Monthly Archives: October 2014

10 signs you should head for the hills

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We all want to find 'The One', but sadly this means we have to go through a lot of the wrong ones before we find them. 

It can be easy to waste your time on someone with whom you have no future, which can mean you miss out on being with a person who is a much better match.

Rather than waiting around for everything to fizzle out completely, here are ten signs that could help you figure out when it's time to call it a day and move on.

They ignore you

If your partner is being a lot less attentive and tends to ignore you when it suits them, it could be a sign that they are just keeping you around for convenience.

Things like not answering your calls, failing to respond to messages, cancelling plans last minute and generally not wanting to spend time with you all indicate that things may be turning sour.

Rather than waiting around and being made to feel like you're not good enough, it might be time to leave them to it. After all, if they don't want to talk to you or spend time with you, why should you bother?

They don't want you to meet their friends

A relationship is all about sharing, which means you should be willing to spend time with each other's friends and family. However, if your partner doesn't want you to meet their friends, you need to ask yourself why.

Refusal for you to meet their friends or family could be because they are hiding something. Fair enough if it is early days and they want to see how things are going, but if you have been together for a while and they are still refusing, it could indicate that they aren't being totally truthful.

You deserve to be with someone who wants to introduce you to people, not keep you hidden away.

They lie to you

If you keep catching your partner out in lies, -no matter how big or small – it is time to head for the door. 

You should be able to trust that they will tell you the truth the majority of the time. While we all tell the odd white lie, continuously bending the truth really isn't the way to go and can lead to problems down the lie.

So, if you've caught them out on one lie too many, kick them to the curb and find someone who will be more honest.

They are careless with your feelings

You want to be with someone who takes your feelings into account, so if someone regularly says or does things that they know will upset you, it might be worth walking away.

Little things like forgetting special occasions regularly, not involving you in plans, telling people things they know you don't want shared, or choosing others over you when it comes to arguments or plans are all signs they might not give enough thought to your feelings.

One of the biggest parts of a relationship is caring for each other and if they don't seem to care for you, why are you sticking around? 

They cheat on you

While one lapse may be forgivable, cheating on you more than once indicates they don't respect you. It also damages trust, which is one of the fundamentals of any relationship. 

If you can't trust your partner not to screw around behind your back, it is time to find someone who respects you enough to remain faithful.

If any of these sound like your partner, it could be time to say goodbye. This doesn't mean you have to be alone though, as there are plenty of eligible singles on Classical Music Lovers just waiting for your message. 

We all want to find 'The One', but sadly this means we have to go through a lot of the wrong ones before we find them.  It can be easy to waste your time on someone with whom you have

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Muncaster Castle hosts classical music weekend

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Muncaster Castle will be hosting a weekend-long celebration of the arts showcasing some of the UK's best classical music talent. Three musicians will be performing two concerts on November 8th and 9th.

Anna Tilbrook will be leading the show, with soprano opera singer Sarah Tynan and violinist Matthew Trusler. The three brilliant musicians will showcase a range of classical music selections, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Saturday November 8th will see the three musicians perform songs from Rodgers and Hammerstein's Carousel, along with the great hits: You'll Never Walk Alone and Mister Snow.

Other songs to be performed during the first concert include Gilbert and Sullivan's operettas, Ira Gershwin and Kurt Weill's Lady in the Dark, and a Viennese whirl of Franz Lehar, Fritz Kreisler, Jascha Heifetz and Johann Strauss. The cabaret-style concert will begin at 7.30 pm.   

The second concert will take place on the Sunday from 3pm, with the trio performing a concert of classical masterpieces. These include Elgar's Violin sonata, Handel arias and Debussy songs. This second show will offer a totally different experience from the first concert. 

Tickets are priced at £22, with those under the age of 26 able to enjoy the events for £12, with tickets needing to be purchased in advance from Rosehill Theatre.

If you would like to make a real event of the weekend, perhaps to treat a partner to a romantic trip, you can purchase one of Muncaster Castle's special package deals for either the Saturday or the Sunday.

You can enjoy a two-course meal at the castle at 6pm on the Saturday and the concert for £50 per person for over 26-year-olds and £40 each for those under that age. On Sunday, you could book in for a two-course lunch with carvery at 1.30 pm and the concert at a cost of £35 for under 26-year-olds and £45 for everyone else.

