mon 06/07/2020

First Person

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

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...

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

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. So when we were awarded a...

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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

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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The power of resilience: flautist Noemi Gyori on positive ways to face adversity

The magnitude of challenges that the entire classical music industry is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented. In the twinkling of an eye, cultural life became suspended. Many of us, mostly freelancers and entrepreneurs, smaller...

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'This experience has revealed just how much I love music': pianist Paul Lewis on life in lockdown

As an instrumentalist, you can sit down and play music and escape from the stress. It’s a privilege to be able to do something that takes you to a different place – you’re removed from everything that’s happening. When you stop, there are reminders...

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First Person: Gabriel Prokofiev on 14 years of his Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra

For most people a turntable, or record player is used to play back old vinyls bought from a market or second hand store, or perhaps a carefully packaged reissue of a classic album. We gently place the needle at the beginning of the record and are...

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Tuning the focus inward: violinist Esther Yoo on performers facing their demons in a crisis

COVID-19 hurls the artist into the unknown. June is the time of year where I, like many, look back on everything I have accomplished over the last two quarters and look forward to my plans and goals for the next six months. As my birthday happens to...

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'If they had been any closer my face would have misted up': filming 'Men at the Barre'

“That’s Marcelino Sambé, he’s wonderful,” said the artistic administrator of the Royal Ballet as I followed her down one of the many corridors that weave throughout the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden. “He’s a newly promoted Principal, a very...

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Avoiding meltdown from lockdown: Michael Chance on The Grange Festival's strategy for survival

Where to start? We at The Grange Festival began in mid-March (the 15th) with a letter to our company, all those few hundred who come and work for us during the festival months and who are all, almost without exception, employed on a freelance basis...

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'In a country of marvellous communicators': violinist Katherine Hunka on life with the Irish Chamber Orchestra

As a musician I spend so much time on the road that a day spent at home is a rarity. And now, with the restrictions we all face, and concerts an impossibility, I am becoming a keen gardener and making a lot of soup. It is also a time of reflection....

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First Person: CEO Stephen Maddock on the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra's strange centenary year

This year was supposed to be so very different. For the best part of the last decade we have been planning a series of major events to take place in 2020 to mark the centenary of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Having often commented on...

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

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...

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