The Music Workshop Company Blog 

Each month the Music Workshop Company publishes two blogs. One blog, written by the MWC team addresses a key issue in Music Education or gives information about a particular genre or period of music. The other blog is written by a guest writer, highlighting good practice or key events in Music Education. We hope you enjoy reading the blogs. 
 
To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “COMPOSERS”

 
The BBC have launched this year’s BBC Young Composer competition. Previously known as the BBC Proms Inspire Competition and the BBC Young Composer of the Year, the annual competition is open to composers aged between 12 and 18 from across the UK. Winners take part in a development programme and work with a mentor composer on a composition for the BBC Concert Orchestra, to be performed at the BBC Proms in 2021 in a special young composers concert. The closing date for entries to the competition is 5pm on Thursday 11 June 2020. 
1920 was a busy year for Stravinsky and Diaghilev with the premiere of the ballet Le Chant du Roissignol on 2nd February and the premiere of Pulcinella on 15th May. 
 
Stravinsky first worked with Diaghilev on L’Oiseau de Feu (The Firebird) in 1910.  
 
The work is of interest both as Stravinsky’s breakthrough piece and as the beginning of one of the most well known collaborations in the ballet world. 
On 18th December 1892, Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker was premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  
 
Although the ballet is now popular throughout the world, the premiere was not well received, with popularity only coming after Tchaikovsky worked the music into a Suite. 
 
Following the success of Sleeping Beauty, Tchaikovsky was looking for inspiration for his next ballet and a gift of a new Russian translation of E.T.A Hoffmann’s story Nussknacker und Mausekönig gave him a story he could work with.  
 
It has been suggested that his love of the ballet Coppelia by Delibes, premiered in 1870, which was also based on two Hoffmann stories, Der Sandmann (The Sandman) and Die Puppe (The Doll) may have influenced his decision. 
November 2019 marks the 300th anniversary of the birth of Leopold Mozart (November 14, 1719 – May 28, 1787).  
 
Perhaps often primarily known as the father of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Leopold is an almost mythical figure, equated, perhaps partly thanks to the blockbuster film Amadeus, with a stern and conflicted father/son relationship. 
 
Another interpretation is that Leopold, who had supported his child prodigy son for many years, was concerned as Wolfgang pushed for more independence that his son was unfit to look after himself – a worry which proved to be grounded in reality. 
Clara Wieck was born in Leipzig in September 1819. Although for decades she has been predominantly known as the ‘wife of Robert Schumann,’ her contribution to music as a performer, composer and inspiration was immense. 
 
As a woman in a male-dominated world, she gives us a fascinating glimpse into creative relationships, and perhaps a sense of what other women could and did achieve, despite the familiar list of traditionally male historic composers. 
 
She is to be celebrated for her own achievements, for the support she gave to Schumann and Brahms amongst others, and for the lost voices of many other women who were unable to achieve the same level of emancipation. Notably, while Clara’s work has often been marginalised by claims that her husband was the ‘real’ composer behind her work, she earned most of the money in the Schumann household, which was extremely unusual for the time, and her pieces were more popular than his. 
June 11 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Helen Tobias-Duesberg. 
 
Tobias-Duesberg produced a large and varied body of work. She was respected by her contemporaries and her work was regularly performed, yet few recordings exist and her name is not familiar. 
 
It would be easy to draw the obvious conclusion that this is because of her gender. The contribution of so many talented and successful women in the Arts has been marginalised. However the promotion of female composers ‘for the sake of it’ seems unhelpful in redressing the balance. It could also be argued that her origins in the former Soviet Union might play a part, though she spent most of her working life in the US. With those considerations in mind, the reason for this blog is that June 2019 marks the centenary of the birth of an interesting composer. 
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