• Online piano recitals to watch on World Piano Day
    by Freya Parr on March 28, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Rating:  0 Family concertsTurner Sims concert hall in Southampton is hosting a free online family concert at 3pm. Pianist and composer Sarah Nicholls plays the Inside-Out Piano, a grand piano opened up so the audience can see right inside it. Five of the best recordings of Beethoven's piano sonata cycles  Virtual festivalsDeutsche Grammophon’s pianists are joining forces for World Piano Day via the record label’s YouTube and Facebook platforms. Pianists set to feature in the recital include Víkingur Ólafsson, Daniil Trifonov, Maria João Pires, Evgeny Kissin, Jan Lisiecki, Rudolf Buchbinder, Kit Armstrong, Simon Ghraichy and Joep Beving. The stream will begin at 3pm CET and will be available for a limited time afterwards. On Sunday, Sonoraspace is hosting a virtual piano festival on its website at 7pm CET, with 10 pianists performing. To join the event as a viewer, click 'Join the Virtual Piano Festival' and you will receive a direct link to the livestream. 10 piano concertos you might not know  Piano recitalsPianist Igor Levit is broadcasting nightly ‘House Concerts’ on Twitter. 

  • Bill, Chuck and Rahsaan
    by Marc Myers on March 28, 2020 at 4:05 am

    This week in The Wall Street Journal, I interviewed actor Bill Camp for my "House Call" column in the Mansion section (go here). Bill has appeared in many films, most recently HBO's The Night Of series and Joker. In both...       

  • THE SCOOP | Canadian Opera Company Calls Off 2019-20 Season, Announces Plans For #OperaAtHome
    by Michael Vincent on March 27, 2020 at 9:50 pm

    The Canadian Opera Company has cancelled all upcoming performances and events for the remainder of the 2019/2020 season due to the coronavirus pandemic.

  • 'Stressed, sick and skint': how coronavirus is hitting arts workers
    by Ben Beaumont-Thomas and Rachel Obordo on March 27, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    We asked arts workers for their stories of how the lockdown is affecting their livelihoods. Here are their responsesCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageThis week we asked arts workers to share how their livelihoods were being affected by the coronavirus. Since then, the UK government’s measures to give financial aid to the self-employed will help the sector – but many are still deeply concerned about the lack of work available in the coming months. Here are some of the nearly 150 stories we received. Thanks to everyone who got in touch.Stephen Laughton, 38, playwright and TV writerMy play, One Jewish Boy, opened in the West End on 10 March – a huge step up for me. I had TV deals lined up, a movie deal on the cards, another play about to start in New York. The play managed to stay open for one week. It got us to press night, and much like its original fringe run, was a critical success – four and five stars, and that first week was packed out. It was the moment I’d been waiting for. But I knew what was coming – a moment I hoped I would cherish for ever was tinged with crushing defeat. It felt as if everything we had worked for – all the abuse (my play is about antisemitism and I was on the receiving end of a lot of it), all the hard work, the blood, joy, sweat and tears – just faded away. The next day it got worse: I didn’t quite take in the monumental loss of having every gig I had lined up, cancelled. In the short term, I’m pretty screwed, the financial loss from the cancellation of two plays, a TV and a film gig has hit the tens of thousands. That makes it sound as if I always earn at this level – I don’t and I haven’t. I’ve been working hand to mouth and now, when it looked as if I might finally be able to breathe, I don’t know when I’ll get paid again. I just need to find a way to keep my head above water. Continue reading...

  • Opera and classical home watching picks: critics pick their highlights
    by Andrew Clements , Martin Kettle, Rian Evans, Tim Ashley on March 27, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    There’s a growing treasure trove of classical music to watch for free. Each day, our critics are selecting a highlight How often has one of the world’s great pianists played live for you at home? Igor Levit is doing it every day for all of us. As the sun goes down, he walks over to the Steinway in his Berlin living room and gives a concert, live on Twitter. There’s absolutely no formality. Levit wears whatever he has got on that day. He gives a brief introduction, in German and English, maybe with a reflection or two on our strange times, for Levit has always been a concerned citizen in every sense, and these concerts come from the heart. Some nights he plays Beethoven. Other nights it’s Schubert or Brahms. The sound quality is often variable and poor but you hardly care about that. That’s because, if you really listen to, say, his playing of Schubert’s B flat sonata D960, he is saying something so much larger about the work he chooses. He is saying that music is humanity at its best and that we and it will survive. It’s the fact of Levit’s wish and need to play for his worldwide audience that makes this feel so gripping and life-enhancing. It is an artistic act that is at once very informal yet also deadly serious. Martin Kettle Related: 'Quarantine soirées': classical music and opera to stream at home Check here for our regularly updated list of operas and concerts available on demand or live-streamed. Continue reading...

  • THE SCOOP | Moody’s Slashes Metropolitan Opera’s Bond Credit Rating
    by Michael Vincent on March 27, 2020 at 4:39 pm

    The Metropolitan Opera Company's week has gone from bad to worse as Moody's Investors Service downgrades their credit rating.

  • 'Quarantine soirées': classical music and opera to stream at home
    by Imogen Tilden on March 27, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    With concert halls and opera houses closed due to coronavirus, organisations and musicians across the world are livestreaming concerts from their homes, or from empty halls, and opening up their digital archives so that every one can still access music. Click here for our daily critics’ picksCulture cancellationsCoronavirus – latest updatesThis page is being regularly updated [last update: 27/3]. Please email us (details at end) of things we have missed, or tell us in the comments section. Related: Opera and classical home watching picks: critics pick their higlights Continue reading...

  • A message from the editor of BBC Music Magazine
    by Freya Parr on March 27, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Rating:  0 Dear reader, In just a few short weeks, Coronavirus has delivered a blow to all aspects of our lives. Schools closed, hospitals overwhelmed, lockdowns imposed and, at the time of writing, cases on the rise. Our hearts go out to anyone affected by this terrible disease.  In the arts world, concert series, festivals and all manner of live music-making have been halted… The arts world is reeling from thousands of cancelled events and many are struggling to come to terms with life off the road. Musicians, however, are responding with good spirit, many of them performing programmes to vast online audiences via the wonders of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and more. Armed with little more than a smartphone, tripod, broadband connection and a little imagination, many have brought heart-warming concerts direct to our houses. You can read about some of these in the May issue of BBC Music Magazine, sent to press on 26 March and on sale from 16 April – the first issue in our 30-year history to have been produced entirely remotely. Many of you will have trouble getting hold of your magazine from the shops – which is why we’ve set up a no-strings way for you to guarantee you get the next few issues. With a small one-off payment, we can send you next three issues to your house – and delivery will be on us. You'll still make a saving on the shop price, and you won't have to set up a Direct Debit, so this is absolutely risk-free. If you order by 29 March, you'll get our May issue, so you won't miss out. If you live in the UK and are happy to set up a Direct Debit, however, we can offer you even greater saving on your first six issues. Just click here – or call 03330 162 118 and quote code SPR3MPG. In the meantime, please do keep in touch with us, as we continue to bring you the magazine from our various spare rooms, kitchens and studies. We love to hear from you, and to hear the musical discoveries you’ve been making while cooped up at home. Email us at music@classical-music.com, or get in touch on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.  Most importantly, take very good care of yourselves. With very best wishes, Oliver Oliver CondyEditor, BBC Music Magazine   Read more:How to watch concerts from home: the concerts and operas available to stream online during the coronavirus epidemicCoronavirus: updated list of the festivals and concerts cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19Operas, documentaries and theatre programmes announced for BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine

  • LEBRECHT LISTENS | What Can You Do With 3 Sopranos And 2 Altos? Be inventive, That’s What
    by Norman Lebrecht on March 27, 2020 at 2:08 pm

    The all-women quintet Papagena have come up with a range of unaccompanied songs, settings and original commissions that often takes the breath away.

