The Ukranian conductor on transcribing CPE Bach's 1784 Johannes Passion, which he conducts this month in performances in London (16) April and Bournemouth (18 April). Karabits describes the political situation in his native Ukraine as 'absolutely overwhelming'.
Choirs from Estonia, Spain, Poland, the US, Sweden, Ireland and the UK will compete in the competition, which was conceived as a 70th birthday tribute to Sir John Tavener and will now be held in his memory.
John O'Kane is a permanent replacement for Séamus Crimmins, who retired in July 2013. He arrives from a senior management position at Ireland's Arts Council to take responsibility for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and RTÉ Concert Orchestra, RTÉ Philharmonic Choir and RTÉ Cor na nÓg, and ConTempo Quartet
The BBC’s director-general, Tony Hall, today announced a new strategy for the BBC’s arts and music programming, with a new emphasis on collaboration both within the BBC and with national institutions and artists.
Roger Wright, controller of Radio 3 and director of the BBC Proms, is to leave the BBC at the beginning of this year’s Proms season to become chief executive of Aldeburgh Music from September. The BBC said that recruitment for the posts would begin ‘in due course’.
The Royal Marines Corps of Drums is to launch a world record attempt to make the longest group drum roll, with preparations currently underway for six teams to undertake an ambitious 64-hour drum roll from 30 April.
The Foundling Museum in London has opened a new temporary exhibition examining Handel’s music for royal occasions. Handel was a governor of the Foundling Hospital, which works today as the children’s charity Coram.
Croydon-based chamber orchestra the London Mozart Players has announced details of what will become its new structure after its current managing director, Simon Funnell, leaves at the end of next month as the result of ‘a major funding problem’.
Wright: ‘We do not chase ratings, but I am delighted that the station has experienced recent growth in its distinctiveness and audience appreciation figures and remains a vital part of the UK’s cultural landscape.’
Southbank Centre management are to conduct a final search for money from the public sector in an attempt 'to keep the Festival Wing redevelopment scheme alive', after London mayor Boris Johnson put his weight behind the skaters currently using the undercroft of the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Gardner is to leave after the 2014-15 season to take up the post of chief conductor at the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, an appointment which was announced in February 2013 ‒ although at the time it was said that he would be continuing in his role at ENO.
One of the most respected figures in classical music, Claudio Abbado found early success and remained at the top of the industry for the rest of his life, holding prestigious positions in Berlin, Vienna and London. He also did much to encourage young musicians.
Venezuelan prizewinner and product of El Sistema will take over from JoAnn Falletta in September 2014. Further details will be released in March of 'plans to introduce the El Sistema programme to Northern Ireland'.
The Culture, Media and Sport select committee of the House of Commons is to conduct an inquiry into the work of Arts Council England. The inquiry will look across the organisation’s scale, scope and remit, as well as the current weighting of its funding towards arts organisations in London.
Listings website Bachtrack.com has published an analysis of its data from the last year’s classical performances. It shows a surge in popularity for Britten, Valery Gergiev as the busiest conductor in the world, and a shocking paucity of women composers and conductors.
Baritone Sir Thomas Allen has been awarded The Queen’s Medal for Music 2013. The medal has been given since 2005 to ‘an outstanding individual or group of musicians who have had a major influence on the musical life of the nation’.
The Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Derry City Council have launched a £900,000 legacy fund ‘to continue the cultural transformation of the city’ as its year as the first UK City of Culture comes to an end.
The London Sinfonietta’s New Music Show is back again this year at the Southbank Centre’s Queen Elizabeth Hall and Purcell Room (8 December). But not only there: the ‘Hidden’ series, for the second time, will present five new works for solo instruments in secret backstage locations.
In the four years since 2010/11, spending on ‘cultural and related services’ has been reduced by almost a quarter in real terms. Councils serving the most-deprived areas have borne the brunt of reductions in funding relative to spending.
Music education hubs have done little to improve the range in quality of music education across England, says a report released by Ofsted today, urging hub leaders to act more as ‘champions, leaders and expert partners’.
Orchestras Live’s 7 November conference on ‘Taking Music Further’, held at Kings Place in London, brought much evidence of good practice to the attention of its 100-plus delegates, as well as a number of wakeup calls over barriers to access and outsiders’ perception of classical music.
