20th November: RPS awards lockdown music initiatives for children, Beethoven letter discovered, UK Musicians income to plunge by 65%

Friday 20th November 2020

RPS Awards recognise lockdown initiatives for children and young people

The winners of the 2020 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards were announced in last night’s digital broadcast, featuring a new award recognising musical initiatives during the pandemic. 

The Inspiration Award was presented for the first time this year, recognising six musical initiatives that have engaged with children, young people, and adults during lockdown. Out of hundreds of nominees selected by the public, the RPS Board and Council presented the award to the following initiatives: 

Concerteenies – online concerts and activities created by Polly Ives in Sheffield, designed to engage young children in music at every hour of the day.

Diocese of Leeds – Schools Singing Programme – provided daily YouTube singing sessions and 18 weekly online choir rehearsals, keeping 4,500 children engaged throughout lockdown, especially in the most deprived areas of Yorkshire. 

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Beethoven-Brief für das Beethoven-Haus

Ein nicht namentlich genannter Sammler hat dem Beethoven-Haus Bonn einen autographen Brief des Komponisten überlassen, als Geschenk zu Beethovens 250. Geburtstag.

Es handelt sich dabei um einen autographen Brief Beethovens an Friedrich Sebastian Mayer, den Sänger des Pizarro in den Uraufführungen von Beethovens Fidelio (Leonore) 1805 und 1806. Der Brief war den Forschern bereits bekannt. « 2003 war er zuletzt verkauft worden. Wo er verblieben war, wussten wir allerdings nicht“, so Julia Ronge, Kustos des Beethoven-Hauses. Der Brief stammt vom 10. April 1806, dem Tag der zweiten Aufführung der zweiten Fassung der Oper. Mayer ist einer der wenigen, die von Beethoven geduzt werden, was eine engere Beziehung nahelegt.

Beethoven bittet ihn, Ignaz von Seyfried zu bewegen, die Opernaufführung des Abends zu dirigieren, damit er sie « in der Ferne ansehen und hören“ kann. Als Grund gibt er an: « wenigstens wird dadurch meine Geduld nicht so auf die probe gesezt, als so nahe bey, meine Musick verhunzen zu hören“. Da von den Musikern grundsätzlich alle dynamischen Eintragungen ignoriert würden, vermutet Beethoven dahinter nicht nur Desinteresse sondern sogar eine Absicht, was ihm ganz die Lust verderbe, überhaupt noch zu komponieren. Auch weitere Proben mahnt er an.


Beethoven letter for the Beethoven House

An unnamed collector has left an autograph letter of the composer to the Beethoven-Haus Bonn as a gift for Beethoven’s 250th birthday. It is an autograph letter by Beethoven to Friedrich Sebastian Mayer, the singer of Pizarro in the premieres of Beethoven’s Fidelio (Leonore) in 1805 and 1806.

The letter was already known to researchers. “It was last sold in 2003. But we did not know where it had remained,” says Julia Ronge, curator of the Beethoven House. The letter is dated April 10, 1806, the day of the second performance of the second version of the opera. Mayer is one of the few people who are on a first-name basis with Beethoven, which suggests a closer relationship. Beethoven asks him to persuade Ignaz von Seyfried to conduct the evening’s opera performance so that he can “watch and hear it in the distance”.

The reason he gives is that “at least it will not test my patience as much as it would test my patience to hear my music so closely that it is ruined”. Since the musicians would basically ignore all dynamic entries, Beethoven suspects not only a lack of interest but even an intention behind it, which completely spoils his desire to compose at all. He also admonishes further rehearsals.

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Les revenus des musiciens britanniques vont fondre de 65% en 2020

Année noire pour les artistes outre-Manche. Le Covid-19 a des conséquences dramatiques sur l’industrie, musicale privant des milliers de musiciens de salaires.

Rien ne va plus au Royaume-Uni. Les conclusions d’un rapport de UK Music, un organisme représentant les intérêts des acteurs de l’industrie musicale, sont effrayantes : en 2020, les interprètes et les auteurs-compositeurs vont voir leurs revenus divisés par trois. Pire encore, les artistes qui dépendent le plus de la musique live et du travail en studio pourraient perdre jusqu’à 80 % de leur salaire.

Retour à la case départ? Une analyse conforme à celle que faisait il y a quelques jours le cabinet d’audit Media Insight Consulting. Celui-ci soulignait en effet que l’absence de revenus pourrait pousser 170.000 musiciens à perdre purement et simplement leur emploi avant la fin de l’année. Malgré ce sombre tableau, Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, le patron de UK Music, a déclaré à BBC News qu’il restait « optimiste et plein d’espoir » pour que l’industrie se rétablisse à la fin de la pandémie.

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Incomes of UK musicians to plunge 65% in 2020

A black year for artists across the Channel. The Covid-19 pandemic has had dramatic consequences on the music industry, depriving thousands of musicians of salaries.

Nothing is going well in the UK. The findings of a report by UK Music, an organisation representing the interests of players in the music industry, are frightening: In 2020, performers and songwriters will see their incomes cut by three. Worse yet, artists who rely most on live music and studio work could lose up to 80% of their salary.

Back to square one? An analysis in line with that made a few days ago by the audit firm Media Insight Consulting underlined that the lack of income could push 170,000 musicians to lose their jobs outright before the end of the year. Despite the bleak picture, UK Music boss Jamie Njoku-Goodwin told BBC News he remains “optimistic and hopeful” that the industry will recover when the pandemic is over.

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