  • THE SCOOP | Luminato Festival 2020 Cancelled
    by Michael Vincent on March 27, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Toronto’s largest annual international arts festival has been called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Our ‘Digital Selves’ Are No Less Real
    by By Tara Isabella Burton on March 27, 2020 at 9:02 am

    ‘Social distance socializing’ isn’t just a temporary stopgap. Online gatherings are the culmination of a broader shift.

  • Thad Jones: Rehearsal Session
    by Marc Myers on March 27, 2020 at 4:05 am

    On February 27, 1978, Thad Jones as guest conductor rehearsed the Danish Radio Big Band in preparation for an evening performance with Dexter Gordon as guest soloist. Gordon had already moved back to the U.S. in 1976 after a long...      Related StoriesVideos: Dexter GordonDexter in Denmark, 1962Dexter Gordon: Live, '63 + '77 

  • Opera Star, Charged With Sexual Assault, Is Fired by University of Michigan
    by By Michael Levenson on March 27, 2020 at 1:45 am

    David Daniels, a professor of voice and one of the world’s leading countertenors, was dismissed one year after he and his husband were charged with sexually assaulting another singer.

  • Podcast: Ludwig van Beethoven–the concertos
    by Naxos on March 27, 2020 at 12:00 am

    Beethoven’s concertos enjoy the spotlight in this podcast from Raymond Bisha. It serves as a companion resource to the latest digital album in our series marking the 250th anniversary of the composer’s birth. The technical and musical demands Beethoven makes of his concerto soloists shine centre-stage in this compilation of wonderful performances of movements from Read More ...

  • THE SCOOP | Anne-Sophie Mutter Tests Positive For COVID-19
    by Michael Vincent on March 26, 2020 at 6:58 pm

    In an emotional video posted today on Facebook, violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has confirmed she has been infected with the COVID-19 virus, and is currently in quarantine.

  • THE SCOOP | Soundstreams Officially Cancels Remainder Of 2019/20 Season
    by Michael Vincent on March 26, 2020 at 4:22 pm

    Soundstreams has announced today that they will be cancelling all remaining events of the 2019/20 season.

  • A Paris Opera Conductor Comes Full Circle
    by By Rebecca Schmid on March 26, 2020 at 3:23 pm

    Philippe Jordan talks about his new role in Vienna and his farewell to Paris: a new staging of Wagner’s “Ring,” which he conducted there in 2010.

  • Operas, documentaries and theatre programmes announced for BBC Arts Culture in Quarantine
    by Freya Parr on March 26, 2020 at 12:44 pm

    Rating:  0 From this month, BBC Arts will be hosting the Culture in Quarantine initiative across TV, radio and digital platforms. Its aim is to bring arts to people at home during the coronavirus pandemic. The following programmes have been introduced by BBC Arts as part of this new initiative:  Performance: The initiative will include broadcasts of recent dance and theatre productions from across the UK. This will include a new play by David Greig on BBC Radio 3, as well as a new work from Balletboyz and six Shakespeare productions from the RSC on BBC Four.  Beethoven’s Fidelio on BBC FourThe Royal Opera’s recent performance of Beethoven’s only opera is a new staging by Tobias Kratzner and was recorded just a few days before the outbreak of the virus in the UK. The cast includes soprano Lise Davidsen and tenor David Philip Butt. Antonio Pappano conducts.  Balletboyz: Deluxe on BBC Four and BBC iPlayerWith the remaining performances of its 20th anniversary UK tour now cancelled, BalletBoyz has decided to share the production with audiences at home. Northern Ballet: Dracula on BBC Four and BBC iPlayerChoreographed by David Nixon and with music by Schnittke, Rachmaninov, Arvo Pärt and Michael Daugherty, Northern Ballet’s interpretation of Bram Stoker’s legendary novel was filmed for cinema back in 2014 and will now be broadcast across the BBC.  The Royal Shakespeare Company on BBC Four and BBC iPlayerProductions include Hamlet (2016), Macbeth (2018), Much Ado About Nothing (2014), Othello (2015), Romeo and Juliet (2018) and The Merchant of Venice (2015).  How to watch concerts from home: the concerts and operas available to stream online during the coronavirus pandemic  Radio 4:How to PlayLeading artists from the classical music world take turns in introducing audiences to an iconic piece of music, including Elgar’s Cello Concerto and Bruch’s Violin Concerto No. 1. They discuss the challenges of such works, and how they approach playing them. Artists featured include cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason and violinist Nicola Benedetti.  Black Music in EuropeThe third series of this programme explores the history of black music in Europe in the period between the end of WWII and the late 70s.   Culture in Quarantine Fund:In collaboration with Arts Council England, 25 new works by independent arts will be commissioned and distributed. The works will respond to the coronavirus crisis and self-isolation. For more information on how to apply for the fund, click here.    BBC Arts launches Culture in Quarantine  Access to exhibitions:Exhibitions and galleries across the UK which have been forced to close because of the pandemic will be opening their doors online to give audiences virtual access to the art.  Museums in Quarantine on BBC FourThis programme goes behind the scenes at several museums and galleries across the UK: the British Museum, the Warhol exhibition at the Tate Modern and the Young Rembrandt exhibition at the Ashmolean in Oxford.  Scandal and Beauty: Mark Gatiss on Aubrey Beardsley on BBC FourActor Mark Gatiss explores the life of artist Aubrey Beardsley, in conjunction with the Tate Britain’s major exhibition of Beardsley’s work. Titian: Behind Closed Doors on BBC FourThe National Gallery’s exhibition on the Renaissance master Titian brought together the artist’s paintings for the first time in 300 years. This programme explores Titian’s fascinating life and artistic triumphs.  Coronavirus: updated list of the tours and festivals cancelled due to COVID-19  The Big Book Weekend:The three-day virtual books festival will include video interviews and panel discussions with authors who were scheduled to appear at various British literary festivals, which have now been cancelled. The festival will take place across the first bank holiday weekend in May.   Front Row Late:From her study at home, Mary Beard presents a new series of Front Row Late on BBC Two with guests including author Margaret Atwood.   

