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The ninth Planet Tree Music Festival kicks off tomorrow, running until 26th October in Hampstead, North London.


Founder and composer Lawrence Ball has curated the festival with the aim of creating an immersive experience for those wishing to connect to a higher sphere through deep engagement with classical music. Audiences are encouraged to lie down, meditate and experience the sound worlds presented, championing an alternative way of listening. The outdated rules employed in traditional concert halls are discarded in favour of a more accessible experience rooted in spirituality and relaxation. 

Similar in format to Max Richter’s sold-out ‘Sleep’, the 2017 Planet Tree Music Festival offers concert attendees the opportunity to lie down and relax into cosmic sound worlds, with a host of international musicians performing music specially written for this year’s programme.

 

The festival was opened by Terry Riley in 1996, establishing its ethos and reputation as one that showcases tonal, non-elitist contemporary music. The programme deals with the brighter side of contemporary classical music, featuring pieces by popular composers including Max Richter and Arvo Pärt.

Collaborator and performer James D’Angelo says: “The Planet Tree Music Festival has established a new forum for contemporary music that returns music to its spiritual roots and gets people in touch with their souls hungry for impressions of who and what they are… No composer could ask for anything more than the refined atmosphere that is the Planet Tree Music Festival.”

Tickets can be purchased on the door of each of the venues, namely the Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel and All Hallows Church, Hampstead. Full concert details can be found here.

WildKat has, so far, secured coverage for Planet Tree Music Festival in PRS M Magazine, Culture Whisper, International Arts Manager, and local newspaper Camden New Journal. Stay tuned for more!

(Written on October 6, 2017 )

In today’s news, have you ever wondered why people don’t clap between movements in a symphony? Classic FM investigates. Lang Lang relies on his assistant to lend a hand mid-performance, and a Welsh opera company is under fire for its racist casting. Orchestra carries on without a conductor, and Delnon and Nagano extend their contracts in Hamburg.

The Guardian

Assistant lends a hand to Lang Lang

Pianist plays Gershwin at the New York concert hall with a 14-year-old protege literally his left-hand man.

Classic FM

Why don’t we clap between movements?

There’s a bit of a tradition in classical music that you only clap after a piece has finished – and never in between movements. But why does this ‘rule’ actually exist?

The Stage

Welsh opera under fire for racist casting

Industry figures, including the artistic director of Yellow Earth Theatre Kumiko Mendl and actor Daniel York, have slammed “yellowface” casting in the touring production.

The Sun

Writer of hit BBC drama ‘Doctor Foster’ has plans to make it into an opera

Playwright Mike Bartlett has written 17 works for the stage, including hits in the West End and on Broadway.

Codex Flores

Delnon und Nagano verlängern ihre Hamburger Verträge

Der Aufsichtsrat der Hamburgischen Staatsoper hat die Verträge mit dem Schweizer Georges Delnon und Kent Nagano an der Hamburgischen Staatsoper um fünf Jahre zu verlängert.

Broadway World

Shortlist Announced For The 2017 BroadwayWorld UK Awards; Voting Now Open!

Today, the shortlist is announced for the 2017 BroadwayWorld UK Awards, celebrating the best long-running West End productions and best new productions from around the country.

NMZ

Klang der Revolution – Orchester spielen ohne Dirigent

So klang die Oktoberrevolution: Im Jubiläumsjahr der russischen Revolution von 1917 ist in Düsseldorf das Experiment des «herrschaftsfreien Musizierens» neu zu erleben.

Twitter

@TrinityLaban  is today! Find out why ballet is good for everyone! http://bit.ly/2yIzQHW

@BBCIntroducing Think Introducing only supports indie music? Think again. 

© Zack Seckler/Getty

 

(Written on October 5, 2017 )

In today’s news: José Carreras to retire after half a century in the industry, violinist Gidon Kremer receives Federal Cross of Merit, and Czech harpsichordist Zuzana Růžičková has died. Behind the scenes at the ENO, myths about music streaming and new theme for Attenborough’s ‘Blue Planet’.

The Guardian

Radiohead and Hans Zimmer collaborate on new ‘Blue Planet’ theme

The band and the composer have released the track, which is a reworking of Radiohead’s Bloom and will be the theme to the forthcoming nature series.

Kwame Kwei-Armah named new Artistic Director of the Young Vic

Award-winning British playwright, who is currently director of Baltimore’s Center Stage, will take over role next year

Music Business Worldwide

3 myths about streaming, and 3 truths about the music industry today

How much of it is worth listening to – and how much is complete hogwash?

