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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.

Sinfini

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.

klassik.com

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

Twitter

Corinne Morris ‏@corinnemorris : £600 already raised towards the Gala Concert for Nepal I’m organising together with many wonderful musicians…. http://fb.me/4unCJxRar 

Help Musicians UK ‏@HelpMusiciansUK : As featured in @MusicWeek, our trustee @jmorrishppl talks about the vital role we play for musicians http://bit.ly/1cMq38R 

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

In today’s news it has been announced that the most famous painting of Bach by Elias Gottlob Haussman will return to Leipzig where the composer made his home. Polish composer Szymanowksi’s King Roger will be have its Covent Garden premiere this weekend, having been written in 1926. Elsewhere, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra have given a free concert in ‘support of our community’ after the riots this week. In other orchestra news, the Berlin Philharmonic have announced their 2015/16 season which will feature Peter Sellars as their artist in residence. Finally, choirs could become a regular feature in care homes, alongside activities such as bingo.

The Guardian

Bach portrait returns to Leipzig

The best-known painting of the German composer – formerly in the possession of a US philanthropist – is to return to the city that Bach made his home

Szymanowski’s ‘dangerously intoxicating’ King Roger

The Polish composer’s 1926 opera gets its belated Covent Garden premiere this weekend. Szymanowksi’s ecstatic music is a blinding blaze of colour – and perhaps the perfect opera for those who’ve never experienced one in the flesh

The Strad

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to give free concert following riots in the city

The orchestra has been forced to cancel some of this week’s events, but wishes to show its ‘support of our community’

Classical Music Magazine

Berlin Philharmonic announces 2015/16 season

The Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra has released the programme its 2015/16 season, which will feature Peter Sellars as artist in residence.

Famous Bach portrait to return to Leipzig

Elias Gottlob Haussman’s iconic painting of Bach will return to Leipzig after 265 years

Sinfini

A Choir In Every Care Home

Group music-making could soon be as regular a fixture in care homes as bingo, as a new project seeks to spread the joy of singing in homes throughout the UK.

Die Welt

US-Sammler vererbt Leipzig legendäres Bach-Porträt

Unsere Vorstellung davon, wie Johann Sebastian Bach ausgesehen hat, basiert auf dem Gemälde eines Leipziger Malers. Jahrzehntelang schlummerte es in Amerika in Privatbesitz. Nun soll es zurückkehren.

pizzicato

Warnstreik der Philharmoniker in Bad Reichenhall

Zum ersten Mal in ihrer Geschichte sind die Musikerinnen und Musiker der Bad Reichenhaller Philharmonie in den Warnstreik getreten.

MUSIK HEUTE

BR-Klassik erhält neugeschaffenen GEMA-Radiokulturpreis

Die Rundfunksender BR-Klassik und Radio Fritz erhalten den neugeschaffenen Radiokulturpreis der GEMA.

The Washington Post

How (not) to behave: Manners and the classical music audience

Thou shalt not talk. Thou shalt not clap in the wrong places. Thou shalt not unwrap cough drops in crinkly paper during the music. Thou shalt not use thy cellphone.

San Francisco Classical Voice

Sacramento Philharmonic Hits Reset Button

Against all odds, the Sacramento Philharmonic & Opera is coming back with a series of small, free concerts beginning on May 5.

Twitter

Gdn Culture Pros ‏@GdnCulturePros : ICYMI, two freelance arts pros shared their insights and gripes on being self-employed in the sector http://bit.ly/1bD3ouq 

Jo Carpenter ‏@JoCarpenterPR : Impact of arts on wellbeing & a range of social outcomes – big study here: http://tinyurl.com/nlb4qru  @MakingMusic_UK

The Royal Opera ‏@TheRoyalOpera : Falstaff’s flirting? Schicchi’s scheming? What’s your comedy moment in opera? http://www.roh.org.uk/news/laughing-out-loud-part-2-more-of-our-favourite-comic-moments-in-opera … ^C

Bach Portrait 30th April Elias Gottlob Haussmann’s painting of Bach. Photo: Altes Rathaus à Leipzig

(Written on April 30, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

How can you make an opera about 9/11?