  • Growing Songs from Cells: John Hollenbeck Speaks
    by Kevin Laskey on March 26, 2020 at 10:00 am

    Whether writing for his Claudia Quintet or Large Ensemble, drummer/composer John Hollenbeck creates expansive canvases out of small, sturdy ideas. Hollenbeck’s music is equal parts knotty and lyrical, held together with a playful and subversive sense of humor. Ahead of what was to be a North American tour with the Claudia Quintet, we at Jazz

  • Videos: Art Farmer in the '60s
    by Marc Myers on March 26, 2020 at 4:05 am

    If we're evaluating jazz musicians on tone alone, Art Farmer was perhaps the prettiest trumpeter and flugelhornist to emerge in the 1950s. Distinguished by a warm, orchestral sound on his horn, Farmer was equally lyrical and spry as a composer...      Related StoriesArt Farmer on Prestige: 1953-'55 

  • THE SCOOP | Toronto Symphony Shutters Another Month Of Concerts
    by Michael Vincent on March 25, 2020 at 8:20 pm

    The Toronto Symphony Orchestra has announced the cancellation of another month of concerts through April due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • GUIDE | Live Streaming Tips And How To Play Together Online For Musicians
    by Anya Wassenberg on March 25, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    With performing stages shut down worldwide, here's a look at how musicians can use streaming to play for an audience, and perform with each other, online.

  • Classical musicians plead for support as cancelled concerts blight income
    by Imogen Tilden on March 25, 2020 at 9:00 am

    Musicians and performing groups face a bleak future as the coronavirus shutdown has meant earnings evaporated overnight. Will the industry ever recover?It’s not called the gig economy by accident. Musicians are among those hardest hit by the cultural shutdown, and with the government currently offering only universal credit for the self-employed, millions throughout the sector are facing huge financial hardship.“Roughly 90% of our members are affected,” said Horace Trubridge, general secretary of the Musicians’ Union. “This will force musicians out of the profession. Our members also do a lot of event work – weddings and conferences – that has also fallen off a cliff, coupled with the fact that most of our members subsidise their income from live performance by teaching and studio recording work which of course they can’t do now either.”Twenty-three gigs so far have been cancelled. Only one of those has offered to pay me Related: UK musicians lose £13.9m in earnings so far due to coronavirus Continue reading...

  • 'Special feeling': Russian theatre to hold shows for audiences of one
    by Andrew Roth on March 25, 2020 at 3:00 am

    Coronavirus brings forward project whereby people can win a private opera or ballet performanceCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coveragePicture the scene: the curtain rises as the orchestra strikes up the opening bars of Puccini’s La Bohème or Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin. And in the 850-person auditorium of a storied Russian theatre sits just one lucky viewer, a lottery winner whose prize is the personal performance of a lifetime.Barred from hosting audiences due to the coronavirus outbreak, a theatre in Perm, a city near Russia’s Ural mountains, plans to host a unique experiment – private viewings of the theatre’s ballets and operas for the price of just a normal ticket. Related: From standup to the Sistine chapel: the best online culture for self-isolation Continue reading...

  • THE SCOOP | Two Violins From Montreal And Toronto Come Together In Virtual Duet Online
    by Michael Vincent on March 24, 2020 at 4:04 pm

    A new video release today features Andrew Wan and Jonathan Crow, Concertmasters from the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Toronto Symphony Orchestra, in a touching virtual duo.

  • Anchoring Roots: Arta Jēkabsone Speaks
    by Stephanie Jones on March 24, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    Housebound in New York, singer and composer Arta Jēkabsone leans in to solitude. Alone in her apartment, her natural effervescence stills, but not entirely, and only for the moment.  Like so many emerging artists, Jēkabsone searches for answers at a time when performances have halted, sessions have stopped and creative collaborations, typically a contact sport, have

  • More Movies Need an Oscar-Winning Actress Reacting Emotionally to Opera
    by By Kyle Buchanan on March 24, 2020 at 3:00 pm

    Right now, we may need that, too.

  • Free Download: Julien Libeer plays Bartók’s Suite for Piano
    by Freya Parr on March 24, 2020 at 11:57 am

    ‘It’s almost impossible to fault his playing’ This week’s free download is the first movement, Allegretto, from Bartók’s Suite for Piano, performed by Julien Libeer and recorded on the Harmonia Mundi label. DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS:If you'd like to enjoy our free weekly download simply log in or sign up to our website.Once you've done that, return to this page and you'll be able to see a 'Download Now' button on the picture above – simply click on it to download your free track.If you experience any technical problems please email support@classical-music.com. Please reference 'Classical Music Free Download', and include details of the system you are using and your location. If you are unsure of what details to include please take a screenshot of this page. read more

  • How to watch concerts from home: the concerts and operas available to stream online during the coronavirus pandemic
    by Freya Parr on March 24, 2020 at 10:16 am

