When Virtual Reality meets the orchestra

Welcome to the digital society of the 21st century. A society where any time, any where, at your fingertips, is increasingly and faster than ever, becoming the standard across industries, products, geographies and people.

It is no longer about millennials only – it is about our contemporary society and our everyday life across the globe. It is about mobility and convenience, as well as the consolidation of the smartphone era.

This new normal challenges the status quo as a whole – and the orchestras are no exception. Standing still is no option at all, and the way to the very survival involves a fair deal of innovation, strategy, technology and customer-centric attitude. It involves reimagining the possibilities and embracing new ways to conveying a message, to engaging with the audiences, to providing relevant and fulfilling experiences with music.

Starting mid 2000’s, a fair number of orchestras around the word have already debuted with live concerts, and have been increasingly broadcasting a selection of concerts via internet. Podcasts, media-rich websites, a great variety of mobile apps – all part of this effort to offer differentiated customer experiences. London Symphony Orchestra (2005), Berliner Philharmoniker (2009), Sao Paulo Orchestra (2011) are among the orchestras already broadcasting some of their gigs online.

Virtual Reality is apparently the next natural step for them. 2016 have seen a number of experiments with VR by orchestras around the globe. The Berliner Philharmoniker started with Mahler’s Third Symphony, conducted by Iván Fischer, recorded back in Jan 2016.

The Philharmonia Orchestra showcased their digital offer with a brilliant takeover of the Royal Festival Hall back in Sep 2016. It was the first major VR production from a UK symphony orchestra – a great achievement indeed!

The Brazilian OSESP (Sao Paulo Orchestra) offered its first VR concert last month (Feb 2017), broadcasting from its home room in São Paulo, Brazil. They had the conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky leading the Symphony Nr2, by the Brazilian composer Villa-Lobos.

The VR offer is, no doubt, still to be shaped to meet a great deal of expectations around customer experience – its current format is still not enough to surpass the experience of a live concert. But it is already very exciting to learn about the feedbacks and new engaging possibilities being explored. And very reassuring from an accessibility perspective too! More to come.

 

 

 

The Long Journey Of Women To The Podium

Listening to one of my favourite radio programmes the other day – BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters – I was delighted to learn more about a fascinating history of Mrs. Sylvia Caduff, the world’s first maestra. So many achievements, so many milestones… it is a shame her name is not spoken and revered everywhere when we comes to great conductors!

Who would say she had to hide behind a window of a room where Mr. Herbert von Karajan was giving a masterclass to young conductors at Lucern Festival one day, only to approach him by the end of it and… secure a test! Her very first time conducting, no formal specific study at all prior to that occasion – apart from conducting via… the radio at home.

Later on, Mrs. Caduff had some specific study, and was Leonard Bernstein’s assistant at the New York Philharmonic. She became one of the first women to conduct the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. And that was back in the 1960s, when it was unlikely for a woman to conduct a top orchestra.

Last week I’ve been to Barbican Centre in London for a concert with the London Symphony Orchestra, which was originally set to count on the Russian conductor Valery Gergiev and the Dutch violin soloist Janine Jansen.

Unexpectedly, both called in sick and were then respectively replaced by the Finish conductor and cellist Susanna Mälkki and the German Christian Tetzlaff.

I can’t deny I was particularly enchanted by the brilliant performance of Mrs. Mälkii – it was no doubt one of the best interpretations of (Strauss’) Also sprach Zarathustra I have heard live. And that was at such short notice. Very well done!

I believe the journey of professional women was never easy regardless of the area and position, but I believe it might have always been particularly harder for maestras. It all started with Mrs. Caduff back in the day, and as the American Marin Alsop says ‘without her (Mrs. Caduff) what I do today would not be possible’. Bravo!

Questões Não Respondidas em Música – por Leonard Bernstein

Buscando um material de curso em Harvard estes dias cheguei sem querer a uma preciosidade: uma série de 6 aulas ministradas por ninguém menos do que o aclamado regente, compositor e escritor norte-americano Leonard Bernstein, nos idos de 1973, para uma turma de alunos num curso de inverno em Harvard.

A série – coletivamente denominada “A Questão Não Respondida”, uma tradução livre para o original em inglês “The Unanswered Question” – trata basicamente do tema música, mas o faz passeando livremente entre poesia, linguística, filosofia e física. São nada menos do que 11h de video disponíveis via Youtube!

Infelizmente, os videos estão disponíveis apenas com áudio original – em inglês – e sem legendas. A parte boa é que a pronúncia do Bernstein é muito clara e pausada, mas ainda assim, pode não ser acessível para quem não tem muita intimidade com o idioma.

