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Places still available at Variations summer school for amateur chamber musicians

12 May 2010

A limited number of places are still available for the sixth Variations summer school for amateur musicians which runs from 7-14 August 2010 at the Macphail Centre in Ullapool, on the north west coast of Scotland.
The week-long event offers the opportunity  to play music and learn from professional musicians in a relaxed and inspirational setting. The Edinburgh Quartet, with Joanna Shaw, flute, will again be resident tutors, offering coaching during the day and giving two public concerts at the Macphail during the week, presented in association with North Highlands Connections.   The week’s programme will also feature masterclasses, workshops and orchestral sessions.  New this year is the opportunity, piloted last year, to play with the professionals as a member of the quartet.
Variations is open to all levels, ages and instruments. Past participants, whose ages have ranged from 18 to 88, have welcomed the opportunity to develop their musical and technical skills, gain confidence, make new friends and play new pieces over the week…. and still have time to enjoy the Highland landscape and facilities. Bursaries for students and others on low income are also available.  For more information and to book your place see www.variationsscotland.co.uk.

NYOGB opens recruitment for 2011 season

12 May 2010

The National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain (NYO) is recruiting members for its 2011 orchestra.
Players need to be of Grade 8 distinction standard on their instrument but – significantly – do not need actually to have taken any exams. Auditions will be held in the autumn and the orchestra’s year begins with a course in December/January leading to a concert in London’s Barbican Centre that will include Berg’s violin concerto, performed by BBC New Generation Artist Tai Murray, conducted by Kristjan Järvi. The season also includes performances of Deryck Cooke’s completion of Mahler’s tenth symphony at the Southbank Centre and former NYO member Judith Weir’s We Are Shadows with 150 young singers at The Sage Gateshead, the latter celebrating the tenth birthday of the Sing Up campaign.
The deadline for audition applications is 4 July 2010. Prospective candidates should visit the NYO website to find out what is involved. www.nyo.org.uk

Royal Opera House and BP reveal this summer's Big Screen performances

11 May 2010

Plácido Domingo, Christine Rice and Tamara Rojo are just three of the big names in opera and ballet that can be seen on the free BP Summer Big Screens this summer, along with a chance to make your own version of Carmen to be screened across the UK.
The Royal Opera’s Carmen and Simon Boccanegra and The Royal Ballet’s Chroma/Tryst/Symphony in C will be beamed live from Covent Garden’s Royal Opera House (ROH) to big screens across the country this summer as part of the BP Summer Big Screens Programme 2010. UK residents and visitors can watch Carmen on Tuesday 8 June at 7pm, Chroma/Tryst/Symphony in C on Thursday 10 June at 7.30pm and Simon Boccanegra on Tuesday 13 July at 7.30pm.
The BP Summer Big Screen relays are now a highly anticipated fixture for opera and ballet and a great opportunity for people to get together, bring a picnic and enjoy wonderful ballet and opera for free – the events have continued to grow in popularity regardless of the UK’s notorious summer weather.
This year will see 27 screenings in 21 locations across the UK. The screenings in Bristol, Derby, Liverpool, Manchester, Middlesbrough, Plymouth, Portsmouth, Swansea, Swindon, Bradford, Waltham Forest, Dover, Leicester, Norwich and Woolwich are part of the Big Screens BBC/London 2012 collaboration. Other screens are located in Aberdeen, Ipswich, Newham and Sunbury as well as Trafalgar Square, and Canary Wharf in London. The new venues for 2010 are Dover, Leicester, Norwich, Newham and Woolwich.
Bizet’s Carmen is packed with Spanish heat, gypsy passion and some of the most loved and memorable opera music. In this vivid production by Francesca Zambello, Seville is brought to life with soldiers, peasants, gypsies and bullfighters – not forgetting a magnificent horse and some chickens! It is conducted by Constantinos Carydis with Christine Rice as and Bryan Hymel as Don José.
Conducted by the Music Director of The Royal Opera, Antonio Pappano, Simon Boccanegra completes this year’s screenings live from the Royal Opera House on 13 July. Plácido Domingo makes his unmissable Royal Opera baritone debut in one of Verdi’s most demanding and passionate roles. Set in 14th-century Genoa, the opera portrays an embattled Doge as the consequences of his own past lead him – through an estranged daughter, her competing suitors and a life-long enemy – to his own death.
Could you create your own Carmen in 40 seconds? The Royal Opera House and BP are looking for budding film-makers of all ages and experience to produce their own 40-second version of this steamy tale of Spanish passion. The films can either be based on the entire opera or just a moment from the scenes at the cigarette factory or bull-fighting arena. You can make your film in any style – animation, dance, opera, musical, theatre – there is no limit. A judging panel from the ROHand BP will choose a winning entry to be showcased on the BP Summer Big Screens alongside The Royal Opera’s Carmen in venues across the UK on at 7pm Tuesday 8 June. There is a second option – if you have been coming to BP Summer Big Screens regularly, you can send in a 
40-second film that explains why you keep coming back and why they are a good idea. One winner will be chosen, their film will be screened live and they will also win two tickets to The Royal Opera’s Così fan tutte in September. Full competition details can be found at www.roh.org.uk/bpbigscreens
40-second film that explains why you keep coming back and why they are a good idea. One winner will be chosen, their film will be screened live and they will also win two tickets to The Royal Opera’s Così fan tutte in September. Full competition details can be found at www.roh.org.uk/bpbigscreens

