Under the Stars 2014

Yesterday evening (Sunday 17 August 2014), seventeen Every Child a Musician (EcAM) participants from the London Borough of Newham were given the chance of a lifetime as they performed their very own creative composition alongside the RPO at Newham’s annual Under the Stars concert.

The piece was written over four days of creative workshops with RPO musicians, during which participants learned about Elgar’s 'Enigma' Variations before trying their own hands at writing themes and variations about friends, family and people in their community.

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An Interview with Cristian Mandeal

Cristian Mandeal conducts the first concert of the Orchestra’s 2014-15 season at Cadogan Hall next month. Hannah Nepil speaks to him.

When Cristian Mandeal guides the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra through Franck’s Symphony in D minor this September, he will aim to steer a path between two cultures. ‘This symphony sits on the boundary between a French and German mood,’ he says. ‘There is a flexibility to it, which is more appropriate to French music than German – but it’s not French in the same way as Debussy or Ravel or Berlioz. It is a mood which is very specific to Franck.’

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A Look at Behind the Lines

RPO resound’s year of Behind the Lines activities culminates in a four-day creative Summer School this August. Hannah Nepil finds out more.

What was Elgar’s favourite ice cream flavour? And was he ever burgled? These were two of the questions posed by children taking part in Behind the Lines, a year-long education project run by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Westminster Music Library, exploring the music of the First World War. And luckily, Elgar specialist Simon Baggs fielded the answers excellently: whilst there is no documentary evidence about Elgar’s favourite flavour, he could regularly be seen coming out of Woolworths in Worcester with an ice! And he was burgled once, in 1918, by two ex-policemen.

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Zukerman and the RPO perform Mozart's miraculous final three symphonies

BACHTRACK

It is maybe ironic that Mozart's final three symphonies (nos. 39, 40 and 41), grand works that epitomise the heights of the Classical era, have been intellectually romanticised in the centuries following his death. It is indeed of one music's marvels that Mozart managed to complete these three extensive works in the summer of 1788, however there has been a prolonged musicological search for an extramusical meaning to these symphonies, with some claiming they might encapsulate Mozart's worldview, a plea for humanitarianism.

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