The weekend gives you the perfect opportunity to enjoy a range of classical music in a beautiful setting.

Muncaster Castle will be hosting a weekend-long celebration of the arts showcasing some of the UK's best classical music talent. Three musicians will be performing two concerts on November 8th and 9th. Anna Tilbrook will be leading the show, with

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First date advice for men

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The road to true love can be treacherous, especially when you're a man looking for that right woman. Online dating has managed to break down a lot of the problems that would have previously left many people disheartened. New dating websites have enabled people to reach potential dates that they would have never previously met before, with long-distance relationships becoming more and more common for modern day couples.

Finding love online has also meant that it is much easier to identify people that share the same mindset, values and characteristics as you, meaning that far less time is wasted in the pursuit for Mrs Right. However, once you've secured a date with someone that has caught your eye, how do you make sure that first crucial first meeting goes to plan?

Meeting anyone for the first time can be a nervous occasion that can bring out the worst in all of us, but there are some important things to remember when joining a lady on a first date.

Play it as you go

Everyone is different and never is this more important than on your first date. It can be tricky to strike the right balance as you want to look generous, kind and polite but don't want to offend your date. For instance, some women may be flattered by traditional gentlemanly quirks – such as opening doors for them or offering to foot the bill yourself – while others could be offended by what they deem an old-fashioned practice.

The best way to approach this problem is to pay close attention to your date's reaction. Start by doing something small, like opening the door for her, and if she responds well and is flattered by your gesture then you can continue to be the gent throughout the date. However, if your actions are misplaced and get a frosty reception, hold back on these kind of things for the rest of the evening as they are not everyone's cup of tea. 

Even if these practices aren't well received, it's still polite to offer to pay the bill but it's important to not fight your corner too aggressively. Offer once or twice, but then if your date is persistent to split the bill – go with the flow.

Remember your manners

Although you may want to be wary of how old fashioned to be during your date, it's important to remember your manners. This includes everything from eating politely to asking her about her tastes and interests. These may seem like quite small things but can make a big impact on how you are perceived by your date, and whether or not they want to meet you again.

Manners also include ensuring that you hold polite conversation, which often means making sure you don't swear as some people can be offended by this. It's also bad form to talk about previous dates or girlfriends as this can make your date think that you are still hung up on past love or have strong negative feelings towards them – neither of which are attractive to a new date.

Hold back strong opinions

Many of us are incredibly passionate about some subjects, maybe it's politics, music or who won Great British Bake Off, whatever it is that you feel strongly about, it's important to not push this too much during your date. During your first meeting, it can be off-putting if you are have really strong views on a topic that they disagree with, but this may be something that doesn't seem important once you have gotten to know each other better. Many people are willing to respect others' opinions – even when they are different from their own – but it can leave a sour taste in the mouth on a first date and ruin your chances of a second meeting.

The road to true love can be treacherous, especially when you're a man looking for that right woman. Online dating has managed to break down a lot of the problems that would have previously left many people disheartened. New dating

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Singing the key to teaching schoolchildren music

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A new programme has been launched to encourage young children to pursue music in schools, reports ABC News.

Victorian Opera music director Richard Gill, who is one of the main forces behind The National Music Teachers Mentorship Pilot Programme, has said that singing is one of the best ways to teach children music.

The $594,000 programme will bring together professional music educators and classroom teachers to help better support music education in Australian schools.

Mr Gill said singing is a better way of introducing young children to music, rather than encouraging them to pursue an instrument, as they can often be overwhelmed by having to read music as well as learning the technique.

"I think a lot of kids get sick of instruments because they're offered too early," he told 774 ABC Melbourne's Red Symons.

"If you give them a basis of singing from the beginning, and they learn their musical literacy through singing, then going to the instrument is far less problematic," Mr Gill said. He added that having them learn a wide variety of songs is the best option.

A joint announcement by arts minister George Brandis and education minister Christopher Pyne thanked the music director for "his drive in bringing this programme to fruition". Mr Gill will be tasked with leading the mentorship programme, which will be hosted by the Australian Youth Orchestra.

A national review in 2004 identified a great disparity in the way music is taught in schools across the country, he said.

As children can remember dozens of songs at a time without having to read or learn music, he said that young children should "sing all sorts of songs, they should sing folk songs and pop songs and rock songs… there are millions of songs out there".

