10 highlights of classical music in 2021



From the first black composer at the Metropolitan Opera, to a live concert for residents of nursing homes, here are some of the highlights from the world of classical music, in 2021 …

2021 was far from a painless year for the music industry, as concert halls and music professionals were once again locked down.

However, the sound of music is louder than ever and musicians around the world have always been able to reach, perform and move audiences, despite the pandemic.

We’ve put together a list of ten of our favorite moments from this year in classical music

  • Alleluia! The concert halls reopen.

    Classic FM Live 2021.

    Image: Matt Crossick

    Live indoor music returned to the UK with an audience at full capacity on July 19.

    After, in some cases, seven long months of concert hall closures, theaters and concert halls were finally able to return, along with some of our favorite festivals and concert series.

    Classic FM Live back for 2021 at the Royal Albert Hall in September, with the wonderful Chineke! Orchestra.

  • Duo of musicians with the Golden Gate Bridge

    In 2020, San Francisco golden gate bridge started to emit a strange hum.

    Less than a year later, the musicians were enjoying this mysterious noise created by the strong winds and the “new balustrades” on the structure.

    In July 2021, Los Angeles guitarist Nate Mercereau released a series of duets he had recorded with famous bridge and local sound engineer Zach Parkes.

  • Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics Opening Ceremony

    As representatives from each country for the Olympics prepared to enter the stadium for the opening ceremony, the athletes and a symphony orchestra warmed up together.

    The flag bearers and athletes then entered the stadium accompanied by orchestral performances of popular melodies by the legendary Japanese video games, an extremely important musical export for Japan.

    The track listing included music by Kingdom Hearts, Sonic the hedgehog and Final fantasy.

  • The San Francisco Opera House

    At the end of Puccini‘s Tosca at the San Francisco Opera in September, international opera Star Soloman Howard surprised soprano Ailyn Pérez with a marriage proposal.

    Howard and Pérez played the roles of Angelotti and Tosca, respectively.

    Stating from the stage, Howard told Pérez during the encore, “In front of God, in front of my sisters and cousins, and especially in front of your mom and dad, I ask you: will you marry me? before getting down to one knee.

    The answer was a resounding “yes”! de Pérez and the opera audience, who stood up to applaud the happy couple.

  • LSO gives a free concert for nursing homes

    In early October, the London Symphony Orchestra hosted a free live concert, conducted by Sir Simon Rattle, for all UK care homes – to thank staff for their work during the pandemic.

  • Fire shut up in my bones – Metropolitan Opera

    The opening night of the 2021-2022 season at the New York Metropolitan Opera was a historic occasion for a number of reasons.

    Importantly, it was the Met’s first performance of an opera by a black composer.

    Fire shut up in my bones, was written by Grammy Award-winning jazz musician and composer Terence Blanchard.

    The co-director of this production, Camille A. Brown, was also the first black director to create a Met production on the main stage.

  • St John’s Choir extends membership to women

    For the first time in history, girls and women will be accepted into the choir at St John’s College Cambridge in 2022, marking the first time that an Oxbridge University choir has combined male and female voices, both in adults than children.

    Founded in the 17th century, the choir is made up of around 20 choristers, including around 16 adult choristers who are mostly students of St John’s College.

    Music Director Andrew Nethsingha said: “I hope that this small step will bring the day when there is gender equality among composers, organists and conductors, as well as among politicians, conductors. business and in all other areas. “

  • Breathtaking virtual performance

    Immigration: a journey in music and numbers

    The FT made its first clip. It’s a unique collaboration with composer Nitin Sawhney and the Royal Albert Hall. And it tells a story about immigration in music and numbers. https://www.ft.com/video/9529cddb-1d0c-4039-b367-79896ad68d91

    posted by Financial Time Thursday, October 21, 2021

    Virtual performances became essential at the start of 2021, but the Financial Time and the Royal Albert Hall took this format a step further to communicate an important issue.

    In FT’s very first music video, a group of musicians, Nitin Sawhney (Guitar), Anna Phoebe (Violin), Aref Durvesh (Tabla), Aisling Brouwer (Piano), Camilo Tirado (Percussion) and Emmanuel Afram (Bass Guitar) , performed a work by Sawhney.

    During the performance video, UK immigration statistics are displayed as the musicians play. Towards the end of the play, the musicians begin to leave the stage, which represents the decline in the number of European workers in the UK and the increase in labor shortages.

    The film ends with the question, “Are we going to miss each other when we’re not here?” “. A powerful example of how music can be used to illustrate our world today.

  • The role of music in COP26

    At the United Nations climate conference COP26, 15 orchestras from all over the world gathered to perform a new score by Vivaldi The four Seasons, which highlighted climate change.

    The purpose of the ensembles’ performances was to put additional pressure on the leaders to sign the Leaders are committed to nature and commit to reversing biodiversity loss by 2030.

  • Aurora creates an immersive experience of Beethoven’s Symphony No.7

    In November, the Aurora Orchestra organized a site-specific immersive performance – from memory – of Beethoven’s 7th Symphony.

    Their interpretation of Beethoven’s 7th prompted audiences to enthusiastically imagine what the future of classical music might look like, listening to this 18th-century composer’s symphony in one of the biggest warehouse nightclubs. of London, Printworks.

    In 2014, Aurora became the first orchestra in the world to perform a symphony from memory, and since then they have performed ten symphonies and well over 100 performances in this manner.

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