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Founded in 1895, the BBC Proms are a big part of British culture and the 2017 season begins tonight. For eight weeks of the summer, daily classical music concerts take place at the Royal Albert Hall and other venues across London, including Cadogan Hall, Stage@The Dock and Wilton’s Music Hall.

The term Prom is short for promenade concert, and refers to the outdoor concerts of the 18th century where the audience were able to stroll around while the orchestra played. Since then, the concerts have moved inside and, in the context of the BBC Proms, promming refers to the popular tradition of queueing outside the Royal Albert Hall on the day of the concert for the chance to get a £6 ticket for the standing areas inside the hall. Will you be a “prommer” this summer? Click here for some helpful tips on how to become a Pro-Prommer this year!

Royal Albert Hall: BBC Proms 2017

With the opening of the BBC Proms 2017 tonight, the WildKat team have put together a list of their highlights for this year…

Prom 35, the John Wilson Orchestra performing Oklahoma, appears to be a particular favourite in the office this year due to the magical sound that the orchestra creates and the energy that radiates from them when they perform. Not strictly classical, this prom would be a great one to go to for those who are novice prommers. Not convinced? Let The Spectator’s Richard Bratby, along with John Wilson, tell you why Rodgers and Hammerstein should be taken as seriously as Beethoven.

Another popular choice is Prom 10 with the Aurora Orchestra. Last year the ensemble performed their first prom from memory and it was such a unique experience – every single member of the orchestra completely engaged with the music and the conductor. This year they are performing Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ from memory and we can’t wait.

If you are looking for a musical fusion, then Prom 41 is for you. It brings together Philip Glass and Ravi Shankar, combining Glass’s American Minimalism with Shankar’s sitar and the traditions of Hindustani classical music. The Britten Sinfonia and Karen Kamensek are joined by Shankar’s daughter, sitar virtuoso Anoushka Shankar.

The Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra makes its Proms debut this year and, since they are one of our clients, the WildKat team are very excited about it. They will be bringing works by two celebrated American composers and we are really looking forward to seeing everything come together.

Cincinatti Symphony Orchestra

Last but certainly not least, Prom 75 – The Last Night of the Proms! What’s not to love about a big party with classical music, waving flags, sing alongs and bobbing along to the Sailor’s Hornpipe?

(Written on July 14, 2017 )

Following a wonderful party at Fort Worth Zoo yesterday evening (including appearances from flamingos, baby racoons, and a skunk), first on the menu this morning was a fascinating symposium on Cultural Diplomacy.  After Stuart Isacoff’s introduction to arts diplomacy between America and Russia from the end of  World War Two up until the fall of the Berlin Wall, we heard from panellists Marc Thayer, Sarah Tanguy, and Patrick Castillo.

Images: Fort Worth Zoo

First we heard from Marc Thayer, former deputy director of American Voices, which takes musicians abroad to countries including Iraq and Afghanistan, to teach and perform music to locals.  Marc emphasised the good relations this forms with local musicians, leaving a favourable and lasting impression of American culture. Rather than just taking American music to these communities, they build on the practices already in place, using the music of the countries they visit together with American music.

Founded in 1953 and formalised by President Kennedy, Arts in Embassies takes American artists to participate abroad, engaging over 20,000 people to date in 189 countries.  Professional curators, such as Sarah Tanguy, create around 60 exhibitions per year, and since the turn of the century over 58 permanent collections have been installed in diplomatic facilities all over the world.

Patrick Castillo, a composer, performer, writer, and educator, has taken part at The Festival de Música Contemporánea de La Habana three times.  Having started as the only American participant, the most recent festival saw ten members of the American Composers Forum attend.  Patrick cited lack of equipment in Cuba as a major problem, and said that on subsequent visits, composers and musicians took across suitcases of reeds, strings, pencils, and manuscript paper.

Throughout the discussion it emerged that sadly these schemes are not something that the State Department likes to trumpet, fearing accusations of misspending of public money.  Thus reciprocal schemes giving opportunities for oversees artists to visit the States have not yet taken flight.  All three speakers were also nervous about funding cuts, with the future of their organisations not guaranteed.

Image: Cultural Exchange Symposium, The Cliburn

Concert 1 of the Final Round begins this evening at 7.30pm, and can be viewed on cliburn2017.medici.tv.

(Written on June 7, 2017 )

Celebrated cellist Corinne Morris will be performing at the Heal’s exclusive Christmas party on 5th December. Based in the Tottenham Court road flagship store, the event will be fun, festive and full of food and music.

Corinne will be performing alongside accompanist Anne Marshall with some cello classics and Christmas hits. The event will not only have a great atmosphere but also has a wonderful cause at the heart of the festivities; all funds will be donated to Nordoff Robbins, a music charity that transforms the lives of vulnerable children and adults in London and across the UK.

There will be a 10% discount for all guests, and the first 200 shoppers to arrive on the night will recieve a goodie bag worth £35. Make sure you buy your tickets soon so that you don’t miss this festive and musical event. You can follow the latest developments with Corinne via her website or on Facebook and Twitter.

Corinne Morris

(Written on November 29, 2013 )

BBC News

Soloist Lukas Kmit Hits Right Note On Phone Intrusion.

Slovakian viola player Lukas Kmit reacted coolly when a mobile phone interrupted his recital at the Orthodox Synagogue in Presov, in Slovakia.

Independent

How Debussy Keys Into Japan.

In 1862 Claude Debussy was born in Paris: the biggest musical celebrations of 2012 will mark his 150th anniversary.

The Telegraph

Should Alfie Boe Be Knocking The Business That Made Him?

Rupert Christiansen is disappointed that singer Alfie Boe is showing ingratitude to his operatic roots.

Gramophone

From Darkness To Light: Music From A Prison Cell.

Mark-Anthony Turnage joins prisoners to create new work for the Cultural Olympiad.

The Guardian

Anthony Hopkins: ‘I’ve Never Really Been Close To Anyone’.

The actor on composing music, walking out on dictatorial film directors and why he moved to the US.

The Rest Is Noise: Southbank Festival To Celebrate Contemporary Classical Music.

London’s Southbank Centre to host year-long festival inspired by Alex Ross’s study of 20th-century classical music.

Tom Service On Death In Classical Music.

I can hear tubas. Am I about to die?

http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/jan/22/critics-notebook-tom-service

 

 

(Written on January 24, 2012 )

To celebrate our office move and to welcome our new neighbors, Sane & Able, to our happy family we are having an office-warming bash on July 8th. There will be food, drinks and possibly even bunting!

Invite

(Written on June 16, 2010 )