Competition was launched on @BBCRadio3 Breakfast. http://www.bbc.co.uk/proms  #Inspire

 

Barton News 22nd Jan

Fenella Barton. Photo: The Strad

(Written on January 22, 2015 )

Following the success of their previous concert, here at WildKat PR we have been looking forward to our client Orpheus Sinfonia’s next Beneath The Score concert: ‘The Shakespeare Influence’. The evening’s music will be inspired by the works of Shakespeare and include works from composers such as Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Tchaikovsky. The performance will also be interspersed with readings by two young talented actors from some of Shakespeare’s most loved plays: ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream,’ ‘Much Ado about Nothing,’ and ‘Romeo and Juliet.’

The Beneath The Score series aims to bring classical music to new audiences and expand the knowledge of the experienced, by exploring the meaning behind the work during the concert. The first concert, which explored Beethoven’s life and revolutionary influence, included readings of extracts of his diaries and images to bring the music more to life. Indeed, many audience members, newcomers and seasoned concertgoers alike, commented on how much they learnt as well as how much they enjoyed the music. One person remarked how she did not realise how early Beethoven’s deafness set in whilst another was very new to the experience and so learnt much more than he knew before.

The concert will be performed by the talented Orpheus Sinfonia, an orchestra composed of recently graduated musicians emerging from study into the profession, and conducted by conductor, cellist and presenter Thomas Carroll. The Shakespeare Influence will take place this Thursday (22nd January 2015) at 19:30pm at St George’s Church in Hanover Square. Tickets can be found here. It promises to be a fascinating and uplifting evening.

Find Orpheus Sinfonia on FacebookTwitter and YouTube.

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The Orpheus Sinfonia in Concert. Photo found at orpheusfoundation.com

 

 

(Written on January 19, 2015 )

The world is a big place with lots of exciting things to experience, especially in the classical music world. In the spirit of our New Year’s resolutions blog to try new things and set new goals, we were inspired to begin thinking about our classical music ambitions: orchestras we would love to see live, concert halls we want to visit, instruments we aspire to learn. As well as having a think ourselves, we asked you over on our Facebook and Twitter pages to send yours in too. Here they are:

Prom at the BBC Proms

As one of the best classical music festivals in the world, showcasing the best talent, Promming at the Proms is a longstanding tradition and therefore is a musical must. Standing in the arena or galleries offers an atmosphere unrivaled by buying a ticket and sitting. For only £5, you can experience some of the world’s greatest artists. We recommend joining the queue before 16:30 to ensure you get in.

Last night of the Proms

The Last Night of the BBC Proms 2014. Photo: (c) newarktwinning.com

The Last Night of the BBC Proms

Equally, the Last Night of the Proms is a spectacular, patriotic finale to a summer’s worth of music. The first half is a traditional concert whilst, during the second half, the Royal Albert Hall transforms into a sea of flag waving, national anthem singing extravaganza. With favourites such as Rule Britannia, Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem sung every year, it’s no wonder tickets are highly sought after and distributed via a ballot each year. Thankfully, Promming is still an option on the Last Night although you will need to get there much earlier than on a regular night!

The 2015 BBC Proms is announced on 23rd April

Go to an Opera or Ballet

Although the prospect of going to an opera or ballet for the first time can seem scary, The Telegraph have written a handy guide to etiquette at such events so you can enjoy the concert and look like a seasoned pro.

Sitting on an orchestra whilst they are playing

Carolin in our Berlin office suggested this great idea. Just imagine watching a pianist’s hands whiz over the keys or feeling the vibrations of the timpani!

Ben Hogwood Tweet

@benjamin23

Go to Carols at Kings

One of our interns, Ruth, said she would like to go to the traditional Nine Lessons and Carols at King’s College Cambridge one Christmas rather than just watching it on television. Guaranteed to get you in the festive mood.

Learn to play an unusual musical instrument

The world is full of violinists, why not take up the Chinese Yangqin?!

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A Chinese Yangqin. Photo found at Sonic Adventures

Visit the Philharmonie de Paris

Extremely topical at the moment as it only just opened this week (14th January 2015). Sarah, one of our Account Managers who suggested this, and others interested, should take a look at their upcoming season programme for more details.

Blog Tweet A. Pasquill

@arqasquill

Go to an open air concert

Our founder, Kathleen Alder, suggested this one: going to an open air concert in a beautiful setting such as Scandinavia or somewhere in Iceland. Beethoven under the Northern Lights? Yes please!