"Once they know all of these fabulous songs, they can then learn to read the notation of these songs," he said.

A new programme has been launched to encourage young children to pursue music in schools, reports ABC News. Victorian Opera music director Richard Gill, who is one of the main forces behind The National Music Teachers Mentorship Pilot Programme, has

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Children more likely to opt for guitar than violin

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A new report has found that children are more likely to pick up an electric guitar than the violin, which has sparked concerns that classical music could be losing popularity. 

Commissioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM), the figures show that – for the first time – the guitar is more popular than the violin. According to the report, just 12 per cent of five to 17-year-olds are now learning violin, compared to 13 per cent of this demographic who now learn to play the electric guitar.

The study also found that fewer children are now taking music exams beyond Grade 4, suggesting that more traditional routes for pursuing a career in classical music are becoming less popular. 

Violinist Tasmin Little OBE told Classic FM: "There are undoubtedly some instruments whose initial phases of practice are more gratifying than others… as a violinist, I know that one of the first hurdles to be overcome is mastering the tricky aspect of the bow."

She said it is this "initial difficulty that put some children off who might otherwise have chosen "such a beautiful and lyrical instrument".

However, the report found that the keyboard is the most popular instrument for children to begin learning, with nearly a third (30 per cent) of those taking music lessons choosing to play it.

A positive note from the study found that the number of children opting to take music lessons is growing, which is something all music lovers will want to celebrate. The amount of young people now choosing to learn an instrument has jumped by more than a third (35 per cent) since 1999.

Speaking to the Times, Jonathan Vaughan, director of music at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, said that musical standards were slipping in some areas, with people failing to acknowledge the crisis that we are "sleepwalking" into.

A new report has found that children are more likely to pick up an electric guitar than the violin, which has sparked concerns that classical music could be losing popularity.  Commissioned by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of

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Top plays to see this autumn

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Heading out to the theatre is an ideal first date for many classical music lovers. It has much less pressure than going out for meal, and gives you a common topic to talk about before, during and after the event. However, it can also be the perfect way to inject a little excitement and romance back into your relationship – no matter how long you have been together. So why not leave your lover a note and tickets to a play showing at your local theatre?

If you're a little out of touch with the theatre scene – don't worry – we've listed some of the best shows to see this autumn/winter. 

Top Hat 
The London performance was showered with Olivier awards, including Best New Musical so this is definitely one to put on your calendar! Top Hat combines classic glamour with tap-dancing magic and is a spectacle of the theatre world.

Brimming with Irving Berlin’s greatest hits including Cheek to Cheek, Puttin’ on the Ritz and – of course – Top Hat, the play tells the story of the Jerry Travers who takes his dancing talent from the stages of Broadway to the other side of the world to win the heart of Dale Tremont. This uplifting, romantic comedy is the perfect date night choice.

The Coronation of Poppea
Loosely based on actual events, the Coronation of Poppea follows the obsessive pursuit of the beautiful Poppea Sabina by Emperor Nero. He is ruthless in his quest for true love, with many casualties falling by the wayside – including his own wife Seneca.

As one of opera's earliest masterpieces, this play is a popular choice of many classical music lovers and has stood the test of time thanks to its passionate love duets and compelling storyline.

The marriage of Figaro 
One of Mozart's most loved plays, the story focuses on the day of Figaro’s wedding where the eponymous character of the story learns that his master – the Count – is set on stealing his future wife.

However, Figaro himself is in trouble with the housekeeper, Marcellina, who he borrowed money from and he will be forced to marry her if he does not repay her. The story is full of laughs but is also about the depths of love and the power of forgiveness.

La Traviata 
One of Verdi's most loved plays, La Traviata tells the story of Violetta, who falls in love while living in Paris. However, her past creeps up on her and forces her to give up on what could be her one true love.

Some of the acclaimed composer's most emotive music is in this play, telling the story of love, loss and family.

One man, two guvnors 
The award-winning comedy One Man, Two Guvnors is currently on its biggest ever tour of the UK and Ireland, with the hit being a display of British comedy at its best. If opera or theatre has been a little too dramatic for you, then this play could be for you – full of satire, slapstick and one-liners, it will have you laughing out loud.  
 
After being fired from his band, Francis Henshall is given the task to look after Roscoe Crabbe – not knowing that it is really Rachel, Roscoe's sister. She is posing as her dead brother after he has been killed by her boyfriend – Stanley Stubbers.  

