Investec Opera Holland Park (OHP) will mark one year since the tragic Grenfell fire with a special gala on Wednesday 13 June 2018, 8pm, raising money for the Rugby Portobello Trust (www.rpt.org.uk), which supports the North Kensington community. Based just a mile from the Grenfell Tower, OHP has a long association with its community and lost a much-loved member of its own staff, Debbie Lamprell, in the disaster.

The Hope for Grenfell Memorial Gala, in memory of Debbie Lamprell and all the victims, will feature popular arias, choruses, readings and more, with a cast to be announced soon. It is hoped that over £50k will be raised for the Rugby Portobello Trust (RPT), who worked closely with victims of the tragedy and with which OHP has a long association. In 2017, a performance of Verdi’s Requiem (read more here) just a few weeks after the Grenfell fire sold out in 36 hours and raised a total of £41k for the RPT to support victims.

Funds raised by this year’s memorial concert will enable over 100 children and young people from North Kensington to attend ‘residential’ trips, week-long trips, often to the coast and countryside, which allow them to try new activities and escape the pressures of everyday life. Often the residentials are the first time that these young people will have left their immediate concrete surroundings. The impact of these trips is proven to be especially long-lasting, boosting the confidence of young people by introducing them to new skills (raft-building, rock-climbing, team-building etc), as well as fostering a safe environment in which to address any emotional issues.

OHP is extremely grateful to Hamish and Sophie Forsyth for their generous support of this performance.

Tickets for the Grenfell memorial concert will be available from Monday 19 February via www.operahollandpark.com

Investec Opera Holland Park’s 2018 season will run from 29 May to 28 July. Full details of productions at www.operahollandpark.com.

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Verdi’s Requiem performed at Opera Holland Park in August 2017

 

 

(Source: Press release)

City Music Foundation (CMF) has announced the 5 musicians who are joining the CMF Artist programme as 2017 CMF Artists: Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo-soprano), Eblana String Trio, Alex Hitchcock (jazz saxophone), Gwenllian Llyr (harp) and Rokas Valuntonis (piano).

These sensational musicians started CMF’s innovative two-year Artist Programme in October 2017 and will continue to work with the CMF as their career progresses.

Lithuanian pianist Rokas Valuntonis won First Prize at both the Nordic Piano Competition in Malmö, Sweden (2010) and the International Music Competition “Societa Umanitaria” in Milan, Italy (2013).

The mission of CMF is to turn exceptional musical talent into professional success by equipping outstanding musicians with the tools, skills, experience and networks they need to build and sustain rewarding and profitable careers.

Over the two years, CMF provides one to one business mentoring as well as tailored professional development workshops covering a range of topics including tax and financial management, networking, presentation skills, agents, PR, networking and much more. The mentoring continues with day to day access to the CMF team as well as artistic guidance from established players with international careers. On top of these professional development workshops, CMF Artists receive essential promotional tools such as websites, images and CD and video recordings, as well as help with new commissions and other projects to ensure each musician develops a unique niche and selling point.

CMF’s key position in the City means that we can use our experience, knowledge and connections within the music industry, as well as the City’s cultural network and business institutions, to provide unique and unrivalled support and education for our musicians.

A high proportion even of the most talented musicians fail to convert their great talent and extensive training into a career in music. We believe that by investing in these talented musicians early in their professional careers we can not only secure their employment, but help to ensure the future of quality music in the UK and beyond.

Previous CMF Artists have included the Foyle-Stsura Duo, pianists Cordelia Williams, and Samson Tsoy, clarinet player Joe Shiner, jazz clarinet and founding member of Kansas Smitty’s Giacomo Smith, jazz bass player Misha Mullov Abbado (now a BBC New Generation Artist) and percussionist Pedro Segundo.


(source: CMF press release)

Jubal has launched an App that enables its users to access details of classical music concerts involving specific artists, venues, music genres, and various event categories.

Named after the first musician recorded in Western culture, Jubal has been designed with classical music lovers – and promoters – in mind, although it can be used to attract an audience for any event.