    Rating:  0 OngoingBudapest Festival OrchestraIn response to the worldwide restrictions on public concerts, the Budapest Festival Orchestra will now host chamber music concerts, which will be available to view online for free. The 'Quarantine Soirees' are all listed here. Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraAs the Philharmonie Berlin is closed until 19 April, the Berlin Philharmonic's concerts will be available via its Digital Concert Hall, which is available free of charge for 30 days. Log in here, using the code BERLINPHIL. Metropolitan OperaThe Met has launched 'Nightly Met Opera Streams', a free series of operas streamed on the Met Opera's website during the coronavirus closure. The week commencing 23 March will be entirely focused on Wagner operas, kicking off with Tristan und Isolde on Monday. See below for the schedule.Thursday 19 March: Verdi La traviataFriday 20 March: Donizetti La Fille du RégimentSaturday 21 March: Donizetti Lucia di LammermoorSunday 22 March: Tchaikovsky Eugene OneginMonday 23 March: Wagner Tristan und IsoldeTuesday 24 March: Wagner Das RheingoldWednesday 25 March: Wagner Die WalküreThursday 26 March: Wagner SiegfriedFriday 27 March: Wagner GötterdämmerungSaturday 28 March: Wagner Die Meistersinger von NürnbergSunday 29 March: Wagner Tannhäuser Pianist Boris GiltburgThe Israeli pianist has built a programme of regular live-streamed lunchtime concerts, which will be released every Monday and Wednesday. Occasional Friday performances of Beethoven will also be added. Videos will be released at 12pm UK time on Giltburg’s Twitter and Facebook pages (@borisgiltburg on Twitter and @giltburg on Facebook).  London Symphony OrchestraThe LSO has launched ‘Always Playing’, a series of full-length concerts from its archive, which will be streamed live at the orchestra’s usual performance times: 7.30pm on Thursdays and 7pm on Sundays.  Bavarian State OperaFrom 23 March, the Bavarian State Opera will be streaming live Afternoon Concerts, with a mix of lieder, solo, chamber music and dance performances. Artists featured will include violinist Julia Fischer, baritone Christian Gerhaher and tenor Jonas Kaufmann. The concerts will be available for 14 days.  Boston Symphony OrchestraMusicians from the Boston Symphony Orchestra will be producing their own videos, which will be released through the orchestra's 'BSO at Home' platform on its website. They will share anecdotes and insights, giving informal performances while they stay at home during the pandemic.Six weeks of daily recordings will be available at 10am through the 'BSO at Home' platform. See below for the schedule. 23-29 March: Perfomances spotlighting the BSO's Music Directors past and present: Andris Nelsons, Seiji Ozawa, Erich Leinsdorf, Charles Munch, Serge Koussevitzky30 March-5 April: Memorable moments with guest soloists of the 20th century (Van Cliburn, Isaac Stern, Rudolf Serkin, Leonard Bernstein, Doriot Anthony Dwyer)6-12 April: Masterworks of the Classical Period (Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven)13-19 April: BSO performances of musical landmarks of the 20th century (Copland, Shostakovich, Bartók)20-26 April: Performances highlighting the French tradition and the BSO (Debussy, Ravel, Berlioz, Bizet)27 April-3 May: A focus on the BSO and the Romantic Age (Tchaikovsky, Brahms and Strauss) Bergen Philharmonic OrchestraThe Nordic orchestra has an online streaming service, which features concerts from the past year, including a performance of Britten's Peter Grimes, which the orchestra performed at the Royal Festival Hall in 2019. Ashuelot ConcertsThe chamber music series in New Hampshire is hosting livestreams every Wednesday and Saturday at 8pm EST. These will consist of talks and performances, with a Q&A via its YouTube channel at the end of each event. The schedule is listed below.Saturday 21 March: Dvořák: Four Romantic Pieces Op. 75Wednesday 25 March: Elgar: Violin Sonata, Part 1Saturday 28 March: Elgar: Violin Sonata, Part 2Wednesday 1 April: Smetana: From My HomelandSaturday 4 April: Suk: Four PiecesWednesday 8 April: Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Part 1Saturday 11 April: Brahms: Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor, Part 2Wednesday 15 April: Janáček: Violin SonataSaturday 18 April: Mozart: Violin Sonata No. 23, Part 1Wednesday 22 April: Mozart: Mozart: Violin Sonata No. 23, Part 2 George Enescu International FestivalFrom 18 March, the George Enescu International Festival and Competition will be broadcasting online concerts and recitals recorded in recent years. Each concert stream will remain on the website for four days. This is currently an ongoing project, with no definitive endpoint. London Mozart PlayersThe London Mozart Players have launched 'At Home with LMP', a new online streaming platform, complete with live performances and behind-the-scenes access and interviews. Live broadcasts will take place every Saturday, with guitarist Craig Ogden launching the 'Saturday Sessions' on Saturday 28 March. He will perform works including Scarlatti's Sonata in E and excerpts from Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez.Future performances will include appearances from pianist Howard Shelley, saxophonist Jess Gillam and clarinettist Michael Collins. Royal Philharmonic OrchestraAs part of its 'RPO at Home' digital programme, musicians from the orchestra perform to audiences online from their own homes.  Moscow Philharmonic SocietyThe Moscow Philharmonic Society is streaming 'armchair concerts without an audience' from the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall in Moscow every evening at 4pm GMT.  VOCES8The ensemble has set up an initiative called '#LiveFromHome', featuring the music of Apollo5 and VOCES8. The ensembles will broadcast performances, interactive singing videos, live workshops and interviews with the team on a daily basis. The videos will be broadcasted on Facebook and Instagram Live. Pianist Yulia ChaplinaDuring a difficult time, Russian pianist Yulia Chaplina has recorded a few short online performances of music she hopes will cheer everyone up! She has also started sending out a regular newsletter with links to these videos. London Philharmonic OrchestraThe LPO's upcoming concerts, which have had to be cancelled, will be mirrored by playlists of the repertoire that was supposed to be performed. The conductors and performers will introduce each concert, with their own personal opinions of the music on the programme. This kicks off on Saturday 28 March with Edward Gardner introducing a concert of Sibelius, Dutilleux and Beethoven.  Philharmonia OrchestraIn case you're deciding to pursue composition during this period of self-isolation, the Philharmonia Orchestra has a library of sound samples which are totally free to use.  Igor LevitThe brilliant pianist is hosting popular nightly 'House Concerts' on his Twitter.  Coronavirus: updated list of tours and festivals cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19  Watch backShanghai Symphony OrchestraThe Chinese orchestra performed a private live-streamed concert in its Chamber Hall, watched by over 900,000 people. There is a 15-minute clip available on the orchestra’s Facebook feed here. Pianist Garrick OhlssonGarrick Ohlsson’s concert at 92Y in New York is available to watch back on the venue’s website. The pianist performed sonatas by Beethoven and Prokofiev, as well as selected piano works by Chopin.  Daniel Hope and Lang LangKonzerthaus Berlin hosted violinist Daniel Hope, pianist Lang Lang, mandolinist Avi Avital and singer Max Raabe, among others, for a chamber recital, which you can now watch back on YouTube. Pianist and composer Eric ChristianEric Christian has been performing every day this week on his Instagram (@ericchristian). He primarily plays original material, but also takes musical requests.  Kuss QuartetThe German quartet performed a 'Solidarity with Freelance Musicians' benefit concert, which is now available to stream on its YouTube channel. Third Coast PercussionThird Coast Percussion recently performed a concert with music by Steve Reich, Gemma Peacocke and TCP member David Skidmore. This is now available to view on the ensemble's YouTube page. It kicks off at about the 31-minute mark. Harpsichordist Steven DevineOn Early Music Day, Stephen Devine played a livestream recital at the National Centre for Early Music in York. The concert is still available to view on Facebook. Devine performed Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 Part 1.  