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Focus FM Regional - Live Online Radio

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Asculta Focus Fm! Facem atmosfera in patru judete. Asculta live pe focusfm.ro muzica buna, romaneasca cele mai importante stiri din Buzau, Braila, Vrancea, Focsani, Galati. Fii activ in Dimineata Ta cu Karla Lucuta si Dan Raspopa. Fii atent la drum, Focus drive cu Tatiana Raduta. Asculta Focus hit cu Adrian Ion toata dupa amiaza. La ora fixa Stirile focus fm cu cu Elena Petre, Cristina Sterian, Cătălina Jingoiu și Claudia Toader.
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  • 10 of the best quotes about Beethoven

    classical-music.com Saturday, 9 May 2020 15:00:00

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    ‘You can’t have any idea what it’s like always to hear such a giant marching behind you!’

    Johannes Brahms German composer

     

    ‘I detest Beethoven!’

    Igor Stravinsky Russian composer, 1922

     

    At 80, I have found new joy in Beethoven

    Igor Stravinsky again, 1962

     

     

    It will be generally admitted that Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony is the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man’

    EM Forster English author

     

    ‘[In Beethoven’s music] the dreamer will recognise his dreams, the sailor his storms, and the wolf his forests’ 

    Victor Hugo French author

     

    ‘Everything will pass and the world will perish but the Ninth will remain’

    Mikhail Bakunin Russian revolutionary

     

    ‘At a certain place in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, one might feel that he is floating above the earth in a starry dome’ 

    Friedrich Nietzsche German philosopher

     

     

    Beethoven always sounds to me like the upsetting of a bag of nails, with here and there also a dropped hammer’ 

     John Ruskin English art critic 

     

    ‘It would be possible to describe absolutely everything scientifically, but it would make no sense. It would be without meaning, as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure’

    Albert Einstein German physicist

     

    ‘If a person sweeps streets for a living, he should sweep them as Beethoven composed music’

    Martin Luther King Jr US minister and activist

  • How to watch concerts from home: the concerts and operas available to stream online during the coronavirus pandemic

    classical-music.com Thursday, 7 May 2020 14:39:44

  • 10 of Beethoven’s close acquaintances and friends

    classical-music.com Wednesday, 6 May 2020 15:00:00

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    Karl Alois, Prince Lichnowsky (1761-1814) 

    One of the composer’s major patrons, described by him as ‘one of my most loyal friends’.

     

    Antonie Brentano (1780-1869) 

    Long-term companion, dedicatee of Beethoven’s Diabelli Variations and, perhaps, the addressee of his ‘Immortal Beloved’ letter. 

     

    Stephan van Breuning (1774-1827) 

    Civil servant, lifelong friend – first in Bonn and then Vienna – and a steady presence in Beethoven’s life. Dedicatee of the Violin Concerto.

     

     

    Giovanni Malfatti (1775-1859) 

    This esteemed doctor, for whom Beethoven wrote the cantata Un lieto brindisi, was one of the few medics he trusted. They fell out in 1817.

     

    Josephine Brunsvik (1779-1821) 

    Beethoven’s piano pupil and, after her husband Joseph died, increasingly the target of his affection.

     

    Ferdinand Ries (1784-1838) 

    Studied composition with Beethoven and assisted him as copyist, secretary and general companion.

     

     

    Archduke Rudolf of Austria (1788-1831) 

    Piano pupil and patron, his friendship with Beethoven was marked by the dedication of works including the Archduke Trio and Emperor Concerto.

     

    Anselm Hüttenbrenner (1794-1868) 

    The composer and pianist was one of only two people present at Beethoven side when he died.

     

    Anton Schindler (1795-1864) 

    Beethoven’s secretary from 1822-25 and first biographer. Some, including the composer himself, found him obsequious and over-protective.

     

    Karl Holz (1798-1858) 

    The second violinist of Ignaz Schuppanzigh’s string quartet, Holz took over as assistant to Beethoven after Schindler’s departure.

