thu 23/05/2024

Classical Features

'We wanted to emphasise the “ordinariness” of people affected by torture': Sally Beamish on her new work for Ex Cathedra

Sally Beamish

I was first approached by Quaker Concern for the Abolition of Torture (Q-CAT) in 2016 with the idea of a creating a piece of music to raise awareness of torture – its use worldwide, and the terrible damage it does both to victim and to perpetrator.

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First Person: composer and co-founder of The Multi-Story Orchestra Kate Whitley on car-park creativity

Kate Whitley

We started The Multi-Story Orchestra back in 2011 with a group of friends when we’d left university. Conductor Christopher Stark and I basically wanted to find new ways to play orchestral music that would escape formal concert halls and be more exciting and more accessible.

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'Serving the community means representing the narratives of our time': Elena Dubinets on her responsibilities as the LPO's Artistic Director

Elena Dubinets

Just as I was moving from the US to the UK to begin working as the Artistic Director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra last summer, the orchestra was emerging from the COVID-19 period and our audiences began coming back.

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theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

David Nice

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms distilling the aspects of top international visitors alongside home-grown excellence, and of a focus on at least one relatively unfamiliar 20th century/contemporary work per concert.

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First Person: violinist and music director Bjarte Eike on bringing the Playhouse to his 'Alehouse Sessions'

Bjarte Eike

History first. The 17th century London of Oliver Cromwell and its puritanical quest to curb all creativity – banning music, closing down theatres, restricting alcohol and all the rest – provided an incredible backdrop for Barokksolistene’s project The Alehouse Sessions. How music survived with its tunes and tales, in song and dance, has for me been a true revelation.

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BBC Proms 2022 - silence after Mass

David Nice

So John Eliot Gardiner’s fire- and-air way with Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis turned out to be the last night of the Proms. Just as I was about to cycle to the Royal Albert Hall for the first of the Philadelphia Orchestra’s two Proms the following evening, a notice came through: following the news of the Queen’s death at 6pm, the evening’s event had been cancelled.

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First Person: Geoffrey Paterson on conducting the London Sinfonietta and working with Marius Neset

Geoffrey Paterson

By my count, tomorrow’s Proms première of Marius Neset’s jazz epic Geyser will be my 51st performance conducting the London Sinfonietta.

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First Person: tenor Cyrille Dubois on recording all Fauré's songs

Cyrille Dubois

The year 2024 will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the death of the phenomenal Gabriel Fauré. For Tristan Raës and me, who have been exploring the repertoire of French art songs for nearly 15 years, first meeting in the class of art songs and Lieder interpretation of Anne Le Bozec in Paris's Academy of Music, it was clear that paying a tribute to the "master of the Mélodies" was a necessity.

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First Person: Mark Bromley of the National Youth Brass Band of Great Britain celebrates a milestone in its history

Mark Bromley

Television coverage of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee weekend included footage filmed in the monochrome world of postwar Britain. Old ways of doing things, however jaded and narrow, were deeply ingrained then. Yet they were offset 70 years ago by the optimism of the new Elizabethan age and its egalitarian spirit of growth and renewal.

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2022 - conductors from 15 to 85, and the greatest players

David Nice

When I first came to Estonia with a then still-exiled Neeme Järvi and his Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 1989, the world-class young musicians who dazzled at this year’s Pärnu Music Festival hadn’t been born.

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