English National Ballet PhilharmonicUnder the baton of music director Gavin Sutherland, 38 members of the English National Ballet's orchestra recorded an extract from Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake, which they all recorded at home via video link.  Six of the best web-inspired music projects Thursday 19 MarchGuitarist Sean ShibeThe guitarist’s cancelled Leicester International Music Festival Lunchtime Concerts are going to be available to stream via his Twitter feed (@seanstshibe).Thursday 19 March, 1pm: Scottish Lute ManuscriptsFriday 20 March, 1pm: Bach Lute Suite BWV996Saturday 21 March, 1pm: Works by Sofia Gubaidulina and David Fennessy  Malmö Symphony OrchestraThursday 19 March’s concert will be replaced by a live broadcast on the orchestra’s streaming site. Mendelssohn’s suite from A Midsummer Night’s Dream will be performed by the orchestra alongside Mozart’s Symphony No. 36 ‘Linz’.  Five of the most unusual Budapest Festival Orchestra concerts Friday 20 MarchOsaka Philharmonic Orchestra, 10amAt 10am GMT, the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra will host a free live stream of a concert with interviews from Osaka Concert Hall. Haydn: Symphony No. 2Mozart: Symphony No. 5Stravinsky: Violin ConcertoStravinsky: The Rite of SpringAylen Pritchin (violin), Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra/Michiyoshi Inoue  Saturday 21 MarchAuckland Philharmonic OrchestraAt 7.30pm local time, the orchestra will present a livestream of two past APO performances. The orchestra is joined by violinist James Ehnes for Bruch's First Violin Concerto, before embarking on Beethoven's Pastoral Symphony. It will be hosted on the Facebook event here, as well as on the orchestra's website. 21st Century ConsortRecorded at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, the 21st Century Consort will be streaming a concert of works by composers from the last century, including Tan Dun, Kati Agocs, Stella Sung and Berio. The concert will be streamed via the ensemble's YouTube channel at 10pm GMT on Saturday 21 March. The programme is below.Tan Dun: Water MusicKati Agocs: A la Claire FountaineStella Sung: Dance of the White Lotus Under the Silver MoonBerio: Circles  Sunday 22 MarchLondon Symphony OrchestraTo launch its ‘Always Playing’ initiative, the LSO’s first full concert will be available at 7pm on Sunday. The programme will be released and the concert available to stream here.  Monday 23 MarchJess GillamSaxophonist Jess GIllam will be livestreaming a performance at 6pm on Instagram Live. You can find her on Instagram at @jessgillamsax. Lise DavidsenThe soprano will be following on from Jess Gillam with a livestream at 7pm on Instagram Live, via her Instagram: @lisedavidsen. Ola GjeiloNorweigian composer and pianist Ola Gjeilo will be completing the Decca livestream evening with a performance on his Facebook page at 8pm.   Thursday 26 MarchPianist Jonathan BissJonathan Biss will be performing to an empty concert hall with a live-streamed recital of Beethoven sonatas.  Gewandhausorchester LeipzigFrom Accentus Productions, the Leipzig orchestra will stream a concert of music by Stravinsky and Robert Schumann, under the baton of Andris Nelsons.  The concert will be available to view on the orchestra's website for 24 hours.  Seattle SymphonyThe Seattle Symphony will present a rebroadcast of Dvořák's Symphony No. 8, conducted by music director Thomas Dausgaard. The stream will begin at 7.30pm PDT on YouTube and Facebook.  Living Room LiveCreated by composer Freya Waley-Cohen, violinist Tamsin Waley-Cohen and pianist George Fu, Living Room Live is a platform for musicians to share videos and streams over the coming weeks and beyond. The platform is launching tonight at 6pm on  livingroom-live.com, with George Fu performing Knussen's Ophelia's Last Dance and Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 30. The video will remain on the website after the live broadcast.  Upcoming featured artists will include soprano Héloïse Werner, soprano Ruby Hughes and pianist James Baillieu. The team behind Living Room Live has reached out to care homes across the UK, who will be sharing the streams in care homes. Friday 27 MarchMusic Never Sleeps NYCNew York-based artists including pianist Jeremy Denk, composer Nico Muhly, mandolinist Chris Thile, violinist Gil Shaham and the Brentano Quartet will be taking part in a 24-hour music video livestream marathon event beginning at 6pm EDT on Friday 27 March. The event has been organised by cellist Jan Vogler.  Global Lockdown OrchestraBritish composer Ben Morales Frost has responded to the crisis and the huge number of musicians out of work by creating the Global Lockdown Orchestra, in which 521 musicians from across the world will perform a new piece of music in each performance. Musicians will be sent music on Saturday and have until Tuesday night to submit recordings, in a similar way to Eric Whitacre's Virtual Choir. The orchestra's inaugural performance will be available to view on Friday 27 March at 8pm on Ben Morales Frost's YouTube channel. Gewandhausorchester LeipzigHerbert Blomstedt conducts the Leipzig orchestra in the music of Beethoven at 1pm in an Accentus production. The concert will be available to view for 24 hours after broadcast.  Seattle Symphony Orchestra: Meet the TubaPrincipal tuba John Dicesare introduces the tuba to children in a livestream on YouTube and Facebook. The programme will be broadcast at 11am PDT.   Saturday 28 MarchInside-Out PianoTo celebrate International Piano Day, Turner Sims concert hall in Southampton is hosting a free online family concert at 3pm. Pianist and composer Sarah Nicholls plays the Inside-Out Piano, a grand piano opened up so the audience can see right inside it. London Philharmonic OrchestraTo kick off its series of digital offerings, the LPO's first 'playlist concert' will be introduced by Edward Gardner, who is set to take over the orchestra as principal conductor in September 2021. The intended programme (Sibelius's Third Symphony, Dutilleux's Le temps l'horlage and Beethoven's Symphony No. 5) will be available via the LPO's website in playlist form.  Deutsche Grammophon PianistsDeutsche Grammophon’s pianists are joining forces for World Piano Day via the record label’s YouTube and Facebook platforms. Pianists set to feature in the recital include Víkingur Ólafsson, Daniil Trifonov, Maria João Pires, Evgeny Kissin, Jan Lisiecki, Rudolf Buchbinder, Kit Armstrong, Simon Ghraichy and Joep Beving. The stream will begin at 3pm CET and will be available for a limited time afterwards. Seattle SymphonyThe Seattle Symphony will present a rebroadcast of Dvořák's Symphony No. 8, conducted by music director Thomas Dausgaard. The stream will begin at 8pm PDT on YouTube and Facebook.   Monday 30 MarchOn Site OperaThe New York opera company, which specialises in site-specific and immersive productions, will host a series of performances via livestream. All streams will begin at 12pm EST on the company’s website and Facebook page. Rameau’s PygmalionStaging from June 2014 at the Lifestyle-Trimco Mannequin Showroom   Monday 6 AprilOn Site OperaThe New York opera company, which specialises in site-specific and immersive productions, will host a series of performances via livestream. All streams will begin at 12pm EST on the company’s website and Facebook page. Mozart’s The Secret GardenerStaging from May 2017 at the Westside Community Garden  Monday 13 AprilOn Site OperaThe New York opera company, which specialises in site-specific and immersive productions, will host a series of performances via livestream. All streams will begin at 12pm EST on the company’s website and Facebook page. Michi Wiancko’s Murasaki’s MoonStaging from May 2019 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Astor Court  Looking aheadGstaad Menuhin Festival and AcademyThe Swiss festival - running from 17 July to 6 September - will also be running a digital platform on which audiences can watch concert highlights and backstage interviews. Videos are already available to view, including masterclasses from pianist András Schiff and violinists Sol Gabetta and Patricia Kopatchinskaja, who performed at last year's festival. This list will be updated daily. If there are any we have missed, please contact freya.parr@immediate.co.uk. 