     

    Read next:

  • Music lessons and workshops for kids during lockdown

    classical-music.com Wednesday, 6 May 2020 14:43:43

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    Activities

     

    BBC Ten Pieces at Home

    Ten Pieces at Home will provide weekly films and activities inspired by works in the Ten Pieces collection. In Elgar’s Enigma Variations, for example, each variation depicts a different friend of Elgar. In the accompanying activity, presented by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson, children will be asked to draw a person they love but aren’t able to see at the moment because of the lockdown. They are then asked to come up with a piece of music that reminds them of this person, and upload their picture and music selection to the Ten Pieces website. 

    Other activities include writing a poem inspired by a journey with poet Simon Mole and learning to sing a section of Sibelius’s Finlandia and perform it in a virtual choir with the BBC Singers.

    Connecting the Dots will bring children together with BBC musicians for online classical music workshops involving performances, musical activities and Q&As. This project will be organised by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra’s newly appointed associate artist Lucy Drever. 

     

     

     

    Sin​ging

     

    Great British Home Chorus

    Choirmaster Gareth Malone invites singers of all ages to join his national choir. You can watch previous rehearsals on Decca Records's YouTube page here.

     

     

     

     

    Music lessons

    Bristol Plays Music Virtual Academy

    The Bristol Music Trust has created a programme of one-on-one music lessons for students. Teachers will run 20-minute sessions for primary school children and half-hour sessions for those in secondary school.

    There will be a charge for lessons, but children of key workers or those suffering financially because of the pandemic will be able to apply for free bursary places. Otherwise, tuition is available in blocks of ten lessons, with prices from £100.

     

     

    Discover music

    Meet the Instrument

    The Seattle Symphony Orchestra are uploading weekly introductions to orchestral instruments. Musicians show audiences how their instruments work and what sounds they can make, using excerpts from classic orchestral repertoire to show off their instruments' capabilities. Their introduction to the clarinet can be found here, and the rest of the videos are available to view on the orchestra's YouTube channel. 

     

    London Sinfonietta: Introduction to Contemporary Instruments

    Every Monday at 5pm on the London Sinfonietta's YouTube channel, one of the orchestra's principal players introduces audiences to the nuances of contemporary instruments and performance.

    4 May: Mark van Wiel's Introduction to Contemporary Clarinet

    11 May: Byron Fulcher's Introduction to Contemporary Trombone

    18 May: Michael Thompson's Introduction to Contemporary Horn

    25 May: Melinda Maxwell's Introduction to Contemporary Oboe

  • Winner of 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music announced

    classical-music.com Tuesday, 5 May 2020 19:02:05

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    The Central Park Five, an opera by composer Anthony Davis and librettist Richard Wesley, has been awarded the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for Music. Premiered in June 2019 at California’s Long Beach Opera, the opera is set in New York in 1989 and is inspired by real-life events. The story follows five young boys, between the ages of 14 and 16, who were wrongly convicted of raping a white female jogger in Central Park, before being exonerated 13 years later through DNA evidence. 

    The opera was praised by the jury for its ‘powerful vocal writing and sensitive orchestration that skilfully transforms a notorious example of contemporary injustice into something empathetic and hopeful.’ With elements of music typically heard during 1980s New York, the score highlights dissonances in the vocals and harmonies and features powerful driving rhythms which propel the drama forward. 

    Davis is no stranger to addressing issues of race relations and adapting real-life events for the stage. His best-known operas are X, The Life and Times of Malcolm X, based on the life of civil rights leader Malcolm X, and Amistad, about the case of an 1938 slave mutiny on a Spanish ship.

    Although primarily known for his operas, Davis has also composed symphonies, as well as chamber and choral music. He is also a jazz pianist. 

    The other finalists for this year’s Pulitzer Prize for Music was Alex Weiser’s and all the days were purple, a song cycle for voice, piano, percussion and string trio based on Yiddish and English poems, and Michael Torke’s Sky: Concerto for Violin, which features bluegrass elements.  