Tweet Ben Hogwood

We’ve clearly got a lot to tick off our list! Keep tweeting us @WildKatPR with your suggestions-see you in Paris!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Written on January 16, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

ENO strongly represented on new International Opera awards shortlist

The only UK company on the shortlist for opera company of the year, elsewhere nominees include US mezzo Joyce DiDonato and designer Es Devlin

Michael Kennedy obituary

Journalist, music critic and authority on the works of Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss and Ralph Vaughan Williams

The Telegraph

Philharmonie de Paris: in pictures

La Philharmonie de Paris, a state-of-the-art concert hall designed by visionary architect Jean Nouvel, is the latest architectural jewel to be unveiled in the French capital.

The Times

Musycke to twekerth to

Tudor Tunes

BBC Music Magazine

BBC declares 2015 The Year of Song and Dance

Series of special BBC programmes to be dedicated to classical singing and ballet

Pizzicato

Erfolg für Wiener Staatsoper beim Livestream

Die Wiener Staatsoper meldet Erfolg bei ihrem seit Oktober 2013 laufenden Livestreaming-Programm.

Das Orchester

Jordi Savall weist spanischen Nationalpreis zurück

Der spanische Musiker Jordi Savall hat in einem Schreiben den Kulturminister seines Landes wissen lassen, dass er den ihm zugesprochenen Nationalpreis für Musik nicht annehme.

Klassik.com

Deutsche Theaterintendanten warnen vor Selbstzensur

Nach dem Anschlag auf das französische Satiremagazin “Charlie Hebdo” durch islamistische Attentäter hat die Intendantengruppe des Deutschen Bühnenvereins vor Selbstzensur gewarnt.

Codex Flores

Nouvel boykottiert Pariser Philharmonie-Eröffnung

Für den Architekten Jean Nouvel ist die gegenwärtige Eröffnung der Philharmonie de Paris verfrüht, vermurkst und – sinngemäss – stillos.

The New York Times

Lincoln Center and New York Philharmonic to Collaborate on Operas

For years, the Metropolitan Opera has gently encroached on the symphonic terrain of its Lincoln Center neighbors with orchestral concerts at Carnegie Hall.

Tweets

Guardian culture ‏@guardianculture : Why can’t festivals just announce their lineups any more?: http://gu.com/p/44pe2 

Royal College Music ‏@RCMLatest : Pinchas Zukerman’s @CanadasNAC #violin+#viola masterclass recorded in our Britten Theatre on 28 Oct is now on YouTube http://bit.ly/1y0ZhAx 

Guildhall School @guildhallschool : Interview with leading opera singer and alumna, Anne Sofie von Otter http://bit.ly/1DFFKcg 

Philharmonie de Paris The New Philharmonie de Paris. Photo: Yves Chanoit 

 

(Written on January 15, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

John Cage Was … photographs and introduction by James Klosty

My first contact with John Cage was in London in 1964. It was in the Phoenix Theatre on Charing Cross Road that I first saw the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.

Listen to Aurora Orchestra’s Road Trip

A week ahead of its release, Aurora Orchestra’s first recording for Warner Classics is available to listen to here exclusively, for free

The Telegraph

Why everyone is wrong about minimalism

Despite its many critics, minimalism is still a triumphant force in classical music, says Ivan Hewett

Classical Music Magazine

Labour suffers backlash over arts cuts tweet

The Labour party is suffering a sustained backlash from the arts community after its official Twitter account denied Conservative claims that it would reverse cuts to Arts Council England’s budget.

The Strad

Fifth Windsor International String Competition announces eight semi-finalists

The competitors will perform at Windsor Castle, outside of London, in March

International Arts Manager

Kuhmo Festival explores time

The Finnish festival will stage over 70 concerts between 12 and 25 July, with daily topics exploring turning points in centuries, the seasons and other time-related subjects.

Klassik.com

Dresden will Europäische Kulturhauptstadt 2025 werden

Oberbürgermeisterin Helma Orosz (CDU) will Signal des Aufrüttelns setzen

Deutschlandradio Kultur

Mozart live auf der Krabbeldecke

Klassische Musik tut schon den Kleinsten gut. Deshalb werden Konzerte schon für wenige Monate alte Babys immer beliebter.

