Pick of the Week – 7 August

What’s been happening in the arts this week? As part of our latest blog series, Pick of the Week, we’ve picked our favourite stories and most thought-provoking debates we’ve seen and heard in the news this week.

 

Why are symphony orchestras expected to survive indefinitely?

In this thought-provoking article in the Spectator, Peter Phillips reminds us that all ensembles, even the Berlin Philharmonic, started off as a ‘splinter group escaping from an existing organisation whose conductor they had grown tired of’. After making some observations about current ensembles, he gives a check-list of dos and don’ts if you want to start up your own, whilst all the time emphasizing the importance of innovation and originality.

 

How to prepare for an audition…

We love this list of ways to prepare for an audition from Classical Guitar Magazine. From recording yourself to fostering a non-judgmental mindset about your playing, there are lots of things to be taken into account. Do you have any more tips?

 

No sex please – we’re classical musicians

Does ‘sexing up’ classical music increase accessibility or is it merely crass exhibitionism? In an article by the Strad, two well-known string players, Janos Starker and Lara St John debated the topic.

 

Paradoxically, the worst thing that can happen to an aspiring young musician is for them to be the best player on the block

Director of the NYO, Sarah Alexander, says that the orchestra has been the preserve of well-off musicians for too long. They recently launched NYO Inspire, a scheme targeted at musicians who have ‘bags of talent, potential and commitment, but who face failure because they have no chance to take on bigger musical challenges’. Paradoxically, Sarah says, ‘the worst thing that can happen to an aspiring young musician is for them to be the best player on the block.’ Their new scheme hopes to tackle this problem and level out the playing field of young musicians.

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