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East music success goes from strength-to-strength

  • Date: 29 May 2013
  • Area: South East
Musically Gifted

Musically Gifted.

From new commissioned pieces of music to residencies at the National Gallery, the East's music success goes from strength to strength.

Musically gifted

We all delight in the sounds of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven, and their outstanding compositions, but it is equally important for modern composers to have the opportunity to create new and exciting scores for us to enjoy. Britten Sinfonia, an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation, has launched a fantastic new initiative that will support the creation of new music, but with a unique twist.
Musically Gifted is an engaging approach that means music-lovers, new and old, can support the creation of new music by making a donation through a dedicated website, whilst also securing a unique gift for themselves or that someone special.
Donations start at £10, which then means donors or their gift recipient get a big thank you on social media, a thank you card through the post, emails updating them on the progress of the composer that they have supported, in addition to a credit in the full score of the chosen work, forever.
As the donation value increases, so does the associated benefit - so those who give a more substantial donation of £1,000 can enjoy a fantastic range of rewards, including an invitation to afternoon tea with Britten Sinfonia players and the composer!
Donors can support one or more of seven composers, who range from established artists, such as James MacMillan, to burgeoning talent - including the winner of Britten Sinfonia's OPUS 2014 composer competition.
The Musically Gifted programme is supported through Arts Council England's Catalyst programme. Catalyst is a £100 million culture sector wide private giving investment scheme aimed at helping cultural organisations diversify their income streams and access more funding from private sources. The scheme is made up of investment from Arts Council England, Heritage Lottery Fund and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).
The £30 million Catalyst Arts: capacity building and match funding scheme - through which the Musically Gifted scheme has secured investment - will support organisations in building their fundraising capacity and capability over a three-year period.
Helen Lax, Regional Director, East, Arts Council England, said: 'The creation of new music is a really important aspect of keeping the arts fresh and contemporary; the Musically Gifted project is a fantastic way to generate investment in the arts whilst also engaging with new audiences. From just £10, anyone can get involved in the arts and feel the thrill of being part of an exciting new creation that, just like Bach and Mozart, could become timeless in its appreciation.'
Will Harriss, Development Director, Britten Sinfonia, said: 'At Britten Sinfonia commissioning and performing new music is in our DNA. It lies at the heart of our concerts - mixing the well-known with the new, the classical with the non-classical. Musically Gifted is a new way for anyone to have a stake in the music of today, whether as a treat for themselves or as a unique gift for someone special. It's an affordable way for you to leave your mark in musical history, and we're proud and excited that through the Catalyst scheme Arts Council England will match-fund donations for the first two years of the campaign. There really has never been a better time to start your own adventure in new music.'
More information about the Musically Gifted project can be found at

AAM residency at the National Gallery

The Academy of Ancient Music (AAM), an Arts Council England National portfolio organisation, has been announced as the Resident Ensemble at the National Gallery in London this summer.

The Cambridge based ensemble is renowned for 'transmitting the kick of an energy drink' (Financial Times, 2012) through its performances of baroque and classical music. It revels in the expressive power of old instruments, from flutes made of wood to trumpets without valves, giving it a unique sound that has enthralled audiences around the world for the last 40 years.

The AAM's residency will accompany this year's summer exhibition Vermeer and Music: The Art of Love and Leisure, which runs from 26 June to 8 September. Performances by AAM musicians will be given on the hour, every hour on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, enhancing the viewer's appreciation and experience of the art and recreating the sociable and informal atmosphere for which much of the music was written.

The exhibition itself will feature several magnificent paintings by Johannes Vermeer, including Young Woman standing at a Virginal, Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, The Guitar Player and The Music Lesson. It will also include paintings by a number of Vermeer's contemporaries, including Gerard ter Borch and Pieter de Hooch.

The performances will cover a range of chamber and solo works, including music by Netherlandish composers, such as Willem de Fesch and Johannes Florentius a Kempis, along with music from other European composers.

Michael Garvey, AAM Chief Executive, said: 'The collaboration is the perfect opportunity to explore new ways of looking at a cultural golden age. It will not only give the thousands who visit the gallery a completely unique experience, but also allow us to go on a voyage of discovery as we put the music we know so well into context, creating a visual and aural masterpiece.'

More information about the Academy of Ancient Music can be found at