A primeira aula segue aqui abaixo. A partir dela, no Youtube, é possível acessar as demais. Este material foi disponibilizado pela Escola de Música de Harvard, e faz parte do conjunto de cursos online que a escola oferece gratuitamente. É isso: boa aula! 🙂

Uma tarde em Viena – 100 anos de distância…

Felicidade de segunda-feira é… conseguir arrematar os últimos ingressos, ainda em boa localização no coro da Sala SP, para assistir a um excelente programa que não faz parte de sua série de assinatura!

O pianista Ricardo Castro eu ainda não tive oportunidade de ouvir: vai ser novidade. De Thomas Dausgaard, o regente dinamarquês, cheguei a ler que ficou famoso por boas interpretações de Beethoven e Schumann. Apesar disso, a contar pelas ótimas surpresas que a programação de convidados da OSESP desta temporada tem nos apresentado, imagino que não será menos grata a surpresa desta vez. Assim, espero: são duas ótimas peças, do repertório de meus compositores favoritos. A ‘ouvir’… 🙂

19.jun
Wolfgang Amadeus MOZART
Concerto nº 26 para Piano em Ré maior – Coroação
Gustav MAHLER
Sinfonia nº 6 em lá menor – Trágica

A América Latina é maior do que a… Argentina! :)

Fã apaixonada quando o assunto é música erudita, não teria como negar o preparo e destaque dos argentinos nessa “praia”, com uma longa lista de nomes de destaque no cenário internacional, de instrumentistas como a pianista Marta Argerich a condutores como Jorge Uliarte e o meu favorito também pianista e regente Daniel Barenboim – só para citar alguns poucos.

Em especial, acho que canais dedicados a esta programação, como a Film&Arts,  fazem um trabalho brilhante de cobertura destes talentos. Mas preciso confessar que no caso específico da Film&Arts latinoamericana, me chateio um pouco com o fato da programação se concentrar quase que exclusivamente nos argentinos. E isso não apenas quando o tema é música erudita, mas também pintura, design e arquitetura.

Para ser justa, preciso mencionar que o (Gustavo) Dudamel tem tido bastante destaque à frente da Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar na Venezuela. E até concordo que exemplos como estes, com este nível de preparo e investimento, de fato e infelizmente não existem aos montes na América Latina.

Mas ainda assim, os não-judeus-argentinos da América Latina bem que mereciam um pouco mais de oportunidade, não é? O máximo que já vi por lá foi um curta muito bem produzido por sinal, contando um pouco da história da nossa OSESP através de entrevistas com músicos e com o ex-Diretor Artístico, nosso querido John Neschling.

when a masterpiece meets a master interpreter…

… there is no possible failure. The piece is Piano Sonata N#16, Opus 31, and counts on 3 movements – all of them masterpieces themselves. Except that its first movement, Allegro vivace, brings so much of a real amazing tune. What an inventive sequence of phrases and side comments!

The interpreter, the great master Daniel Barenboim, performs beautifully in this event. The concert hall is Staatsoper Berlin – one of my top favorites as you may already know.

Let us allocate time to enjoy the beauty of the collapse of a master piece and a master interpreter… is it not moving? 🙂

how to go about finding classical music you like

atendendo a pedidos, e como promessa é dívida, pago hoje a minha de republicar aqui no LesAmis um pequeno artigo originalmente publicado na minha comunidade Música Erudita no Orkut, por ocasião de meu início como moderadora por lá. o texto está em inglês, e espero que isso não seja um problema para boa parte dos meus leitores. se houver necessidade, providencio uma versão em português para não deixar nenhum interessado de fora. é só pedir. espero que gostem…

How to Go About Finding Classical Music You Like

The other day I was sent an interesting website reference in which you will find superb info on classical music. One of the sessions in special attracted my attention. A guide to help people’s journey in exploring their own paths through classical music.

The following steps are, in resume, what was recommended by the website. I recommend you to explore the contents at its fullest at: www.classical.net. That’s a great source!

Main steps for how to go about finding classical music you like

1. Listen to as much music as you can.
You can try checking out collections in libraries (especially in universities), listening to classical radio, attending concerts, and among many others, participating in communities… like this one! 🙂

2. Make note of the piece and composer.
Heard something that pleased you? Note of the title, composer, and the performer. Taking note of the type of music can also help a lot (ex: piano piece, large choral work)

3. Find a good recording.
There are several sources, like especialized periodicals, websites, communities, etc. Also, there are many great performances of a certain piece, and some of them may be very inexpensive, which does NOT necessarily mean poor quality. They can be great opportunities for experimentation without a lot of risk.

4. Find a good CD store or mail order source.
These days, we’ve got plenty of them both street stores and online. Also, this is a MP3 world, you can always experiment something before buying it (but then, be fair and think about the author’s rights too, ok?)

5. What’s next?
Now that you know you like at least one piece by given composer, you can begin to branch out to other works, composers and periods. One idea is to use the basic repertoire list available at www.classical.net.

I hope it helps. I found didactic and extremely interesting. Good listening!