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Einojuhani Rautavaara has died at the age of 87

Einojuhani Rautavaara

Einojuhani Rautavaara

The death has been announced of Finnish composer, Einojuhani Rautavaara, probably the most important of Finland’s composers after Sibelius.

Rautavaara studied at the Sibelius Academy under Aare Merikanto before winning a scholarship to Juilliard. He studied with Vincent Persichetti, Roger Sessions and Aaron Copland. He was himself, composition professor at the Sibelius Academy for more than 40 years.

He was a prolific composer, and wrote eight symphonies, nine operas, 12 instrumental (and one choral) concertos, plus a wide variety of orchestral, chamber, instrumental, choral and vocal works.

He is perhaps best known for his seventh symphony, Angel of Light, composed in 1994.

His most recent work, Orpheus singt, a setting of Rainer Maria Rilke for a cappella chorus premiered on 25 June 2016 at the Ludwigsburger Schlossfestspiele, performed by the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart, conducted by Marcus Creed.

Here the same choir sings Rautavaara’s Canticum mariae virginis and Canción de nuestro tiempo, together with works by Grieg, Sibelius and Saariaho.

BBC Composer of the Week: Bernard Stevens – July 4th – 8th:

The broadcast times are:
Monday July 4th – 12 noon & again at 6.30 pm (repeat)
Tuesday July 5th – 12 noon & again at 6.15 pm (repeat)
Wednesday July 6th – 12 noon only – no repeat
Thursday July 7th – 12 noon & again at 6.30 pm (repeat)
Friday July 8th – 12 noon only – no repeat

See also:

Each programme will also be available (after the live broadcast) online via i-player. Just go to the Radio 3 “Composer of the Week ” section of the BBC website:

This is also available from outside the UK, for example in Germany, where the Bernard Stevens Trust is now located. It is also possible to listen to BBC R3 live from outside the UK on the “Tune-In Radio” an app available for all major mobile phone & tablet platforms  – if you have any difficulties with listening live on the BBC website.

The works will be performed as follows, in the order listed below:

Monday July 4th: Liberation Symphony 2nd movt, Aria for Solo Piano, Kyrie & Gloria from the Mass for Double Choir, Violin Concerto

Tuesday July 5th: Piano Trio, Liberation Symphony (complete), Suite from the music for the film “The Mark of Cain”, Theme & Variations for String Quartet

Wednesday July 6th: Fantasia on the Irish Ho-Hoane for 2 Pianos, Cello Concerto, Andante from String Quartet no. 2, Dance Suite for Orchestra

Thursday July 7th: Agnus Dei from the Mass for Double Choir, 2nd Symphony, Horn Trio, “Ballad no 2” for Solo Piano

Friday July 8th: “The Birds Know This” from “The True Dark” Song Cycle, Opening section of the the opera “The Shadow of the Glen”, “Nocturne on a Note-Row by Ronald Stevenson” for Solo Piano, Piano Concerto

BBC Radio 3 Listening Figures on the Up

bbc radio 3
The most recent Radio Join Audience Research quarterly report has shown that BBC Radio 3’s audience has grown to its highest figure in three years. The classical radio station reached an audience of 2.12 million, up from 2.05 last quarter.

‘BBC Radio 3 is in rude health,’ said director of BBC radio Helen Boaden, ‘The unique blend of remarkable music and culture programming is something you’d only find on Radio 3.’

Boaden also paid tribute to BBC Radio 3 controller Alan Davey, as this report marks the end of his first full year in the job. ‘It’s been an honour to lead the BBC Radio 3 family’ said Davey, ‘I’m really proud of our constantly evolving offer… Moving into our 70th anniversary year, I’m delighted that Radio 3 continues to play such a special role in the daily lives of our listeners.’

Other BBC Radio stations to report strong audience growth included BBC Radio 2, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio 5Live and BBC Local Radio. Audiences for BBC Radio 4 and the Asian Network fell slightly.