Opera has always thrived on grandiose spectacle, but are the events at the World Trade Center a tragedy too far? The team behind ENO’s new work Between Worlds talk about dramatising a day on which more than 2,700 people lost their lives

English National Opera hopes foyer cafe will help finances match artistic success

Plans to open London Coliseum’s lobby as a cafe-bar are latest effort by ENO to make up for cut in Arts Council funding

Chopin movement music to ears of Polish tourism officials

A concerted effort is under way to cash in on the composer, as the country seeks to build on the 3 million visitors who come to Warsaw each year

The Telegraph

Why are artists so difficult to work with?

A new film about Argentinian-born pianist Martha Argerich reminds us that men do not have a monopoly on egoism, says Ivan Hewett

Classical Music Magazine

Croydon Council draws up proposals for Fairfield Hall refurbishment

The long-standing issue of when and how to redevelop Croydon’s Fairfield Halls site has come centre-stage with the news that leading international consultancy Mott MacDonald and architects Rick Mather have been appointed by the local council to draw up proposals.

Klassik.com

Sinfonieorchester Biel-Solothurn protestiert gegen Sparmaßnahmen

Die Musiker des Sinfonieorchesters Biel-Solothurn protestieren gegen die Sparmaßnahmen der Stadt, die den Umbau des Klangkörpers von einem Berufs- zu einem Projektorchester vorsehen.

nmz – neue Musikzeitung

Johann Strauss Festival in Dresden mit «Cagliostro»-Premiere

Die fünfte Ausgabe des Musikfests beginne am 2. Mai mit der Premiere der Operette «Cagliostro in Wien», teilte die Bühne am Dienstag mit.

Musik heuteaa

Untersuchungsausschuss Staatsoper Berlin ab 8. Mai

Der Untersuchungsausschuss zur Kostenexplosion bei der Sanierung der Berliner Staatsoper nimmt voraussichtlich am 8. Mai seine Arbeit auf.

BroadwayWorld.com

New Yorker Classical Music Critic Andrew Porter Dies at 86

Music critic Andrew Porter died either Thursday night or early Friday in London. He was 86. He died from complications of pneumonia, and it was confirmed by Sheila Porter, his sister and only immediate survivor.

Le Parisien

Piratage de TV5Monde : le gouvernement dénonce un «acte terroriste»

Sur place, la ministre de la Culture et de la communication a annoncé qu’elle allait réunir «l’ensemble des médias audiovisuels, et peut-être la presse écrite», d’ici vendredi, pour éviter ce type d’attaques.

Le Monde.fr

Violente controverse autour de l’avenir des théâtres berlinois

Si la nouvelle est confirmée, c’est une révolution. Chris Dercon, le directeur de la Tate Modern de Londres, pourrait succéder à Frank Castorf à la Volksbühne de Berlin.

Twitter

NS Culture ‏@NS_Culture : So, everyone agrees that culture is good, then? What we learned from the #CultureDebate: http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2015/04/four-things-we-learned-culture-

Classical Music Agen ‏@AClassicalMusic : BBC Music Magazine Awards: playing of integrity and passion http://ift.tt/1FpuZHj  #classicalmusic

The Night Shift ‏@OAENightShift : A ‘simple’ guide to when to clap at classical concerts… OR come to The Night Shift and clap when you feel like it. http://www.insidethearts.com/neoclassical/2015/04/when-to-clap-at-the-symphony-a-guideline/ …

'Sweeney Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Steet' performance at the English National Opera, London, Britain - 28 Mar 2015Bryn Terfel as Sweeney Todd and Emma Thompson as Mrs Lovett in the ENO’s production of the Stephen Sondheim musical, which is the latest in a run of artistic successes for the company. Photograph: Donald Cooper/Rex 

