Berlin Radio Choir announces new season
30 April 2015
Berlin Radio Choir's new conductor, Gijs LeenaarsHans van der Woerd
The Rundfunkchor Berlin has announced its 2015-16 season, its first with new Dutch conductor Gijs Leenaars (36) as principal conductor and artistic director.
BBC unveils the 2015 Proms programme
24 April 2015
The BBC Proms 2015 season was launched in London last night, with public booking set to open on 16 May. There are 76 concerts at the Royal Albert Hall, plus 12 Cadogan Hall concerts and four Proms in the Park. Promming tickets remain £5 for the tenth year.
Two charities awarded 2015/16 Rhinegold Charity Fund
20 April 2015
Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT) and Live Music Now have been named joint recipients of 2015/16’s Rhinegold Charity Fund, offering £10,000 of advertising across Rhinegold’s classical music and education publications, websites and services.
Rhinegold Charity Fund chairman Stephen Turvey said: ‘We have chosen YCAT and Live Music Now because, although significantly different in their focus, we passionately believe in the work of both charities. We also felt that their thoughtful and detailed applications clearly demonstrated a strategic and organisational maturity that would fully make use of the support offered by the fund.’
Both recipients spoke of the impact they hoped the charity fund would have on their organisations: YCAT’s chief executive Alasdair Tait said: ‘The impact and profile the fund provides will directly benefit our exceptional young artists at a crucial point in their career, whilst introducing YCAT’s unique work to a wider, international audience.’ With Ian Stoutzker, founder chairman of Live Music Now, adding: ‘We hope that working with Rhinegold will give us the opportunity to publicly celebrate our wonderful musicians, and encourage more people to become involved in this important and ground-breaking work.’
Entries for the 2016/17 Charity Fund will open in autumn 2015. The fund is open to all charities within the music industry; full details will be available from www.rhinegold.co.uk/fund.
Organist Nicholas Gale dies aged 39
19 March 2015
Gale died following a motorcycle accident
The former director of music at St George’s Cathedral Southwark Nicholas Gale has died in a motorcycle accident in Kensington. The 39-year-old was killed following a collision with a cement lorry.
Born in 1975, Gale was educated at Belmont Abbey in Herefordshire and went on to read music at Oxford University, where he was also an organ scholar. He worked at St George’s Cathedral Southwark for 13 years, after which he went on to teach music at the London Oratory School in Fulham, while also working as a freelance organist and choir master.
Gale, who described himself as an organist, pianist, liturgist, accompanist, teacher, musician fixer and music/choral director, was a respected soloist on his primary instrument of the organ, performing at St John’s Smith Square and broadcasting on BBC One and Radio 4.
Following the news of Gale’s death, colleagues and friends took to social media to pay tribute. Tenor Ben Thapa tweeted: ‘The man who gave me my first paid work in London, supported me and always raised a laugh and a glass. Taken horribly early … You will be sorely, sorely missed.’
Medal for Halsey
19 March 2015
Halsey is the recipient of Her Majesty’s Medal for Music 2014
Simon Halsey has been awarded Her Majesty’s Medal for Music 2014. Halsey – who has multiple roles including principal conductor of the Berlin Radio Choir, chorus director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Chorus, and choral director of the London Symphony Orchestra and London Symphony Chorus – said he was ‘surprised and thrilled to receive this extraordinary honour from Her Majesty the Queen. Choral music is a vital part of our national life and is such a force for social and educational good. I’d like to see this medal as recognition of the work of a whole generation of dedicated choral musicians.’
Halsey is the tenth recipient of the award, which was created in 2005 to recognise an exceptional individual or group of musicians who have had a significant impact on the musical life of the country – its first recipient was Sir Charles Mackerras. Winners of Her Majesty’s Medal for Music may be of any nationality but must have had a major influence on the musical life of the UK. Nominations are administered by a committee under the chairmanship of the current Master of The Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, who commented: ‘Simon Halsey has made a fundamental contribution to European music through his championship of choral singing as a vital part of orchestral performance, a British tradition which stretches back several centuries … His lively, participatory style has inspired a new generation of young choral directors, together with a remarkable upsurge of interest in choirs and singing in the UK.’