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. 
To contribute as a guest writer please email 


Sergei Rachmaninoff in 1921. Source: Wikimedia Commons (Kubey-Rembrandt Studios, Philadephia, Pennsylvania) 
This year sees the 150th anniversary of the birth of renowned pianist and composer Rachmaninoff, whose music has divided opinion yet remained popular for many decades. We take a look at his life and work, and ask what has made his compositions – which are renowned for being challenging to play – so successful with audiences around the world. 
Even if you are not familiar with classical music, you will undoubtedly have heard the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams. The Lark Ascending and Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis consistently appear in the top 10 of Classic FM’s listener polls, and he is considered one of the quintessential composers of British history. 
Yet his music still divides opinion, and for many years, much of his output was neglected. Alongside these most famous pieces, Vaughan Williams wrote a huge variety of works including operas, ballets, chamber music, vocal pieces and orchestral compositions, with nine symphonies to his name. This month, we mark the 150th anniversary of his birth with a look back at his musical life. 
December 2020 marks the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth. 
The event seems to have split the Classical Music community.  
Some individuals and organisations see the occasion as an opportunity to celebrate Beethoven’s musical achievements.  
Others suggest that Beethoven’s music is popular enough and performances and recordings of it are already so plentiful that audiences should be exploring new repertoire and lesser known composers, and particularly work by underrepresented groups. 
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