The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
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To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “CLASSICAL MUSIC”

BBC Symphony Orchestra of London rehearsing for the Last Night of the Proms. 
 
Image credit: Steve Bowbrick, used under creative commons licence
If you’ve been following the news recently, you may have heard about some proposed cuts to the BBC’s orchestral music provision – including changes that would see a number of its salaried musicians made redundant. The proposals would have seen the BBC Singers, the UK’s only full-time professional chamber choir, scrapped. Further proposals, which received less public attention, included a 20% reduction in funding for the BBC’s three England-based orchestras: the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Concert Orchestra, and the BBC Philharmonic. 
 
The announcement sent shockwaves through the UK music world, with many organisations leaping into action to campaign against the cuts. 
 
Here at the Music Workshop Company, along with others across the sector, we firmly believe the BBC Singers and the BBC’s orchestras are vital for inspiring young musicians. 
Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress), restored by Adam Cuerden 
22nd April 2023 sees the 165th anniversary of the birth of Dame Ethel Smyth. Smyth is perhaps best known as the composer of the March of the Women, which became the anthem of the Women's Social and Political Union, part of the Suffragette movement.  
 
She was a radical, outspoken character who was not afraid to go against the grain – openly bisexual in a period where society was far from accepting, and battling to gain recognition as a female composer in a profession dominated by men. 
This year marks the double centenary of César Franck, the French composer known for his romantic style and his skill in improvisation. But for much of his life, Franck’s compositions at best split opinion, or worse, failed to win critical praise or even much public attention.  
 
To mark the 200th anniversary of his birth, we take a look at his musical career and ask: how did he finally make his mark, and why has he endured for so long after spending so many years in relative obscurity? 
The Music Workshop chats to Matt Parry, creator of The Opus Pocus on how to get kids to discover the magic of classical music.  
 
What is out there to help kids discover classical music? Especially at the moment with dedicated performances, workshops and group lessons so frustratingly put on hold? 
 
Of course you can just play this music to children, but getting them to listen to an entire symphony, for example, can be a bit tricky given its length and complexity.  
 
The BBC have launched this year’s BBC Young Composer competition. Previously known as the BBC Proms Inspire Competition and the BBC Young Composer of the Year, the annual competition is open to composers aged between 12 and 18 from across the UK. Winners take part in a development programme and work with a mentor composer on a composition for the BBC Concert Orchestra, to be performed at the BBC Proms in 2021 in a special young composers concert. The closing date for entries to the competition is 5pm on Thursday 11 June 2020. 
1920 was a busy year for Stravinsky and Diaghilev with the premiere of the ballet Le Chant du Roissignol on 2nd February and the premiere of Pulcinella on 15th May. 
 
Stravinsky first worked with Diaghilev on L’Oiseau de Feu (The Firebird) in 1910.  
 
The work is of interest both as Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece and as the beginning of one of the most well known collaborations in the ballet world. 

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