(Written on April 9, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Tehran’s reborn symphony orchestra: an ovation before playing a note

After a three-year hiatus, orchestra has been revived with an ambitious programme and a world-class conductor, Alexander Rahbari – and he says it’s all thanks to Rouhani’s administration

Facing the Music: Alban Gerhardt

From opera and learning to conduct it, to Jonny Greenwood and Jonas Kaufmann, cellist Alban Gerhardt reveals his musical passions, on and off the stage

The Telegraph

Video games bring new generation to classical music

Three of the top 20 from Classic FM’s Hall of Fame poll are soundtracks to video games and another 9 make the top 300

The Strad

Long-serving Boston Symphony violinist Ronald Knudsen dies aged 83

The musician performed with the orchestra for 48 years

Classic FM

Welcome to Classic FM’s Hall of Fame

You voted in your thousands, now we reveal the ultimate chart of classical works.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Der große Opern-Boom

Kein Geld für Kultur? Von wegen! Überall in Europa eröffnen neue Musiktheater. Sie stehen für wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung und Selbstbewusstsein der Regionen.

Die Welt

Was Intendanten in Deutschland nicht sagen dürfen

In Rostock vergleicht der Intendant Sewan Latchinian den Angriff auf sein Theater mit der IS-Barbarei – und wird entlassen.

Süddeutsche Zeitung

Klangideen aus der Kindheit

Der aus Gauting stammende Komponist Johannes X. Schachtner macht zeitgenössische Musik und zeigt bei einem eher ungewöhnlichen Heimat-Lieder-Abend Verbindungen zwischen Tradition und Moderne auf

El País

Maria João Pires: „Me he convertido en mucho más tolerante“

Maria João Pires es reconocida como una de las mejores pianistas vivas. Se ha convertido en una de las pocas artistas capaces de alzar la música clásica a las listas de superventas.

Musical Toronto

TSO dumps upcoming soloist Valentina Lisitsa over political views

In a startling turn of events, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra have officially cancelled the upcoming April 8-9, 2015 appearance by Youtube superstar pianist Valentina Lisitsa over tweets expressing her political views.

Twitter

ArtsProfessional ‏@ArtsPro #Goodread: Don’t rely too heavily on the generosity of a single philanthropist, warns Michael Kaiser http://bit.ly/1DG6Npi  #artsfunding

Jessica Duchen ‏@jessicaduchen: Intriguing piece by Tim Rutherford-Johnson about Tansy Davies’s new opera ‘Between Worlds’. https://johnsonsrambler.wordpress.com/2015/04/06/too-soon-for-a-911-opera-or-about-right/ …

EMM ‏@enticottmusic : Only 12 days until @MilosGuitar plays in #HongKong! Check out his great @timeouthk interview http://bit.ly/1y0hArP !

7th April News Video Game Music

Music from the Final Fantasy video game series, by Japanese composer Nobuo Uematsu, is at number nine in the poll. Image: The Telegraph

(Written on April 7, 2015 )

Classical News

The Strad

Two orchestras of Radio France should merge, recommends government body

The two Paris-based ensembles are Orchestre National de France and Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France

Francisco Garcia Fullana wins fifth Munetsugu Angel Violin Competition, Japan

The Spanish violinist receives the two-year loan of a Stradivarius and a cash prize

BBC Music Magazine

Noriko Ogawa

We talk to the Japanese pianist about organising concerts for parents and carers of autistic children

Classical Music Magazine

Southbank Centre appoints Gillian Moore director of music

Gillian Moore, the Southbank Centre’s head of classical music, has been promoted to the new position of director of music with a brief to explore new projects.

Sinfini

Understudies: The worst job in opera?

Even if you paid him a small fortune, Christopher Gillett never, ever, wants to be an understudy again. Here he reveals the inside story of the boredom and the balls-ups of always being the bridesmaid…

Die Welt

“Tim Renner ist die Fehlbesetzung des Jahrzehnts!”