Spotting an opportunity to get himself back on his feet, Francis takes a job with Stanley Stubbers but must keep his two lives – or guvnors – apart to prevent discovery.

Heading out to the theatre is an ideal first date for many classical music lovers. It has much less pressure than going out for meal, and gives you a common topic to talk about before, during and after the event.

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Rocker Courtney Love to star in new opera

AMFAR CINEMA AGAINST AIDS GALA, CANNES FILM FESTIVAL 2011

Classical music fans can sometimes be accused of being a little over protective of the art they love so dearly, with many lovers of the genre being harsh critics of new-wave, experimental takes on the art form.

With this in mind, it may come as a surprise to some who has been selected to star in New York's latest spectacle.

Courtney Love – who shot to fame as lead singer of rock band Hole and her marriage to grunge icon Kurt Cobain – is set to take centre stage in a new play opening in the Big Apple. Premiering at the Prototype: Opera/Theater/Now festival, the 'Kansas City Boys Choir' tells the story of a 'man and woman in love in the Midwest', according to composer Todd Almond.

Due to start in January 2015, the so-called 'experimental opera' will showcase songs from the composer and lyricist, which will be performed by Courtney Love. The former Hole singer will be accompanied by the Contemporaneous Ensemble throughout the show.

Speaking about her role in the opera, she told the New York Times that she was looking forward to doing something different.

"I just finished a rock tour of Australia, and it was great, but I’ve been doing that for a long time. I wanted to do something challenging."

However, purist opera fans should enter the show with an open mind as Mr Almond has warned that it will not be keeping to any strict opera guidelines. 

"When I say 'opera' I don’t mean it's in an operatic style. I mean it in the sense that it's a group of songs that tell a story, " he said.

The 50-year-old American has seen her career span more than two decades and has been involved a number of roles in film and TV, but this will be the first time she has turned her talents to the opera or musical theatre world.

Classical music fans can sometimes be accused of being a little over protective of the art they love so dearly, with many lovers of the genre being harsh critics of new-wave, experimental takes on the art form. With this in

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How to tell he is Mr Right

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In the modern flurry of social media, it can be hard to decide whether what you have is worth keeping or not, and whether your partner is the one for you. Other couples only update their online profiles when they are celebrating an anniversary, someone has done something romantic or they are having a cosy night in, which can leave you comparing your own relationship to their ideal one. 

However, couples will rarely Instagram, Facebook or tweet their latest argument, or when the other person has done something that has driven them to despair. This makes it difficult to determine whether your relationship is the right one, and whether all the disagreements are worth it in the end.

So how do you know he is Mr Right?

Does he make you smile?

They say never pick a guy that doesn't make you laugh, but some men just aren't born comedians and they never will be. It might be because he is shy, not quick enough or just doesn't try to be funny, but this shouldn't mean that you reach for the abort button on your relationship. What is far more important is whether he makes you smile. Of course, finding someone that will have you in stitches every night is a bonus, but a man that can make you smile is almost as good and probably more suitable for the long term.

Whether it's because he bought you a bunch of flowers, said something outrageous or asked you how to put the washing machine on – finding a partner that can make you smile is the cornerstone of a modern relationship.

Does he respect you?

Respect is a difficult one to quantify – how do you know whether he respects you or not? It's not as simple as 'does he do everything I ask him to?' and is a question that only you can answer. For many people, finding respect is about something who accepts you for who you are, whether it be your driven ambition, your dreams, or your crazy family – finding someone that respects you for you is vital for pinpointing Mr Right.

The opposite of this is that he takes you for granted, and isn't appreciative of the things you do. This doesn't mean that you should end the relationship, but rather sit down with him and explain how he has made you feel and see whether this changes his behaviour. If he doesn't, you may have your answer.

Do the good times outweigh the bad?

Every couple has their arguments, and what is normal for you may not be normal for other people. Some partners bicker every day about something, whereas others will have a screaming row every six months but nothing in between, what works for you won't work for other couples. This means you shouldn't judge your relationship by what other people experience. However, it is important that, on the whole, the good times together outweigh the bad ones. 

If you look back on the time you have been together, are there more times that he's made you happy than the times he's made you sad or angry? This is a good indicator for whether your relationship will do the distance.

