Tag Archives: bbc

BBC Ten Pieces to boost classical music education

We here at the Two Moors Festival do all we can to promote classical music education in the south-west through workshops in schools, and we’re always pleased to hear of other schemes designed to teach young children about this particular genre of music.

So we’re very much looking forward to watching and listening to the BBC’s Ten Pieces, a year-long initiative due to start in the autumn that includes five BBC orchestras and intends to open up the world of classical music to kids and help inspire them to come up with their own creative responses to various pieces through dance, music and digital art.

The scheme is due to launch on October 6th with a week of free cinema screenings across the UK to introduce ten classical works, played by the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

It has been conceived to offer support to the music curriculum, helping to teach children about composers and the art of performing – which we think is a brilliant, and perhaps much needed, development. Anything that helps introduce classical music to a greater audience is welcome in our book, so don’t forget to tune in if you can.

And to find out more about how the Two Moors Festival supports music education in the south-west, visit our website today.

Why aren’t there more female conductors?

marin_firstloves_sq-345e4ede58e36b62ece0682445b46e28c5d8b843-s6-c30For the first time in the 119-year history of the Proms, a woman – violinist and conductor Marin Alsop – has led the orchestra in the Last Night of the Proms. This is indeed particularly heartening news for a profession that has been typically male-dominated in the past, but it does beg the question: why aren’t there more female conductors out there in the UK?

Names such as Alsop, Jane Glover, Simone Young and JoAnn Falletta do command respect in the classical music world, this is undeniable, but there can be no disputing the fact that none of the 15 leading orchestras in the world have female chief conductors at the helm.

Although the industry has been accused of sexism and discrimination in the past – with manager of the New York Philharmonia in the 1970s Helen Thompson once saying “women can’t conduct Brahms, and Mahler is men’s music” – great inroads have been made in the last five years, with an increasing number of women signing up to study the vocation, and North America and Scandinavia leading the trend.

“We still have to fight stereotypes,” Ewa Strusinska, who recently moved from England’s Hallé Orchestra to become music director of a Polish orchestra, told The Economist. “In the UK there aren’t many female conductors at all. People would look at us as individuals doing men’s work.”

Seeing a woman take the helm and lead the orchestra at one of the biggest classical music concerts on the yearly calendar will surely help further the cause of female conductors in the UK – and with increasing numbers of young women joining youth orchestras in the country, we think it’s surely only a matter of time before we have a leading female conductor appointed at one of our most prominent orchestras.

Are you an aspiring female conductor? What do you think needs to happen to enact change in this part of the classical music industry?

Classic FM vs. Radio 3

It’s the clash of the titans in the classical music world this week, with Classic FM accusing BBC Radio 3 of trying to poach its listeners and boss of the Global Radio Network Stephen Miron saying that the BBC had been overtly copying Classic FM by introducing changes similar to programme ideas already in use.

Classic FM claims that Radio 3 – which has had a bit of an overhaul in the last 18 months in a bid to widen its appeal – has imitated a range of ideas, from request shows to phone-ins. And according to the Daily Mail, some listeners have even complained that the BBC programme is too similar to its Global Radio counterpart.

“Radio 3 has aggressively pursued Classic FM and it uses its other platforms to cross-promote the station. They are absolutely trying to take our listeners,” Mr Miron said, speaking at the Radio Conference in Salford.

What do you tune in to – Radio 3 or Classic FM – and why?