tue 09/02/2016

Classical music Features

White smoke at the CBSO: Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla for Music Director

Richard Bratby

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's appointment of the Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla as its new Music Director won’t have surprised many concertgoers in Birmingham – or indeed...

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Boulez, The Rite and the National Youth Orchestra

theartsdesk

David Nice writes: 2016 began by ringing in the new with concerts by the ever-astonishing National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and continued by ringing out the old-new with funeral bells on the...

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Opinion: The new London hall - 10 Questions we need to ask

Jessica Duchen

So the feasibility study for the new concert hall – The Centre for Music – has finally surfaced, a little later than planned. It’s being greeted, generally speaking, as if it’s to be the next London...

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theartsdesk in Örebro: Brandenburgs plus

David Nice

In 1981 a 20-year-old Swedish trumpeter on national service turned up in the town – city, by Swedish reckoning – of Örebro as soloist in Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto. The ensemble, then a...

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Kurt Masur (1927-2015)

David Nice

This is difficult. An official obituary, such as the one I’ve just finished for The Guardian, has no problem in pointing out the achievements of Kurt Masur’s distinguished career. Whatever his party-...

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Jaap van Zweden: ‘A great orchestra needs to be a chameleon’

Gavin Dixon

Jaap van Zweden is going places. At 55, he is already 16 years into a second high-profile musical career. His first, as a violinist, saw him appointed leader of the Concertgebouw, the youngest ever...

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Farewell to Stravinsky's right-hand man

David Nice

Missionary angel or twelve-tone devil? Musical figures like Poulenc, perhaps too much attached to the diabolical element in Thomas Mann’s Doktor Faustus, were inclined to see the incursion of Robert...

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First Person: 'We Have Found a Better Land'

Mark Bowden

"Helo, ti yw Mark?" A friendly-looking woman on the tiny plane asks me my name. She is a teacher from a Welsh-speaking school in Patagonia, Ysgol yr Hendre, escorting her pupils home from a trip to...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Pianist Stephen Kovacevich

David Nice

“Whatever happened to Stephen Bishop?” is not a question likely to be asked by followers of legendary pianism. Born in San Pedro, Los Angeles on 17 October 1940, the young talent took his stepfather’...

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theartsdesk at the Music@Malling Festival

David Nice

One of the summer’s greatest pleasures has been to confirm an often untested truism: that you may hear some of the finest and rarest music-making in out-of-the-way places. Just take a local who’s...

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theartsdesk at the Lammermuir Festival

David Kettle

It’s hard to believe that East Lothian’s Lammermuir Festival has only been around for six years. In that short time, it’s become a cherished fixture in Scotland’s musical calendar. For regular...

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Sir David Willcocks (1919-2015)

theartsdesk

Even if you never saw him conduct, you may well have sung one of Sir David Willcocks's carol arrangements. I remember the unnatural excitement in our church choir when the orange-jacketed Carols for...

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'We have a duty to all children to share our rich artistic history'

Sarah Connolly

Two hundred and 74 years ago today, on 14 September 1741, Georg Friedrich Handel completed the first edition of his legendary oratorio, Messiah. It is a work associated with children’s charity, and...

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10 Questions for Conductor Laurence Equilbey

David Nice

It’s a sunny afternoon at altitude – 1,082 metres, to be precise – in the precincts of France’s highest historic building, the austerely impressive early Gothic Abbey-Church of St-Robert,...

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theartsdesk in Lahti: Sibelius 150, Sibelius Hall

David Nice

When Lahti’s Sibelius Hall finally shone and coruscated into life in 2000, the 100,000 citizens of this modest Finnish town, not to mention acousticians from all over the world, could hardly believe...

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theartsdesk in Bucharest: Loving Enescu

Paul Gent

Where in the world will you find the most glittering line-up of international orchestras? The Proms? Salzburg? Lucerne? Edinburgh? Bucharest, actually. The Enescu Festival, which began on 30 August,...

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theartsdesk in Pärnu: Top players, great Estonians

David Nice

In 1989 Neeme Järvi, already rated one of the world’s top conductors and soon to be voted “Estonian of the Century” by his compatriots, returned with his Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra to the homeland...

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First Person: Poems to Messiaen

Michael Symmons R...

I am currently in the middle of a project called Messiaen 2015: Between Heaven and the Clouds, a year-long series of commissions and events around the UK, exploring Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l‘...

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10 Questions for Pianist Leif Ove Andsnes

Adam Sweeting

Though perhaps not quite the "long strange trip" once hymned by the Grateful Dead, Leif Ove Andsnes's Beethoven Journey has been a marathon undertaking. It has spanned four years, during which the...

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Q&A Special: Pianist Lucas Debargue

Ismene Brown

Last week the 15th International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow was rung down with a sigh of relief for the home team, with once again a Russian pianist in possession of the gold medal, Dmitry...

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