Youth Music launches 2010 Underage Festival Remix competition

11 May 2010

Youth Music is giving young DJs, producers, and remixers aged 14-18 the chance to DJ on the Youth Music stage at the Underage Festival in London on Sunday 1 August 2010.
Competition entrants are invited to download ‘Lips’ by Micachu and the Shapes from the Youth Music website, create their own remix and upload it back to the site. The best entries will be shortlisted and winners will get the full VIP treatment, with the opportunity to perform on the Youth Music stage at the Underage Festival alongside Daisy Dares You, Egyptian Hip Hop, General Fiasco and many more. The deadline for entries is Monday 12 July. Only one entry per person is allowed.
The Underage Festival is the world's largest festival strictly for 14-18 year olds. Youth Music is getting in touch with young bands and artists from previous Youth Music competitions who will be selected to support headline acts on the Youth Music Stage.
Mica Levi, 21, who is supporting the competition by offering her track for remix, has performed as a DJ and MC around the UK garage and grime scene in London. Her experimental pop band The Shapes released its debut single ‘Lone Ranger’ in 2008 and has steadily risen to become one of the UK's most talked about acts. Micachu and The Shapes will be performing on the Topman CTRL stage at Underage.
One of the 2009winners from the Youth Music competition says: ‘Last year’s Underage Festival was quite simply the best day… and that’s no exaggeration! Since then, countless opportunities have come our way, either as a direct response to seeing us at the festival, or through watching the YouTube video of our performance. The support of Youth Music has been invaluable and it’s safe to say we most definitely wouldn’t be in any sort of position within music without it.’
More details from the website at www.youthmusic.org.uk/underage

Stepping Notes course for early years teachers extends to three days

7 May 2010

Nikhil Dally will be running a three-day Stepping Notes training course for teachers of pre-school children and infants, in response to requests from previous participants for something more extended than her usual one-day courses. ‘Teaching musicianship through singing, movement and dance’ takes place at the Jurgens Centre, Harvest Road, Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey TW20 0QR, from Saturday 24 to Monday 26 July. The tutors will be Nihkil Dally and Maureen Murphy. Drawing on the principles of Kodály and Dalcroze, they will concentrate on helping children to understand pulse and rhythm, meter and phrasing, and melody and harmony; teaching musical literacy using singing and movement; and chossing and using children’s instruments in such a way as to preserve and enhance their co-ordination and sense of rhythm. The course fee is £150 if applications are received by 28 May; £165 up to 25 June; and £180 thereafter, with a £75 non-refundable deposit payable on booking. To book email nihkil@dally.org.uk or tel 01932 241196 www.dally.org/steppingnotes

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