The Telegraph

Alfie Boe and Michael Ball to duet with West Side Story medley

The popular classical-crossover duo will record another LP after the success of previous collaborations.

Behind the Scenes at ENO’s new production of ‘Aida’

Exclusive pictures offer a backstage look at Verdi’s tale of love and betrayal in ancient Egypt.

Pizzicato

Conductor Jean-Yves Ossonce charged with moral harassment

Conductor Jean-Yves Ossocne, the former director of the Opera in Tours, France, has been charged with moral harassment, La Nouvelle République reports.

Kultur Radio

Tenor José Carreras beendet Sängerkarriere

Der Tenor José Carreras wird seine Sängerkarriere beenden. Das gab Carreras in einem Interview mit der New York Times bekannt, wie das online-Magazin klassik.com berichtet.

Klassik.com

Bundesverdienstkreuz für Geiger Gidon Kremer

Der Geiger Gidon Kremer erhält den Verdienstorden der Bundesrepublik Deutschland.

Musik Heute

Tschechische Cembalistin Zuzana Růžičková gestorben

Die tschechische Cembalistin Zuzana Růžičková ist im Alter von 90 Jahren gestorben. Das berichtete die Agentur CTK am Mittwoch unter Berufung auf ihren Stiftungsfonds für Musiker.

Twitter

@MusicMagazine: ‘We’re quite humbled and proud that Roland Rat is a subscriber to BBC Music Magazine.’

© Tristram Kenton/ENO

 

(Written on September 28, 2017 )

Olivia Brown has taken up the position of Director, London Office at WildKat PR.  Previously Head of Creative Strategy & Marketing, Olivia will continue to be responsible for creative strategy at WildKat, exploring and implementing new services, and running the branding and social media strands of the company.

Her new role will also entail overseeing all business here in the UK and Ireland, and working with Carolin Denz (Director, Berlin Office) to develop and progress the WildKat brand, as well as working with the Founder, Kathleen Alder, to adapt WildKat to our ever-changing industry.

Kathleen Alder, Founder of WildKat PR commented: “It is with great delight that we announce the promotion of Olivia Brown to Director, London Office. Olivia has always been a dedicated and hardworking member of the WildKat PR team and has displayed a great deal of passion to the field of music and performing arts. Olivia first joined us in her ‘year in industry’ while studying at the University of Leeds, and after joining the London office as a full-time member of staff has overseen the expansion of our traditional services such as PR, marketing and social media to include more creative services such as branding, surveys and a more tailored approach to our services.

“Olivia has a proven track record of team leadership and a determination to provide the best possible service for our extensive client roster, and I am excited to see where she will lead the London office in the future. Olivia’s youth, talent and enthusiasm befits the overall company ethos and she will join myself and our Berlin Director Carolin Denz in running the company overall.”

Olivia commented: “It’s been an incredibly exciting and rewarding adventure to experience WildKat transform in the past 5 years, from when I started as an intern to the newly created position that I began last year.

“I am incredibly grateful to Kat for providing me with the structure and support to confidently lead the company from within, which is often very rare in our industry. Meanwhile, Kat continues to champion the young leaders of the classical music industry, regardless of age, gender, or background. As Director, London Office, I look forward to further leading the company into exciting new territories, both through anticipating the future of the industry and reacting to it, and also overseeing our expansion into the U.S. and France in 2018.”

(Written on September 25, 2017 )

In today’s news: The BBC launches new season of opera special programmes, new music industry report released and Sondheim on West Side Story. Berlin State Opera offers free concert, Alain Altinoglu’s debut with the Berlin Philharmonic, and music festival for sacred music at the bay of Mont-Saint-Michel/France.

i news

BBC tests whether sopranos really can shatter glass

The BBC launches a new season of opera-themed programmes, including a Tomorrow’s World special, a V&A collaboration, and Lucy Worsley has a night at the opera.

Classic FM

Classic FM make a case for Mahler’s Symphony No. 7  (with GIFs!)

“Take an hour and a bit to yourself, tidy your room, rearrange your sock drawer and have a listen to this epic piece of music which quite literally reinvented the orchestra.”

Rhinegold

UK Music releases ‘Measuring Music’ report

The annual economic study by UK Music and its members showed that the music industry continued to grow last year across almost every sector of the business.

The Guardian

How we made West Side Story

Stephen Sondheim and Broadway leading lady Chita Riviera on the enduring success of the American theatre classic.