The Jubal App allows users to filter events by date, location and other criteria, as well as check the availability of – and buy – tickets.

We intend Jubal to benefit event goers – especially concert goers – promoters and artists,” said Francis Hornak, a trustee for a classical music trust, who first had the idea for the App during a board meeting.

As someone who’s interested in classical music, I often found that I didn’t know when concerts were taking place,” he added. “I thought that it’d be useful to have an App that has that information readily available, easy to use – and that would send me a ‘nudge’ from time-to-time to let me know when an up-coming concert involves someone who interests me.”

So, Francis, aided by a team that includes Appy Award winners, Mobikats, created the Jubal App.

The App provides a list of concerts and other events taking place and is intended to cover the whole of the UK. Although initially focused on the country’s main concert venues, one of its most attractive features is that the App will also be able to cater for concerts in church halls, schools, pubs and other smaller venues.

Opening the App enables users to see a list of concerts, from ‘today’ onwards. There’s a ‘location search’ function that will show concerts close to the user’s location, or in any other area the user specifies.

Users can see information about a venue, its location and can get directions to it. They can also see basic details of the event’s programme; can link to iTunes to hear excerpts from the pieces being performed – and see a web link or a telephone number so that they can buy tickets for the performance.

There’s an option to send a message about an event to a contact, via text or email. Users can also share information about the concert via social media; save a shortlist of concerts, and add them to the user’s calendar.

From a user’s point of view, the App makes it easier to find concerts anywhere in the UK over any specific period,” Francis said.

Venues, performers and promoters should also find the App to be a highly cost-effective way to promote their concerts,” he added. “It will help sell more tickets, fill empty seats – and should end up costing very little.

Those wanting to promote an event via the Jubal App can enter the details of the event via Jubal’s web portal. Anyone can apply for a log-in and permission to post event details on the App – and this should be granted after a short vetting process by the App’s owners.

This is, predominantly, a classical music App,” said Francis. “and, as part of our development process of consultation and testing, we’ve consulted The Association of British Orchestras, the British Association of Concert Halls, orchestras including the CBSO, RPO, and LPO, and venues including Cadogan Hall, the Royal Albert Hall, and the Birmingham Symphony Hall.

For further details of the Jubal App, visit

 

About Jubal
Named after the first musician recorded in Western culture, Jubal is an App that enables users to indulge their preferences and access details of events involving specific artists, venues and/or music genres. In addition, the App provides information on other events, which can be filtered by date, location and other criteria. It allows users to check the availability of – and buy – tickets. Jubal hopes to benefit all parties including event goers, promoters, artists/groups/orchestras and venues and, ultimately, if it proves a success, Jubal’s shareholders – including the classical charitable trust for which Francis Hornak is a trustee.

www.jubal.co.uk

 

(source Bob Little PR)

Transport for London (TfL), in partnership with Yamaha, today 16 November 2017 launched a programme which will make three pianos available at stations for customers to play. The first, placed at Tottenham Court Road, was launched with a performance by multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Tokio Myers.

The two-year project named #Platform88 takes its name from the number of keys on a standard piano and provides opportunities for musicians to play and entertain their fellow passengers.

During the two-year run of #Platform88, the pianos will ‘travel’ around the network to various stations, giving a range of our customers the opportunity to show off their musical talents. At the end of the scheme the pianos will be donated to charity.

One piano will be auctioned off to benefit the charity Railway Children which supports children alone and at risk on the streets in the UK, Africa and India. The remaining two pianos will be given to the London Music Fund and Music for All to pass on to a worthy school or young individual to help encourage their musical journeys.

Mark Wild, Managing Director, London Underground, said: “Music has been a part of Tube travel for many years now, with busking and classical music featuring at many of our stations, and we are always looking for new ways to improve our customers journeys.  This project will bring music to some of our key stations, generate money for charity and also offer a platform for aspiring musicians to perform to some of the many thousands of customers who use our network every day.”