Wir haben Post. Von Claus Peymann: Der Intendant des Berliner Ensembles schreibt seinem Bürgermeister einen Offenen Brief. Darin beschwert er sich bitterlich über den amtierenden Kulturstaatssekretär.

pizzicato

Update im russischen Opernskandal: Boris Mesdritsch erhält Schützenhilfe aus St. Petersburg

Der Leiter des Kulturausschusses der Gesetzgebenden Versammlung von St. Petersburg, Maxim Reznik, und seine Stellvertreterin Marina Shishkin, haben Vize-Gouverneur Vladimir Kirillov aufgefordert, den von der Putin-Regierung entlassenen Nowosibirsker Operndirektor Boris Mesdritsch einen Posten in St. Petersburg anzubieten, vorzugsweise am Michailowski Theater.

klassik.com

Orchester von Radio France sollen fusionieren

Die beiden Orchester des staatlichen Rundfunks Radio France sollen zusammengelegt werden. Medienberichten zufolge empfiehlt der französische Rechnungshof aufgrund des strukturellen Defizits des Senders die Fusion des Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France mit dem Orchestre National de France.

Codex flores

Pappano bleibt bis 2019 in Rom 

Der Dirigent Antonio Pappano verlängert seinen Vertrag als Leiter des Römer Orchesters Accademia di Santa Cecilia bis 2019. Er steht dem Ensemble seit 2005 vor.

Le Figaro 

Les structures complexes des orchestres à l’étranger

Dans certains pays, les offices publics de radio ont déjà opté pour la fusion. D’autres ont choisi d’entretenir plusieurs orchestres.

Twitter

ISM ‏@ISM_music : We’re working hard to get you the run down of #MakeMusicWork – before then, relive/catch up with our @storify feed! http://bit.ly/1CwPlQh 

engage ‏@engagevisualart : We’ve had some great news from @CreativeScots – we’ve received funding for our brilliant @engagescotland programme! http://www.engage.org/newsitem.aspx?id=2824 …

Wigmore Hall ‏@wigmore_hall : Standby for the lottery for tickets for our Twitter concerts and summer parties, will also DM invites to regular tweeps over week ahead ….

2nd April News

Soutbank Centre’s new director of music: Gillian Moore. Photograph: Classical Music Magazine

 

 

(Written on April 2, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Will Self: ‘Opera remains the preserve of the rich’

Brecht and Weill’s Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny is a satire on money and hedonism written in an age of crisis. So can it rouse a Royal Opera House audience to activism, or will it be consumed like just another luxurious treat?

BBC Music Magazine

The A-Z of the piano

We celebrate the world’s most popular instrument with a look at 26 of its greatest features

Hidden treasures in Brahms’s early piano works

Boris Giltburg on rediscovering neglected scores

Classical Music Magazine

Arts Impact Fund puts £7m available to arts organisations in low-cost loans

A new fund combining public and private investment has been launched to promote the wider impact art has on society.

Classic FM

Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Vladimir Ashkenazy honoured by Royal College of Music

The Prince of Wales presented legendary soprano Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and the iconic conductor and composer, Vladimir Ashkenazy, with honorary doctorates at a ceremony at the Royal College of Music.

International Arts Manager

CIPC Young Artists Competition to award top prize of USD25,000 (€22,100)

Cleveland International Piano Competition (CIPC) has relaunched its biennial Young Artists Competition, repositioning it as a major event on the international calendar.

Zeit Online

“Ich bin doch kein Markenprodukt”

Der Sänger als Regisseur: Rolando Villazón inszeniert Puccinis “La Rondine” in Berlin. Hier spricht er übers Träumen, das Flanieren und das Glücksgefühl beim Proben.

Frankfurter Allgemeine

Gericht stellt Verfahren wegen Blasphemie ein

Der Intendant und ein Regisseur des Opernhauses im russischen Nowosibirsk müssen sich nicht mehr vor Gericht für ihre „Tannhäuser“-Inszenierung verantworten. Das Verfahren wegen Schändung religiöser Symbole ist eingestellt.

