Pianist and sound artist Belle Chen on BBC The Arts Hour

Pianist and sound artist Belle Chen, an Australian-Taiwanese artist based in London, is a classically trained pianist with technical chops and musical knowledge whose music is outside of genre. Not afraid of breaking the parameters, Belle’s music is heavily influenced by her passion for travel and she uses music as a tool to communicate and recreate a specific real-life moment or location. She does this through the use of sound design, multi-tracking, improvising into and out of pieces, and using piano parts to recreate sounds of traditional instruments such as gongs, bells, cajon and guitar.

Handpicked by Brian Eno as the one to watch, Belle’s unique immersive performances and creativity were recognised at this year’s Classical:NEXT (she was the first Australian to perform at the conference) and by the Royal Academy of Music where she elected as Associate for her significant contribution to the music profession.

You can hear her on BBC World Service The Arts Hour (8/9/18): The Arts Hour

Mark Simpson plays John Adams at Lammermuir Festival

Lammermuir Festival’s 2018 artist in residence, Mark Simpson, teams up with Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, Red Note, in a showcase for his stunning talent as both composer and performer. 

On Wednesday 19 September, at Loretto School in Musselburgh, Red Note perform an exciting programme including John Adams’s Gnarly Buttons, a virtuosic clarinet concerto shot through with influences from hymns to bluegrass and jazz, two of Mark’s own works Nur Musik and Straw Dogs and Adams’s minimalist classic Shaker Loops.

Mark Simpson, a BBC Radio 3 Young Generation artist, is like Adams both a clarinettist and a composer. 

For more information and to book tickets: https://www.lammermuirfestival.co.uk

Manchester Camerata to perform Game of Thrones® Live Tour with Composer Ramin Djawadi

Manchester Camerata has been engaged to perform the Glasgow and Manchester performances of the critically acclaimed Game of Thrones® Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi this month. The world of Westeros comes alive as famed composer, Ramin Djawadi, leads Manchester Camerata and choir performing music from all seven seasons of the iconic, Emmy® Award-winning HBO series.

The Game of Thrones Live Concert Experience Featuring Ramin Djawadi will include new music and footage from Season 7, as well a new custom stage design and mesmerising visuals courtesy of state of the art video technology.

For more information: https://www.livenation.co.uk/artist/game-of-thrones-tickets 

Award-winning film composer Ros Gilman releases debut EP Fantasies

Fantasies is the debut EP by award-winning film composer, multi-nominated songwriter, producer and concert violinist Ros Gilman. Released on 29 June 2018, and available to pre-order via iTunes and MusicGlue from 1 June, the six track EP features vocals by Becca Sopher (Village Roadshow / Sony Music) who opened for Craig David, Pink, Shaggy and Nelly Furtado.

Ros originally trained as a concert violinist in Moscow, Munich and Vienna, his career saw him perform across three continents, making multiple appearances on national TV and radio and was second leader of the internationally esteemed European Philharmonic Orchestra. His promising violin career came to a sudden end due to a hand-injury. No longer being able to perform, he fought his way back into music as a composer, songwriter and conductor, training at the University of Music in Vienna and the Royal College of Music in London.

Ros has worked on the German Rosamunde Pilcher movies, Storm of Love TV series, and a host of other film and television projects and his work has earned him the Audience Award for Best Music at the “British Animation Film Festival” as well as several industry nominations, most notably for the “American Songwriting Awards”.

Fantasies is based in a genre Ros calls “cinematic pop” – a blend of big screen drama and catchy chart pop. Ros said: “In today’s smartphone-dominated world we don’t use our imagination as much as we used to and I want to share my belief with others and inspire them to dream, think big and proactively go after their goals.”

For more information visit http://rosgilman.com

Classically Yours featuring Manchester Camerata win RPS Award

Classically Yours set out to engage new audiences by addressing the inequalities of opportunity to access high quality live orchestral music in the East Riding of Yorkshire, transforming beliefs in isolated coastal and rural communities that culture happens elsewhere. The programme, part of East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s contribution to Hull UK City of Culture 2017, formed part of a wider plan to engage more people in music across the county and achieve significant audience development in the region.

The partnership involved four orchestras – Manchester Camerata, Sinfonia Viva, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Britten Sinfonia – four venues and the Music Education Hub and included 8 concerts, 3 participatory projects and 46 workshops reaching over 2,000 people.