Musik Heute

Audi Jugendchorakademie bietet Vorsingtermine

Die Audi Jugendchorakademie bietet talentierten Nachwuchssängern die Möglichkeit, sich für eine Teilnahme zu bewerben.

hr-Sinfonieorchester: Neue Vertriebswege für Junge Konzerte

Karten für die Jungen Konzerte des hr-Sinfonieorchesters sind künftig noch einfacher erhältlich.

Codex Flores

Neue Erkenntnisse zum Absoluten Gehör

Neuropsychologen der Universität Zürich (UZH) haben bei Absoluthörern eine enge funktionelle Kopplung zwischen dem Hörkortex im Gehirn und dem Stirnhirn festgestellt.

El Mundo

Caballé, sin subvenciones ni ayudas públicas durante año y medio

La soprano fue imputada el pasado mes de abril por un presunto delito contra la Hacienda Pública

Tweets:

Creativetourist.com ‏@creativetourist : A cultural tour of MCR by Maria Balshaw, Dir. of @WhitworthArt & @mcrartgallery: http://bit.ly/1yE16Fh  Inc @IWMNorth

Gramophone ‏@GramophoneMag : #OnThisDay in 1735, #Handel‘s ‘Ariodante’ premièred @RoyalOperaHouse. Some recommendations: http://bit.ly/ariodante 

Darren Henley @HENLEYDARREN : New book published today: The @ClassicFM Handy Guide to the Orchestra http://www.classicfm.com/shop/books/ 

John Cage 8th Jan news

John Cage photographed in Minnesota. Credit: James Klosty 

(Written on January 8, 2015 )

Classical News

The Independent

The Bach Choir proves itself Britain’s brainiest cultural institution

140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts’ “The Great Culture Quiz”

The Guardian

The King’s Singers’ Christmas playlist

In the final in our series, a cappella group the King’s Singers create a special festive playlist for us – from Bach to Bublé, from carols to Crosby.

The Telegraph

Watch Glyndebourne’s Hänsel und Gretel for free this Christmas

Glyndebourne’s magical Hänsel und Gretel will be available to watch on the Telegraph website between Christmas and New Year

The Strad

Stolen viola found smashed in vacant lot

The 1790 French instrument had been taken during a Philadelphia house robbery

Former Philadelphia Orchestra principal cellist William Stokking has died

The musician was section leader for 32 years

Zeit Online

Glanz der großen Geste

Udo Jürgens war stets kritisch, aber nie radikal. Als deutschsprachiger Chansonnier hat er den engagierten Schlager erfunden. Ein Nachruf von Bodo Mrozek

Spiegel Online

Free Jazz in der DDR: Schrille Töne und Koteletten

Auch der Spreewald hatte sein Woodstock: 25 Jahre nach Öffnung der Grenze erinnert die Ausstellung “Free Jazz in der DDR” an eine faszinierende Subkultur.

KulturPort.De

Ensemble Resonanz: Resonanzraum – hier kann das Hören die Richtung wechseln

Kaum angekündigt, schon fertig: Der neue Proben- und Konzertraum des Ensembles Resonanz.

Klassik.com

Riga: Bislang unbekannte Telemann-Autobiographie entdeckt

Sensationsfund im Nachlass von Telemanns Enkel

The New York Times

Laszlo Varga, Cellist for the New York Philharmonic, Is Dead at 89

Laszlo Varga, a Hungarian-born musician and teacher who escaped a Nazi work camp to become principal cellist for the New York Philharmonic under the batons of Dimitri Mitropoulos and Leonard Bernstein, died on Dec. 11 at his home in Sarasota, Fla.

Le Figaro

Cauvin, Mouratoglou… La guitare classique joue l’ouverture

Le 15 janvier, le chai du Château Lafite Rothschild, célèbre premier grand cru du Médoc, sera le théâtre d’un étrange spectacle.

Twitter

The Mozart Project ‏@themozartproj :  The ultimate Christmas gift for your music loving friends, Mozart meets iPad…https://itun.es/gb/g1cwY.l 

Arts Council England ‏@ace_national : We’ve been looking at some 2014 highlights. Create was a big one! Read here: http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/create  #culturematters

Philharmonic Society ‏@RoyalPhilSoc :  Come on twitter! Help a young musician find the instrument of their dreams this Christmas! http://royalphilharmonicsociety.org.uk/young_musicians/christmas …

 

22nd Dec News Pic

Georg Philipp Telemanns Autobiographie aus dem Jahre 1738 (Ausschnitt), © Historisches Staatsarchiv Lettlands, Riga

 

(Written on December 22, 2014 )

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.

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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 )