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New ESTA course and National Conference

5 October 2009

The European String Teachers Association (ESTA) course in Creative and Effective String Teaching takes place on three days this academic year, starting 31 October. This course is aimed at novice string teachers with one or two years’ experience and aims to provide a platform for discussion and problem-solving.  

The Introductory Day will be held on 31 October, led by Dr Fiona Pacey in Leeds and Philippa Bunting in London; a day on Instrument Specific Work takes place on 16 February, also forming one day of the Stringwise course; and the final day, revisiting and consolidating previous work, will be held in the summer term.  

The cost of the three-day course is £180. Closing date for applications is 9 October. Application forms may be downloaded from the ESTA website.

The ESTA National Conference takes place at the Yehudi Menuhin School on 8 November. Highlights are an ABRSM seminar taking delegates through its latest publications - Spectrum for Violin and the new Time Pieces for cello and double bass; an electric violin workshop presented by Steve Bingham; and a cello and dalcroze masterclass with Anita Strevens.

The cost of attending is £30 for ESTA members, £45 for non-members, £15 for ESTA student members and £25 for student non-members. Closing date for applications is 21 October. For further details and an application form contact Philip Aird.

New chief executive announced for ABRSM

23 September 2009

Guy Perricone has been appointed as Chief Executive of the ABRSM as of 1 January 2010. He succeeds Richard Morris, who will be retiring from the post on31 December 2009 after 17 years’ service.

Perricone is currently the Managing Dire ctor of the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, an internationally renowned showcase for the contemporary arts, with a programme which includes exhibitions, cinema, music, talks and lectures, education and supporting creative businesses. He has wide musical interests as a listener and both his son and daughter are progressing through ABRSM grades. Perricone brings to the ABRSM significant experience in arts leadership as well as considerable business management, financial and legal expertise.

Sean Gregory appointed to head new Guildhall and Barbican Creative Learning Division

23 September 2009

Sean Gregory has been appointed as Director of Creative Learning for the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Barbican Centre. He takes up his new role on 1 October, and will manage and develop the current activities of Guildhall Connect and Barbican Education, creating a new joint department for creative learning.
Gregory is currently Head of the Centre for Creative and Professional Practice at the Guildhall, overseeing its work in the fields of composition, creative collaboration and performance, jazz, improvisation, music therapy, electronic music and music technology, leadership and arts and community development. The programmes and projects he leads through the Barbican Centre advocate widening participation and embrace a number of partnerships with external arts and cultural organisations. He has also been Head of Professional Development at the Guildhall since 2002, heading the work of Guildhall Connect, which won the Queen’s Anniversary Prize in 2005 for its outreach activity with east London schools. He was particularly responsible for the development of the school’s MA programme in leadership, established to enable arts and education practitioners to develop their skills in creativity, flexible performance and communication.

Barbican Education was established ten years ago and offers learning and enrichment activities for schools and youth and community groups which complement and widen access to the Barbican’s artistic programme, together with providing the centre’s family programming.
The new creative learning division is part of the wider creation of the LINK alliance (Barbican Campus), a collaboration between the Guildhall School, the Barbican Centre and the London Symphony Orchestra to create a major centre for performance, training and education in the arts.

Centre for Young Musicians joins the City of London's music portfolio

23 September 2009

London’s Centre for Young Musicians (CYM) has today (23 September 2009) become a department of the Guildhall School of Music & Drama, following a contract agreed by the City of London Corporation and Westminster City Council.

CYM, which will remain based at Morley College in central London, opened in 1970 and provides high quality music training to thousands of young people from across the capital, regardless of their background or ability to pay. It is recognised as a Centre for Advanced Training (CAT) under the Department for Children, Schools and Families’ (DCSF) Music and Dance Scheme, and its flagship London Schools Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Barbican Centre.

Effective from today, the Centre will move from Westminster City Council’s control to the City of London Corporation, which founded and funds Guildhall School, and provides local government services to the ‘Square Mile’, which it promotes as a world-leading international financial and business centre.

The transfer will significantly increase the critical mass of outreach work already undertaken by Guildhall Connect and Junior Guildhall, alongside the LSO’s Discovery and On Track schemes.  The aim is to promote equal access and develop provision of life-long music education and instrumental tuition to young people in 32 London boroughs, while realising full and unique advantage of the education and outreach programmes offered by a partnership between the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO), Guildhall School and the Barbican Centre.

Professor Barry Ife, Principal of Guildhall School of Music & Drama, said: 'This new partnership with the CYM firmly establishes Guildhall School as the largest provider of specialist music education in the United Kingdom. We look forward to working with our new colleagues to ensure the greatest possible and lasting impact on young people’s lives.'

Stuart Fraser, Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, said: 'The City of London's decision to take on responsibility for the Centre for Young Musicians reinforces our commitment to young people and the arts, and builds on its investment in Guildhall School. I am sure that the students will continue to flourish at the Centre, as it becomes part of the School, which has gained an enviable reputation for producing exceptional talent.'

CYM Director Stephen Dagg said: 'I am absolutely delighted that London's Centre for Young Musicians is to join a campus which already boasts such illustrious names as the Barbican Centre, Guildhall School of Music & Drama and the London Symphony Orchestra, under the aegis of the City of London Corporation. I am confident that CYM's very special spirit can enhance the life-long learning and performing culture of this vibrant, new and exciting partnership.'

Cllr Mark Page, Westminster Council's cabinet member for children and young people, said: 'The transferring of responsibility from Westminster to the City of London is a really positive move for the Centre for Young Musicians, because it will give the centre renewed focus and benefit hundreds of young musicians across the capital.'

British baritone wins Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation song competition

11 September 2009

British baritone Marcus Farnsworth has won the £10,000 Wigmore Hall/Kohn Foundation International Song Competition. He was accompanied by Elizabeth Burgess, and their programme for the final held on 10 September comprised songs by Schubert, Strauss, Loewe, Poulenc, Butterworth, Gurney and Britten. The competition was established to celebrate the richness of the song repertoire and to promote awareness of it among young performers. Every candidate must perform in three languages at each stage, with German obligatory throughout. Farnsworth, 25, is  a member of Royal Academy Opera, studying with Glenville Hargreaves and Audrey Hyland. Another British baritone, Benedict Nelson, also 25, and his pianist Gary Matthewman won second prize, while American soprano Erin Morley, 28, and pianist Laura Poe came third. Fourth place went to African-American baritone Sidney Outlaw, 27, and pianist John Reid. The £5,000 Jean Meikle duo prize went to baritone Gerard Collett and pianist James Baillieu; in addition Baillieu, who also accompanied soprano Erica Eloff, won the pianists' prize of a further £5,000.

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