Turner Sims concert hall in Southampton is hosting a free online family concert at 3pm. Pianist and composer Sarah Nicholls plays the Inside-Out Piano, a grand piano opened up so the audience can see right inside it.
Deutsche Grammophon’s pianists are joining forces for World Piano Day via the record label’s YouTube and Facebook platforms. Pianists set to feature in the recital include Víkingur Ólafsson, Daniil Trifonov, Maria João Pires, Evgeny Kissin, Jan Lisiecki, Rudolf Buchbinder, Kit Armstrong, Simon Ghraichy and Joep Beving. The stream will begin at 3pm CET and will be available for a limited time afterwards.
On Sunday, Sonoraspace is hosting a virtual piano festival on its website at 7pm CET, with 10 pianists performing. To join the event as a viewer, click 'Join the Virtual Piano Festival' and you will receive a direct link to the livestream.
Pianist Igor Levit is broadcasting nightly ‘House Concerts’ on Twitter.
A message from the editor of BBC Music Magazine
classical-music.com Friday, 27 March 2020 21:08:58
In just a few short weeks, Coronavirus has delivered a blow to all aspects of our lives. Schools closed, hospitals overwhelmed, lockdowns imposed and, at the time of writing, cases on the rise. Our hearts go out to anyone affected by this terrible disease.
In the arts world, concert series, festivals and all manner of live music-making have been halted… The arts world is reeling from thousands of cancelled events and many are struggling to come to terms with life off the road.
Musicians, however, are responding with good spirit, many of them performing programmes to vast online audiences via the wonders of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more. Armed with little more than a smartphone, tripod, broadband connection and a little imagination, many have brought heart-warming concerts direct to our houses.
You can read about some of these in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine, sent to press on 26 March and on sale from 16 April – the first issue in our 30-year history to have been produced entirely remotely.
Many of you will have trouble getting hold of your magazine from the shops – which is why we’ve set up a no-strings way for you to guarantee you get the next few issues. With a small one-off payment, we can send you next three issues to your house – and delivery will be on us. You'll still make a saving on the shop price, and you won't have to set up a Direct Debit, so this is absolutely risk-free. If you order by 29 March, you'll get our May issue, so you won't miss out.
If you live in the UK and are happy to set up a Direct Debit, however, we can offer you even greater saving on your first six issues.
Operas, documentaries and theatre programmes announced for BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine
classical-music.com Thursday, 26 March 2020 18:44:43
From this month, BBC Arts will be hosting the Culture in Quarantine initiative across TV, radio and digital platforms. Its aim is to bring arts to people at home during the coronavirus pandemic.
The following programmes have been introduced by BBC Arts as part of this new initiative:
The initiative will include broadcasts of recent dance and theatre productions from across the UK. This will include a new play by David Greig on BBC Radio 3, as well as a new work from Balletboyz and six Shakespeare productions from the RSC on BBC Four.
Beethoven’s Fidelio on BBC Four The Royal Opera’s recent performance of Beethoven’s only opera is a new staging by Tobias Kratzner and was recorded just a few days before the outbreak of the virus in the UK. The cast includes soprano Lise Davidsen and tenor David Philip Butt. Antonio Pappano conducts.
Balletboyz: Deluxe on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer With the remaining performances of its 20th anniversary UK tour now cancelled, BalletBoyz has decided to share the production with audiences at home.
Northern Ballet: Dracula on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer Choreographed by David Nixon and with music by Schnittke, Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt and Michael Daugherty, Northern Ballet’s interpretation of Bram Stoker’s legendary novel was filmed for cinema back in 2014 and will now be broadcast across the BBC.
The Royal Shakespeare Company on BBC Four and BBC iPlayer Productions include Hamlet (2016), Macbeth (2018), Much Ado About Nothing (2014), Othello (2015), Romeo and Juliet (2018) and The Merchant of Venice (2015).
How to Play Leading artists from the classical music world take turns in introducing audiences to an iconic piece of music, including Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. They discuss the challenges of such works, and how they approach playing them. Artists featured include cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and violinist Nicola Benedetti.
Black Music in Europe The third series of this programme explores the history of black music in Europe in the period between the end of WWII and the late 70s.
Culture in Quarantine Fund:
In collaboration with Arts Council England, 25 new works by independent arts will be commissioned and distributed. The works will respond to the coronavirus crisis and self-isolation. For more information on how to apply for the fund, click here.
Exhibitions and galleries across the UK which have been forced to close because of the pandemic will be opening their doors online to give audiences virtual access to the art.
Museums in Quarantine on BBC Four This programme goes behind the scenes at several museums and galleries across the UK: the British Museum, the Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern and the Young Rembrandt exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford.
Scandal and Beauty: Mark Gatiss on Aubrey Beardsley on BBC Four Actor Mark Gatiss explores the life of artist Aubrey Beardsley, in conjunction with the Tate Britain’s major exhibition of Beardsley’s work.
