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Royal College of Music announces Crees Lecture 2010

22 January 2010

The Royal College of Music's 2010 Crees Lecture will take place on 17 February at 6.30pm in the college's Inner Parry Room.  It will be delivered by Professor Amanda Glauert, Music Director of Research at Kingston University, and will be entitled Making music 'without art': Beethoven's formulation of the lyrical impulse. Drinks will be served afterwards in the Outer Parry Room. Contact reception@rcm.ac.uk or 020 7591 4370.


Violin Makers' Day to take place in London on 7 March

22 January 2010

The British Violin Making Association (BVMA) is running its 13th annual Violin Makers' Day on Sunday 7 March, from 10am to 4pm at the Old Sessions House, Clerkenwell Green, London. Over 40 makers from the UK and beyond will display their wares, which will also include violas, cellos and bows. The day will offer a chance to try out the work of a wide sweep of contemporary makers; admission is free. Contact Marc Butterlin on 07789 725812 or membership@bvma.org.uk for more information.


Elgar Society membership gift for museum's first visitors

19 January 2010

Free membership of the Elgar Society for 2010 is being offered to the first 200 paying visitors of the year to the Elgar Birthplace Museum in Worcestershire.

Based in the composer’s childhood home in the picturesque village of Lower Broadheath, just outside Worcester, the museum opens for its 2010 season on Monday 1 February.  Entrance is already free to existing members of the Elgar Society on production of their membership card and non-members wishing to take advantage of the free membership offer are invited to register with reception on arrival.

Sir Edward Elgar was born in the cottage on 2 June 1857; in accordance with his wishes, Elgar’s daughter Carice established a museum there after his death in 1934. The facilities were extended in 2000 with the opening of the Elgar Centre and today the museum enables visitors from all over the world to enjoy a unique insight into the composer’s life, family and friends, influences and sources of inspiration.

Since its foundation in 1951, the Elgar Society has maintained a close relationship with the Birthplace Museum, having been formed to encourage the study, performance and appreciation of Elgar’s works and to foster research into his life and music. Branches around the UK and overseas bring members together through meetings, lectures, recitals and visits, with members' individual and collective research continuing to contribute significantly to a greater understanding of Elgar and his legacy.

Details of the Elgar Birthplace Museum opening hours, entry charges and group bookings: www.elgarmuseum.org  Tel 01905 333224.
Information on Elgar Society membership (normally £30 a year, with concessions for joint membership and students), in addition to details on events, news and resources, www.elgar.org E-mail info@elgar.org

Wider Opps to be showcased in new project for the Year of Music

15 January 2010

Trinity Guildhall and the Open University have announced a new project designed to showcase the Key Stage 2 instrumental and vocal tuition programme (‘Wider Opportunities’). Linked to ‘Tune In – the National Year of Music’, the initiative has three strands. Live events around the country will celebrate best practice; an extended resource will be created, specifically targeted at Wider Opps classes in Years 3, 4 and 5; and an online music-sharing resource for KS2 practitioners and children, RadioWaves, will be piloted through the NuMu site. ‘PERFORM! is about supporting children to become fully rounded musicians through experiencing all those aspects of what it is to be musical,’ said project manager Leonora Davies. ‘It's never been JUST about the instrument.’ www.ks2music.org.uk

National Association of Youth Orchestras faces doubtful future

15 January 2010

This year’s Festival of British Youth Orchestras (FBYO) in Edinburgh and Glasgow has been cancelled and the future of the event organisers the National Association of Youth Orchestras (NAYO) seems uncertain, writes Susan Nickalls. According to board member George Steven, one of the founding members of NAYO, a unanimous decision was taken by the committee in December to wind up the association, after the treasurer threatened to walk out and pointed out that committee member would be legally responsible for a sum of money. ‘With great reluctance we unanimously agreed there was no other option but to end the association.’   However, both NAYO’s chief executive David Marcou and chairman George Caird (Principal of Birmingham Conservatoire) have refused to confirm or deny the association is ending in March and they have organised a further meeting of NAYO’s executive committee.   Since losing Youth Music Funding and having recently exhausted YM’s two year transitional funding, Caird says the organisation needs in the region of £50,000 to stage the FBYO: ‘Last year’s overall festival budget was rising to £100,000; it takes a lot of money and resources and these are tough times. We would like to get back to some kind of festival activity in 2011 but the whole thing needs to be completely reviewed. Is it a series of concerts that happens over a period of three to four weeks or is it something else?’   As Edinburgh’s fringe festival has expanded, accommodation is often difficult to find so orchestras have tended to keep their visits short, curtailing opportunities to socialise and take in other performances during the festival. Many orchestras from England and Wales find it cheaper to tour in Europe, consequently in recent years the majority of orchestras at the festival are from Scotland. The continued use of Edinburgh’s Central Hall as a venue beyond 2011 is questionable due to plans by the Methodist Church to sell the premises.   So far, NAYO’s meetings with the Scottish Arts Council and relevant local authorities have failed to secure further funding. In the meantime, Graeme Wilson, Fife Council’s music services manager, has had a positive response to an email to various interested parties in Scotland regarding the possibility of setting up something themselves. He is also the secretary of the Scottish Association for Music Education which has agreed to fund a short investigation to look at how best to fill the gap left by the FBYO. Wilson is also having discussions with John Wallace, Principal of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama regarding the future of the Glasgow concerts.   ‘In the meantime, we’ll look after our own orchestras and bands first on our own patch but we’re willing to join in with others if there’s something to be gained and opportunities for our young people.’  


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