     


    The trailer for The Central Park Fiv's premiere performance

     

     


    Listen to finalist Alex Weiser's and all the days were purple

     


    Listen to finalist Michael Torke’s Sky: Concerto for Violin

  • 16-year-old Thomas Luke wins Keyboard Final of 2020 BBC Young Musician

    classical-music.com Monday, 4 May 2020 14:59:09

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    The first category final of this year’s BBC Young Musician competition took place this weekend with pianists taking to the stage in the keyboard final. 

    16-year-old Thomas Luke from the Isle of Wight won the keyboard final and will be moving ahead to the semi-final. On weekends, he studies at the junior department of the Royal Academy of Music in London. 

    He has been playing the piano since the age of four, when he learnt and played alongside his grandfather. In the keyboard final this weekend, he performed Aragón by the 20th-century Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona. 

    The other keyboard finalists included two Wells Cathedral School students: 16-year-old Sejin Yoon from South Korea, who performed Beethoven’s 32 Variations in C minor, and 15-year-old Bridget Yee, who played Messiaen’s Vingt Regards sur l’enfant Jésus, Noël.

    They were joined by 17-year-old Harvey Lin, who also made it to the keyboard finals in 2016 aged just 13. He is a scholarship student at Eton College, where he also learns the harpsichord, organ and violin. He performed the Toccata from Ravel’s Le tombeau de Couperin in last night’s category final. The youngest finalist, 11-year-old Jacky Zhang, attends King’s College School in Cambridge and whose programme included Liszt’s fiendishly difficult solo piano arrangement of Schubert’s Erlkönig, and was praised for his octave control. 

    Organist and conductor Anna Lapwood presented the keyboard final for the first time this year, joined by 2016 finalist Jess Gillam, who will be hosting an ‘In Conversation’ series throughout the series. During the keyboard final, she met with pianist Lauren Zhang, who won the competition in 2018 with her performance of Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 2.

    The keyboard final was judged by pianists Katya Apekisheva and Peter Donohoe, chaired by Angela Dixon, chief executive of Saffron Hall, who will be overseeing all the category finals. 

    The woodwind final will be broadcast on Sunday 10 May at 7pm.  

    Watch the highlights of the keyboard final here and watch the complete performances here.

     

    Read more:

     

  • Public invited to join the BBC Lockdown Orchestra to play Florence and the Machine song

    classical-music.com Monday, 4 May 2020 09:40:09

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    As part of the Get Creative festival, BBC Arts and Radio 3 have invited musicians and singers from across the UK to take part in the BBC Lockdown Orchestra’s performance of ‘You Got The Love', the 1986 song made famous in 2009 with Florence and the Machine's cover version, 'You've Got The Love'. 

    The public are invited to film and upload a recording of themselves singing or playing Florence and the Machine’s track, which will then be brought together with those from the BBC Lockdown Orchestra to release the premiere music video on Thursday 14 May on BBC Four at 8.55pm.  

    The BBC Lockdown Orchestra is made up of 100 musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra, BBC Philharmonic, BBC Concert Orchestra, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, BBC Singers and the Ulster Orchestra. 

    To access the backing track and score, visit bbc.co.uk/getcreative. The deadline for submissions is Sunday 10 May. 

  • The top 20 Beethoven works

    classical-music.com Saturday, 2 May 2020 15:00:00

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    1) Variations & Fugue on an Original Theme ‘Eroica’, Op. 35 (1802)

    These amazing variations, written when Beethoven was 32, are on a theme that fascinated him for many years and recurs in the Eroica Symphony (see below). Here the melody is subject to a series of ever wilder, often hilarious transformations, some of the later ones almost shocking in their audacity.

    The composer, himself a great pianist, often liked to wrong-foot his audiences, especially with tender passages at which he roared with laughter. This piece is a prime example of his aggression being put to mischievous purposes.

