NEW! Katie Lowe Wins the 2017 Elizabeth Connell Prize



2017 Elizabeth Connell Prize Winner Announced


Katie Lowe (c) Zohar Izenberg

KATIE LOWE from England Cheshire born 31 year old English soprano Katie Lowe has won the 4th annual Elizabeth Connell Prize for aspiring Dramatic Sopranos held in Sydney Australia on 16 September. Ms Lowe receives $30,000 and an audition at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London. The Finalists were chosen from live auditions held in London, New York, Zurich, Paris and Melbourne and competed over 3 rounds in Sydney for the prize. Ms Lowe sang the “Immolation Scene” from Wagner’s Götterdämmerung and “Suicidio” from La Gioconda by Ponchiello in the Final Round. Read more

NEW! Contemporary Music from Manchester’s Psappha in 2017-18



Psappha’s 2017-18 Season


Psappha, Manchester’s professional contemporary classical music ensemble, launches its 2017-18 season on 26 Octobe at Hallé St Peter’s, Ancoats, with two UK premières; Sarah Kirkland Snider’s Penelope and Molly Joyce’s Rave. Read more

NEW! Opportunity for a Rare Composition Masterclass with Gavin Bryars in April 2018




Following the announcement (and fast selling out) of sessions with Chris Watson (founder of Cabaret Voltaire, and sound recordist for David Attenborough), Laraaji (celebrated ambient musician, best known for his work with Brian Eno) and Eli Keszler (NYC virtuoso percussionist, composer and installation artist), CAMP have announced a rare masterclass in modern composition with Gavin Bryars in France beginning 24 April 2018. Read more

NEW! 91% Capacity at this year’s Lucerne Festival in Summer



The 2017 Lucerne Summer Festival

Just a day or two before the end of this summer’s Lucerne Festival, the Press Office has announced both a prolongation of Michael Haefliger’s contract as Executive and Artistic Director (until 2025) and some impressive audience figures. Read more

NEW! Stuart Skelton Sings Wagner in London on 13 September 2017


TMT_LOGO The Tait Memorial Trust is to present renowned Australian tenor Stuart Skelton, at a gala concert to celebrate our 25th Anniversary at St Paul’s Church Knightsbridge, on Wednesday the 13th September at 7pm.

“Stuart Skelton’s Tristan is the finest account of Wagner’s most extreme and taxing operatic character…that I’ve ever seen or heard on a stage.”  David Nice, The Arts Desk, June 2016 Read more

NEW! Musikfest Berlin 2017’s Italian Echoes from 31 August to 18 September



Musikfest Berlin 2017: Italian Echoes

Orchestra Festival starts on 31 August 

RCO Amsterdam’s Europe Project 

The international orchestra festival starts on 31 August and, continuing until 18 September, presents 27 events with well over 80 pieces by 51 composers, organized by the Berliner Festspiele in cooperation with the Berliner Philharmoniker Foundation. The recently published JOURNAL offers a more detailed look at the festival programme.

With the three Monteverdi operas performed by the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir with Sir John Eliot Gardiner as well as countless international soloists marking the 450th anniversary of the composer at the launch of the Musikfest Berlin 2017, the festival offers a glimpse into music and interpreters who are particularly connected to Italy. In addition to these opera performances there are further highlights including the performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam with Milan-born Daniele Gatti conducting and Wolfgang Rihm’s “IN-SCHRIFT”, a piece which was composed for San Marco – part of the orchestra’s Europe tour under the title RCO meets Europe, Mozart’s “Requiem” performed by Chorus and Orchestra MusicAeterna with Teodor Currentzis and the festival debut of the Filarmonica della Scala with Riccardo Chailly together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin and works by Giuseppe Verdi. Furthermore will be presented the “Il canto sospeso” by Luigi Nono sung by soprano Mojca Erdmann and others in the SWR Symphonieorchester concert, the RIAS Kammerchor concert with Monteverdi’s Vespers and its missa “In illo tempore”, the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin evening with works by contemporary composers of Monteverdi’s and violinist Ilya Gringolts’ solo matinee with the “Capricci” by Nicolò Pagagini and Salvatore Sciarrino.


MONTEVERDI 450: Marking the occasion of Claudio Monteverdi’s 450 birthday, Musikfest Berlin 2017 will present his three operas L‘Orfeo (2 September), Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria (3 September) and L’incoronazione di Poppea (5 September) as part of the Monteverdi 450 project’s Europe tour at der Philharmonie Berlin – as the only stop in Germany. Sir John Eliot Gardiner conducts the world-class period ensembles he himself founded, the English Baroque Soloists and the Monteverdi Choir. The concert performances are directed by Gardiner and Elsa Rooke. Among the approximately 20 vocal soloists are Krystian Adam, Hana Blažíková, Gianluca Buratto, Yulia van Doren, Francisco Fernandez Rueda, Kangmin Justin Kim and Carlo Vistoli. Eleonore Büning, Volker Hagedorn, Matthias Hengelbrock and Michael Stegemann will discuss Claudio Monteverdi’s operas at the Critics’ Quartet on Sunday, 3 September at the Italian Cultural Institute, in particular the interpretation story of Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria. The RIAS Kammerchor, conducted by new chief conductor Justin Doyle, will present Monteverdi’s Vespers and the missa da capela In illo tempore in the Pierre Boulez Saal and at the St. Hedwigs Kathedrale on 15 and 16 September.

