Guildhall School to develop postgraduate conducting course with Simon Rattle
3 July 2015
Simon Rattle is working with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama to develop a new postgraduate course in conducting.
This week, it was announced that Rattle will take on the role of artist-in-association with the Barbican and the Guildhall alongside his job as music director of the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) from the 2017/18 season.
Under the new role, Rattle will explore cross-arts collaborations and special projects across the LSO, the Barbican and the Guildhall.
Initiatives will include a regular series of orchestral ‘side-by-side projects’ with the LSO and the Guildhall, specialised training for choral conductors and a new Masters in conducting.
Jonathan Vaughan, director of music at the Guildhall, said Rattle would oversee the structure of the Masters course and advise on teachers, as well as having ‘some hands-on involvement’. He said the school was planning to offer the course from 2019.
He also said Rattle wanted to set up an ensemble to train choral conductors, and was keen for all postgraduate singing students to receive training in choral conducting.
Vaughan said Rattle would also be involved in deepening the ongoing partnership between the Guildhall, the Barbican and the LSO.
‘His passion for that is really self-evident,’ he said. ‘There are lots of platforms for students to become involved with, looking at the unique offer of working together in a really collaborative way.
‘The mere fact that he will be in the building and acting as a role model for our students is game-changing,’ he added. ‘Fundamentally, he represents the idea of a broad and rich career in music, with an educational and ambassadorial element.
‘He is an extraordinary advocate for music and the arts who is just as at home in a primary school as on the concert stage, and he is able to work a room full of politicians like no other artist on the planet.’
Rattle will conduct students from the Guildhall this Sunday in a performance of Walton's Symphony No 1 at the Barbican.
ABRSM publishes new strings syllabus
2 July 2015
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) has today released its new syllabus for bowed strings, with refreshed repertoire lists for violin, viola and cello.
Repertoire from the new lists can be used in ABRSM exams from January 2016. No changes have been made to the double bass repertoire or to the requirements for scales, sight-reading and aural tests for any of the four subjects.
ABRSM has published eight volumes of Violin Exam Pieces, providing a selection of music for Grades 1 to 8. This is the first time a volume for Grade 8 has been published.
ABRSM has also added to its body of published material for viola with two volumes of More Time Pieces for Viola.
Principal Cello is also released today, containing a variety of pieces for Grades 6–8.
ABRSM examiner, syllabus moderator and violin teacher Jessica O’ Leary said the new repertoire lists were ‘full of the most beautiful melodies ever written for strings’.
‘They contain both new and core repertoire that both teachers and learners will love,’ she said.
Further details of the new syllabus can be found here.
Julian Lloyd Webber takes up post at Birmingham Conservatoire
1 July 2015
Julian Lloyd Webber starts work today as the new principal of Birmingham Conservatoire.
The former cellist, who stopped playing last year because of a neck injury, takes up the new position as work gets under way on a new £46m home for the conservatoire, which is part of Birmingham City University.
Lloyd Webber said: ‘I am so looking forward to starting work at Birmingham Conservatoire, which has a proud history and a massively exciting future.
‘I have already met many of the staff and I am now looking forward to meeting and working with the talented students.
‘The opportunities that lie ahead for Birmingham Conservatoire are limitless. We will have an exceptional new home for making music as well as access to the University’s facilities and multi-genre expertise, ensuring our students leave with all the skills they need for today’s music industry.’
The new £46m home for the conservatoire will open in 2017, providing music students with new practice and performance facilities.
Conservatoire students will also have access to a range of media and production facilities in the main university, including one of the largest green screen studios in the UK.
Lloyd Webber replaces David Saint, who is retiring after 37 years at the conservatoire, five as principal.
Cliff Allan, vice-chancellor of Birmingham City University, said: ‘Julian’s appointment and the new home we are building for our conservatoire indicate the scale of our ambitions for our students and what we want them to go on and achieve.
‘I know how much he is looking forward to getting on with the job of providing the best possible education for our talented music students, preparing them for the ever evolving world of the contemporary music industry.
‘David Saint has been an excellent principal who leaves a powerful legacy at the Birmingham Conservatoire, giving Julian a strong platform from which to build.’
Music Teacher launches teaching materials resource
1 July 2015
From 1 July, MT’s extensive archive of teaching materials is available to access on a per-item basis.
MT subscribers currently have exclusive access to the most recent 12 months of materials, and will continue to do so, with the archive holding all previous materials, including schemes of work, personal development/CPD advice and revision materials.
Twenty new sets of materials will be uploaded each month until the entire archive is online, after which materials will be added on a rolling basis.
The teaching materials archive covers hundreds of topics, from ‘Contemporary songwriting techniques’ and ‘Composing Christmas carols’ to ‘Making the most of limited music technology resources’ and ‘Motivating students who don’t like music’.
The materials comprehensively cover KS3-KS5 classroom teaching, as well as practical advice on topics such as ‘How to start and run a successful choir’ and ‘Cover lessons’.
For more information, visit www.rhinegold.co.uk/mt-archive.
NYO announces summer programme, including concert in Berlin
30 June 2015
The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) will perform its first international concert in 20 years this summer.
The orchestra will play at the Konzerthaus in Berlin on 10 August as part of Germany’s Young Euro Classic festival, which celebrates the world’s finest youth orchestras.
The orchestra will also undertake a residency in Birmingham over the summer and concerts with conductor Mark Elder in Aldeburgh, Birmingham Town Hall and at the BBC Proms.
The cornerstones of its repertoire will be Mahler’s Symphony No 9 and Tansy Davies’ Re-greening, a new commission that requires the musicians to move, sing and play.
In addition, NYO’s Inspire Orchestra, announced back in April, will meet for the first time on 2-6 July in Manchester under the leadership of Duncan Ward before touring to secondary schools across north-west England.
Sarah Alexander, chief executive of the NYO, said: ‘This summer perfectly demonstrates the newly defined mission of the orchestra: on the one hand, we are raising the artistic bar higher than ever through new commissions, world-class performances and consolidating our international reputation.
‘On the other, we are engaging more teenagers than ever before through our ever-widening Inspire programme, both as musicians and audience members.
‘The musicians of the NYO represent the best our country’s teenagers have to offer, flying the flag very proudly both here and abroad.’
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