Charles Bozon from Yamaha Music UK said, “Our global Yamaha philosophy is to enrich lives through music, and #Platform88 is the perfect opportunity to connect to huge numbers of music fans and players and to create a vibrant new community – and hopefully discover some new talent along the way.”

Tokio Myers said: “My musical journey to this point has been full of surprises, chance moments and happy coincidences. Everyone loves listening to music and it’s my passion to inspire more people to move from listening to creating their own music. #Platform88 is a brilliant, fun way of doing this.”


Two more Yamaha pianos will be launched by two well-known recording artists in support of #Platform88 before Christmas. Each of the pianos boasts a specially commissioned, eye-catching design that guarantees the instruments are destined to become part of London’s transport and music memorabilia.

Yamaha is a successful manufacturer of musical instruments for professional and amateur musicians with a philosophy of cultural enrichment through music and excellence in the arts. It partners its strong heritage of traditional instrument craftsmanship with leading musicians, educators, and technicians to inspire innovation and design in new instruments. The company has a huge range of creative partnerships with many artists and learning providers throughout Europe.

(source: TfL press)

Top of the list of competitors is twenty-year-old British pianist Martin James Bartlett. Winner of BBC Young Musician of the Year in 2014, Martin now studies at the Royal College of Music.  

Martin James Bartlett

FORT WORTH, Texas, March 7, 2017—The Cliburn announces today the 30 competitors selected to participate in the Fifteenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, taking place May 25–June 10, 2017, at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

Two hundred and ninety pianists submitted applications to participate in the 2017 Cliburn Competition, and 141 auditioned live in front of a five-member screening jury in London, Hannover, Budapest, Moscow, Seoul, New York, and Fort Worth in January and February 2017. 

After an exhilarating and quite thorough process, I am extremely happy with the 30 pianists who will come to the Cliburn Competition in Fort Worth this May. They are engaging and skilled, and—most important—will inspire and move you,” said Jacques Marquis, Cliburn president and CEO.

The 2017 Cliburn competitors hail from all over the world, representing 16 nations: Russia (6), South Korea (5), the United States (4), Canada* (3), Italy (2), Algeria*, Austria, China, Croatia, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Poland, Romania, Taiwan, and the United Kingdom (*one competitor has dual Algerian/Canadian citizenship, and both nations are counted here). There are 21 men and 9 women, and the competitors range in age from 18 to 30.

2017 CLIBURN COMPETITORS

Ages are as of June 10, 2017, the final day of the Competition.

Martin James Bartlett, United Kingdom, age 20

Sergey Belyavskiy, Russia, 23
Alina Bercu, Romania, 27

Kenneth Broberg, United States, 23

Luigi Carroccia, Italy, 25

Han Chen, Taiwan, 25

Rachel Cheung, Hong Kong, 25

Yury Favorin, Russia, 30

Madoka Fukami, Japan, 28

Mehdi Ghazi, Algeria/Canada, 28

Caterina Grewe, Germany, 29

Daniel Hsu, United States, 19

Alyosha Jurinic, Croatia, 28

Nikolay Khozyainov, Russia, 24

Dasol Kim, South Korea, 28

Honggi Kim, South Korea, 25

Su Yeon Kim, South Korea, 23

Julia Kociuban, Poland, 25

Rachel Kudo, United States, 30

EunAe Lee, South Korea, 29

Ilya Maximov, Russia, 30

Sun-A Park, United States, 29

Leonardo Pierdomenico, Italy, 24

Philipp Scheucher, Austria, 24

Ilya Shmukler, Russia, 22

Yutong Sun, China, 21 

Yekwon Sunwoo, South Korea, 28

Georgy Tchaidze, Russia, 29

Tristan Teo, Canada, 20

Tony Yike Yang, Canada, 18

ABOUT THE FIFTEENTH VAN CLIBURN INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION

Established in 1962, the quadrennial Van Cliburn International Piano Competition is widely recognized as “one of the world’s highest-visibility classical-music contests” (The Dallas Morning News) and remains committed to its original ideals of supporting and launching the careers of young pianists, ages 18–30. 

[source: press release]

(Picture: BBC)