Klavier.de

Klavierprofessor Lev Natochenny klagt gegen Pensionierung

Hochschulpräsident Thomas Rietschel will 65-Jährigen nicht weiterbeschäftigen.

pizzicato

Reine Elisabeth: 69 Candidates, 27% Coming From Korea

Out of 170 candidates for the 2015 violin competition, sent from all over the world, a jury chaired by Arie Van Lysebeth and composed of Pierre Amoyal, Patrice Fontanarosa, Mihaela Martin, Natalia Prischepenko, Marco Rizzi and Gilbert Varga has selected 69 candidates for the first public round, which starts on 4 May at Flagey in Brussels.

Park Hyun-Jung’s Revenge: Seoul Philharmonic Under Police Investigation

Police raided the offices of the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) today in central Seoul, according to the Korean Times. The raid was the consequence of a plea by the former CEO of the Orchestra, Park Hyun-Jung.

El Mundo

Viaje por las entrañas de los genios de la historia de la música

Xavier Güell, alumno de Bernstein, recorre en su debut literario la partitura interior de los grandes fenómenos musicales que forjaron la historia. Una novela diferente porque habla en nombre de ellos.

Twitter

Music Education Expo @MusicEdExpo: At 10.10 in the Rhinegold Theare, @mectweets and the major exam boards set out plans for the new GCSEs, AS Levels and A Levels in music

Musical Futures ‏@musicalfutures : Core content to allow innovation, tighter assessment objectives. All exam boards to assess at same standard #MusicEdExpo

Gavin Plumley ‏@gavinplumley : Swan Lake @RoyalOperaHouse tonight and @MarkusWerba and @songpianist @wigmore_hall on Sunday. Not a bad weekend ahead!

NEWS RCM

Photo: Chris Christodoulou

 

(Written on March 13, 2015 )

Are you a young graduate who is eager to network, meet new people, try something new and do business? Orpheus Sinfonia, themselves outstanding recent graduates, are hosting a networking event alongside their next concert Beneath The Score: The Love Triangle on 23rd March. There will be opportunities to meet other like-minded people before the concert, during the interval, and also afterwards over a drink or two.

There are many networking events out there but this one will be unique in its combination of business and culture. The concert’s theme focuses around classical music’s most famous love triangle between husband and wife Robert and Clara Schumann and their friend Johannes Brahms. Who will win over Clara in the end? Far from being your stereotypical concert, the music will be explained in a simple yet informative way, perfect for the classical music novice. Armed with this knowledge, you will be able to talk intelligently about culture when entertaining your clients back at the office. The concert is also a great excuse to take time out of your busy schedule to relax: being a young graduate can be tough if you are in a new city, job and routine.

So, come along, enjoy some great music, get noticed and make connections for yourself and your company.

Don’t forget your business cards!

Beneath The Score: The Love Triangle, St George’s Hanover Square, 19:30, 23rd March. Reserve your £5 tickets by emailing clara@wildkatpr.com

Orpheus Networking Blog

(Written on March 12, 2015 )

Classical News

The Guardian

Facing the music: Philippe Jaroussky

From Shostakovich and Perlman to Bernstein and Lady Gaga – the countertenor shares his musical passions on and off the stage

The Telegraph

Salisbury International Arts Festival: Elvis Costello, Omid Djalili and Shappi Khorsandi among the highlights

Matthew Stadlen looks ahead to this year’s arts festival, which runs from May 22 – June 6

The Strad

2-string 3D printed violin to be revealed in New York

The instrument is one of five pieces created using the cutting edge technology

In Mo Yang wins 2015 Paganini International Violin Competition

The 19-year-old artist receives €20,000 and concert opportunities

Classical Music Magazine

ENO appoints McKinsey’s Cressida Pollock as interim chief executive

English National Opera has appointed Cressida Pollock as interim chief executive. Pollock will join from management consultant McKinsey, which has been working with ENO in recent months, on 24 March.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Feuilleton

