Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Artist Development, Summer Festival changes and André de Ridder: Spitalfields Music news

Spitalfields Music
Spitalfields Music has been selected as one of 20 recipients of the inaugural Help Musicians UK National Grants Programme, receiving three years’ funding towards its artist development projects. Also in the news was the announcement that André de Ridder will be the Artistic Curator for Spitalfields Music's Winter Festival 2017, this one of a group of changes and developments at the festival. The plans are for the summer festival to move to a more flexible format, which is no bad thing when the Summer has become so crowded with festivals and events.

The more flexible summer format will allow space to develop and stage large-scale commissions, and greater links are planned between the festival programming and Spitalfields Music's lively learning and participation programme.

André de Ridder
André de Ridder
The funding from Help Musicians UK enables Spitalfields Music to expand its Trainee Music Leader scheme, increasing its intake to eight by 2018 and expanding recruitment nationally, to engage a more diverse group of musicians. The scheme supports young musicians to develop the skills and experience to begin careers as workshop leaders in education and community settings. The programme also includes the second year of Spitalfields Music's Open Call initiative, and three music creators from any genre and career stage will receive the time, resources and support to develop ambitious ideas and stretch their practice, leading up to work-in-progress sharings each Spring.

The conductor André de Ridder has a remarkably wide range of interests, whether it be working with the British band These New Puritans, with jazz musician Uri Caine, with composers such as Nico Muhly and Owen Pallett, or developing a relationship with Cologne-based MusikFabrik. For English National opera he has conducted Michel van der Aa's Sunken Garden (in 2013, see my review) and Gerald Barry's The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (in 2005). In 2014, Hilary caught him conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra at a concert celebrating 50 years of Nonesuch Records (see Hilary's review) and he conducted the orchestral version of Max Richter's Memoryhouse with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. At Grange Park Opera he conducted Prokofiev's The Gambler in 2007 (see my review on Music and Vision).

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