  • INTERVIEW | Toronto Symphony Musicians Share How They Are Coping With COVID-19
    by Robin Roger on March 23, 2020 at 6:32 pm

    Two TSO musicians tell us how they are adjusting to being at home amid COVID-19.

  • The Guardian view on music and pandemics: the global prisoners’ chorus
    by Editorial on March 22, 2020 at 7:10 pm

    As the Covid-19 virus has taken hold, human beings have turned to singing and music. We are expressing an eternal need for harmonyCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageMusic, said Saint Thomas Aquinas, can be defined as “the exaltation of the mind derived from things eternal bursting forth in sound”. Faced with the stresses and difficulties of the coronavirus outbreak, it should come as no surprise that so many people have found a response to the pandemic in music. Our bodies may be doing the right and responsible thing by remaining at home, but our minds are not so easily locked down. Things eternal still need to burst forth somehow, and in the face of the Covid-19 virus, music has become one of humankind’s most defiant public assertions that life must continue in harmony. Related: 'Quarantine soirees': classical music and opera to stream at home Continue reading...

  • From standup to the Sistine chapel: the best online culture for self-isolation
    by Stuart Jeffries on March 22, 2020 at 5:16 pm

    The coronavirus crisis has closed galleries and concert halls – but inspired an explosion of creativity to enjoy at home. Here’s some of the best The best theatre and dance to watch onlineThe best classical music and operaGreat livestreamed gigs to watch at homeHow clever of Hilary Mantel to write a 900-page novel to help us through the end times. How stupid of me to fall asleep in the bath while reading it. Maybe you’re in the same predicament. While we wait for our copies to dry in the proverbial airing cupboard, here are some other ideas to stop you becoming, during this testing period, what the Russians call ni kulturni (uncultured yahoos). Continue reading...

  • Plácido Domingo Says He Has the Coronavirus
    by By Johnny Diaz on March 22, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    “I beg everyone to be extremely careful,” the opera singer said in a Facebook post on Sunday after developing a fever and cough and testing positive for the virus.

  • Classical music: let the Berlin Phil come to you
    by Nicholas Kenyon on March 21, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    With concert halls and opera houses closed, we sample the stay-at-home alternatives from Budapest to Dar es Salaam• As home entertainment becomes inevitably more central to our lives, the quest will surely be to capture the spirit of the authentic live experience. First and boldest into the arena has been the Berlin Philharmonic (“The Philharmonie is closed – so we will come to you!”), removing all charges from its online streaming service. Go to digitalconcerthall.com and enter the code BERLINPHIL by 31 March. Here you will find, among concerts from Karajan to Abbado, a recent concert under Simon Rattle that was streamed live without an audience. Berio’s phantasmagorical Sinfonia is juxtaposed with a sumptuously sonorous Bartók Concerto for Orchestra. Elsewhere on the site there’s the latest from new chief conductor Kirill Petrenko, pushing into the music of the 1940s with Stravinsky’s Symphony in Three Movements, Zimmermann and Rachmaninov. Related: Home listening: in stormy times, Schubert is balm for the soul I have probably never felt the actual life saving meaning of music and sound before—not in this existential dimension of today. Everything feels new. Thank you for allowing me to share this with you. This is what keeps my inner light burning these days. See you tomorrow. https://t.co/OzcyZ9cxTL Continue reading...

  • Great Theater, Dance and Classical Music to Tune Into While Stuck at Home
    by By The New York Times on March 20, 2020 at 9:41 pm

    Lincoln Center has a new online portal; the Royal Danish Ballet is streaming; and museums and galleries expand online offerings. Here is a list of digital content.

  • BBC Arts launches Culture in Quarantine
    by Freya Parr on March 20, 2020 at 5:27 pm

    Rating:  0 BBC Arts has launched a new intiative, 'Culture in Quarantine', a virtual festival of arts for the foreseeable future as the coronavirus pandemic forces concert halls, theatres and festivals to close. It will run across the BBC's radio, television and digital platforms. The new initiative will include performances from musicians and comedians, new plays created for broadcast, author talks and guides to exhibitions at galleries which have been forced to close their doors. It also will broadcast quarantine diaries from artists and creatives, as well as archive broadcasts of theatre and dance performances. Jonty Claypole, director of BBC Arts, described the current pandemic and its impact on the art world, saying, 'Historically, artists thrive on periods of isolation and it seems certain that the current period will result in new plays, poems, books, films, paintings, sculptures and all other forms of art that might not otherwise occur’.

  • An Opera Singer Goes From Tenor to Soprano, and Her Career Takes Off
    by By Ernesto Londoño on March 20, 2020 at 1:20 pm

    María Castillo de Lima was doing well, with a coveted spot in a renowned Argentine theater. But she became a breakout star after her transition.

  • Six Sounds of Shakespeare
    by Naxos on March 20, 2020 at 12:00 am

    March 21 marks the European Day of Early Music. By way of a slightly contorted response to the occasion, I thought we might take a look at William Shakespeare’s influence on composers, not through the contemporary contributions they made to performances of his plays (he lived from 1564 to 1616), but by taking stock of Read More ...

  • Metropolitan Opera Cancels Season Over Virus and Faces $60 Million Loss
    by By Zachary Woolfe on March 19, 2020 at 5:02 pm

    The company’s orchestra, chorus and stagehands will not be paid past March. The move is another stark sign that even the richest cultural institutions face a profound threat from the outbreak.

  • 10 of the best books about Beethoven
    by Freya Parr on March 19, 2020 at 4:44 pm

    Rating:  0 1) Anton Schindler wrote one of the earliest Beethoven biographies, published in 1840, but its veracity was soon questioned. 2) Alexander Wheelock Thayer was the next to take up the challenge, with three volumes published from 1866-79. 3) Of the other biographies, Lewis Lockwood’s Beethoven: The Music and the Life remains a classic. 4) As does Maynard Solomon’s Beethoven. How did Beethoven cope with going deaf? 5) More recently, Jan Swafford’s Beethoven: Anguish and Triumph impressed reviewers. 6) Robin Wallace’s Hearing Beethoven: A Story of Musical Loss and Discovery offered revelatory research about the composer’s deafness. 7) Beethoven’s Conversation Books have been translated into English by Theodore Albrecht, with the first two volumes of the planned 12 out now. Ten of the best (and worst) novels about composers 8) Novelist Sanford Friedman also turns to Beethoven’s discussions, this time fictionalised, in his Conversations with Beethoven. 9) Poet Ruth Padel’s Beethoven Variations: Poems on a Life was released earlier this year. 10 Jessica Duchen’s Immortal looks at Beethoven’s mysterious immortal beloved, and will be published in 2020. Six of the best classical music film cameos 

  • Raging Waters, Red Sands: Jen Shyu Speaks
    by Rob Shepherd on March 17, 2020 at 7:41 pm

    While The Jazz Gallery has postponed upcoming performances due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Jazz Speaks will continue to share the music and stories of Gallery performers. Today, we present an interview with Jen Shyu, who was to present her longford piece Raging Waters, Red Sands this coming weekend. Originally a Jazz Gallery commission from 2009, the work

  • Elinor Ross, Met Soprano With Illness-Shortened Career, Dies at 93
    by By Neil Genzlinger on March 17, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    In 1970 she stepped in on short notice at the Metropolitan Opera. Nine years later, Bell’s palsy sidelined her.

