thu 02/07/2020

Classical Features

Classical music/Opera direct to home: 1 - Budapest's Quarantine Soirées

David Nice

The great Chilean pianist Claudio Arrau noted of 1920s Berlin that "itimes of trouble, people seek a better life in culture". But what if that culture can no longer be accessed live?

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First Person: Electra Perivolaris on composing for BBC Radio 3's 'Seven Ages of Woman' project

Electra Perivolaris

My brief for this exciting and empowering project was to compose a new choral piece for the BBC Singers, to form one movement of a composite work, bringing together seven female composers spanning the generations of womanhood.

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Young people's guides to the orchestra: the making of 'Not Now, Bernard & Other Stories'

Bernard Hughes

"Let’s make an album” is an easy thing to say but an infinitely more difficult thing to actually make happen.

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Bridging the cultural divide: Armenian conductor Sergey Smbatyan on marrying east and west

Sergey Smbatyan

We’re touring across Europe in January 2020, visiting five countries to perform eight concerts with the world-class violinist Maxim Vengerov as our leading soloist. The tour has been organized by the European Foundation for Support of Culture.

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Planting seeds for change: Helen Wallace on a year of seminal events at Kings Place

Helen Wallace

When I mention Nature Unwrapped, a year-long series at Kings Place subtitled "Sounds of Life", the responses are often tinged with cynicism: "Oh, very 2020", "So, what’s the carbon footprint with all those musicians flying in?" There’s an assumption that the series is focused solely on climate change and...

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theartsdesk in Zurich and Tallinn: celebrating great Estonians

David Nice

Culturally, "the little country that could" - as Estonia's ex-Prime Minister and historian Mart Laar dubbed it - punches well above its weight. While it educates the young with a musical instrument made available to every child, Estonia continues to shine through its musical leaders.

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theartsdesk Q&A: Conductor Semyon Bychkov in Prague

David Nice

It's a very big deal for musical Prague: Czechia's symphonic epic, the six tone poems that make up Smetana's Má vlast (My Homeland), launches every Prague Spring Festival at the Smetana Hall, but in the Czech Philharmonic's opulent home, the Rudolfinum, the work hasn't appeared in any of its seasons for 49 years.

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Remembering Mariss Jansons (1943-2019)

David Nice

He was indeed "one of the greats" among conductors, as theartsdesk's Gavin Dixon put it in reviewing Mariss Jansons' January visit to the Barbican, and remains so by virtue of his recordings.

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theartsdesk in Warsaw: musical perspectives on culture beyond communism

Gavin Dixon

The new "eufonie" festival is dedicated to the music of Poland and its neighbouring countries. This is its second year, and the scale of the project has increased substantially from last year’s first run.

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'The Academy and I': composer and viola-player Sally Beamish on a special relationship

Sally Beamish

I was 13. It was a Saturday, and Mum was working. On this occasion she asked if I’d like to come along and bring a book. I was wearing a dress I’d made myself – psychedelic orange and pink, with red edging. It was 1969. I don’t remember what the book was, but I know I didn’t look at it once that day.

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