Broadway World

Les Miserables North American Tour Launches Tonight in Providence

Les Mis begins its North American Tour at the Providence Performing Arts Center in Providence, Rhode Island.

Klassik Heute

Alain Altinoglu debütiert bei den Berliner Philharmonikern

Die Saison 2017/18 beginnt der französische Dirigent Alain Altinoglu mit einem besonderen Debüt: Am 21. September steht er erstmals am Pult der Berliner Philharmoniker.

Pizzicato

Kent Naganos ‘Ring’ startet mit Symposium

Kent Naganos Projekt Richard Wagners ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ zusammen mit ‘Concerto Köln’ in historisch informierter Aufführungspraxis vorzustellen, beginnt am 29. September mit einem Symposium in der Universität zu Köln.

Kultur Radio

Staatsoper veranstaltet Gratis-Konzert

Zu einem “Konzert für Berlin” lädt die Staatsoper Unter den Linden am 7. Oktober bei freiem Eintritt ein. Es beginnt um 12:30 Uhr und wird auch auf den Bebelplatz übertragen.

Le Figaro

La musique sacrée s’invite, le temps d’un festival, en baie du Mont-Saint-Michel

Via Aeterna, nouveau festival de musique sacrée s’ouvre jeudi pour quatre jours au Mont-Saint-Michel et dans ses environs, à l’initiative du directeur de la Folle journée de Nantes et du groupe de presse Bayard.

Twitter

@CincinnatiPops “What is Pops? #jeopardy #CincyArts” http://bit.ly/2yrqp0d 

© BBC

 

(Written on September 21, 2017 )

Mit dem 3. Oktober hätte sich die Staatsoper Unter den Linden für die Wiedereröffnung keinen geschichtsträchtigeren Tag aussuchen können. Aber warum auch nicht? Schließlich ist dieses Datum fest mit Berlin und dem Tag der Deutschen Einheit verbunden und steht somit symbolisch für frische Neuanfänge. Nun ist Berlin aber auch eine Stadt der nicht enden wollenden Baustellen und es ist kein großes Geheimnis, dass die Renovierungsarbeiten der Staatsoper länger als geplant dauern – stolze vier Jahre länger, um genau zu sein. Doch diese lang erwartete Wiedereröffnung bringt gleich zu Beginn einen kleinen Dämpfer mit sich: Das Opernhaus eröffnet, um sofort wieder zu schließen. Wer nun verwirrt ist, ist dies zurecht, weswegen inhaltliche Ordnung in diesem buchstäblichen Chaos angebracht ist.

Fangen wir am besten am Anfang an und holen Friedrich den Großen mit ins (musikalische) Boot. Berlins ältestes Opernhaus wurde vom Alten Fritz im Jahre 1740 an den Architekten von Knobelsdorf in Auftrag gegeben und am 7. Dezember 1742 vor seiner eigentlichen Fertigstellung eröffnet, um dann im Jahre 1743 komplett fertiggestellt zu werden. In seiner langen Geschichte wurde das Opernhaus bereits sieben Mal umgebaut und baustilistisch stets verändert. Durch den zweiten Weltkrieg fast vollständig zerstört, fand der letzte große Um- beziehungsweise Wiederaufbau in den 50’er Jahren durch den Architekten Richard Paulick statt. Dabei orientierte er sich stark an von Knobelsdorf ursprünglichem Design. Seitdem sind viele Dirigenten ins Berliner Opernland gezogen, weswegen nach der Jahrtausendwende Pläne für einen lang angebrachten Umbau des nach dem Krieg zusammengeflickten Gebäudes ins Visier genommen wurden. So sahen die ersten Baupläne von Klaus Roth beispielsweise eine komplette Umgestaltung des Zuschauerraumes vor, wogegen viele Künstler von nationaler und internationaler Größe mit Protest begegneten, da der Denkmalschutz des Gebäudes missachtet worden wäre. 2008 wurde der Bauauftrag letztendlich an das Architekturbüro HG Merz vergeben, welches sich mehr an der Linie Paulicks/von Knobelsdorfs orientieren sollte. Mit einem beauftragten Büro an der Hand konnten nun die Bauarbeiten im September 2010 beginnen. Theoretisch hätte die Staatsoper bereits ab 2013 wieder spielbereit sein sollen, doch aufgrund von Fehlplanungen und daraus resultierenden Pannen, ziehen sich die Arbeiten bis zum heutigen Tage hin. Wolfgang Brauer, Politiker und ehemaliges Mitglied des Untersuchungsausschusses “Staatsoper” beschreibt die Sanierungsarbeiten wie folgt:

