wed 02/12/2020

Classical Features

Waiving the fees: Rob Adediran on how London Music Masters’ Team Teach is responding to a crisis

Rob Adediran

Our brains are hardwired to respond to crisis by fleeing or fighting. Crisis creates fear and fear demands action so we protect ourselves by running from danger or battling against it. You can see these instinctive responses in the language of the moment where the coronavirus is described as an invisible enemy that must be defeated, and in our actions as we move away from one another to maintain a crucial social distance to protect ourselves and others.

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'Most significant is the experience of being confronted by different ideas': Steven Osborne on free piano lessons from quarantine

Steven Osborne

How fast the world can change. What seemed unimaginable just weeks ago, the effective shuttering of our societies, is now a reality in many countries for at least weeks and quite possibly several months to come. I hope for the health and security of all of you reading this. I’m not going to reflect on our situation at any length as I’m sure many of you have read far more on the subject than is good for you - I certainly have!

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Remembering Krzysztof Penderecki (1933-2020)

Gavin Dixon

No composer since Stravinsky has defined his age as comprehensively as Krzysztof Penderecki, who died on Sunday aged 86.

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Classical Music/Opera direct to home 4 - Rattle in the ether

David Nice

He may no longer be the Berlin Philharmoniker's Chief Conductor, but by a combination of serendipity and foresight on the orchestra's part, Simon Rattle's last concert in Berlin for the foreseeable future was filmed without an audience and led the way for other, smaller-scale ventures before...

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Notes on a no-show - Nico Muhly

Jenny Gilbert

The following is adapted from a programme note for a show which was to have premiered last Thursday – the very day Sadler's Wells went dark. Nico Muhly – Drawn Lines was part of an occasional series featuring composers who are making an impact on dance.

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'Pause. Notice. Breathe': Elena Urioste on self-love in a time of coronavirus

Elena Urioste

In my second year as a violin student at the Curtis Institute, my right arm started going numb from my elbow to my fingertips on a fairly regular basis. It was rather like how your limbs feel right before they fall asleep: not full-on pins and needles, but a dull, hot emptiness, like there was no blood to keep that piece of me alive and vibrant.

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Classical music/Opera direct to home: 2 - Boris Giltburg and Igor Levit

David Nice

Maybe it's not so surprising that the musicians one has long thought of as true Menschen of the profession - that applies to both sexes, of course, and maybe it's just more about the artists in question being natural communicators - have been among the first to rally in the current crisis.

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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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