     

    2) Symphony No. 3 ‘Eroica’, Op. 55 (1804)

    Two years later, Beethoven made his single most stunning advance with his Third Symphony. Not only is it the longest symphony written up to that time, it also has, in a vague way, a subject matter, as indicated by its title. Forget about Napoleon, as Beethoven did. This is about the heroic spirit in general, not one instance of it.

    After its initial two hammer blows, it surges into a prolonged movement in which passages of lyric beauty give way, time and again, to terrifying onslaughts. The second movement – greatest of all funeral marches – shows who won. That movement itself ends by crumbling into silence.

    The third movement, a simmering, rollicking Scherzo with a lusty trio for three horns, shows that Beethoven is not going to take death lying down; the last, a set of variations, takes the ‘Eroica’ theme and shows how many kinds of joy are possible. After this, nothing could be the same.

     

    3) String Quartet in F, Op. 59 No. 1 ‘Razumovsky’ (1806)

    Beethoven perhaps kept his deepest feelings for string quartets, of which he wrote three sets: early, middle and late, and a couple of isolated ones. This first of three so-called ‘Razumovsky’ quartets is a work on a huge scale, once more breaking the mould of its genre.

    Its soaring opening melody is utterly captivating, not least to its own composer who stole it, modified, for a later chamber work. The teasing Scherzo has the instruments interrupting one another, while the slow movement plumbs depths that nothing before in Beethoven’s chamber music had.

     

    4) Violin Concerto in D, Op. 61 (1806)

    Beethoven’s genius was not primarily for melody; he was much more interested in development and transformation. His Violin Concerto is an exception. Though the basic motif of the huge first movement is five drum notes – as unthematic as can be, yet pervasive – when the full orchestra takes over it is with a soaring melody, taken still further by the soloist who plays some of Beethoven’s most serene, touching music.

    There is more drama, oddly, in the slow movement than in the outer ones. Beethoven wrote no cadenza for the soloist, though he did make a piano version of the work and wrote four cadenzas for that, one of which is sometimes adapted for violin. 

     

     

    5) Symphony No. 5, Op. 67 (1804-8)

    If this symphony had a nickname, surely it would be ‘The Unavoidable’. One almost comes to dread those four notes which begin the work and never leave it alone. Yet it remains astonishing in its ferocity and in the uneasy feeling it can – should – give the listener of uncertainty about whether he or she is being attacked or is indeed the attacker.

    Whichever, in a fresh performance it should still knock your socks off. The Scherzo has goblins stalking the earth (or so the author EM Forster thought in Howards End) and leads thrillingly to the finale, the most convincing non-religious orchestral celebration up until then. 

     

    6) Fidelio, Op. 72 (1805)

    If there is one musical genre Beethoven was not equipped to undertake, it is opera. Yet he wrote one, and it is a supreme masterpiece. Its subject – heroic defiance of tyranny, a wife disguised as a youth so that she can work in a prison and free her wrongly incarcerated husband – was a standard ‘rescue opera’, a genre naturally popular after the French Revolution.

    The libretto is in many ways absurd, the spoken dialogue (there are almost no recitatives) inept, and Beethoven’s writing for the voice is, to put it gently, inconsiderate. And yet it has the power to move the listener to tears and ecstasy as few pieces do.

    The heroine Leonore’s resolution, the agony of the scene where she thinks she is digging her husband’s grave and the unrestrained rejoicings at the end are among the glories of drama, of all art.

     

     

     

    7) Piano Concerto No. 5, ‘Emperor’, Op. 73 (1809-11)

    This is Beethoven for once savouring the fulness of his powers with a work of celebration – not of something in particular, but of the joy of creation. As with many composers, particular keys had connotations for him, and E flat – a key which meant much the same for Mozart – is a promise of richness and excitement.

    The climax of the first movement, where orchestra and soloist confront one another with the same chord, is for once no battle but a jubilant display of strength. The slow movement is an ecstatic dream, and the last bounds away with irrepressible energy, until it finally decides to take a rest. 