Titian: Behind Closed Doors on BBC Four The National Gallery’s exhibition on the Renaissance master Titian brought together the artist’s paintings for the first time in 300 years. This programme explores Titian’s fascinating life and artistic triumphs.
The three-day virtual books festival will include video interviews and panel discussions with authors who were scheduled to appear at various British literary festivals, which have now been cancelled. The festival will take place across the first bank holiday weekend in May.
Front Row Late:
From her study at home, Mary Beard presents a new series of Front Row Late on BBC Two with guests including author Margaret Atwood.
Free Download: Julien Libeer plays Bartók’s Suite for Piano
classical-music.com Tuesday, 24 March 2020 17:57:50
‘It’s almost impossible to fault his playing’
This week’s free download is the first movement, Allegretto, from Bartók’s Suite for Piano, performed by Julien Libeer and recorded on the Harmonia Mundi label.
If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.
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How to watch concerts from home: the concerts and operas available to stream online during the coronavirus pandemic
classical-music.com Tuesday, 24 March 2020 16:16:14
(@ericchristian). He primarily plays original material, but also takes musical requests.
. Devine performed Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 Part 1.
Friday 20 March
The Swiss festival - running from 17 July to 6 September - will also be running a digital platform on which audiences can watch concert highlights and backstage interviews. Videos are already available to view, including masterclasses from pianist András Schiff and violinists Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who performed at last year's festival.
classical-music.com Friday, 20 March 2020 23:27:23
BBC Arts has launched a new intiative, 'Culture in Quarantine', a virtual festival of arts for the foreseeable future as the coronavirus pandemic forces concert halls, theatres and festivals to close. It will run across the BBC's radio, television and digital platforms.
The new initiative will include performances from musicians and comedians, new plays created for broadcast, author talks and guides to exhibitions at galleries which have been forced to close their doors. It also will broadcast quarantine diaries from artists and creatives, as well as archive broadcasts of theatre and dance performances.
Jonty Claypole, director of BBC Arts, described the current pandemic and its impact on the art world, saying, 'Historically, artists thrive on periods of isolation and it seems certain that the current period will result in new plays, poems, books, films, paintings, sculptures and all other forms of art that might not otherwise occur’.
10 of the best books about Beethoven
classical-music.com Thursday, 19 March 2020 22:44:45
1) Anton Schindler wrote one of the earliest Beethoven biographies, published in 1840, but its veracity was soon questioned.
2) Alexander Wheelock Thayer was the next to take up the challenge, with three volumes published from 1866-79.
3) Of the other biographies, Lewis Lockwood’s Beethoven: The Music and the Life remains a classic.
4) As does Maynard Solomon’s Beethoven.
8) Novelist Sanford Friedman also turns to Beethoven’s discussions, this time fictionalised, in his Conversations with Beethoven.
9) Poet Ruth Padel’s Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life was released earlier this year.
10 Jessica Duchen’s Immortal looks at Beethoven’s mysterious immortal beloved, and will be published in 2020.
classical-music.com Tuesday, 17 March 2020 18:12:50
In an upcoming adaptation by 20th Century Fox, West Side Story will represent Steven Spielberg’s first musical project.
The plot was originally inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, in which lovers Maria and Tony find themselves entangled in a bitter battle between their gangster families. Leonard Bernstein wrote the score for the original 1957 Broadway production, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The score will be adapted for the new film by David Newman, who also wrote the scores to Ice Age, Matilda and Anastasia, the latter of which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score.
David Newman comes from a composing family: he is the son of legendary film composer Alfred Newman, who won nine Academy Awards and was nominated 45 times. He is also the brother of film composer Thomas Newman, who has written the scores to 1917, Finding Nemo and The Shawshank Redemption,as well as several James Bond films. David is also the cousin ofRandy Newman, who has scored many Disney-Pixar films including Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story. He was up against Thomas in the 2019 Academy Awards, for which Thomas was nominated for 1917 and Randy for Marriage Story.
Spielberg has cast 18-year-old singer-songwriter Rachel Zegler as Maria, who will be making her film debut. The high school student responded to the production's open casting call with a video of herself singing Tonight and Me Siento Hermosa.‘I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,’ exclaimed Zegler. ‘As a Colombian-American woman growing up in this day and age, strong roles like Maria are so important. To be able to bring that role to life — a role that means so much to the Hispanic community — is so humbling.’
Ansel Elgort, previously seen in Edgar Wright's 2017 film Baby Driver, will play Tony. Plus, Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance playing Anita in the original film, will play a new character not included in the original – Valentina. Maddie Ziegler, famous for dancing in popular-music artist Sia’s music videos, will also be cast as a Jet.
Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner will adapt the screenplay from the original 1957 Broadway script, which was written by Arthut Laurents. He will be leaving the musical numbers intact, and the story will be in fact more similar to the original musical than to the 1961 film.