Read the full report from RAJAR

BBC Composer of the Week: Bernard Stevens - July 4th - 8th

The Bernard Stevens Trust is delighted to announce that in commemoration of his 100th anniversary, Bernard Stevens will be featured in the BBC Radio 3 Series “Composer of the Week” every day from July 4th to 8th. Watch this space for programme times.

Stainer & Bell publish Rodgers' Skylark

Skylark by Sarah RodgersSkylark was commissioned by renowned harpist, Danielle Perrett for the new Trinity examinations syllabus which runs from 2016 to 2019.
A delightful recital piece, Skylark has now been accepted by Stainer & Bell for publication.
Sarah Rodgers already has a number of works available through Stainer & Bell and is delighted that they have added Skylark to their catalogue.
Available Spring / Summer 2016
Shop at Stainer & Bell

New Grainger Release for Penelope Thwaites

Penelope Thwaitesphoto: Clive Barda

Forthcoming recording projects for Penelope Thwaites include the release of a 4-CD box set of Grainger’s complete music for two pianos four hands. This includes the re-issue of her much admired recordings with John Lavender Volumes 1-3 and a brand new Volume 4 in which Penelope is joined by the outstanding Australian pianist Timothy Young. The set is due for release in September 2016 on the Heritage label.

Christopher Gunning CD Release

Gunning CDChristopher Gunning writes:

“A new CD has been released on the Discovery label. It is something of a departure for me, in that most of my CDs have been orchestral, whereas this features the fabulous Diana Brekalo playing my Sonata for Pianoforte and the excellent London Piano Trio performing my Piano trio.

I wrote my Sonata especially for Diana after hearing her in concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; I wanted to write something which features her extraordinary technique and also her beautifully quiet playing. The Sonata has five movements – the first, third and fifth are dramatic or even forceful, whereas the second and fourth are rather soft and gentle.

My Piano Trio is quite different; the four movements are varied and drawn from personal experiences from my own life. The first movement is subtitled “Au Jardin de Maurice,” which is a reference to Ravel’s garden at Montford l’Aumery. The second is called “Walking with Alan Bush;” it’s fast and the title refers to the composer Alan Bush, who was my very first composition teacher. The third is “Faded Photographs, Poignant Memories,” in which I rake through old family photos, remembering some of the people and events illustrated. The last movement is “A Family Argument” and contrasts jazzy music with something rather Ukrainian.”

Bernard Stevens - The Bramble Briar

Performed by David Russell in honour of the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Bernard Stevens (1916-1983).
Written in 1970, the piece is based upon the English folk song “The Bramble Briar”.
Sheet Music published by Editioni Musicali Berben, Ancona-Milano.

UK Music Measuring Music Report 2015

In its annual report on the health and earning power of music generated from the UK and performed and sold in Britain and around the world, campaigning and lobbying group, UK Music, has announced that the UK music industry was worth over £4bn to UK GDP in 2014.

‘Measuring Music 2015’ looks at all aspects of the industry – creation, performance, publishing, recording, broadcast, sales and exports – for all genres.

For the classical sector, the report highlights a violinist from the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

“Alex Gascoine has been a second violinist with the BBC Scottish symphony orchestra, which provides around seventy five performances annually for Radio 3. It also performs about forty concerts a year all over Scotland as well as internationally. Concerts during the past year have been in locations as far afield as China and Orkney, as well as performances at the BBC Proms, one of the best known musical events in the world. Their performances were also broadcast to hundreds of millions of people via the Public Service Network in India last year. A great example of how the five BBC Orchestras help add to the soft power footprint of UK culture across the globe.”