     

     

    8) Symphony No. 7, Op. 92 (1811-12)

    Whenever this work is mentioned, Wagner’s description of it as ‘the apotheosis of the dance’ is bound to follow. There’s an interesting story of Wagner dancing his way through it while Liszt played his piano reduction of it – oh, to be 
    a fly on the wall. Whatever, its most striking features are its pulverising energy in three of its movements, and its concentration on rhythm almost at the expense of anything else.

    The other famous thing said about it was Weber’s claim that it showed that Beethoven was ripe for the madhouse. Even the celebrated slow movement is more interesting for its rhythm than for its melody. It almost seems that Beethoven was intent on exhausting the possibility of writing one kind of music – and subsequent composers seem to have agreed that he had, until Stravinsky arrived on the scene a century later.

     

     

    9) Symphony No. 8, Op. 93 (1812)

    For a long time there was agreement that Beethoven’s odd-numbered symphonies were the big boys, while the even-numbered ones were comparatively light relief. That’s not ridiculous, but it is false, and in no case more than in No. 8. This is a compact work, mischief in every bar, pretending to be traditional, but always doing things which even as kindred a spirit as Haydn might have been shocked by.

    There is something demonic in its humour, as you might expect from Beethoven at this summit of his career: those who think that ‘serious’ and ‘funny’ are opposites have the shallowness of that view ruthlessly exposed by this arch-master of emotional disruption.

     

     

    10) Violin Sonata in G, Op. 96 (1812)

    This, the last of Beethoven’s ten sonatas for violin and piano, is a piece so glowing with good humour and gentleness that it is almost unique in Beethoven’s oeuvre. The two performers are on genial terms from the opening exchange of trills onwards, and when the violin takes off out of sheer high spirits, it is with the full support of the piano.

    This self-delight is maintained throughout the work; the longest movement is the last, unusually, and is a set of variations which at one point has a typically Beethovenian fugal passage, dry and austere, which sets the benignity of the rest of the Sonata in relief.

     

    11) Piano Trio, Op. 97, ‘Archduke’ (1814)

    This is the last masterpiece of Beethoven’s ‘middle’ period, and if it had been his last work we would have felt content that he ended on so comprehensively embracing a piece. Yet the greatest were still to come. The opening melody recaps that of the First ‘Razumovsky’ Quartet, but the mood is more genial, and that is maintained.

    The slow movement has a rapt beauty nearly unique in Beethoven’s output, with a depth of feeling that presages what is to come. Often when this Trio is played, listeners don’t talk for some time after.

     

    12) An die ferne Geliebte, Op. 98 (1816)

    Beethoven isn’t thought of as a major contributor to German art-song, but to all intents he founded it, composing more than 80 lieder, many of them fine but neglected. An die ferne Geliebte (‘To the distant beloved’) is his most striking achievement in this line, and the first German song cycle: six pieces, the last reinforcing the first.

    On the subject of more or less helpless love, they may not be as agonised as Schubert or Schumann, but they’re plangent and equally melodious. They also show that Beethoven, whose music is almost never erotic, could express the urges he had in common with his fellow human beings, though he usually concentrated on what he regarded as nobler ones.

     

    13) Piano Sonata in B flat, Op. 106, ‘Hammerklavier’ (1818)

    This is one of Beethoven’s two most intimidating works, and one of his greatest. It makes superhuman demands on its performer and listeners, and rewards them for a lifetime. Almost an hour long, it is ferociously compact, with a vast slow movement that plumbs the depths of agony or calm, depending on the listener.

    The final movement is a gigantic fugue – a form Beethoven was by now obsessed with – on an immense, remorseless subject that virtually explodes before a few bars of peace lead back into the madness. There is no more astonishing music than this.

     

     

    14) Piano Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (1820-3)

    This, the last of Beethoven’s 32 piano sonatas, brings them to a conclusion so ultimate that it’s amazing anyone has written sonatas since. It’s in only two movements, the first of which is declamatory, energetic, and not even all that great. But following that comes a set of variations which it’s hard to believe anyone could have composed.

