tue 31/03/2020

Classical Features

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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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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