ABRSM to launch Classical 100 web-based app for primary schools
26 August 2015
The Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) is planning to launch a new web-based app to introduce primary schoolchildren to classical music.
The Classical 100 app, which will give teachers access to 100 specially selected pieces of music, will be available to primary schools throughout England from November.
A statement on the ABRSM website says: ‘At its simplest, you can listen to a recording of each piece, while sharing and exploring the story behind the music and its composer.
‘The list is also dynamic, allowing you to “sort” the repertoire by mood, instrument, tempo, historical period or in any other way that suits you.
‘In time, a range of downloadable resources will also be made available via the resource.
‘So however you choose to use it, we believe that Classical 100 will lead to more children discovering, appreciating and getting involved in music of all kinds from an early age.’
The news follows an announcement in April at Rhinegold’s Music Education Expo, where schools minister Nick Gibb said the government was working with partners to develop ‘a new list of 100 pieces of classical music that every child should be familiar with by the time they leave primary school’.
Nick Gibb announces plans at the Music Education Expo 2015 (from 7.57)
The list will feature orchestral, chamber music and choral pieces, including Mozart’s Horn Concerto No 4, the ‘Hallelujah’ chorus from Handel’s Messiah, Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.
It will also include contemporary works, such as Graham Fitkin’s Hook.
Håkan Hardenberger to give masterclass for students from three UK music colleges
25 August 2015
Students from three UK music colleges will get the chance to work alongside Håkan Hardenberger next year as part of a new partnership between the trumpeter and the Philharmonia Orchestra.
The orchestra’s Håkan Hardenberger series, called The Trumpet Shall Sound, will include a masterclass on 21 January at the Royal College of Music (RCM) with trumpet students from the RCM, Royal Academy of Music (RAM) and Royal Northern College of Music (RNCM).
One trumpeter from each of the conservatoires will work on and perform a contemporary British trumpet concerto by a composer associated with their institution: Mark-Anthony Turnage (RCM), Peter Maxwell Davies (RAM) and Harrison Birtwistle (RNCM).
The series will also see the Swedish trumpeter perform two major concertos and two free concerts at London’s Royal Festival Hall.
Hardenberger said: ‘My relationship with the Philharmonia goes back over 30 years and it’s an honour now to deepen this relationship by letting the trumpet sound with the orchestra in a wide spectrum over a short time.
‘To also be given the possibility within this frame to pass on some of my experience to the younger generation makes it even more enjoyable.’
David Whelton, managing director of the Philharmonia Orchestra, said: ‘Håkan is an inspirational figure in the music world.
‘His commitment to widening the repertoire for the trumpet, and his enthusiasm for his instrument and new music particularly, sets the standard by which other trumpeters are judged.’
RCM announces new autumn concert and lecture series
25 August 2015
The Royal College of Music (RCM) is launching a new concert series as well as a new strand of talks and debates this autumn.
Orchestral Masterworks, a new series by the RCM Philharmonic, will feature classical favourites across six concerts.
The orchestra will perform works such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice by Dukas and music from The Nutcracker by Tchaikovsky, plus symphonies by Beethoven, Brahms and Mozart and concertos by Martinů and Tchaikovsky.
The first three Orchestral Masterworks concerts will take place at 6pm, giving audiences the opportunity to avoid the rush hour travel. Ticket prices are being kept deliberately low, starting at £5.
The Music and Ideas series, meanwhile, will include talks from internationally renowned artists such as Sir Thomas Allen, John Lill, Alina Ibragimova and Sarah Connolly.
Stephen Johns, artistic director of the RCM, said: ‘I am delighted to announce the Royal College of Music’s new Orchestral Masterworks series, a truly exciting venture on both an artistic and educational level.
‘Our students will be given the opportunity to immerse themselves in a plethora of key orchestral works, gaining the crucial performance experience needed for their future professional careers.
‘Our audiences will be reminded why this repertoire is so loved, hearing refreshing interpretations from our young musicians – many of whom will be performing these works for the first time.’
Registration for Music Education Expo 2016 opens
24 August 2015
Registration for Music Education Expo 2016 has now opened.
The fourth Expo will be held at the new venue of Olympia Central, London, on 25 and 26 February and will remain, as in previous years, entirely free to attend for those who register online.
The event will include more than 60 professional development sessions, from practical workshops to keynote speeches on the future of the music education sector.
The new venue will give the event more space and light to make attending a more pleasant experience, and free WiFi will make this year’s event the most connected so far.
This year’s Expo will also incorporate the new Musical Theatre & Drama Education Show, run in conjunction with MT’s sister publication, Teaching Drama. This event will showcase a range of musical theatre and drama exhibitors and feature a number of workshops, Q&As and performances.
Ticketholders are able to attend both shows, with organisers hopeful of providing some fascinating new perspectives.
Alongside the programme of events there will again be an extensive exhibition showcasing a wide variety of musical instruments, technology products, sheet music, teaching resources and more.
The 2016 Music Teacher Awards for Excellence will be held during the Expo on the evening of 25 February. Nominations are open to all through an online form here.
Music Education Expo 2016, 25 & 26 February 2016, Olympia Central, London.
British Youth Opera prepares for two new productions
21 August 2015
Claire Barnett-Jones as Maurya in Riders to the SeaBill Knight
British Youth Opera (BYO) will present two new productions during its summer season this year.
The company, which provides professional opportunities for young singers, musicians and technical trainees, will perform Janáček’s The Cunning Little Vixen on 5, 8 and 11 September.
The production will be directed and conducted by Stuart Barker, director of training and productions at BYO, and Lionel Friend, the company’s music director.
They are joined by designers Simon Bejer (set, costumes and puppets) and David Howe (lighting). Mandy Demetriou takes charge of movement.
The production will also feature puppetry, with students getting the opportunity to work with puppetry consultant Darren East.
The company’s second production of the summer will be a double bill of two rarely performed 20th-century works, Vaughan Williams’ Riders to the Sea and Holst’s Savitri, on 9 and 12 September.
Both productions will be performed at the Peacock Theatre in Holborn, London.
The season has been dedicated to the memory of BYO’s founder, Denis Coe, who died earlier this year.
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