Sue Perkins to conduct National Orchestra for All
11 December 2015
NOFA's 2015 summer course concert at Leeds ArenaTeach First
NOFA's 2015 summer course rehearsals
Sue PerkinsCourtesy of BBC, agreed by Sue Perkins
Sue Perkins is to conduct the National Orchestra for All (NOFA) at a fundraising event at King Solomon Academy, Marylebone on 16 January.
The ensemble's musicians will be joined by 60 members of the public to work on Beethoven's fifth symphony and Dvořák's 'New World' symphony with Perkins and NOFA's artistic patron Sian Edwards. The players will then give a performance of the works at 4.30pm.
The event will raise money for disadvantaged young musicians.
Perkins conducted at the 2008 Last Night of the Proms after winning the BBC show Maestro.
NOFA launched in 2011, and now has over 90 musicians participating in a year-long season of residential courses and workshops. The players are nominated by their music teachers, and are often from challenging backgrounds.
National Orchestra for All
RCM Museum to receive £3.6m from Heritage Lottery Fund
10 December 2015
A clavicytherium from the RCM collection
The Royal College of Music's Museum of Music is to receive a £3.6m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to fund a three-year conservation and redevelopment programme.
The redevelopment will create new displays and a performance space for the collection. Conservation will be carried out on more than 500 instruments, and around 45,000 items will be documented and digitised.
The project will allow increased access to the site, allowing it to host educational sessions and temporary exhibitions. The museum will also facilitate training, volunteering and internship opportunities for conservation, digitisation and learning and engagement.
RCM director Colin Lawson said that the grant would establish help to establish the museum 'at the very heart' of the conservatoire.
The RCM’s collection comprises instruments, manuscripts, sculptures, paintings, archives, books and programmes.
The RCM Museum currently welcomes 8,000 visitors each year, a figure predicted to rise to more than 40,000 when the conservation and redevelopment programme is completed. Alongside structural work, opening days will be increased from five to six days and five new fixed-term jobs will be created including a learning and engagement officer and a conservator.
Sir Peter Luff, chair of HLF, said: 'These exciting proposals are just the thing to get [the collection] out of the storage cupboards and into a new, brighter space with increased opening times and instrument handling opportunities.'
Royal College of Music Museum
British Composer Awards 2015: the winners
10 December 2015
The 13th British Composer Awards ceremony took place at the British Film Institute on 9 December 2015.
The ceremony was hosted by Sara Mohr-Pietsch and Andrew McGregor, with awards presented by keynote speaker Jessica Cottis and actress Juliet Stevenson.
Stuart Hancock's Snapshot Songs received the community/educational project award. Comprising 19 songs, each created by a different group, the song cycle - which explored aspects of contemporary London - was described as 'often very touching and always beautifully poetic'. It received its premiere at the Barbican Centre in April 2014, featuring 150 performers.
Rory Boyle's Muckle Flugga won the wind/brass band category. Commissioned by the Scottish Brass Band Association as a test piece for the European Brass Band Championships, the piece takes its name from a small rocky outcrop which is the northernmost point of the British isles.
Kate Whitley's 'attractive, original and well written' Alive won the amateur/youth performer category. A setting of a poem by Holly McNish, the work was commissioned by Multi-Story and received its premiere at Peckham car park in June 2014 by the Multi-Story Orchestra, Southwark Youth Orchestra, Lewisham Schools Sinfonia and Peckham Chamber Orchestra.
Accepting her award, Whitley exclaimed: 'I haven't prepared anything to say... I assumed that the people who won awards already knew!'
The awards ceremony also featured the UK premiere of Judith Bingham’s A Bird is Singing, performed by the Trinity Laban Chamber Choir (directed by Stephen Jackson).
The jury members for this year’s awards included Cecilia McDowall, Juliet Fraser, Leigh Melrose and Michael Zev Gordon.
British Composer Awards
Live Music Now Scotland wins community project award
9 December 2015
Daniella Keenan with the award
Live Music Now Scotland has won the community project of the year award at the 2015 Scots Trad Awards.
The charity's assistant director Daniella Keenan collected the award at Dundee's Caird Hall on 5 December.
'We ran over 600 projects and workshops across Scotland this year - down in the Borders, up in the Orkney Islands and everywhere in between,' she said. 'We’ve brought live music to babies, toddlers, schoolchildren, adults with disabilities, elderly people living with dementia - it really is a privilege for us to support the incredibly talented musicians who deliver these special performances to the community.'
Live Music Now trains young, professional musicians before sending them into communities across the UK to perform for older people and children with special educational needs. The Scottish branch of the charity was established in 1984.
Live Music Now Scotland
Estonia offers free Meludia access
3 December 2015
Estonian Ministry of Culture music advisor Juko-Mart Kõlar (L) and Meludia CEO Bastien Sannac (R) signing the agreement of their partnership
The Republic of Estonia has become the first country in the world to offer its entire population access to the music learning platform Meludia.
Throughout December 2015, the Estonia's 1.3 million inhabitants will have access to Meludia Premium to mark the end of the nation's Year of Music.
Meludia is based on the SEMA principle, developing musical perception in terms of sensation, emotion, memory and analysis. Working from the observation that children learn to speak and listen before they learn to read and write, the app teaches music listening before score reading, provides musical training through more than 600 listening exercises for a range of abilities.
Founded in 2012 by Vincent Chaintrier and Bastien Sannac, the web-based app won the gold medal at the 2014 International Concours Lépine for innovation and was a finalist for best music innovator at the SXSW Festival in Austin, Texas in 2015.
Its method has been endorsed by musicians and educators including violinists Nicola Benedetti and Linus Roth, as well as professors at MIT (Boston) and the Sorbonne University (Paris).
Estonia is one of the leading countries for technology, having been at the forefront of developments for more than 15 years. Music also plays a large part in its culture: mass singing demonstrations proliferated around the time the country gained independence, and its singing tradition has continued to flourish.
Meludia CEO Bastien Sannac expressed his pleasure at entering into a partnership with a country 'that considers music as an important part of its national identity and who has put music education at the forefront.'
Estonian Minister of Culture Indrek Saar said that Meludia 'is a fun and innovative educational tool which helps to increase the overall understanding of music and appreciate the underlying principles and nuances of musical composition. I hope there is a lot to discover for all Estonians, regardless of their age and musical background.'
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