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. 
 
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To contribute as a guest writer please email Maria@music-workshop.co.uk 

Posts tagged “COMPOSERS”

Fanny Mendelssohn’s music is now reaching a wider public, having been overshadowed by her more famous brother, Felix Mendelssohn both during her lifetime and in subsequent years. Despite periods of her life where she was unable to compose, Mendelssohn established herself as a composer, conductor and performer in a largely male-dominated environment. Her life highlights some of the challenges female composers have faced throughout history.  
 
We explore her Piano Trio in D minor, Opus 11, which is suggested in the Model Music Curriculum as a piece suitable for Year 5, and offer some activities to help you study the composition. 
 
 
"Fanny-mendelssohn-9ba7472d-18ca-43cc-9f62-85362217db2-resize-750" by Wikiludiki is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0. To view a copy of this license, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/?ref=openverse. 
 
Photo credit: George Grantham Bain Collection (Library of Congress), restored by Adam Cuerden 
22nd April 2023 sees the 165th anniversary of the birth of Dame Ethel Smyth. Smyth is perhaps best known as the composer of the March of the Women, which became the anthem of the Women's Social and Political Union, part of the Suffragette movement.  
 
She was a radical, outspoken character who was not afraid to go against the grain – openly bisexual in a period where society was far from accepting, and battling to gain recognition as a female composer in a profession dominated by men. 
This year marks the double centenary of César Franck, the French composer known for his romantic style and his skill in improvisation. But for much of his life, Franck’s compositions at best split opinion, or worse, failed to win critical praise or even much public attention.  
 
To mark the 200th anniversary of his birth, we take a look at his musical career and ask: how did he finally make his mark, and why has he endured for so long after spending so many years in relative obscurity? 
 
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. 

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