thu 09/07/2020

Classical Buzz

London children offered 400 music scholarships

ismene Brown

Private music patrons aim to raise £2 million to fund 400 scholarships for London children with a talent for music. The aim is to give steady four-year support for disadvantaged children to have Saturday lessons, individual coaching and group tuition to learn a musical instrument. Alongside the scholarships, there is to be a "partnership" scheme whereby professional musicians go into schools to work on music with up to 10,000 schoolchildren.

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BBC Proms 2011: The Briefing

David Nice

In 2010, the prospectus didn't excite but the concerts turned out better than ever. "Let's hope it's not the other way round this year," commented Proms Director and Radio 3 Controller Roger Wright on Thursday afternoon as we milled around with our tea and biscuits under the eaves of the Royal College following a very jolly press briefing.  For what's on offer looks, this time, very promising indeed, to me at any rate....

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Gergiev's Prokofiev Romeo and Juliet: a worthy winner?

David Nice Gergiev's Prokofiev 'Romeo and Juliet': 'The 20th century's greatest ballet score, captured live at the Barbican for the LSO's own label'

It's just been crowned the BBC Music Magazine Awards' CD of the Year. But is Valery Gergiev's second complete recording of the 20th century's greatest ballet score, captured live at the Barbican for the LSO's own label, right at the top? In my Building a Library survey for BBC Radio 3, condensed in print for the BBCMM...

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Japanese musicians give earthquake benefit concert

David Nice Tadaaki Otaka - conducting for earthquake relief

The Sapporo Symphony Orchestra had already scheduled a London appearance as part of its 50th-anniversary tour when the Japanese earthquake and tsunami struck. Now all proceeds from the Royal Festival Hall concert on 23 May will go directly to the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Japan Society Tohoku Earthquake Relief Fund.

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Covent Garden and Thomas Allen remember Robert Tear

David Nice Master of ceremonies: Robert Tear in a late cameo role in the Royal Opera production of Smetana's 'The Bartered Bride'

Last night the programme for the Royal Opera's current production of Fidelio included a special tribute to that most characterful of tenors, Robert Tear, who died this week at the age of 72. Only...

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Summary of main Arts Council winners and losers

ismene Brown

A sliderule of 11-15 per cent reductions in annual grants by 2015, compared with this year, has been applied to Britain's major orchestras, opera, dance, theatre and music organisations. One major gainer is London's Barbican Centre - one major loser is the now world-famous Almeida Theatre, which loses almost 40 per cent of its current annual subsidy despite its reputation for innovation and discovery. However, the Arcola Theatre, another small innovative theatre, gets a big boost.

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A second string to the Menuhin bow

ismene Brown

Yehudi Menuhin's influence continues to reach out a hand to young instrumentalists. His Menuhin Violin Competition for young players under 22 is internationally known; last weekend in the Waterloo Chamber of Windsor Castle - a staggeringly picturesque setting - some exceptional violinists, violists and cellists sought the laurels at the Windsor Festival International String Competition, Britain's major professional prize for string players set up in Menuhin's honour three years ago.

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A Nice Library Builder on Radio 3

ismene Brown Gustave Doré's engraving of Juliet's seeming deathbed

David Nice, one of our Arts Deskers, is in the exalted seat of Radio 3’s Building a Library tomorrow morning filtering recordings of Berlioz’s “dramatic symphony” Roméo et Juliette.

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Dame Margaret Price, 1941-2011

David Nice

Perhaps her greatest achievement on disc is a role she would never have attempted in the theatre, Wagner's Isolde. Supported by the great Carlos Kleiber, the sheer meaning and luminous tone colours Price brings to every line make this one of the glories of recorded history.

Below, Margaret Price sings Wagner's Liebestod from Tristan und Isolde

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When crossover goes haywire

David Nice

No one's saying that the mezzo of the moment, glamorous Latvian Elina Garanca, isn't a very class act indeed when it comes to high-quality opera, song and even zarzuela. But she didn't revert to the Age of Aquarius too successfully in this ill-advised TV show appearance, clearly not having visited...

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