We hope you had a great April Fools and that you are excited about (hopefully) leaving winter behind as we move into the spring of the new year. It seems as if each week gets busier and busier in classical music. Be on the lookout for some really awesome pieces later in the week on a variety of different topics.
Today we’ve got a number of cool and quirky little stories to share with you:
- Classical music to “keep away Hooligans” in Sequim (near my hometown in Washington State)
- Arab culture emerges in a classical performance
- The classical music charts are topped for the first time by a black musician
- In an unfortunate show of numbers, a new government report indicates that classical music audiences have sharply declined in Scotland
- Nevertheless, hope springs eternal in parts of the world with philanthropy in the arts still very much alive and professional musicians taking steps to mentor and prepare young students
- Such efforts can lead to honors and achievements such as those of the 10 student musician winners of the 2012 Van Buren Concerto Concert Competition in Portland, who were honored by MetroArts
- And while classical music might be struggling to bring in audiences in some of the traditional concert halls, popular TV program Dancing With the Stars shows that classical music can still be popular with the masses
One of the most inspiring stories from this past week took place at one of the most highly regarded concert halls. Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio was the setting for a major two-day event bringing over 3,000 children from 51 schools in the area for musical immersion courtesy of the Cleveland orchestra.
Last week also saw the kickoff of the 10-day festival Staatsoper Festtage. The music festival returned to Berlin on Friday and featured a number of prominent international stars, including Maurizio Pollini, La Scala, René Pape and of course Daniel Barenboim… who opened the annual event in 1996. Barenboim is scheduled to conduct each night except April 2 and April 8, when Pollini and Pape will perform respectively.
A busy week in classical music… and we’re just getting started!