A year ago today I began working at WildKat PR. Since then there have been some fairly exciting and radical developments. When I began working here as an intern (3 days after receiving my final university results, 2 days after my 21st birthday party, and 1 day after moving to London) we were based in Soho and I had no idea what to expect.
The first few months were a huge learning curve. Little of what I learned at university seemed to apply in the real world and I spent hours on end familiarising myself with newspapers, journalists, websites, bloggers etc. After 2 weeks we moved to our new office in Mayfair, working on the boss’s garden furniture while we waited for our new desks to arrive…
In the first few months we were working with Dilettante, Ivor Bolton, Richard Anthony Jay, Christoph Denoth and Hauschka. I went quickly from reading the newspapers every day to managing mailouts, regional press campaigns and assisting on Dilettante’s Daily Proms Spotlight.
The highlight of my first few months had to be attending the Gramophone Awards. Kat and I arrived early in the office so we could at least get a couple of hours work done before heading off to The Dorchester for the ceremony. My first important networking event – it was clear I was the youngest person in the room. I felt it and probably showed it!
With the company ever expanding we began working with The Forge, Camden; The Mozartem Orchestra Salzburg; and Morpheus Rising, as well as October’s big project, Dilettante’s Digital Composer-in-Residence, with an exciting concert at Wilton’s Music Hall. It was around this time that I became a ‘proper’ member of staff with a paycheck. We were really happy at this time to have Irène join our happy little team. We began working with Charles Hazlewood and LSO’s principal 2nd violinist Tom Norris on his album launch.
We ended the year with the WildKat Christmas party. Following a meal at The Hospital Club I had my first ice skating experience at the rink by the Natural History Museum. I was apprehensive, to say the least, but I am pleased to be able to say that I still have all my fingers and actually quite enjoyed myself!
The new-year kicked of with Charles Hazlewood’s Beggar’s Opera Project, which was part of The Roundhouse’s Reverb Festival. Combining John Gay’s music from 1728 with his own, psychedelic interpretation, Charles – along with the Unthank sisters and musicians from Portishead and Goldfrapp – gave a really exciting, unusual performance. In February we saw Hauschka perform at King’s Place and in March Ivor Bolton conducted Handel’s Tamerlano at the Royal Opera House.
2010 has, thus far, been incredibly exciting, and I’ve been able to work with some outstanding people – in January we started working with cellist Peter Gregson and have seen him become The Hospital Club’s Creative-in-Residence for music in that time. Juliana Farha from Dilettante was included in the government-supported Cultural Leadership “50 Women to Watch” list, flagging her as one of the most exciting and innovative businesswomen in the cultural sectors. Dilettante was also featured on BBC World News, and information about the site was broadcast to countries in Europe and Asia!
We’ve worked with Chloë Hanslip on her UK tour with the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and I made my page turning debut live on BBC Radio 3 with her and pianist Ashley Wass! We’re now working with cellist Alban Gerhardt, who performed the terrific Dvorak’s cello concerto with the Philharmonia in May, and then joined the cello section of the orchestra for Sibelius’ Second Symphony.
I’ve attended too many exciting events to list them all here, but a few notable mentions would have to include Alex Ross’ lecture at Wigmore Hall for the Royal Philharmonic Society, and the launch of the Classical BRIT awards (where I was mistaken for an artist and papped by lurking photographers!).
My first year at WildKat has been a very educational and exciting one. Looking to the future, I am really excited about working with mezzo-soprano Daniela Lehner (a member of BBC Radio 3’s New Generation Artists Scheme), and conductor Stefan Solyom. We are also involved with the upcoming attempt to break the Guinness World Record for the largest orchestra (they’ll be needing over 7,000 players so sign up here – I may even dust off my flute and get involved!), which is taking place on October 24th. Just last week we had two new interns join our team, who we are really excited about working with. We’ll also be working with the conductor Alessandro Crudele, jazz singer Kate Dimbleby and performing artist, Norman Perryman over the coming months. As if we weren’t busy enough, as I write this we have just moved into our new, first-floor office (we’re going up in the world!). We’ll let you know when we’re having the office-warming party…
(Written on June 15, 2010 )