Gergiev: ‘It is wrong to suggest that I have ever supported anti-gay legislation and in all my work I have upheld equal rights for all people. I am an artist and have for over three decades worked with tens of thousands of people in dozens of countries from all walks of life'
Arts Council England and DCMS funding in 2012/13 was distributed in the ratio 15:1 per head of population between London and the rest of the country, says report. ACE has committed to address the issue in its next funding round.
Ryan Wigglesworth's Britten centenary commission: 'I think that for composers of my generation and those immediately before mine, we’re still too close to the Britten legacy to be able to have enough distance to approach it in an objective way.’
The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra has announced a new mobile app for Apple and Android smartphones which allows users to purchase tickets and earn points to contribute towards rewards when they buy tickets through the app.
Bob Chilcott’s prolific output ‒ his publisher Oxford University Press lists 266 works from a composer who went full-time only in 1997 ‒ has been taken to the hearts of choral singers across the world. As a new CD of Christmas music is released, he talks to Alex Stevens about his choral life
The pianist joins 11 other messengers of peace and one goodwill ambassador, who advocate on behalf of the United Nations and its projects across the world. Lang Lang has been designated in connection with secretary-general Ban Ki-moon’s Global Education First project.
Last month our Trojan horse popped open to reveal Lord Hall of Birkenhead wielding 20% arts increases at the BBC. Imagine that, conductors on merry-go-rounds, and plasticine jelly tots, says Alex Stevens
With a first prize of €20,000 and a diary of 34 engagements worth another €150,000, the winner of the 2015 Malko conducting competition will find the competition a transformative moment in his or her career.
BASCA has announced the 39-strong shortlist for its 2013 British Composer Awards, including nominations for George Benjamin's Written on Skin and Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest. The winners will be announced at Goldsmiths’ Hall on 3 December.
The 3rd Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition will take place at the Erin Arts Centre, Isle of Man from 5-12 April 2014. The planned festival and competition in 2012 had been cancelled in 2011 due to ‘the loss of crucial grants’.
The culmination of JAM’s Writing for Music project, which has seen six composers and six poets working with six choirs in Oxford over the past year, will take place on 9 November with a concert at the University Church of St Mary, Oxford.
Both the Irish and Welsh arts sectors have been digesting news this week of funding cuts in 2014. The Arts Council of Wales is having its budget cut by 3%, while Ireland’s Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht has announced a 7% cut to the budget it receives from the exchequer
Some 60 record labels that vanished from the UK market with the collapse of distributor Codaex last June are back with the emergence of New Arts International, which has teamed up with distributor Proper Note.
The posts of head of music and deputy head of music at the Purcell School have been abolished in a restructuring of staff announced by the headmaster, David Thomas, and chair of governors, Sir Roger Jackling, just before the start of the autumn term.
BBC director general Tony Hall has made a commitment to the BBC's coverage of and support for the arts. ‘Arts programming sits right at the heart of the BBC and is a vital part of who we are ... but I want us to be much more ambitious.'
Three new pieces will be put to an audience ballot at the Bath Phil's season opener on 12 October, to decide which will be published by Schott. It is part of the Young Apollo festival, running throughout this weekend.
Composer James MacMillan has launched a brand new music festival for southern Scotland, with the aim of bringing together international artists and local community and schools groups. The Cumnock Tryst will take place in October 2014 in the East Ayrshire market town and former mining community of Cumnock, where MacMillan grew up and attended three local schools.
New York City Opera has announced it is to close and file for bankruptcy in its 70th anniversary year after failing to find the $7m (£4.3m) it needed to deliver its planned season for the year ahead. The company's ethos of making opera affordable to the city’s residents had earned it the nickname ‘The People’s Opera’.
‘I send my deepest thanks to everyone involved for what we have achieved together’ says a statement released by Vänskä’s management company. The conductor first threatened to resign in April this year during a still unresolved dispute over players' pay and conditions.
Scottish Opera has released a statement announcing that French conductor Emmanuel Joel-Hornak has withdrawn from the position of music director at the company, which he was due to have begun in August taking over from Francesco Corti.
