New sitcom The Music Teacher airs on BBC Radio 4
30 April 2010
A new BBC Radio 4 sitcom by Richie Webb entitled The Music Teacher aired its first episode on 29 April. Webb created and appeared in Radio 4’s 15-Minute Musical, for which he won a Writers’ Guild Award, and is a prolific composer for television. The Music Teacher tells the story of jaded teacher Nigel, who inhabits a tiny windowless practice room in a regional arts centre where he is visited by a succession of exasperating pupils. The programme airs at 11pm on Thursdays; visit the BBC iPlayer to catch up.
Hanson works with Sound & Fair to produce first clarinet from sustainably sourced African blackwood
29 April 2010
British clarinet maker Hanson has become the world’s first woodwind manufacturer to use certifiably sustainable African blackwood. The certification was awarded by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in March following Hanson’s decision to use wood harvested from a reserve managed by Kikole village in southern Tanzania. Villagers receive around £1,200 for 15 cubic metres of wood, 400 times what they would have received before FSC-certification, which should help ensure the sustainability of the reserve. Neil Bridgeland of Sound & Fair, an organisation that works to realise the sustainable trade in African blackwood for woodwind instruments, said, ‘Many years of hard work have gone into creating the infrastructure in Tanzania to export FSC-certified hardwoods, and now we have the commitment of one of the UK’s major woodwind instrument manufacturers to drive the process through. Very soon clarinet players will be able to make purchasing decisions based on ethical considerations as well as quality.’ Hanson, a leading supplier of educational instruments, expects to launch its FSC-certified clarinet later this year.
Piatti Quartet wins inaugural St Martin's Chamber Music Competition
28 April 2010
The Piatti String Quartet has won the inaugural St Martin’s Chamber Music Competition, held in April in partnership with Making Music. In addition to a small cash prize, the quartet receives a series of professional engagements with festivals and music societies around the UK that are part of the Making Music network, including the historic London church of St Martin-in-the-Fields itself. Dating from 1726, the church is famous for its extensive programme of lunchtime and evening concerts. It was recently completely restored and its facilities for performers and audiences substantially extended. Director of music Andrew Earis, who was a member of the judging panel, described the chamber music competition as part of the church’s commitment to nurturing and promoting new and emerging talent.
The Greenwich Piano Trio and the Elixir Trio also reached the competition final, which took place on 27 April in St Martin’s. While all three ensembles were praised for their technical skill, chairman of the judges Dr John Rutter CBE said that the Piattis were distinguished by their ability to interpret a range of repertoire, in a programme that included movements from quartets by Beethoven, Smetana and Bartók. Violinists Charlotte Scott and Michael Trainor, violist David Wigram and cellist Jessie Ann Richardson are all past and current award-winning students from the Royal College of Music and Royal Academy of Music in London. In June 2010 they launch their own Piatti Chamber Music Festival at Kingsand, Cornwall.
ISM and ABO to run seminar on child protection and safeguarding
28 April 2010
The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) and the Association of British Orchestras are jointly hosting a seminar on Child Protection and Safeguarding on 13 May at the Barbican Centre, London EC2Y 8DS. There will be an in-depth presentation by specialist lawyers Yvonne Spencer and Con Alexander from Veale Wasbrough Vizards. The main topics to be covered are child protection policies and procedures, the Vetting and Barring Scheme and the responsibilities of charities. The presenters will look at child protection from the standpoint of employers, employees and freelancers and explain the precise legal obligations as well as the obligations facing charities. There will be ample opportunity for questions.
The seminar will be held in the Fountain Room at the Barbican Centre from 1-4pm. The cost is £36 (inc vat) per person, to include lunch and refreshments. More information from Fiona McLeod at the ISM, tel 020 7079 2104 Fiona@ism.org
National Children's Orchestra announces Access2Orchestra events for May
21 April 2010
Musicians aged six to 12 who are of Grade 3-8 standard on an orchestral instrument are invited to take part in one of the National Children's Orchestra (NCO)'s Access2Orchestra workshop days. They will run in Newcastle and Shrewsbury on 15 May, Cambridge on 16 May and Plymouth on 23 May, and will offer a chance to experience the thrill of playing in a full symphony orchestra, with tuition from leading orchestral musicians. There is no cost and no need to audition. For more details, including venues and timings, visit the NCO website.
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