  • A guide to the 2020 remake of West Side Story
    by Music Freelance on March 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    Rating:  0 In an upcoming adaptation by 20th Century Fox, West Side Story will represent Steven Spielberg’s first musical project. The plot was originally inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, in which lovers Maria and Tony find themselves entangled in a bitter battle between their gangster families. Leonard Bernstein wrote the score for the original 1957 Broadway production, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The score will be adapted for the new film by David Newman, who also wrote the scores to Ice Age, Matilda and Anastasia, the latter of which won him an Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score. David Newman comes from a composing family: he is the son of legendary film composer Alfred Newman, who won nine Academy Awards and was nominated 45 times. He is also the brother of film composer Thomas Newman, who has written the scores to 1917, Finding Nemo and The Shawshank Redemption, as well as several James Bond films. David is also the cousin of Randy Newman, who has scored many Disney-Pixar films including Monsters, Inc. and Toy Story. He was up against Thomas in the 2019 Academy Awards, for which Thomas was nominated for 1917 and Randy for Marriage Story.  A guide to the Newman familyIntroducing the nominees for Best Original Score at the 2019 Oscars Spielberg has cast 18-year-old singer-songwriter Rachel Zegler as Maria, who will be making her film debut. The high school student responded to the production's open casting call with a video of herself singing Tonight and Me Siento Hermosa. ‘I am so thrilled to be playing the iconic role of Maria alongside this amazing cast,’ exclaimed Zegler. ‘As a Colombian-American woman growing up in this day and age, strong roles like Maria are so important. To be able to bring that role to life — a role that means so much to the Hispanic community — is so humbling.’Ansel Elgort, previously seen in Edgar Wright's 2017 film Baby Driver, will play Tony. Plus, Rita Moreno, who won an Oscar for her performance playing Anita in the original film, will play a new character not included in the original – Valentina. Maddie Ziegler, famous for dancing in popular-music artist Sia’s music videos, will also be cast as a Jet. Award-winning playwright Tony Kushner will adapt the screenplay from the original 1957 Broadway script, which was written by Arthut Laurents. He will be leaving the musical numbers intact, and the story will be in fact more similar to the original musical than to the 1961 film. Composer David Newman will arrange and adapt Leonard Bernstein’s original score, and Gustavo Dudamel, musical director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, will conduct the orchestra during the film’s recording sessions.West Side Story will be released on 18 December 2020.  A West Side Horror StoryPodcast: Bernstein and West Side Story5 Essential Works by Leonard Bernstein 

  • Coronavirus in N.Y.: The Latest
    by By Corey Kilgannon on March 17, 2020 at 9:23 am

    A city whose lifeblood is its thousands of bars and eateries is suddenly without them (but you can still order a cocktail).

  • 'Sending love': German music venues emptied by Covid-19 livestream concerts
    by Kate Connolly in Berlin on March 16, 2020 at 11:52 am

    From opera and poetry to a James Blunt concert, people are seeking solace from cultureCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageAmid widescale closures of cultural venues across the world in an attempt to stem the spread of coronavirus, classical music venues in Europe have turned to livestreaming their concerts in an effort to comfort music fans.At Staatsoper Berlin the curtain went up on a production of Bizet’s Carmen as planned on Thursday evening, under the baton of Daniel Barenboim, before empty stalls. Related: Coronavirus and culture – a list of major cancellations The World Health Organization is recommending that people take simple precautions to reduce exposure to and transmission of the coronavirus, for which there is no specific cure or vaccine. Continue reading...

  • Coronavirus: updated list of tours and festivals cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19
    by Freya Parr on March 16, 2020 at 10:09 am

    Rating:  0 To find out which concerts and operas are being broadcast via livestream, click here. FestivalsPiatigorsky International Cello Festival, LA: 13-22 MarchAlthough the cello festival has been cancelled, four Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts that were scheduled to take place during the festival will continue as planned. They are as followed:20 March: Haydn Cello Concerto No. 1 (Laura van der Heijden)21 March: Schumann Cello Concerto (Kian Soltani)22 March: Julia Adolphe’s Chrysalis (world premiere) (Ralph Kirschbaum)22 March: Colburn Celebrity Concert (Jean-Guihen Queyras, Camille Thomas, Narek Hakhnazaryan) Hong Kong Arts Festival: 13-February-14 MarchThe Hong Kong Arts Festival is planning to reschedule as many of its performances as possible for a later date. The festival crosses many disciplines, incorporating orchestral and chamber music, dance, opera and theatre.  Salzburg Easter Festival: 4-13 AprilThis year’s instalment of Salzburg’s annual festival has been cancelled. The festival is set to continue next year, with performances from András Schiff and Hilary Hahn – the latter of whom was due to receive the Herbert von Karajan Prize. Oslo International Church Music Festival: 13-23 MarchDue to the restrictions placed on the city of Oslo, this year's festival will no longer be taking place.   Festival d'Opéra de QuébecThe Canadian festival has now been postponed.  The Felicja Blumental International Music FestivalTel Aviv's music festival, which was due to take place in March 2020, has been cancelled.  Opera Holland ParkHolland Park's 2020 season, scheduled to take place between June and August, has been postponed. The team are currently looking into opportunities to present operas at a future date in alternative locations.  Verbier FestivalThe Swiss festival was set to take place from 17 July to 2 August has now been cancelled.  ToursLondon Philharmonic Orchestra: Tour to Luxembourg, Germany and Austria: 13-19 MarchThe LPO has cancelled its seven-date European tour with conductor Robin Ticciati, which included performances with violinists Anne-Sophie Mutter, Khatia Buniatishvili, Renaud Capuçon; pianists Jan Lisiecki and Seong-Jin Cho; and cellist Pablo Ferrández. Yuja Wang: 13 March-30 JulyPianist Yuja Wang has cancelled her extensive European recital tour, which included a concert at the Barbican on 31 March.   ConcertsFlanders Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all concerts in March 2020. The Belgian orchestra’s series, ‘A New World’, will be postponed until later notice.  RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all concerts from Friday 3 to Sunday 29 March. This included concerts with violinist Maxim Vengerov and conductor Joshua Weilerstein.  Israel Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled all concerts for the rest of March. The announcement was made before the orchestra’s concert on 11 March, following the announcement that events with more than 100 people were no longer allowed. The concert went ahead in an empty concert hall, broadcast live on Facebook. San Francisco Symphony Orchestra has cancelled concerts from Thursday 12 to Sunday 22 March. This included concerts with cellist Gautier Capuçon, flautist James Galway and pianist Hélène Grimaud. The orchestra has also now announced the cancellation of its final tour with Michael Tilson Thomas to Europe, which was set to take place from 21 March to 7 April across ten European cities.  Oslo Philharmonic has cancelled all concerts until 3 April, following the announcement from the Norweigian Institute of Public Health recommending the cancellation of all events with more than 500 participants.  Boston Symphony Orchestra has cancelled all performances at Symphony Hall in Boston and Tanglewood from Friday 13 March to Saturday 28 March. This has now been extended to Saturday 2 May, which includes cancellations of two dates at Carnegie Hall in New York. Greek National Opera has suspended all performances at the Stavros Niarchos Hall until further notice, following the Ministry of Health's measures against activities with over 1000 spectators.  Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra has cancelled its upcoming collaboration with the Bergen National Opera, performing Mozart's La clemenza di Tito, and Beethoven's Christ on the Mount of Olives. The Leeds International Piano Competition had scheduled a day of public events to celebrate the 100th birthday of Fanny Waterman, the competition's founder. It was going to include a public concert with previous Leeds Gold Medallists and a dinner, but these events have had to be cancelled as a result of the virus.  Amsterdam's Royal Concertgebouw is closed until 6 April, at which point it will announce whether the venue will reopen or not. The Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra's former chief conductor Mariss Jansons was going to be celebrated in a concert at the end of March, following his death at the end of 2019, but unfortunately this concert will no longer be taking place.   Venues Tonhalle, ZürichAll concerts at the Swiss concert hall have been cancelled until 5 April. Wigmore Hall, LondonWigmore Hall will be closed from Tuesday 17 March until at least Tuesday 14 April. All concerts and events during this time have been cancelled. Future concerts can still be booked online.  St George's, BristolThe Bristol venue announced immediate closure until at least Monday 20 April. It is trying, where possible, to reschedule concerts and artist appearances. Kings Place, LondonThe Kings Cross venue will be closed and its programme suspended until further notice. The Kings Place team are exploring potential digital offerings for its audiences.  Southbank Centre, LondonThe Southbank Centre is now closed with immediate effect. It has not been stated when it will reopen. This will affect all concerts and events at the Royal Festival Hall, the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Purcell Room.  St John's Smith Square, LondonThe Westminster has been closed with immediate effect until at least Wednesday 15 April The Holy Week Festival, in conjunction with Tenebrae, will now no longer take place in April. Royal Albert Hall, London The Royal Albert Hall will be closed to the public until at least 30 April, at which point the team will follow government advice on how to proceed.  Opera North and Leeds PlayhouseAll events have been cancelled until the end of April. The upcoming production of A Little Night Music has been postponed until further notice. CompetitionsFryderyk Chopin International Piano CompetitionThe preliminary round of the 18th Chopin Competition has been postponed from April to September. Maria Canals International Music CompetitionThe Barcelona-based competition has been postponed until 20-31 July. La Maestra International Competition for Women ConductorsThe inaugural La Maestra competition was due to take place at the Philharmonie de Paris in March. This has now been postponed from Tuesday 15 to Friday 18 September 2020 at the Philharmonie de Paris. The first round and semi-final will take place in the Studio, the Final will be held in the Grande Salle Pierre Boulez. London & Southern Counties Regional Brass Band ChampionshipsThe major brass band event, which hosts 80 competing ensembles, has been cancelled. The regional secretary has not yet announced how the grading tables and advancement of bands to the National Finals will take place. The contest is always held on the third weekend of March, so next year's event will take place as normal on 20-21 March 2021. European Brass Band ChampionshipsThe championships, scheduled in April/May in Palanga, Lithuania, have been cancelled. It has not yet been announced whether the events will be postponed to a later date. In the meantime, they will continue to prepare the 2021 event in Malmö in Sweden.  Annette Celine International Singing CompetitionThe inaugural Tel Aviv competition has been postponed, possibly until autumn.   OnlineBudapest Festival OrchestraIn response to the worldwide restrictions on public concerts, the Budapest Festival Orchestra will now host chamber music concerts, which will be available to view online for free. The 'Quarantine Soirees' are all listed here. Berlin Philharmonic OrchestraAs the Philharmonie Berlin is closed until 19 April, the Berlin Philharmonic's concerts will be available via its Digital Concert Hall, which is available free of charge for 30 days. Log in here, using the code BERLINPHIL. If you know of any other cancellations from the classical music world, which are not included in the list above, please contact freya.parr@immediate.co.uk.

