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Youth Music Theatre Orchestra prepares for first performance

12 June 2015

A new training orchestra for young musicians who want to work in the world of music, theatre and film will make its debut in London next month.

Funded by the Mayor’s Music Fund for young Londoners, the Youth Music Theatre Orchestra (YMTO) is an ensemble of 24 talented musicians aged 11-21 from across London.

The orchestra is an initiative of Youth Music Theatre UK and the Tri-borough Music Hub, in partnership with the Lyric Hammersmith.

On Sunday 12 July, the orchestra will perform a medley of well-known and original pieces from musical theatre, television and film in a concert at the Lyric Hammersmith.

The concert marks the culmination of a six-month course led by musical director David White, who has worked on musicals such as Les Misérables, Sunset Boulevard and The Lion King and is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Music.

The course is accredited by Trinity College London.

Borletti-Buitoni Trust's Wednesdays at Wilton's series comes to a close

11 June 2015

The final concert in the Borletti-Buitoni Trust’s Wednesdays at Wilton’s series will take place in East London at the end of this month.

The series, which was launched in February, has featured concerts on the last Wednesday of every month in the cocktail bar and performance space at Wilton’s Music Hall in Shoreditch.

The concerts have been intended to give Borletti-Buitoni Trust artists the chance to perform an hour-long programme of their own choosing in an informal atmosphere.

Pianist and composer Kate Whitley launched the series in February, with guitarist Sean Shibe performing in March.

Recorder player Erik Bosgraaf and bassoonist Bram van Sambeek performed in April and May respectively, and the series will be rounded off on 24 June by horn player Alec Frank-Gemmill.

Founded in 2003, the Borletti-Buitoni Trust helps outstanding young musicians to develop and sustain international careers with awards that fund tailor-made projects.

Wilton’s Music Hall is a former Victorian music hall that has benefited from a huge fundraising campaign to save it from demolition and restore it to its former glory.

Susan Rivers, chief executive of the Borletti-Buitoni Trust, said: ‘The Wednesdays at Wilton’s series has gone incredibly well, better than we could ever have imagined.

‘Everyone has done something slightly different and really embraced the concept, and the audiences have really engaged with it – the hall has been full every time.

‘The atmosphere is very unique. The audiences like the interaction, and the fact that the concerts are not too long. It’s a very convivial atmosphere.’

Rivers said the trust was in talks with the hall about running a similar series next year, but nothing had been confirmed.

RPS recognises talented young string players

10 June 2015, Katy Wright

The Ruisi Quartet
The Ruisi Quartet

Marta Kowalczyk
Marta Kowalczyk

The Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) has awarded prizes to violinist Marta Kowalczyk and the Ruisi Quartet as part of its young musicians programme. Both were selected following recent YCAT (Young Classical Artist Trust) auditions.

Kowalczyk won the RPS Emily Anderson Prize, for which she receives £2.5k. Currently a postgraduate at the Royal Academy of Music, she is a laureate of a number of prizes and competitions, including the Eurovision Young Musicians competition in 2008.

The Ruisi Quartet won the RPS Albert and Eugenie Frost Prize (inaugurated in 2014), and receive £5k. Comprised of Alessandro Ruisi, Max Ruisi, Guy Button and Asher Zaccardelli and formed in 2012, the ensemble has been in residence at the Royal College of Music this season as part of the artist diploma in chamber music course.

The RPS and the Duet Group Charitable Foundation have also launched the Duet Prizes, two new awards for composers and instrumentalists from secondary schools. Both winners will receive £1500, with the instrumentalist receiving a public recital at a national music festival and the composer granted a UK performance of a commissioned composition. The first Duet Prizes will be awarded for the first time in 2016, and on a biennal basis thereafter. They are open to student musicians from schools and Hubs, but not specialist music schools, who are under 18 on 31 August 2016.

The RPS young musicians programme supports young musicians at the start of their careers, providing 30 performers each year with mentoring, coaching and specialist study. Alumni include Stephen Hough and Alina Ibragimova.

The Royal Philharmonic Society

Veteran Suzuki teacher Julie Bradley retires

10 June 2015

A violin teacher who pioneered the Suzuki method at Warwickshire County Music Service has retired after more than 30 years of working with children in the area.

Julie Bradley, 73, taught young violinists of all ages and abilities in Leamington, Warwick and Kenilworth.

She took her last violin workshop on 16 May in front of an audience of parents and pupils, who presented her with flowers and cards.

Bradley initially trained as a classroom music teacher and began working with Warwickshire County Music Service when her children were young.

She became a specialist Suzuki teacher after seeing her own children benefit from the method.

‘Julie is patient, fun and very interested in holistic methods,’ said Caroline Powell-Brett, southern area manager for Warwickshire County Music Service.

‘She just wants people to enjoy themselves and sees that there is value in every small step. She really is amazing – still incredibly enthusiastic and patient after all these years.

‘She is so inspirational yet so modest and doesn’t realise the effect she has had on generations of young people.’

Call for entries to Britten Sinfonia's 2016 Opus competition

5 June 2015

© Harry Rankin

Entries have opened for the next edition Britten Sinfonia’s Opus competition for unpublished composers.

The winner will get the chance to write a new work for the chamber orchestra’s award-winning At Lunch series in Norwich, Cambridge and London’s Wigmore Hall.

Applicants for Opus 2016 must submit two scores, which will be judged blind by a panel led by composer Julian Philips and including Edward Nesbit, winner of the 2015 competition.

A shortlist of ten composers will then be selected to take part in two public workshops with Britten Sinfonia musicians. One composer among them will be chosen to receive a commission.

The winner will receive guidance from Britten Sinfonia musicians, at least three performances of the new work in 2016/17 and a commission fee.

The Opus competition is now in its fourth year and has received a total of more than 550 entries from amateur and professional composers of all ages.

The closing date for submissions is 19 October 2015. More information and a short film about the competition can be viewed here.


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