Jesus im Reich der Liebesgöttin 

Der Bischof von Nowosibirsk verklagt das dortige Opernhaus samt Regisseur. Der Grund: eine angeblich blasphemische Inszenierung von Wagners „Tannhäuser“. Andere Geistliche stehen auf Seiten der Oper.

klassik.com

Hermann Rauhe mit Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft geehrt

Der Musikwissenschaftler und Hochschuldozent Prof. Dr. Hermann Rauhe ist mit der Medaille für Kunst und Wissenschaft der Stadt Hamburg ausgezeichnet worden.

BroadwayWorld.com

Music Director Louis Langrée Extends Contract With Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra announced that it has extended its contract with music director, Louis Langrée, through its 125th anniversary season in 2019­-20.

Le Figaro.fr

New York : marche funèbre pour le dernier magasin de partitions

Face à la concurrence des sites de vente par Internet, l’enseigne Frank Music Company a fermé définitivement ses portes vendredi, au grand désespoir de ses clients musiciens.

El Mundo

El 60% del consumo de contenidos digitales en España es pirata

Las industrias culturales y los cuerpos policiales que luchan contra la piratería denuncian la ineficacia y la falta de voluntad del Gobierno en la defensa de la propiedad intelectual cuando se presenta el demoledor informe del Observatorio de la piratería y hábitos de consumo digital.

Twitter

ACE North ‏@ace_thenorth:Inspired by her time w/ The 4th Battalion The Rifles – #5soldiers by @rosiekaydanceco http://bit.ly/1ANqp7V  @dancecity 14 & 16 May #Gfta

Royal College Music ‏@RCMLatest : Find out about the Pete Handley #Percussion Award & @PeteFestUK, set up in memory of the inspirational RCM alumnus: http://bit.ly/1GmDJ2M 

NY Review of Books ‏@nybooks : Have pianists been performing the wrong version of Tchaikovsky’s famous First Piano Concerto? A musical investigation http://j.mp/1HnR3ot 

 

News 10th March

 Philippe Jaroussky Photograph: Marc Ribes/Warner Classics

 

 

 

(Written on March 10, 2015 )

Marin Alsop holds the title ‘first woman to…’ in a (worryingly) large number of areas: first woman to head a full time major American orchestra, the first woman to conduct the Last Night of the Proms in 2013 and first female principle conductor of a UK orchestra (Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra). I say worryingly because there are still so many firsts for women to be had in 2015 as she herself has said.

We all remember when she was announced as the conductor of the Last Night of the BBC Proms in 2013 and we shouted for joy at there FINALLY being a female conductor at one of classical music’s most famous evenings. Yet, we also collectively shook our heads in agreement when, in her Last Night speech, she voiced what we were all thinking: ‘I find it shocking that in 2013 there are still firsts for women.’

Marin-Alsop-c-Grant-Leighton-8

Photo: Grant Leighton

Marin tells how she is extremely lucky to have grown up in a very musical family with both her parents being professional classical musicians. Clearly a very talented young child, she took up the piano and, a little later, the violin when she was 6 or 7 and began studying at the Juilliard Pre College Division around the same time. Her passion for conducting also came at an early age when she saw Leonard Bernstein at a concert and, from that moment, she knew it was the profession for her. She has now held the prestigious position of Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 2007, a tenure which has been extended twice until 2021. She added to her busy schedule in 2012 by taking up the post of Principal Conductor of the São Paulo Symphony Orchestra in 2012 and became Music Director in July 2013.

So, why do we not see more women conducting or composing when, simultaneously, there is a wonderful amount of talented female soloists? Vasily Petrenko famously said it was because a woman on the podium would be distracting, whilst Marin cites Roger Wright who blames the trajectory of history which has prevented role models breaking through. Well, that is until now. Later on in her Last Night speech, Marin said that ‘it is all worthwhile if it inspired young women to realize that they, too, should follow their passion, should aim high and not let any barriers stand in their way.’