    A slow and simple melody expands into the most extraordinary rhythms, even jazzy at one point, and ascends until the pianist is playing a triple trill, louder then softer, and the whole piece comes to rest.

     

     

    15) Diabelli Variations, Op. 120 (1823)

    Anton Diabelli was an ungifted performer who bet on immortality by writing a trivial little waltz which he sent to many composers, including Liszt and Schubert, asking for a variation on it. They obliged. Beethoven binned it, then fished it out and wrote 33 variations, his unbelievable peak of pianistic invention and inspiration.

    The fecundity is such that you can listen to them daily and still find new things. The end never disappoints: after a stunning fugue, the pianist holds a chord for a long time and then moves into the most gracious, elegant minuet. This, from Beethoven!

     

    16) Missa solemnis, Op. 123 (1819-23)

    Beethoven had no fixed religious beliefs, though he liked statements of Eastern origin such as ‘I am I’. But he had a religious temperament and, having written one rather routine mass earlier, girded his loins and produced this, his largest and most intransigent work.

    Whereas Bach had no religious doubts, so his works have a comforting security, Beethoven seems to be trying to bring a religion into being with his assertiveness and emphases and even desperation. There are some beautiful, even sensuous passages, and it ends with a desperate cry for (earthly) piece. 

     

    17) Symphony No. 9, Op. 125 (1822-4)

    Surely everyone will agree that the first three – purely orchestral – movements of this work are the greatest symphonic movements Beethoven created. The first is crushing, the second a huge counter-attack of energy, the third a profound set of variations.

    With four vocal soloists and a chorus added, the fourth movement, the great affirmation of brotherhood under a benign Father, has created the greatest division of opinion, not least due to the public uses to which it has been put. Many listeners, however, find it deeply moving.

     

     

    18) Six Bagatelles for piano, Op. 126 (1824)

    These short pieces, which Beethoven wrote while in the midst of composing, with enormous effort, his last and most strenuous works, must have been as much a relief for him to write as they are for us to listen to. Only one or two are regularly played, but they are all chips off a supreme master’s workshop, and are delightful.

    If you feel you need something in between the sublimity of Beethoven’s most demanding and rewarding works, and the routines of everyday life, then these gently cheerful pieces provide the ideal bridge.  

     

    19) String Quartet in B flat, Op. 130 (inc. the Grosse Fuge, Op. 133) (1825-6)

    The last quartets – five of them – are Beethoven’s will and testament. They are original in every way, this one with six movements, including the gigantic and rebarbative fugue as the finale. There are no external criteria to assess them by, since they are like nothing else in music.

    Op. 130 has a slow movement, the Cavatina, which made Beethoven weep when he thought about it. It’s hard to envisage anyone responding differently.  

     

    20) String Quartet in C sharp minor, Op. 131 (1826)

    Stravinsky wrote of this work: ‘Everything in this masterpiece is perfect, inevitable, unalterable. It is beyond the impertinence of praise. The most affecting music of all, to me, is the beginning of the Andante moderato variation. The mood is like no other and the intensity, if it were to endure a bar longer, would be intolerable.’

    It was another great composer, Wagner, who first celebrated the perfection of this work, perhaps above all the transcendental fugue with which it opens. At the end Beethoven writes a furious Allegro movement which brings us down to earth, realising that what we have been listening to earlier demands a purity of spirit which not many people can achieve or maintain.  

     

  • Nicola Benedetti launches three-week free online music course

    classical-music.com Friday, 1 May 2020 18:40:47

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    The Benedetti Foundation has launched the Virtual Benedetti Sessions, which will provide three weeks of free, regular online music tuition for young musicians, university-level students, teachers, adult learners and amateur musicians.

    From Monday 11 May, sessions will be hosted on YouTube, Zoom and social media platforms and will be led by violinist Nicola Benedetti and tutors from the Foundation. There will be a mix of live and pre-recorded turorials. 

