My goodness, I think we all need some positive stories about music this week, and we have some further down. But first…
It’s been sad to read the widespread media coverage about the significant risk that music education could disappear altogether from the school curriculum. The reports cover the University of Sussex’s research, which drew on responses from several hundred schools and found the decline of music in secondary schools is at “crisis point”.
Here are two things we can do right away to support music education:
- Support the ISM (Incorporated Society of Musicians) Bacc For The Future campaign (we have been longstanding supporters).
- Donate through PayPal to the Music in Secondary Schools Trust. MiSST helps secondary schools (in London) by providing funding for classical instruments and support in the form of regular tuition and opportunities to perform.
And here are some positive stories to brighten your weekend about music and music education, plus other things that caught our eye:
- BBC to make classical music archive available
- Musicians feature in The Progress 1000
- Lost Stradivari played for first time by young musician
- Benedetti joined by over 300 for Festival of Strings
- Concerts in Sheffield
The BBC’s classical music archive will be made available to the public, the Corporation announced this week. Performances will be accessible on BBC iPlayer and the BBC Sounds app. The move, according to director general Tony Hall, will mean historic and recent performances are “returned to the public.” The plans were due to be revealed last night at the launch of the BBC’s year-long classical music project, Our Classical Century, which will look back at 100 years of classical music in the UK. More on the BBC website.
Cellist Sheku Kanneh-Mason, conductor Karen Gibson, mezzo-soprano Sarah Connolly and Simon Rattle all feature, alongside other figures from the world of music, in The Progress 1000, the Evening Standard’s celebration of the people who make a difference to London life. Read about them all here.
The fascinating tale of a stolen violin, the “Ames, Totenberg” Stradivari which was lost for 35 years, is featured in the New York Times here. When the instrument, worth millions, was recovered and returned to the daughters of Roman Totenberg (from whom it had been stolen), they wanted to ensure a young musician has the opportunity to play the instrument. It was presented to its first, 18 year old, recipient this week.
Nicola Benedetti and the Big Noise were joined by over 300 young people at a unique Festival of Strings day in Dundee this week to perform together as a “Super Strings” orchestra. The event was part of a series of performances celebrating the 10th birthday of Sistema Scotland, which runs the Big Noise programme and aims to transform the lives of children in disadvantaged communities through music.
Read more at Third Force News.
And we’re going to repeat this from last week: There are a huge range of exciting classical music events coming up in our home city of Sheffield, many free or low-cost to attend. Check out the forthcoming events on the Classical Sheffield, Music in the Round and Sheffield Symphony Orchestra websites – we’ll be going along to plenty of these.