Composer David Newman will arrange and adapt Leonard Bernstein’s original score, and Gustavo Dudamel, musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct the orchestra during the film’s recording sessions.
West Side Story will be released on 18 December 2020.
The Hong Kong Arts Festival is planning to reschedule as many of its performances as possible for a later date. The festival crosses many disciplines, incorporating orchestral and chamber music, dance, opera and theatre.
This year’s instalment of Salzburg’s annual festival has been cancelled. The festival is set to continue next year, with performances from András Schiff and Hilary Hahn – the latter of whom was due to receive the Herbert von Karajan Prize.
Holland Park's 2020 season, scheduled to take place between June and August, has been postponed. The team are currently looking into opportunities to present operas at a future date in alternative locations.
The LPO has cancelled its seven-date European tour with conductor Robin Ticciati, which included performances with violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Khatia Buniatishvili, Renaud Capuçon; pianists Jan Lisiecki and Seong-Jin Cho; and cellist Pablo Ferrández.
Pianist Yuja Wang has cancelled her extensive European recital tour, which included a concert at the Barbican on 31 March.
Flanders Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all concerts in March 2020. The Belgian orchestra’s series, ‘A New World’, will be postponed until later notice.
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all concerts from Friday 3 to Sunday 29 March. This included concerts with violinist Maxim Vengerov and conductor Joshua Weilerstein.
Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled all concerts for the rest of March. The announcement was made before the orchestra’s concert on 11 March, following the announcement that events with more than 100 people were no longer allowed. The concert went ahead in an empty concert hall, broadcast live on Facebook.
San Francisco Symphony Orchestra has cancelled concerts from Thursday 12 to Sunday 22 March. This included concerts with cellist Gautier Capuçon, flautist James Galway and pianist Hélène Grimaud. The orchestra has also now announced the cancellation of its final tour with Michael Tilson Thomas to Europe, which was set to take place from 21 March to 7 April across ten European cities.
Oslo Philharmonic has cancelled all concerts until 3 April, following the announcement from the Norweigian Institute of Public Health recommending the cancellation of all events with more than 500 participants.
Boston Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and Tanglewood from Friday 13 March to Saturday 28 March. This has now been extended to Saturday 2 May, which includes cancellations of two dates at Carnegie Hall in New York.
Greek National Opera has suspended all performances at the Stavros Niarchos Hall until further notice, following the Ministry of Health's measures against activities with over 1000 spectators.
The Leeds International Piano Competition had scheduled a day of public events to celebrate the 100th birthday of Fanny Waterman, the competition's founder. It was going to include a public concert with previous Leeds Gold Medallists and a dinner, but these events have had to be cancelled as a result of the virus.
Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw is closed until 6 April, at which point it will announce whether the venue will reopen or not. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's former chief conductor Mariss Jansons was going to be celebrated in a concert at the end of March, following his death at the end of 2019, but unfortunately this concert will no longer be taking place.
The Southbank Centre is now closed with immediate effect. It has not been stated when it will reopen. This will affect all concerts and events at the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room.
The inaugural La Maestra competition was due to take place at the Philharmonie de Paris in March. This has now been postponed from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 September 2020 at the Philharmonie de Paris. The first round and semi-final will take place in the Studio, the Final will be held in the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez.
The major brass band event, which hosts 80 competing ensembles, has been cancelled. The regional secretary has not yet announced how the grading tables and advancement of bands to the National Finals will take place. The contest is always held on the third weekend of March, so next year's event will take place as normal on 20-21 March 2021.
The championships, scheduled in April/May in Palanga, Lithuania, have been cancelled. It has not yet been announced whether the events will be postponed to a later date. In the meantime, they will continue to prepare the 2021 event in Malmö in Sweden.
In response to the worldwide restrictions on public concerts, the Budapest Festival Orchestra will now host chamber music concerts, which will be available to view online for free. The 'Quarantine Soirees' are all listed here.
As the Philharmonie Berlin is closed until 19 April, the Berlin Philharmonic's concerts will be available via its Digital Concert Hall, which is available free of charge for 30 days. Log in here, using the code BERLINPHIL.
If you know of any other cancellations from the classical music world, which are not included in the list above, please contact email@example.com.
BBC launches Young Composer 2020 competition
classical-music.com Friday, 13 March 2020 22:26:35
This year’s BBC Young Composer Competition has been launched. Aimed at young musicians aged 12 to 18, winners are given the opportunity for their piece to be performed and broadcasted in concert at the 2021 BBC Proms.
The annual competition has launched countless musical careers since its inception in 1998. Composers from the BBC Young Composer alumni include Grace-Evangeline Mason, Alex Woolf, Sarah Jenkins and Alexia Sloane. Following the competition, their works have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms. Sarah Jenkins, for example, had her latest work, And the Sun Stood Still, commissioned and premiered by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Bramwell Tovey at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December, 2018.