Showing posts with label Royal Northern College of Music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Royal Northern College of Music. Show all posts

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Newsround

Today The Guardian has run Charlotte Higgins's interview with Martin Roscoe, who talks in depth about what really happened when he tried to blow the whistle about Layfield. http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/13/michael-brewer-rncm-teachers-story-martin-roscoe

But also, they report that another Chet's/RNCM teacher, violinist Wen Zhou Li, has been "arrested on suspicion of sex offences". http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/14/chetham-violin-teacher-arrested

Elsewhere, there is slightly better news.

While we were away last week, Harriet Harman intervened to stop Newcastle Council's plans to cut its arts budget by 100%. http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/feb/11/harriet-harman-newcastle-arts-budget

Also, education secretary Michael Gove was forced to drop his noxious EBacc project and is now looking instead at a reformed version of GCSEs with an eight-subject base that may even include music. Triumph is scented over at the brilliant and tireless ISM, but the fight won't be over yet.

And much better news: Benjamin Grosvenor has been nominated for The Times Breakthrough Award at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards. Over the Pond, David Patrick Stearns has been listening to the star wars of the 20-something new generation pianists and lets us know that Trifonov's Carnegie Hall debut recital last week was sold out. But he picks Benjamin as the tip-top "artistic space alien": "Never have I not heard him boldly re-imagining the music he plays in ways that made complete sense, had conviction right down to the smallest detail but was completely unlike anything I’ve previously heard. How such depth of brilliance could be housed by somebody so young is enough to make you believe that reincarnation can come with accumulated wisdom." 


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

More of it

Depressing news today that two more teachers from Chetham's and the RNCM are being accused of abusing their pupils in the 1970s-80s. See The Guardian. One has not been named (yet). The other is the late Ryzsard Bakst (who died in 1999) - a pianist and professor who used to be revered as a living legend, if a difficult and eccentric one, and who taught some of the finest pianists in the country. No doubt there is more of this to be revealed.

An interesting comment reached me from a musician on social media after I vented my thoughts on the whole principle of boarding schools. It wasn't the schools that were to blame, he said, it was the people in them. Ah... a bit like guns, then?

Note, all these events took place several decades ago. One hopes profoundly that the different climate, culture and awareness that has sprung up since makes such matters a thing of the past. All the places involved have new administrations these days, as well as many, many devoted, honourable and top-notch professors. As we said the other day: keep calm and ask the right questions.

More reports here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/12/chris-ling-chethams-teacher-hollywood?intcmp=239
and here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/10/musical-lings-strings?intcmp=239
and here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/feb/11/malcolm-layfield-chetham-sexual-abuse?intcmp=239