mon 05/12/2022

Classical Features

Russians and friends play on for Ukraine

David Nice

National sensitivities are running understandably high right now in the thick of an ever-escalating aggression. What a shame that the Southbank Centre has excluded Russian artists from performing alongside British and Ukrainian performers to bring a message of peace through the arts in their upcoming fundraiser. Not so "Dance for Ukraine" at the London Coliseum, including Natalia Osipova in its line-up.

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‘Slava Ukraini!’: Russian musicians worldwide show solidarity

David Nice

“You are told that we hate Russian culture,” President Zelenskyy of Ukraine informed Russians, using their language, in a speech for the ages just before the invasion, “But how can a culture be hated? Any culture? Neighbours are always enriching each other culturally. But that does not make them one entity, and does not separate people into ‘us’ and ‘them’ “.

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‘Let me be your main course’: composer Jimmy López on why new music needs time and space

Jimmy López

No, not your aperitif – and certainly not your digestif; your bona fide main dish, the one your audience yearns for, dresses up for, and looks forward to.

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First Person: Pavel Šporcl on Paganini and the Czech violin tradition

Pavel Šporcl

It is taken for granted today that Paganini is almost a God-like figure for violinists. After all, he epitomises the ultimate virtuoso figure, both as someone whose technique outshone (so we are told!) every other player of his time, and who oozed charisma.

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First Person: young composer Nicola Perikhanyan on a new immersive reality experience at London Wall

Nicola Perikhanyan

There's something really moving about standing in the centre of London Wall's Roman ruins and looking up at the city that has grown around it. Thinking about our past, present and future simultaneously. More than 2000 years have passed since the Romans created our city, and while much has changed there's still so much consistency in how our society exists, both the beauty and the flaws.

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First Person: composer Cheryl Frances-Hoad on a musical love letter to the natural world

Cheryl Frances-Hoad

 

In the darkness my dreams are interrupted

I see the blackbird in my mind 

and the whirring of my brain begins

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First Person: composer Conor Mitchell on challenging religious orthodoxy from a queer perspective in MASS

Conor Mitchell

A mass, in its simplest form, is the order of prayers that are said in a religious service. It is standardised and has been for centuries, in order to create a theatrical journey that takes us through a service. Composers have always been drawn to the mass as a structure because it has an inherent drama. It draws on themes of rebirth, change, redemption.

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Judith van Driel of the Dudok Quartet Amsterdam: 'the more we played Brahms, the more freedom we found'

Judith Van Driel

In every life there are moments of great significance. Experiences that stick with us and define our own personal story.

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'Everyone who played for him always gave their very best': remembering Bernard Haitink (1929-2021)

theartsdesk

Few musicians get to stage-manage a dignified departure from the world.

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First Person: ethnomusicologist Shumaila Hemani on global musical traditions and Concert for Afghanistan

Shumaila Hemani

In early 2020, the year that soon saw  COVID-19 lockdown, I served on the music faculty for Semester at Sea, Spring 2020 voyage, where I taught self-designed courses on global music cultures as well as a course called Soundscapes.

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