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What happened in this week’s Classical News? 

Poorer children in UK priced out of learning to play musical instruments, report warns

‘To deny people who cannot afford music lessons the possibility of trying is criminal’ – David Arnold, composer

Poorer families in the UK are at risk of under-representation in the music industry as children are being priced out of learning to play musical instruments, a new report suggests.

 

Families from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, earning less than £28,000, are half as likely (19 per cent) to have a child learning an instrument than families who earn at least £48,000 (40 per cent).

 The figures from the Musicians’ Union (MU) also show that more than two in five (41 per cent) of those from low-income families say instrumental music lessons are beyond their household budgets.


Global Royalty Collections Hit Record High

Global royalty collections for creators of music, audiovisual, visual arts, drama and literature rose to a record high of €9.6bn (£8.4bn) in 2017, according to the CISAC Global Collections Report 2018.

Global royalties from digital income topped the €1bn mark for the first time (£761.6m), with a 24 percent increase in 2017.

Figures over five years also show that digital royalty collections have nearly tripled (up 166 percent), boosted by the streaming boom and video streaming services.

Across all regions, Europe led the way in 2017, with $4.9m (£3.7m) in collections, up 5.2 percent.

The UK is the third largest collecting country in Europe, with annual growth in 2017 up 4.9 percent. It follows Germany in second place (up 13.9 percent) and France as the largest collecting country in Europe (up 2.6 percent).


Music for Youth Proms get underway

The Music for Youth (MFY) Proms at the Royal Albert Hall are the apex of the national music charity’s entire annual season. The performances ran from Monday 5th until Wednesday 7th November.

Across three nights, a thousand young musicians from across the country took to the stage, showcasing full-scale orchestral pieces, jazz arrangements, chamber works, rock and choir performances.

Founded in 1970, Music for Youth (MFY) is a national youth music charity that provides free opportunities for over 60,000 young people aged 21 and under to both perform and experience live music, through a season of nationwide festivals, concerts and projects.


Royal Liverpool Philharmonic and EUYO commemorate the Armistice

Conductor Andrew Manze united forces from Hannover and Liverpool for two special performances of Benjamin Britten‘s War Requiem.  The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO) joined the NDR Radiophilharmonie Orchestra and the Knabenchor Hannover Choir for the performances on the 3rd and 10th November.

Both Liverpool and Hannover are UNESCO Cities of Music, and both were hugely affected by the war: over 90% of Hannover city centre was destroyed by bombing, and more than 12,000 soldiers from Liverpool signed up to fight the war at sea.

The European Union Youth Orchestra (EUYO) will also commemorate the Armistice, performing with chief conductor Vasily Petrenko beneath the Arc de Triomphe in Paris during a ceremony marking the centenary of the end of World War One.

The event is organised by the French government, and will be attended by many world leaders. The orchestra will perform Ravel’s Bolero, and works by Yo-Yo Ma and Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo.

(Written on November 9, 2018 )

The Huffington Post

Can Women Save Classical Music?

Changing statistics on classical music listeners

NPR

Classical Couples: Sweethearts Sharing The Stage

Happily, the arrows are still flying and the roster of musical matchups keeps growing. For this Valentine’s Day, NPR offer a few contemporary couples making beautiful music.

Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel

For violinist Frank Almond, ‘disorienting’ experience brings gratitude

Frank Almond reunited with his 1715 Lipinski Stradivarius, performs with pianist William Wolfram at Wilson Center for the Arts. Monday’s performance was Almond’s first with the violin since it was recovered.

Classic FM Online

HRH the Prince of Wales guests on Classic FM

His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales tells of his love of classical music and, specifically, Hubert Parry.

The Guardian

We need to move beyond the cliches about ‘elitist’ opera

Why is opera routinely styled as the antithesis of everyday life? Let’s change the conversation and focus on the real thing, says Alexandra Wilson

‘Japanese Beethoven’ faces the music after admitting he is no longer deaf

Mamoru Samuragochi, who admitted paying professor to write symphonies, says he has regained some of his hearing

How video saved the opera star

Opera is waking up to the power of video. For his new production of Don Giovanni, the Royal Opera House’s Kasper Holten collaborated with a designer who turned U2 tours and the 2012 Olympics into visual spectaculars. Stuart Jeffries goes behind the screens

Limelight Magazine

Bryce Dessner: An American in Perth

All-round musician Bryce Dessner shares insight ahead of his Perth Festival classical gig.

Classic FM Online

Classic FM Online

(Written on February 12, 2014 )

With the much anticipated renovation of the 1939 built Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel due to begin soon, Owen Stafford took a visit to the picturesque, culturally rich and historic site where he spoke to Bernard de Launoit and Auriane de Fauconval. Aired on Radio X, both Bernard (President of the Executive Committee) and Auriane (overseer of Communications and Media Relations) were able to give an overall picture of QEMC, and how this exceptional music facility operates.

Having started out as a school aimed at local Brussels musicians in the 1930s, the training programme has since been extended to welcome international students who are keen to be intercalated into high level performance and technique. Bernard de Launoit explained how it is their aim to “…have a school more open, flexible and international.” The great level of teaching from still successful and professional musicians that QEMC offer, has attracted students from all over the world to have the chance to study at Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel.

Auriane de Fauconval describes the level of community that is felt at QEMC: “for lunch we all [eat] together… teachers, masters, staff, and students… the students feel like they are at home.” The facilities have already been adapted so that the students experience musical freedom at the school such as the ability to practice as and when they can night or day. As Owen amusingly remarks, the students can be “night owls” in practice if they wish.

This free and “very intimate kind of atmosphere” observed by Owen at QEMC, is soon to be extended to still more students with the up and coming changes planned for the premises. While remaining in keeping with the historic nature of the listed grounds, with features such as the balcony where Queen Elisabeth of Brussels enjoyed observing and listening to the students, the school is planning to create more facilities, which will double student capacity. Hoping to have the project finished in 14 months, there are plans to build more residential rooms, music rooms which Bernard notes are “very important for teaching and training”, and another concert hall for concerts, recording and rehearsing with small orchestras.

This huge project will be an exciting growth for students, staff and music lovers alike as it strengthens and grows classical musicians into the future.

Listen to the interview and to stay up to date with developments from Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel via their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

QEMC New building Plans

QEMC New building Plan

(Written on November 5, 2013 )