sat 24/07/2021

Classical Buzz

Welsh Week: Dinefwr, Adain Avion, Llangollen, BrynFest

Jasper Rees

This Friday afternoon at five o’clock, the National Poet of Wales Gillian Clarke will recite a new poem and initiate a seismic week of Welsh cultural exploration. The inaugural Dinefwr Literary Festival will bring writers and musicians from Wales and beyond to a National Trust house and park in Carmarthenshire. Unlike other literary festivals in Wales – notably Hay and Laugharne – this one will straddle the border between English and Welsh.

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Four Brits among 20 shortlisted for conducting competition

Ismene Brown

Twenty young conductors have been shortlisted to compete in the Donatella Flick/London Symphony Orchestra Conducting Competition in late September. The top prize is a cash award of £15,000 and an attachment to the LSO as Assistant Conductor.

The 20 comprise four from the UK - Joolz Gale, Ben Gernon, Jonathan Lo and Gemma New - Irishmen Daniel Stewart and Robert Tuohy, three from Spain, two each from Italy, France, Greece and Germany, a Hungarian, an Austrian and a Portuguese.

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Arise, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Zaha Hadid

Ismene Brown

Zaha Hadid, visionary architect of the London Olympics Aquatic Centre, becomes a Dame and three new knights of the arts are created in the Queen's Jubilee Birthday Honours announced this morning.

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The best and worst national anthems? Time to award the medals

Ismene Brown

The onerous task of recording all 205 national anthems for playing at the Olympics medal ceremonies has fallen on the London Philharmonic Orchestra. An edited group of 36 players has recorded the anthems at the Abbey Road Studios in 60 gruelling recording hours over six days. But which would try their patience most?

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Captain Scott's Desert Island Discs

Jasper Rees

Centenaries are sizeable business in 2012. It just so happens that the Olympics are coming to the United Kingdom for the third time in a year which finds us thinking very hard if being British still means what it did 100 years. Then, two momentous calamities singed themselves into the national psyche: the Titanic sank, and Captain Scott and his four companions failed to return from the South Pole.

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YouTube hoaxer makes a very convincing Mozart

Ismene Brown

Norman Lebrecht, the seasoned and ever-alert musical commentator, thinks he and his readers may have uncovered someone making a very good stab at being Mozart. Three pieces have been discovered on the internet DIY-video channel being played by a pianist whose face can't be seen, all purporting to be new or obscure works by Mozart, Haydn and Mendelssohn.

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Cash for arts: should it be bums-per-pound or pounds-per-bum?

Ismene Brown

The organisation that channels public money to generate today's new classical music has been resoundingly condemned this week by all of Britain's most important composers.

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Bach Cantatas: celeb seeks crowd-funding

Jasper Rees

Fancy buying a new recording of Bach’s Cantatas? It’ll cost only slightly more than a regular CD. The only snag is it hasn’t been recorded yet, which is where you come in.

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Sport and classical music: they should hang out more

Jasper Rees

Classical music and sport: should they spend more time together? The idea was posited more than 20 years ago that football and opera made for ideal bedfellows, so long as the football was being played in Italy and the operatic aria was Nessun Dorma, sung by Pavarotti. Since then no major tournament or Olympiad passes by without the BBC making the effort to hoik improving classical sounds into the broadcasting mix.

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No go Glasgow's SNO Maiden

David Nice

The Royal Scottish National Orchestra's Glasgow concert tonight has had to be cancelled because of what my Scots godson, in far less extreme conditions down in the Borders, once described as "horrifying wind and rain". The programme?

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