mon 05/12/2022

Classical Features

'Masses of performers are still grounded': pianist Sophia Rahman on a UK music scene in crisis

Sophia Rahman

Have you ever tried watching a film, programme or even an advert without the soundtrack? If so, you’ll know that music is a cornerstone of all the culture you enjoy, not only Strictly or the Proms. From the grandest of ceremonies to the everyday ringtone, music is involved. Could you imagine an Olympic ceremony without bands, symphony orchestras, or national and unofficial anthems?

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A masked elegy: portraits of string players at the Fidelio Orchestra Café

David Nice

Out of a silent and empty City of London, unusually still even for a Sunday afternoon, it felt surreal to come upon a centre of light and activity. Raffaello Morales, Renaissance man, conductor of the Fidelio Orchestra and owner/impresario of its eponymous café which has played host to great performances over the past month, had mustered 23 of the finest London-based players to tackle the ultimate in works for string orchestra.

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'Rehearsing Beethoven with Barenboim felt like an historical moment': Vienna Philharmonic trombonist Kelton Koch on a new normal

Kelton Koch

Joining the Vienna Philharmonic as a student and young professional was an absolute thrill. I had begun to play with the orchestra as an academist in October 2019 and as a full-time member in the Opera in January 2020. I was experiencing many “firsts”: concerts in the Musikverein [Vienna’s magnificent number one concert hall], first tour in Asia, first Vienna Philharmonic Ball and Vienna State Opera Ball.

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First Person: Christopher Glynn on how the Ryedale Festival flows on

Christopher Glynn

An invitation: come to the Ryedale Festival. It's never been easier. All you need is a screen and an internet connection. Because our festival, along with others up and down the land, is waiting in the wings, ready (just) to step out for the first time onto a digital platform.

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First Person: Royal College of Music Director of Programmes Diana Salazar on a transformation in learning and teaching

Diana Salazar

I wasn’t the only one who felt emotional when I left our beautiful building in South Kensington for the last time before lockdown. By that stage in mid-March the corridors had become quiet. The sense of loss was palpable: no concerts, no playing together, no conversation, no sound.

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theartsdesk Q&A: horn player Sarah Willis

graham Rickson

Horn player Sarah Willis joined the Berlin Philharmonic in 2001. She juggles her position with spells of teaching, interviewing soloists and conductors for the Berlin Philharmonic's Digital Concert Hall and hosting an online series of Horn Hangouts, interviews with musicians streamed live on her website and archived on YouTube.

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'She spoke through her violin': Steven Isserlis on extraordinary meetings with Ida Haendel (192?-2020)

Steven Isserlis

So Ida has left us – a legend has departed. What a violinist! What a woman! Magnificent, unique, incorrigible – she was a law unto herself.

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‘We are still standing and planning for the brightest future we can’: Svend McEwan-Brown on the survival of a festival

Svend McEwan-Brown

They say that you discover who your true friends are when you find yourself in direst need. East Neuk Festival, our success story on the Fife coast, which should have been happening this week, faced the deepest crisis in its 16-year history this spring when, due to the pandemic, 2020’s festival was cancelled.

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'Composing supports children to understand music from the inside': educator Nancy Evans on a revolution in primary schools

Nancy Evans

Next month (July 2020) marks 20 years since I started work at Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, initially as their first Education Manager and then in my current role as Director of Learning and Participation.

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'We must channel the energy and pain that is being expressed right now': Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE on time for action on diversity in classical music

Chi-chi Nwanoku

The worldwide reaction to the horrific murder of George Floyd via the renewed focus on the Black Lives Matter movement is not a minority issue. It concerns people of all ethnicities, education and economic backgrounds who want a better, fairer world.

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