Click here for the full report Measuring Music 2015

New Chandos Recording for Robert Woolley

Robert Woolley’s latest recording for Chandos is Volume 3 of Sweelinck’s Complete Keyboard Music. The performances are on Virginals made by Johannes Grouwels who is recorded as Master of the Guild of St Luke, Antwerp, in 1579, in the collection of the Brussels Museum of Musical Instruments. Follow the link to Robert’s website for more information

BBC announces Introducing 'classical'

BBC Radio 3 has launched BBC Introducing Classical, a new talent scheme to champion unsigned artists from the genre.

The broadcaster will collaborate with BBC Introducing on the new initiative to promote undiscovered and unsigned classical performers and composers from across the UK.

Radio 3 will give the best of the UK’s new and emerging classical music talent a platform through regular air-time on the station’s drive-time programme In Tune and exposure on Radio 3’s primary contemporary music programme, Hear and Now.

Classical music performers and composers will also be invited to submit their tracks to the BBC Introducing Uploader where BBC Radio 3’s experts will select the best to showcase.

Jason Carter, BBC Introducing head, said: ‘BBC Introducing was launched back in 2007, created to support new and emerging UK talent across the popular music genres.

‘Year on year it has played an ever increasing role for new artists through Radio 1, Radio 2, 6 Music and 1Xtra. It’s incredibly exciting to now be able to extend those unique BBC opportunities to new classical music talent via Radio 3, and we are looking forward to seeing what new discoveries we will unearth.’

This new collaboration is part of BBC Music, a new commitment from the broadcaster to celebrate music across all of its platforms.


Untimely death of ROSL Arts Director

roderick-lakinRoderick Lakin, director of ROSL ARTS since 1984, died on 28 August from head injuries suffered when he was struck by a bus in Edinburgh where he was managing the Royal Over-Seas League Fringe concert programme. Roderick (65 years of age) was knocked down on Frederick Street on 16 August and rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary. He was later transferred to the Western General Hospital, where he died twelve days later, never having regained consciousness. His wife, Margaret, was at his side when he passed away.

Roderick had been Director of ROSL ARTS for 34 years, where he coordinated and promoted performance and exhibition opportunities for prizewinning artists and musicians from the UK and the Commonwealth early in their careers. The ROSL Annual Music Competition is highly regarded and attracts entries from emerging artists originating from many countires.

ROSL director-general Roddy Porter said: ‘Roderick was a highly valued friend and colleague to all at Over-Seas House in London and in Edinburgh, as well as to the membership of the League across the world. Roderick was held in great respect and affection by the multitude of musicians from all corners of the globe whose careers have benefited from his tireless efforts on their behalf. He was admired throughout the arts and music worlds for his professionalism and inspirational work.’

UK music launches LetItBeeb campaign

UK Music has launched a campaign to highlight the diversity and importance of BBC music services and their unique role in supporting the success of British music. The campaign aims to unite music fans, artists, songwriters, composers and performers of all ages, genres and locations.

Every musician can play a vital role in ensuring that the BBC retains its status as a world-leading creative hub. Here’s how you can participate –

Click here to request that Government protects BBC music services from cuts during the forthcoming charter renewal.

Songwriters, artists, performers, music fans and campaign supporters are being encouraged to share their own personal views on BBC Music.

Please ask them to click here to submit a standout broadcast, a session that changed their career, or any other inspirational BBC music moment – accompanied by words, videos, quotes, pics or GIFs.

Once you’ve done the above, help spread news of the campaign.

Follow it on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – linking to over social media using the hashtag #LetItBeeb.

#LetItBeeb banners for Facebook and Twitter can be downloaded here.

Impulse receives Innovate UK Award

Impulse was chosen earlier this year for an Innovate UK Award. Formerly the Technology Strategy Board, Innovate UK awards SMEs with grants to implement original and business-building ideas. Through the Award, we have been able to access expert advice on the value of design in effectively promoting our business online. This has transformed our understanding of the relationship between design and business growth and has provided us with new skills which will help to maximise our effectiveness as a web portal. The benefits to all Impulse clients are already recognised and will continue to evolve as the portal develops.
Find out more about Innovate UK

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