  • The Marriage of Figaro review – superb singing in hilarious staging
    by Flora Willson on March 15, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Coliseum, LondonA simple yet effective conceit is one of the revelations in a production strong on witty detail and anarchic stylisationSometimes simple solutions really do work best. Joe Hill-Gibbins’ new production of The Marriage of Figaro for English National Opera stages Mozart and Da Ponte’s tangle of intrigues and concealments along a row of four identical doors in a white box. It’s a revelation: this is, after all, a piece in which the issue of who’s in on the joke (and who’s out) is crucial – and the humble door is its ideal multiway tool.Such a straightforward conceit leaves plenty of space for characters to emerge. From the overture – staged as a series of increasingly anarchic tableaux vivants, establishing the production’s hyperstylised look – there’s a riot of witty details. Raised eyebrows, meaningful glances, absurd choreography. Much of it is very funny.At the Coliseum, London, until 18 April. Continue reading...

  • Love, birth, death: why midwifery helps me sing Wagner
    by Vanessa Thorpe on March 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm

    Catherine Foster, star of six seasons at the Bayreuth festival, finally returns for performances in Britain where she used to work on hospital wardsSorrow, joy, birth and death, love and hatred – opera covers it all, with a heavy emphasis on love and death. And for the acclaimed British Wagnerian soprano, Catherine Foster, there is no doubt where her understanding of these central human experiences stems from. The singer, who returns to Britain this spring to perform for the first time after a successful career in Germany, will be drawing heavily on her time as a nurse and midwife in her native Nottingham.“We are all a collection of our experiences,” she said this weekend, before a performance of Richard Strauss’s expressionist opera Elektra with the Bournemouth Symphony under conductor Kiril Karabits. “And so, of course, working on the wards affected me.”I had never sung Wagner, but I found it was like butter on the voice Continue reading...

  • The week in classical: Giulio Cesare; Susanna – review
    by Stephen Pritchard on March 14, 2020 at 12:00 pm

    Hackney Empire, London; Linbury theatre, London English Touring Opera hits the road with a top-notch production of Handel’s Giulio Cesare, while his Susanna finally returns to Covent GardenTwo very different approaches to Handel found their way on to London stages last week; one sure-footed and graceful, the other awkward and graceless, but each offering brilliant vocal showcases for several countertenors to peacock their prodigious talents, and both displaying just how blessed we are for top-class period instrumentalists.The ever-admirable English Touring Opera is off around England again, celebrating its 40th anniversary with a spring season encompassing Handel’s Giulio Cesare, Bach’s St John Passion and Mozart’s Così fan tutte. Director James Conway’s Cesare is an entirely successful reworking of his 2017 production, which had spread the opera (it’s very long) over two nights. Sensitive editing has brought it down to one evening, heightening the drama and giving it a welcome, though at times almost breathless, drive.Giulo Cesare tours until 30 May Continue reading...

  • BBC launches Young Composer 2020 competition
    by Music Freelance on March 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Rating:  0 This year’s BBC Young Composer Competition has been launched. Aimed at young musicians aged 12 to 18, winners are given the opportunity for their piece to be performed and broadcasted in concert at the 2021 BBC Proms.  The annual competition has launched countless musical careers since its inception in 1998. Composers from the BBC Young Composer alumni include Grace-Evangeline Mason, Alex Woolf, Sarah Jenkins and Alexia Sloane. Following the competition, their works have been commissioned by BBC Radio 3, BBC Concert Orchestra and BBC Proms. Sarah Jenkins, for example, had her latest work, And the Sun Stood Still, commissioned and premiered by the BBC Concert Orchestra and conducted by Bramwell Tovey at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in December, 2018.  BBC Young Composer competition winners 201715 things we love about the BBC Proms Chosen panel judges for this year include Shiva Feshareki, Errollyn Wallen and Matthew Kaner as well as director of the BBC Proms, David Pickard. More panellists will be announced in the coming weeks.  Discover rules and how to enter at www.bbc.co.uk/youngcomposer.  Entries close on Thursday 11 June 2020, 5pm.  

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