Conductor Marin Alsop leaning on a rail holding a baton

Photo: Richard Saker for the Observer Richard Saker/Observer

With girls throughout the world risking their lives to even go to school (see James McCarthy’s work inspired by Malala Yousafazi), those of us in classical music should be inspired by this boldness for change in our industry and do our part for the equality of women all over the world.

Check back here tomorrow for our final blog in the #ClassicalWomen series: our top 10 women in classical music moments.

(Written on March 5, 2015 )

Classical News

Guardian

Facing the music: Bob Chilcott

He wants to put 400 singers in a railway station, and he loves a bit of Barbra Streisand … composer and conductor Bob Chilcott shares his musical passions

The Times

Is Riccardo Chailly the man to save La Scala and all Italian opera?

Riccardo Chailly likes an uphill struggle.

BBC Music Magazine

Joseph Calleja, Alex Beard and Sir Nicholas Kenyon team up for artist residency

London’s Corinthia Hotel invites major players in classical music to judge opera-themed artist in residence programme

Sinfini

Opera meets modern art

High culture will meet cutting edge contemporary art this summer with the introduction of a pop-up gallery at one of the UK’s most traditional opera festivals.

Classic FM

Can singing in a choir make children more moral?

A new study has found that children who sing in a choir, play in an orchestra or take part in drama activities are more likely to make good moral choices than their peers.

Zeit Online

Immer nur Mozart, Mahler, Brahms

Wir brauchen keine Debatte über Konzertsäle, sondern zuerst über Konzertprogramme. Orchester spielen immer dasselbe, lähmende Spielpläne enthalten uns viele Genies vor.

Der Tagesspiegel

Daniel Barenboim – mit der Moderne auf Du und Du

Alban Berg, Pierre Boulez – und die endlosen Bauarbeiten Unter den Linden: Chefdirigent Daniel Barenboim über Komponisten als Revolutionäre und die Staatsopern-Festtage.

concerti

Alte Musik in barocken Räumen

Mit Spitzen-Ensembles aus ganz Europa sollen nicht nur Kenner sondern auch Kinder angesprochen werden

audiophil

SXSW MUSIC 2015

„Wir sind begeistert darüber, nicht nur die bisher größte Anzahl deutscher Künstler vor Ort zu haben, sondern mit ihnen eine Auswahl, die stärker denn je den wahren Geist Deutschlands und seiner künstlerischen Begabungen hervorhebt”, sagt James Minor, General Manager des SXSW Music Festivals.

pizzicato

Russian Radio Orpheus Engages In The Revival Of Musical Heritage

At a press conference in Moscow, Irina Gerasimova, General Manager and Artistic Director of the Russian State TV and Radio Music Centre, Orpheus, presented the multimedia project Revival Of The Musical Heritage Of Russia operated in collaboration with the company E.ON Russia.

Le Figaro

Ces acteurs qui connaissent la musique

La semaine dernière, elle était du voyage présidentiel aux Philippines pour lancer l’appel de Manille, à quelques mois de la conférence du climat.

Twitter

BBC Radio 3 @BBCRadio3: To mark International Women’s Day Sarah Walker is talking to feminist author @EricaJong, every day this week at 10am https://t.co/vQqzFfrMjs

Classical Music @ClassicalMusic_: To boycott or not to boycott? The knotty relationship between politics and the arts http://ow.ly/JJvVL  @ThompsonWarwick

Opera North@Opera_North: Miss @WNOtweet‘s Twitter takeover asking if austerity will #killculture on Fri? Here’s a recap: http://wp.me/p4iWXH-cc 

via @wordpressdotcom

kings-college-choir-1419421283-article-0Can singing in a choir make children more moral? Photo: Classic FM

(Written on March 2, 2015 )