Articles on Classical music

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Women face serious barriers to reaching the upper echelons of classical composing and conducting. Nicki Mannix

The sound of silence: why aren’t Australia’s female composers being heard?

The rate of female composers working in Australia hasn't risen in seven years. At one leading ensemble, 41 of 47 composers commissioned have been men. What's going wrong, and how can it be fixed?
French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand presents Estonian composer Arvo Pärt (centre) with the highest decoration in France, Knight of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, in 2011. Wikimedia Commons

The case for the music of Arvo Pärt

Arvo Pärt created contemplative and innovative music during the most oppressive years of the Soviet Union.
During the 1890s Sibelius cemented his position as Finland’s leading composer. Allan Watt/ Helsinki, Sibelius Monument

The case for the music of Jean Sibelius

The classical music world is marking the 150th anniversary of Finnish composer Jean Sibelius with concerts across Finland and in Australia too. But who was the man behind the music?
What’s the point of being a great musician if it comes at the cost of a life well lived? chibi_m

Classical music training and abuse cultures – we need to act now

Like the medical profession, classical music is being forced publicly to confront an endemic culture of sexual harassment. Self-regulation has failed young musicians and action is long overdue.
Gluck’s Iphigenie en Tauride is a milestone in opera history – and Pinchgut’s production is marvellous. Photo: Keith Saunders. Pinchgut Opera

Pinchgut’s Iphigénie en Tauride: a work of pure theatrical magic

In any Opera History 101 course, Christoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787) is cited as one of the most influential figures in the development of opera. And, of course, this is true. Gluck’s operas, and his…
ABC Radio plans to cut back on the number of concerts recorded on Classic FM. Ryan Egan/Flickr

ABC’s Classic FM faces cuts: it’s time to change the tune

Today, in a statement to his staff, ABC Managing Director Mark Scott said: ABC Radio plans to cut back on the number of concerts recorded on Classic FM. This is a prudent efficiency measure that still…
Maxime Pascal conducts the Argonaut Ensemble at BIFEM. Jason Tavener

Why Bendigo’s exploratory music festival is worth trumpeting

What, one might wonder, is the value of an international festival of exploratory music? And why is it in Bendigo, in north-west Victoria? In Australia, we have so many festivals featuring music, film…
Britten’s War Requiem was written to commemorate the bombing of Coventry Cathedral in World War II. PA Second World War collection

Why Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem still resounds today

The past may be a foreign country, but in terms of war, they do not do things differently there; death is death at any time and in any language. No other work in the Classical repertoire could be more…
Australia’s most celebrated contemporary composer, Peter Sculthorpe, died on Friday. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

A wonderful musical legacy: Peter Sculthorpe remembered

Peter Sculthorpe passed away at the age of 85 on Friday. As Australia’s best known composer of classical contemporary music, this gives us pause to reflect on the legacy of his music and also upon the…
Go on … you know you love it.

Opera snobs won’t stop us going back to La Bohème

The Royal Opera House’s restaging of La Bohème will get the same responses as any other production of the Puccini opera. The savvy enthusiast hedges cautiously, perhaps going with the sceptic’s play-it-safe…

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