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Latest News

What's next for Music Mark?

23 May 2014

Following its first full year of operation, the board of trustees of the UK Association for Music Education (Music Mark) has completed an organisational review.

Amongst its new targets are plans to increase the number of music service members; to develop more pro-active advocacy with government and opposition members, and their departments; and to prioritise its support for music service members (including their roles within hubs) and with members who work with schools.

The board of trustees also remodelled the role of Jem Shuttleworth, currently acting CEO, as the new general manager of Music Mark, effective from the beginning of last month.

Andrew Litton plays Oscar Peterson at Rhinegold LIVE

22 May 2014

Rhinegold LIVE’s second concert of the season will feature world-renowned conductor Andrew Litton performing at the piano at Conway Hall, London on 2 June 2014.

The concert’s programme features transcriptions of Canadian jazz pianist Oscar Peterson, spanning four decades of Peterson’s legacy. The evening will also be a launch for Andrew Litton’s new CD, ‘A Tribute to Oscar Peterson’.

The concert will be preceded by a complimentary drinks reception and followed by an informal Q&A, conducted by International Piano contributor and classical music writer Jeremy Nicholas.

Drinks reception: 6.15pm

Concert begins: 7.00pm

To register for your free ticket to this concert, click here. Each ticket includes a complimentary drink at the reception.

NCEM Young Composers 2014

21 May 2014

The National Centre for Early Music has announced the winners of its 2014 Young Composers award. 16-year-old Freya Ireland won the under 18s category, with Kerensa Briggs (23) and Hugo Bell (22) awarded joint first prize in the 19-25 category.

The award, presented in partnership with BBC Radio 3 and The Tallis Scholars, was judged in York over a day of workshops, culminating in an evening concert. The concert performance was streamed live and can be viewed here until the beginning of August 2014.

Entrants to the competition were invited to compose a three to four minute work, setting Lamentations from the book of Jeremiah for an a cappella SSATB choir. Freya Ireland’s  Lamentations, Kerensa Briggs’ Lamentations of Jeremiah: Jerusalem, return to the Lord thy God and Hugo Bell’s The Lamentations of Jeremiah will be premièred by The Tallis Scholars on Friday 24 October at the Church of St. John the Evangelist, Oxford in a public concert promoted by Music at Oxford , and recorded for broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s Early Music Show at 2.00pm on Sunday 2 November 2014.

Delma Tomlin, Director of the NCEM said: ‘We were absolutely overwhelmed this year in terms of both the very high standard and quantity of responses to the Award. Live-streaming the finalists’ concert enabled us to share this wealth of new talent with an even wider audience throughout the UK and gave the young composers an immediately broader platform for the premier of their compositions. As the National Centre for Early Music, we are delighted that our partnership with BBC Radio 3, The Tallis Scholars and Music at Oxford extends the geographical reach of this Award across the UK. We look forward to all three performances in Oxford this October.'

Peter Phillips, Director of The Tallis Scholars added: ‘We were thrilled that nearly 80 young composers wanted to take up the challenge of setting the Lamentations text. I was looking for music which I could interpret with The Tallis Scholars on a big occasion and so high was the standard that in the older age category we decided to give a joint prize. I can’t wait for the concert and broadcast we shall give in October.’

Essex pianist wins BBC Young Musician

19 May 2014, Melanie Spanswick

17-year-old Martin James Bartlett, from Essex, has been named BBC Young Musician 2014. The final took place on Sunday 18 May at the Usher Hall, Edinburgh. 

It was broadcast on BBC Four, presented by Clemency Burton-Hill with Alison Balsom, Miloš Karadaglić, and special guest Nicola Benedetti.
Bartlett and his fellow finalists – percussionist Elliott Gaston-Ross (15) and recorder-player Sophie Westbrooke (15) – performed with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Kirill Karabits and were judged by a panel including composer James MacMillan, conductor Alice Farnham, pianist Alice Sara Ott, percussionist Colin Currie and recorder-player Michala Petri. 
Being in the room, the final of the competition felt more akin to a concert. Elliott Gaston-Ross started proceedings with an explosion of tonal colour and drama. He chose to play African Sunrise/Manhattan Rave by David Heath. A heady mixture of styles, timbres and textures, this work employs a huge range of instruments, demonstrating Elliott's natural rhythmic flair and flamboyance. The next young performer was recorder player Sophie Westbrooke (also 15) who shone with a breath taking account of Gordon Jacob's Suite for Recorder and Strings, arranged for Chamber Orchestra by David Knotts. Her performance was full of colour, a rich tone and nimble fingerwork. 
The last performer of the final was Bartlett. He presented Rachmaninov's virtuoso Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, which he played effortlessly with a musicianship and maturity well beyond his 17 years. The atmosphere in the hall was electric as the winner was announced; all three performers were clearly worthy of the prize. 
Bartlett studies at the Royal College of Music Junior Department with Emily Jeffrey. He will be continuing his studies at the RCM senior department in September on a coveted Foundation Scholarship. 

Sellout for first ever London Music Awards

19 May 2014

Mayor of London Boris Johnson will be hosting the inaugural London Music Awards at the Roundhouse on Wed 11 June.

The event, which is close to being a sell-out, is being staged in celebration of London’s aspiring young musicians and their achievements. Soul II Soul are set to perform on the night, alongside emerging artists such as Brit school musician Natalie Shay, singer-songwriter Kimberley Anne and Croydon based hip-hop trio Hawk House, who will be presenting their new video. Classic FM DJ Margherita Taylor will be overseeing events.

The London Music Awards will also be an opportunity to fundraise for the Mayor’s Music Fund, a charity that supports the musical development of talented children across London’s 32 boroughs. In two years the fund has already provided grants worth £1.3m which have reached over 14,000 young musicians.

Tables at the event are being hosted by major players in the music industry, including Sony, Universal, Warner, Live Nation, UK Music and AEG. An auction on the night, led by Channel 4’s Jon Snow, will raise further funds.

Mayor’s Music Fund Chief Executive Ginny Greenwood says: ‘The fund is already helping thousands of talented youngsters develop their musical abilities and this is our way of celebrating a major asset for London – its musical heritage and its musical future. Six months ago the London Music Awards was just a dream.  Now it’s a reality. This couldn’t have happened without our sponsor Raymond Weil, our other supporters and the music industry embracing the idea and running with it. A big thank you to everyone involved in the evening.’

A total of nine awards are being handed out at what will become an annual event. There will be six music awards: 

1.      Outstanding Mayor’s Music Scholars 
2.      Outstanding Musical Collaboration 
3.      Undiscovered Talent
4.      Rising Star 
5.      Young Composer/songwriter 
6.      London Legend presented by Time Out 

There will also be three non-performance awards:

1.      London’s favourite music venue (Time Out reader vote)
2.      Music Philanthropist 
3.      Special award for an individual who has made a significant contribution to music in the capital 


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