“Man räumte die Stühle raus und fing an mit der Baustelle. Ohne abgeschlossene Bauplanung, ohne solide Bauwerksanalyse, ohne solide Bestandsanalyse und das fiel dann natürlich auf die Füße. Man hatte die Vision entwickelt, dass man baubegleitend planen kann. Und das ist die eigentliche Katastrophe gewesen.” *

Bauarbeiten im Zuschauerraum, ©dpa

Doch bald sollen all die Fehlkalkulationen vergessen sein, wenn das Orchester unter Dirigent und Langzeitwegbegleiter Daniel Barenboim in die musikalische Heimat unter den Linden zurückkehrt. Besonders viel Wert wurde auf eine verbesserte Akustik im Zuschauerraum gelegt: So wurde beispielsweise für die 1.356 Sitzplätze ein dünneres Polster verwendet, damit der Klang nicht zu stark abgefedert wird. Zudem war Daniel Barenboim ein längerer Nachhall ein besonderes Anliegen. Der Zuschauerraum wurde durch die um fünf Meter angehobene Decke so konzipiert, dass nun ein Nachhall von 1,6 Sekunden statt ursprünglich 1,1 Sekunden gegeben sein soll. Außerdem soll auf mehr Beinfreiheit geachtet worden sein und dass man von jedem Platz aus einen guten Blick auf das Bühnengeschehen hat.

Allmählich zeichnet sich auch ein regeres Geschehen in der Staatsoper ab, wo sich seit dem 1. August die Mitarbeiter*innen aufhalten, die bis zum 3. Oktober noch den letzten Feinschliff anlegen. Feierlich eröffnen werden Schumanns “Faust-Szenen” das frisch herausgeputzte Opernhaus  bis zum 7. Oktober. Danach ist erstmal für weitere zwei Monate Schluss. Diesen Zeitraum wolle man zum Nachjustieren der Technik nutzen, nachdem man erste Erfahrungen im neuen, alten Theater gesammelt habe.

Zur endgültigen Normalität soll es schließlich am 7. Dezember kommen, wo der reguläre Spielbetrieb wieder aufgenommen wird auf den Tag genau zum 275. Jubiläum des Opernhauses. Fast so, als ob man von Anfang an auf diesen Tag hingearbeitet hätte.

Bald kann sich die Staatsoper ohne Baugerüst zeigen. ©Hufner

*Zitat aus: Arnt, Susanne: Berliner Staatsoper. Schwere Fehler bei der Sanierung, in: Deutschlandfunk Kultur. 22.06.2016.

 

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(Written on August 24, 2017 )

WildKat PR is very pleased to be working with composer and pianist Andrew James Johnson on his upcoming album release and concert, following the launch of his new brand.

Olivia Brown, Head of Creative Strategy and Marketing, says: “Working alongside our in-house design team classicalmusicdesign, WildKat has created a brand and visual identity for Andrew that truly represents both his bold, friendly personality and his enchanting yet sensitive compositions. We’re very much looking forward to continuing our collaboration, and sharing Andrew’s debut album with the press and music industry.”

Andrew is a composer and pianist who grew up in Birmingham, England, and despite having no formal training on the piano in his childhood, immersed himself in the works of Beethoven, Schumann and Chopin. After his parents agreed to pay for lessons, Andrew’s eagerness and innate musicality developed rapidly into a passion for piano performance, before he moved onto composition.

Andrew began to draw upon a combination of classical training and contemporary influences, completing a BA in Composition at the London College of Music.  His compositional style combines rich harmonic language with expansive pianistic techniques, revealing the influence of the Romantic-era composers that so inspired him in his youth.

In the years that followed his graduation from the LCM, Andrew undertook commissions for film, television and theatre. Credits include televised advertisements for HSBC and Timotei. Andrew’s compositions take inspiration from everyday life, and his creative process makes use of the full tonal range of the keyboard, drawing on influences from his role models Max Richter and Philip Glass.

We are thrilled to be working with Andrew on his debut album release ‘Winter’s Heart’, due for release in November 2017.

Website | Twitter | Facebook

(Written on August 14, 2017 )

Today marks the first day of Kimiko Ishizaka’s one-month Kickstarter campaign Libre Art of the Fugue. Kimiko is known for her beautiful interpretations of Bach, and through Kickstarter and the support of her fans, she has been able to raise enough money to record two of J.S. Bach’s finest works: The Open Goldberg Variations and The Open Well-Tempered Clavier projects. She has published them under public domain so that her recordings are available for anyone to listen to.