The Metropolitan Opera’s season-opening production of Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin on 23 September was disrupted briefly by a lone protester urging the house and its cast to take a public stand against Russia’s repression of homosexuals.
Following the success of last year’s Yamaha piano selection sessions initiative, the company will be running sessions at London's Southbank Centre on 11&12 October and at Liverpool’s St George’s Hall on 17&18 January 2014.
A new venue and new format for the Gramophone awards ceremony on 17 September has won general approval from the recording industry. However, some executives complained about the ceremony's move from the Dorchester Hotel to the less salubrious LSO St Luke's.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner is to be presented with the Critics’ Circle’s Outstanding Musician award for 2013, and awards for exceptional young talent have also been awarded to conductor Ryan Wigglesworth, countertenor Iestyn Davies and pianist Yevgeny Sudbin.
The first 11 graduates have been selected for the Arts Fundraising and Philanthropy Consortium’s new arts fundraising fellowship programme, which aims to ensure that the arts sector has the skills to 'get better at asking'.
Original plans for a treble soloist in Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms were abandoned due to legislation regulating performances by children, rules which the BBC described as 'completely outdated'. The countertenor was then called in from recording sessions as an emergency replacement.
Free to attend for those who register online, Music Education Expo 2014 will again feature more than 50 seminars, workshops and debates, 150 exhibitors showcasing their products and services, and countless networking opportunities.
The RFH’s 7,866-pipe organ has been unveiled, following a £2.3m restoration process funded by a £950,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant and the successful Pull Out All the Stops public fundraising campaign.
Orchestra will continue with its planned eight-concert 2013/14 season under music director Barry Wordsworth. It was on course to be disbanded, said organisers, and had been forced ‘to rely on an injection of cash to guarantee its survival’.
‘We’ve just hit £40,000,’ said general manager Judith Clark. ‘I’m very hopeful and very heartened by what has happened in the last 48 hours.' Earlier this week the orchestra stated that it would not be able to present its 2013/14 season, or meet certain committed payments, unless it could raise £70,000 in ten days.
‘Over the last couple of seasons there has been a reduction in the number of legacies received, making it difficult to make up the shortfall from ticket sales and current levels of sponsorship and donations,’ said a statement.
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama has unveiled Martin Creed’s Work No. 1637: FEELINGS in the foyer of its new facilities at Milton Court. The artist said in a statement: ‘I don’t know how I feel’.
Machover follows up his Toronto Symphony ('the most collaborative work ever composed') with homage to Edinburgh: as he sees it, ‘a chamber music city for traffic noise’. Plus other highlights coming up in August and critical reaction to last month's new music.
Highlights of this year's seventh festival will include a re-imagining of Madame Butterfly by Michael Finissy, two new operas from Size Zero Opera and a contemporary refurbishment of Pergolesi's La serva padrona.
The childhood home of Ralph Vaughan Williams has been opened to the public by the National Trust for a trial season until 3 November. The house has not been restored and the NT is asking visitors to come ‘with an open mind’.
ACE chair Sir Peter Bazalgette gives vote of confidence to major organisations as Arts Council confirms it will make three-year commitment to next round of national portfolio organisations - even though ACE's own budget only goes to 2015/16.
The Department for Education today released details of the proposed new national curriculum from 2014. Following consultation it has added music technology and improvisation to what will be taught, with the musical canon remaining central to plans.
Campaign by undercroft users pushes Southbank Centre to try again 'to find the best way of balancing everyone's needs in demanding financial times so we can achieve this ambitious project'. The neighbouring National Theatre has also objected to the planning application.
The Farthest Shore, a new work by Paul Mealor commissioned by JAM (John Armitage Memorial) which premiered on 28 May at the St Davids Cathedral Festival will be performed on 2 July at St Bride’s, Fleet Street and on 6 July at St Leonard’s, Hythe alongside James MacMillan’s Cantos Sagrados and Britten’s Rejoice in the Lamb.
The Academy of Ancient Music will be resident ensemble at the National Gallery this summer, providing extensive accompaniment to the gallery’s exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure.
The 20-minute piece for solo cello and chamber group was commissioned by its soloist David Cohen to be performed with the Rambert Orchestra, the orchestra of the Rambert Dance Company, at this year’s Spitalfields Summer Festival. Plus: June's premieres listings