    The programme will include seminars, activities, presentations and workshops in physical and mental wellbeing. There will also be two live sessions from instrumental teachers each week, a live session for conservatoire and university msuic students with leading artists and two weekly sessions for parents to chat to tutors about how to best help and support their children's musical education at home. 

    The repertoire will include Vaughan Williams's Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, which will be led by conductor Karina Canellakis; Mattachin from Warlock's Capriol Suite; Tchaikovsky's Souvenir de Florence and a new arrangement of Paganini's Caprice No. 24.

    The final weekend (30-31 May) will run from 10am to 5pm each day, with presentations and tutorials throughout the weekend, with a concert on 4pm on 31 May to premiere the combined videos submitted by participants. 

    Sign up here. Registration is free and will be open until Thursday 7 May.  

     

  • How to join virtual orchestras, choirs and music masterclasses online

    classical-music.com Friday, 1 May 2020 18:26:46

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    Choirs

     

    Gareth's 'Home Malone' Choir Series

    Choirmaster Gareth Malone invites singers to join his national choir. You can watch previous rehearsals on Decca Records's YouTube page here

     

     

    The Self-Isolation Choir

    With a finale concert on 31 May, the Self-Isolation choir is open to all singers from across the world. There will be hourlong online weekly rehearsals for each part. Those who join after the start date (31 March) can catch up on previous rehearsals online. For more info, please visit theselfisolationchoir.com.

     

     

    NHS Chorus-19

    In collaboration with Cambridge doctors, organist and conductor Anna Lapwood is coordinating a virtual choir for current and former NHS staff across the UK. The first project is an arrangement of ‘Come on Eileen’, and the music video will be released at the end of April and will be aiming to raise money for the NHS. 320 NHS workers have already signed up for the choir. Sign up here.

     

     

    The Sixteen and the Stay at Home Choir

    Sing James MacMillan’s O Radiant Dawn as part of the Stay at Home Choir’s virtual choir. Participants are invited to also attend a webinar with a singer from The Sixteen who will help coach them on their part. 

    Record yourself and submit your videos by midnight on Wednesday 29 April.

     

     

     

     

    Orchestras

     

    Jess Gillam Virtual Scratch Orchestra

    To participate in a virtual performance of Bowie's Where Are We Now?, visit Jess Gillam's website to download the parts and video yourself playing your part or playing along to the click track (using headphones, so only you can be heard). Send the video to info@jessgillamsax.co.uk with a line saying 'I give Universal Music Group permission to use this video'. The deadline is Friday 10 April at 6pm. 

     

     

    National Youth Orchestra

    At 5pm on 17 April, the 164 musicians from the National Youth Orchestra will open their windows and perform Beethoven's 'Ode to Joy' in support of NHS staff and key workers across the UK. They are inviting all other musicians to join in. The sheet music can be downloaded here.

     

     

    Mustafa Khetty

    Composer Mustafa Khetty has invited musicians from across the world to participate in his new works. He will provide separated audio clips and scores for each part. Get in touch here to request materials. 

     

     

    Lockdown Rehearsal Orchestra

    The temporary orchestra for adults – between grades 2 and 5 – is now open for string, woodwind, brass and percussion players. 

    Rehearsals take place online every Thursday morning at 10am. 

    For more information, contact Wendy Waldock at 07508 471 800 or fill in the contact form here.

     

     

     

     

     

    Music Lessons/Courses

     

    Virtual Benedetti Sessions

    From Monday 11 May, the Benedetti Foundation will provide three weeks of free, regular online music tuition for young musicians, university-level students, teachers, adult learners and amateur musicians. 

    The sessions will be hosted on YouTube, Zoom and social media platforms and will be led by violinist Nicola Benedetti and tutors from the Foundation. There will be a mix of live and pre-recorded turorials. 

    The programme will include seminars, activities, presentations and workshops in physical and mental wellbeing. There will also be two live sessions from instrumental teachers each week, a live session for conservatoire and university msuic students with leading artists and two weekly sessions for parents to chat to tutors about how to best help and support their children's musical education at home. 

