We were very sad here at the Two Moors Festival to hear that acclaimed cellist Julian Lloyd Webber will no longer be able to play the cello professionally because of a herniated disc in his neck.
He’s been a staunch supporter of the Two Moors Festival and has played in many concerts with us over the years, as well as going off on all sorts of musical jaunts across the Middle East with artistic director Penny Adie.
Penny had this to say about the sad news: “Julian and I have worked together on many wonderful concerts within the festival and elsewhere, and the thought that we won’t again hear that glorious warm sound emanating from his cello is too sad to contemplate. His concert in Exeter Cathedral with the many young instrumentalists who took part in 2011 was the most moving ever and his infectious enthusiasm inspired them all to greater things. In one case, it proved to be the turning point in whether to make music her career – it did.”
We’d love to hear about the concerts you saw Julian play in. Share your memories in the comments below.
To celebrate the 80th anniversary of Edward Elgar’s death yesterday (February 23rd), we’ve decided to dedicate our Monday mood board to the gramophone – a piece of technology that Elgar in particular championed, conducting a series of recordings of his works between 1914 and 1925. The invention of the microphone in 1925 meant that more accurate recordings were possible and eventually, Elgar laid down the majority of his major orchestral works, as well as movements from his Dream of Gerontius.
1. Gramophone lighting
Upcycling old gramophones into lights is a bold interior design choice but one that looks lovely and would be a great addition to any music-lover’s abode.
2. The past vs. the present
Combining modern technology with blasts from the past is a truly brilliant idea and if you can’t quite reconcile yourself to giving up your mod cons, then match them with this gramophone docking station – definitely the best of both worlds!
We’re booking a trip to St Petersburg right now, home to the Gramophones Museum which boasts over 400 items from all around the world on display. Or, if you’d rather not go so far afield, London’s Horniman Museum has a brilliant collection of musical instruments that’s well worth a look as well.
4. In fabric
For a simple way to introduce some music into your home, why not use a bit of gramophone fabric as curtains, cushion covers or sofa covers? Compliments guaranteed!
5. Wear it with pride
For some really unique jewellery perfect for yourself or as a present for a friend, this gramophone necklace is definitely a winner.
Going to see a live orchestra for the first time is a truly powerful, magical thing, even more so if you’re quite young and still seeing the world through a child’s eyes.
Unfortunately, there are still countless barriers that prevent lots of children in the UK and beyond from experiencing the joys of a live orchestral performance – cost being one of them.
To help tackle this, the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) is putting on a series of daytime concerts that link to what school children are learning in school, with over 16,000 expected to attend, 60% of whom will be hearing a live orchestra for the first time.
Tickets cost £9, with schools asked to pay a nominal amount, but even this is too much for some of the most disadvantaged teaching establishments in south London, so the LPO is asking for £9 donations from classical music lovers to enable a further 2,500 children make it to these concerts free of charge.
Followers of the Two Moors Festival will know how much we strive to improve classical music education in schools in the south-west and we’re always pleased to hear of other initiatives further afield, so please do take some time to help fill the concert hall and pick which seats you’d like to donate.
You may all have heard of our grand piano disaster a few years ago that saw our newly bought Two Moors Festival piano delivered to our headquarters in Devon only for it to fall into the daffodils just a few feet from our gallery door. (It was even a question on University Challenge!)
So we do have our hearts in our mouths ever so slightly to hear that another festival – the Hebden Bridge Piano Festival – plans to celebrate the fact that the Tour de France will be starting in the town this year by pulling a grand piano up a hill by bicycle!
On April 5th, a team of the hardiest cyclists to be found in Calderdale will pull the piano up the longest continuous ascent in England – from Mytholmroyd to the top of Blackstone Edge, a route that’s been included in the Tour de France as one of the more gruelling features.
We think this really will be a true sight to behold so if you’re available, make sure you take up prime position along the route to see it all unfold on April 5th – and make sure you take some photos so we can all see it as well.
The Hebden Bridge Piano Festival takes place between April 11th and 13th. Tickets are available here.