Manchester Camerata ready to open the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury

Manchester Camerata, Haçienda DJ’s Graeme Park and Mike Pickering, Peter Hook and Rowetta open the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury this morning. Haçienda Classical sees the club’s original DJ partnership reinterpret seminal dance classics. Conducted by Tim Crooks, with some very special guests thrown into the mix, its going to be an epic start to the festival.

New Music Makers rolls out across Glasgow this summer

Red Note Ensemble are taking their New Music Makers workshops to a number of schools across Glasgow this summer, working with music teachers and pupils studying Advanced Higher, Higher and Nat 5 Music, before culminating in a performance of their new compositions.

New Music Makers is an exciting and ambitious programme to support the development of young composers in schools across Scotland. Designed to inspire and support composing, the project demonstrates how a professional ensemble working in partnership with a school can create a genuine practical legacy, enabling the school to take the work forward independently.

Composer and CEO of Red Note, John Harris, added: “Writing music is as personal and as important as creating new pictures or new stories, or any of the other myriad ways that young people stand for themselves, make their mark and make their own voices heard in the world. Red Note Ensemble loves being part of this process, right there at the centre of the action as new music is being created by these brilliant young students – it’s an amazing thing watching and helping them to create their own music, in their own styles, with their own ideas.”

Red Note Ensemble is Scotland’s contemporary music ensemble, dedicated to developing and performing contemporary music to the highest standards, and taking new music out to audiences around and beyond Scotland. They are Associate Contemporary Ensemble at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow, an Associate Company of the Traverse Theatre Edinburgh and Associate Ensemble of the soundfestival Aberdeen.

#WeStandTogether Concert

All of Manchester’s communities stand together in strength, resilience and love.

In this most musical of cities, Manchester’s orchestral musicians from the Hallé, the BBC Philharmonic and the Manchester Camerata will come together with The Bridgewater Hall for a concert in support of the families and friends of the victims of last Monday’s atrocity.

The event details are:

  • Thursday 1 June at 8pm
  • The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
  • Sir Mark Elder and Stephen Bell will conduct members of the Hallé, Manchester Camerata and BBC Philharmonic orchestras
  • Performances by Clare Teal and Alice Coote

The evening will include inspiring and uplifting classical music, a performance by Alice Coote – one of the world’s finest mezzo sopranos – as well as songs from jazz star Clare Teal.

Everyone involved with the event are giving their services free. Tickets for the concert are free, but you MUST have a ticket to gain entry.

We are asking people, if they are able, to make a donation to the WeStandTogetherManchester Justgiving page at

www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/westandtogethermanchester

The Hacienda returns for a one off party in Manchester

American DJ Kerri Chandler will headline the latest Hacienda party to hit Manchester. The legendary nightclub reopens its doors for one night only at the Albert Hall for a very late night session of new US house and techno tunes. The party kicks off on Friday March 24 at 9am and runs until 4am. Tickets on sale now via the Albert Hall website.

The brainchild of former Hacienda DJs Graeme Park and Mike Pickering and experimental orchestra Manchester Camerata, Hacienda Classical reinvents dozens of iconic dance tunes as classical compositions.

Check out the following video to see Hacienda Classical in all its glory: Hacienda Classical

Trauma Healing and Creative Arts Coalition

Trauma Healing and Creative Arts Coalition is a new initiative that aims to promote and facilitate reconciliation and peace in post-war contexts, through trauma healing and resource based life enhancing resilience strategies on an individual and collective level.

Large numbers of people from areas of armed conflict and migrants who have suffered traumatic experiences as a consequences of living in areas of conflict. Trauma has negative implications for their personal well-being, their health and also limits their ability to integrate into society, has a negative impact on their families and their work. The influence of trauma on people results in disappointment and frustration on an individual level and a societal level and affects programmes designed to aid fostering, reconciliation, rehabilitation, peace and reconstruction.

THAC aims at bringing together local organisations to implement and develop diverse methods of trauma work and of strengthening personal and collective resilience.

The initiative seeks a holistic approach. People who go about their daily work will be supported and strengthened. Using methods of trauma work, on the psychological and physical level, as well as creativity and art therapy are used. Curiosity, creativity and personal development approaches foster and facilitate the overcoming of personal trauma and are profoundly life-giving. Moreover, the people concerned can be trained in life skills, e.g. nonviolent methods, basic rights, etc., and thus be supported in their economic integration and social rehabilitation. 

For more information on THAC please visit http://theartscoalition.org or email Vicky.Paul@thac.ch