    The final weekend (30-31 May) will run from 10am to 5pm with presentations and tutorials throughout the day.

    Sign up here. Registration is free and will be open until Thursday 7 May.  

     

     

    Music lessons from Nicola Benedetti

    Every day at 12pm BST, The Benedetti Foundation hosts a lesson or workshop on its Instagram via IGTV and its Facebook page. It will be then be available to watch on Facebook afterwards. Sessions so far include violinist Elena Urioste discussing yoga, meditation and the role of wellbeing in performance; games and songs with cellist David Munn; and a live samba session from percussionist Patrick King. 

    On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, Nicola Benedetti will go live across all her social media channels to discuss music and share insights. 

     

     

    Lockdown Insanity Prevention: Flute Tutorials

    Emily Beynon, principal flute of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, is hosting a series of tutorials on her YouTube channel. The first tutorial is now live, focusing on vibrato technique. 

     

     

    Flautist Sharon Bezaly

    Sharon Bezaly is hosting regular virtual masterclasses, which you can apply to take part in via her Facebook page. Passive listeners are also able to join via Zoom link. 

     

     

    Bristol Plays Music Virtual Academy 

    The Bristol Music Trust has created a programme of one-on-one music lessons for students. Teachers will run 20-minute sessions for primary school children and half-hour sessions for those in secondary school.

    There will be a charge for lessons, but children of key workers or those suffering financially because of the pandemic will be able to apply for free bursary places. Otherwise, tuition is available in blocks of ten lessons, with prices from £100.  

     

     

    Lessonface

    Lessonface is a digital platform that connects music teachers with students of all ages. 

    The platform’s ‘Go Classes’ are interactive group courses with flexible tuition (free spaces are available). Teachers and students are also invited to take part in an Open Mic Night to share the music they’ve been practising. The sessions will be hosted by a Lessonface teacher. You can apply to the next Open Mic Night here.

     

     

    Learn to play Elgar's Salut d'amour with Nicola Benedetti

    Nicola Benedetti is hosting daily tutorials at 10am BST from 10-19 April on her YouTube channel to teach audiences how to play Elgar’s Salut d’Amour. Participants are then invited to email their performances to info@benedettifoundation.org or upload on social media using the hashtag #salutnicky by 5pm on Thursday 16 April. A winner will then be picked from those who have entered, followed by a live Q&A with Benedetti. 

    Click here for more information, downloadable sheet music, videos of Benedetti performing the piece and Petr Limonov performing the piano part for you to play along with, and full details on how to submit your performance. 

    This series is in conjunction with the release of Nicola Benedetti and Petr Limonov’s performance of Salut d’Amour, which will be released digitally as a single and on Benedetti’s upcoming album, which also features Elgar’s Violin Concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vladimir Jurowski. 

     

     

    Learn to play Elgar's Chanson de Nuit with Nicola Benedetti

    Following on from the Salut d'Amour challenge (you can listen to the winner here), Nicola Benedetti is now inviting musicians to create a music video inspired by Elgar's Chanson de Nuit. Listen to the piece here. Send your submissions to info@benedettifoundation.org or tag your videos on social media with #chansonchallenge by Sunday 3 May. 

     

     

    The Exhale Project

    27 April-10 May

    Originally planned to be a musicians’ retreat in Switzerland, violinist Gwendolyn Masin’s Exhale Project will now be hosted online. Created for professional musicians and students alike, the course will include a series of masterclasses in yoga, Alexander Technique, psychotherapy and Feldenkrais. A portion of the participation donation will be donated to charity. 

     

     

     

    Opportunities to perform

     

    Black Dress Code

    The clothing site for musicians will be acting as a platform musicians to upload digital performances and be paid by viewers. Send videos to richard@blackdresscode.com.

     

     

     

     

     

    Please contact freya.parr@immediate.co.uk with any updates or events/ensembles to add to the list.

     

     

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