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Royal Academy of Music partners with Juilliard School for all-Bach project

2 June 2015

The Royal Academy of Music (RAM) has teamed up with the Juilliard School in New York to present a series of all-Bach performances in the US and Europe this month.

Historical performance instrumentalists and singers from the two conservatories will perform together in Boston, New York, Leipzig and London, conducted by Bach specialist Masaaki Suzuki.

The orchestra and chorus will be divided equally between students from each conservatory, with each institution also providing one soloist for JS Bach’s Double Violin Concerto.

The leader of the orchestra will be Rachel Podger (pictured), the RAM’s Micaela Comberti Chair of Baroque Violin.
 
After rehearsals in New York, the group will perform at the Boston Early Music Festival on 13 June, the Lincoln Center in New York on 15 June and in Leipzig on 19 June as part of the Leipzig Bach Festival.

The final performance will be in London at the Royal Academy of Music on 21 June, part of the seventh year of the Royal Academy of Music/Kohn Foundation Bach Cantata Series.
 
Suzuki and Podger are both recent winners of the Royal Academy of Music Bach Prize, awarded annually to an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the performance and/or scholarly study of the music of JS Bach.

Sing for Pleasure announces 2015 Young Conductors scholarships

1 June 2015

Choral charity Sing for Pleasure has announced the winners of its latest Young Conductors scholarships.

Caitlin Mayall, Saul Jones, Matthew Roughley, Emma Barnes and Jack Apperley, all aged between 20 and 25, have been awarded 12-month scholarships.

They will take part in three training weekends and a week-long summer school, undertake a choir placement and receive one-to-one tuition from Manvinder Rattan, Sing for Pleasure’s head of conductor training.

The scholars will work towards an Advanced Level Sing for Pleasure accreditation, conducting a capella and orchestrally accompanied works, with an endorsement towards the ABRSM Diploma in Choral Conducting.

Rattan said: ‘As the Young Conductors programme enters its third year, we can already see how previous attendees have gone on to really start making their mark in the conducting world.

‘Sing for Pleasure is dedicated to investing in the future of choral music and providing a platform for young talent.

‘Our 2015 scholars have already shown excellence in their chosen fields, working together we will continue this education.’

The Young Conductors scholarships were launched in 2013 and are funded by donations from grant-giving trusts and foundations. Eleven scholars have so far been through the programme.

Sing for Pleasure was launched in Bristol in 1964 as a musical society that celebrated all stages of choral and conductor development.

Create's Exploring Sounds project to partner with mainstream schools

29 May 2015

A project to deliver music workshops for children with special educational needs (SEN) is being expanded into mainstream schools thanks to a three-year grant from the Queen’s Trust.

Exploring Sounds was launched two years ago by Create, a charity that aims to use the power of the arts to transform the lives of disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

The project began life when Nicky Goulder, founder and chief executive of Create, was awarded £30,000 for winning the YOU/Clarins Most Dynamisante Woman of the Year award.

Goulder chose to invest the money in a sensory music programme for six SEN schools across the country catering for children with a range of issues including autism, behavioural difficulties, physical disabilities and profound learning needs.

In its first two years, Exploring Sounds gave 276 disabled children and young people access to music-making sessions with seven professional musicians. Now, the project is set to expand thanks to the new funding.

Starting in June, Exploring Sounds will pair the SEN schools with mainstream schools to encourage the students to use music to communicate with each other and make new friends.

The project will be incorporated into Create’s Creative Connection programme, which aims to introduce SEN pupils to children in mainstream schools through various creative activities.

Schools taking part will include Breakspeare School and Rickmansworth School in Watford for music-making and set design; Grange School and Loreto High School in Manchester for composing workshops; and Sandgate School and Queen Katherine School in Cumbria for music theatre.
 
Goulder said: ‘We are committed to developing long-term partnerships with the schools with which we work, and this funding has enabled us to build on our relationships with these SEN schools.

‘The need for high quality creative music-making was clear, as were the benefits gained by the children from working with our musicians.

‘A new element of the programme has been to bring young people with disabilities together with non-disabled young people from local schools, using music to develop relationships, strengthen communication and break down barriers.

‘Music is such a powerful tool in enabling young people to socialise with one another without having to depend on words, something that can really bond people together.’
 

YCAT selects three young artists for representation

27 May 2015

Savitri Grier

A violinist, a pianist and a guitarist have become the latest young musicians to be selected for representation by the Young Classical Artists Trust (YCAT).
 
Savitri Grier (violin), Daniel Lebhardt (piano) and Sean Shibe (guitar) were chosen from eight finalists following performances at the Wigmore Hall in London on 21 May.

YCAT provides management, support, advice and performance opportunities for a select roster of young artists, acting as a stepping stone between study and a professional career.

Born in 1992, Savitri Grier read Music at Oxford University and is now a postgraduate student at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where she studies with David Takeno. 

Hungarian pianist Daniel Lebhardt, 23, is studying for his Master’s at the Royal Academy of Music with Pascal Nemirovski.

Born in Edinburgh in 1992 of Scottish and Japanese heritage, Sean Shibe was the first guitarist to be selected for the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme in 2012 and is a graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
 

Royal College of Music tops Guardian university league table for music

26 May 2015, Katy Wright

The Royal College of Music (RCM) has been ranked first in the 2016 Guardian university league table for music.

The RCM was the only institution to score maximum marks of 100 in the table, which compares how final-year music students at a number of different institutions perceive their course. 

The Guildhall School of Music and Drama and the Royal Academy of Music ranked sixth and seventh respectively. The Royal Welsh College placed 21st, Trinity Laban Conservatoire 28th and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland 35th.

The Guardian said: ‘Students at London’s Royal College of Music have no excuse not to feel inspired ... Facilities are top-notch and the RCM is aware that it has a duty to prepare its students for viable careers in a difficult industry, not just teach them how to make beautiful music.’

The RCM’s career score was also the highest among universities offering music, with 97% of graduates in graduate-level jobs or further study within six months of graduation. 

Individual investment in each student was scored 10/10 (which was also awarded to the universities of Edinburgh, Birmingham, Cambridge and East London).

Professor Colin Lawson, director of the RCM, said: ‘The RCM continues to be a natural first choice for talented students from around the world and I am delighted that the 2016 Guardian University League Table confirms our position as the UK’s leading institution for music education.’

Edinburgh University (ranked second) was the highest placing university, scoring 99.4 overall. Course satisfaction was highest at Sheffield University, which placed 8th. Brunel University came top for teaching satisfaction, with 99.2% of students satisfied with the teaching, while students at the University of Derby were most satisfied with feedback.

The Guardian university league table for Music 2016


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