INTERNATIONAL GUEST ORCHESTRAS: Directed by Daniele Gatti, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam will present Bruckner’s 9th Symphony together with IN-SCHRIFT, an orchestral work which composer Wolfgang Rihm composed for San Marco in Venice.

Chorus and Orchestra MusicAeterna will perform Mozart’s Requiem with their chief conductor and founder Teodor Currentzis and singers Julia Lezhneva, Catriona Morison, Thomas Cooley and Tareq Nazmi. In the first part of the concert, music by Hildegard von Bingen and Henry Purcell will be played along with works from the Modern period by Igor Strawinsky, Sergej Tanejew, Alfred Schnittke and György Ligeti.

The Filarmonica della Scala with Riccardo Chailly is a guest at the festival for the first time – the orchestra first performed in Berlin in 2006 at the Komischen Oper, followed by the first concert at the Philharmonie in 2009. Most recently, the Filarmonica della Scala performed two concerts in 2012 with Daniel Barenboim conducting. Claudio Abbado founded the orchestra as an independent entity only 35 years ago, yet its ancestral opera house is the tradition-steeped “Scala” with its almost 250-year-old history, as world renowned as always. Together with the Rundfunkchor Berlin, the musicians from Milan bring Guiseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater and Te Deum to the Philharmonie, as well as Verdi’s overture from Les Vêpres siciliennes and Brahms’ Violin Concert with violinist Leonidas Kavakos.

FURTHER CONCERTS with an Italy connection: In his solo matinee on 3 September, violinist Ilya Gringolts plays the highly virtuosic Capricci by Nicolò Paganini alternating with those of his contemporary, Sicily-born composer Salvatore Sciarrino. On 11 September at the SWR Symphonieorchester, the SWR vocal ensemble will sing madrigals by Luca Marenzio and Nicola Vicentino conducted by Peter Rundel. In addition, the ensemble sings the Il canto sospeso by Luigi Nono together with soprano Mojca Erdmann, Jenny Carlstedt und Robin Tritschler – a work for which Claudio Abbado started his own Nono project at schools in Europe.

Since Visconti’s film Death in Venice, the images of this city in the Adagietto of Gustav Mahler’s 5th Symphony are familiar. Iván Fischer brings them to life with his Konzerthausorchester. Prior to that, composer Gustav Mahler himself can be heard with its first movement on the piano – his playing was recorded on Welte Mignon piano rolls and can therefore be experienced by the audience as a prelude to the orchestra’s performance.

The overture to Mozart’s Don Giovanni kicks off the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin concert under Christoph Eschenbach. Also on the programme are Mozart’s “Ch’io mi scordi te?” with soprano Hanna-Elisabeth Müller and Rihm’s Piano Concert with Tzimon Barto as soloist as well as Mendelssohn’s “Italienische”. Ferruccio Busoni’s Dance Waltz for orchestra forms the prelude to the Berliner Phiharmoniker directed by Susanna Mälkki. In addition to Symphony Nr.2 by Sibelius, violinist Gil Shaham will be performing Bartók’s 2nd Violin Concerto.

The Philharmonie Berlin with its Kammermusiksaal serves as the main venue of the 2017 Musikfest Berlin. In addition, concerts and talks take place at the Italian Cultural Institute Berlin, the Academy of the Arts at Pariser Platz, the Konzerthaus Berlin, the Pierre Boulez Saaland the St Hedwig Cathedral.

Further information:

UPDATED! Grenfell Tower Benefit Concert on 17 September at Cadogan Hall



Cadogan Hall and soprano Nazan Fikret present Grenfell Tower Benefit Concert on 17 September

In the wake of the terrible fire at Grenfell Tower, the soprano Nazan Fikret decided to rally fellow performers and put together a concert to raise funds for those affected. Read more

NEW! I Musicanti’s ‘Alexandra and the Russians’ at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18



I Musicanti at St Johns Smith Square, 2017-18: ‘Alexandra and the Russians’

I Musicanti and their artistic director Leon Bosch return to St John’s Smith Square for ‘Alexandra and the Russians’, a second season of works from the chamber music repertoire partnered with new commissions.

Read more

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  • NEW! What is the Critic’s Job? A Review of A. O. Scott’s Recent Book __________________________________
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  • NEW! Katie Lowe Wins the 2017 Elizabeth Connell Prize __________________________________
  • NEW! Opportunity for a Rare Composition Masterclass with Gavin Bryars in April 2018 __________________________________
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