In her new project, Libre Art of the Fugue, we will see a new and exciting interpretation with Kimiko composing her own end to Bach’s unfinished Art of the Fugue. Kimiko’s own composition will be published as part of the Open Score project, making it the very first piece by a living composer to join the project.

Unlike other artists, Kimiko Ishizaka doesn’t use traditional record labels, preferring to have direct contact with her fans. The money that Kimiko has raised through Kickstarter enables her to record her new album at the famous Teldex Studio in Berlin, playing on the brand new Bösendorfer Vienna Concert 280. The venue will give her full opportunity to unfold her musical creativity, and maintain an artistic level of the highest standard.

If you would like to find out more about Kimiko Ishizaka’s project, and support her, here is the Kickstarter campaign for more information.

We wish Kimiko a very successful campaign, and are very much looking forward to the release of her new album!

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(Written on August 8, 2017 )

WildKat PR are thrilled to announce that we will be working with Cowbridge Music Festival (CMF)!

The festival, now in its eighth year, will once again take place in the bucolic village of Cowbridge, South Wales, and feature internationally-acclaimed artists and performers. The varied programme of concerts will include performances by The King’s Singers, Jamie Smith’s Mabon, Misha Mullov-Abbado, Veronika Eberle and the festival’s first ever Artist-in-Residence Llŷr Williams. Nicola Benedetti MBE retains her role as patron of CMF, having first performed an unforgettable solo concert in 2011.

The festival’s founders, Mary Elliot-Rose and Sam Edwards, have been welcoming musicians to CMF since 2010. They saw the town, with its picturesque churches and vibrant community, as the perfect setting to showcase the finest chamber, vocal and instrumental music.

CMF places significant emphasis on education and outreach, education and the community, with a range of programmes and accessible activities including an interactive concert for children aged 12 and under, schools’ samba workshops and CMF Chamber Music Seminar .

A full programme can be viewed here.

© CMF

Website | Facebook | Twitter

(Written on July 31, 2017 )

In today’s news, Cadogan Hall will host a benefit concert for the victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster, the NYOS prepare for top collaborations on summer tour, and is sight reading damaging the UK classical music scene? Prison outreach opera and Chancellor Merkel learns a lesson in high fashion at Bayreuth.

The Scotsman

The Scottish National Youth Orchestra’s growing ambition

Youth orchestra broadens its horizons with a dynamic list of soloists for summer tour

Rhinegold.co.uk

Cadogan Hall to host Grenfell Tower benefit concert

Radio 3’s Petroc Trelawny will present the event, which will take place at 6pm on 17 September

Classical-Music.com 

Is sight reading damaging our music scene?

British talent for sight-reading doing our music scene more harm than good, argues Benjamin Goodson

Die Welt

So treibt Bayreuth sich die Gespenster aus

Die „Meistersinger“ gelingen, Horst Seehofer sonnt sich im Premierenglanz, und sogar die Haussanierung liegt im Plan. So gut wie heute ging es dem Familienunternehmen Wagner lange nicht

Die Zeit

Trommelfell lässt Filterblase platzen

Wer meint, das Digitale führe zur Vereinheitlichung aller Vorlieben, benutzt das Internet falsch. Auf Spotify erforscht unser Autor unendliche Weiten und Wege der Musik

klassik.com

Kosten für die Sanierung der Oper Köln mittlerweile mehr als verdoppelt

Kölner SPD will Neubau eines Opernhauses nicht ausschließen

The New York Times

Opera in Attica: Arias at a Maximum-Security Prison

For the third summer in a row, artists from the Glimmerglass Festivalhad left their bucolic home in Cooperstown, N.Y., to perform for inmates and guards in an auditorium that doubles as a chapel and a steel-tabled mess hall

El Mundo

Merkel, Valentino y Boris Becker: cómo cumplir con la etiqueta en los festivales pese al calor

Los grandes templos de la música clásica deben recordar a los asistentes que no pueden ir de cualquier manera. El placer tiene precio

Twitter

@ClassicalDiary ‘Meena, age 9, and Monique reviewed the first ever relaxed Prom @bbcproms and gave it 5 stars!’

@M_magazine ‘Half of nominees for @MercuryPrize supported by @PRSFoundation

Credit: Marco Borggreve

(Written on July 31, 2017 )