These are only vague guidance points and it entirely up to you whether or not you are happy enough within a relationship to call your partner Mr Right. There are aspects of some people's relationships, which would provoke a dumping for one couple, but they might love about each other. As with most things about life, there are no hard-fast rules about what will make a successful relationship and what won't, and it's up to you to decide whether you can't imagine being without him or whether you should check out online dating!

In the modern flurry of social media, it can be hard to decide whether what you have is worth keeping or not, and whether your partner is the one for you. Other couples only update their online profiles when they

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Influential composers you probably never heard of

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If you are a lover of classical music then you will undoubtedly be familiar with legends such as Mozart, Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach among others.

These great artists are the most influential in the genre, and have contributed greatly to the cultural landscape of the Western world.

They have also helped to inspire whole generations of ambitious and talented artists who have gone on to enjoy great success in their musical careers.

Even those who are not particularly fond of classical music or opera will probably be vaguely familiar with names such as Beethoven and Chopin, which have become such a familiar part of school education, TV and arts and culture.

However, there are also a number of classical music composers that have also produced some of the world's most amazing pieces, yet have not achieved as much widespread recognition.

They too have had a significant influence on the cultural landscape, although are not always credited as much for doing so.

Like the legendary names that are known to everyone, they are also pioneers in their own right, who helped to pave the way for all of those in the genre. 

This guide is dedicated to all of those unsung heroes of the classical music and opera world, who have also helped to make the genre as potent as it is today.

The avid fan or music history student may indeed recognise one or two of these names, but the majority of people will not have done.

However, you are likely to have come across their work in various films, adverts and shows.

Alfred Schnittke

Alfred Schnittke was a Russian-born artist who was born in the 1930s and died in 1998. He developed a polystylistic technique in works such as the epic First Symphony produced between 1969–1972 and First Concerto Grosso, which was composed in 1977.

He was one of the first modern composers to restore the Concerto Grosso form and use instruments such as the electric guitar, jazz drums, and honky tonk piano.

Hendrik Andriessen

Hendrik Andriessen was a Dutch composer and organist who lived between 1892 and 1981.

He was the son of a prominent organist father and was known for accentuating the improvisational freedom associated with his instrument.

His most famous works included eight masses, a setting of the Te Deum, four symphonies, variations for orchestra, lieder for voice and orchestra, chamber music and sonatas for cello and piano.

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen was born in Germany and rose to fame because of his contributions to electronic music.

One of his most famous works was the Helicopter String Quartet. His most notable pieces include the series of nineteen Klavierstücke (Piano Pieces), Kontra-Punkte for ten instruments, the electronic/musique-concrète Gesang der Jünglinge, Gruppen for three orchestras, the percussion solo Zyklus, Kontakte and the cantata Momente.

Kurt Atterberg

Kurt Atterberg was a Swedish composer and engineer, who lived between 1887 and 1974.

He was best known for his works in symphonies, operas and ballets. He co-founded the Society of Swedish Composers, alongside other composers such as Ture Rangström, Wilhelm Stenhammar and Hugo Alfvén.

In addition, he also help to found Svenska Tonsättares Internationella Musikbyrå.
 
Charles Ives

Charles Ives was an American composer who was born in 1874 and died in 1954. He was one of the first US composers to reach international fame.

During his lifetime, many of his musical pieces were largely ignored, although his music has since grown to be appreciated in its own right.

He was known for combining the popular and church-music traditions of his childhood with European art. He also used most of the 20th century styles of composition before anyone else, making him a pioneer in that sense.

Ives also liked to mix a variety of sounds together in total discord with each other.

Sofia Gubaidulina

Sofia Gubaidulina was a Russian composer and is best known for her use of unusual instrumental combinations.

She combined instruments such as percussion, the saxophone and the bayan to produce her compositions.

In the early 80s, she began to use the Fibonacci sequence as a way of structuring the form of her work. 

Arthur Bliss

Arthur Bliss was an English composer and conductor. He was famous for being an unconventional and modernist composer during the earlier stages of his career, but later began to produce more traditional and romantic compositions.

During his career, he produced operas, ballets and incidental music, in addition to orchestral music.

George Crumb

George Crumb is an American composer who often asks for instruments to be played in unusual ways.

He is also noted for using unusual layouts of music notation in a number of his scores. 

Crumb also received a lot of popularity and recognition when his piece, Night of the Electric Insects from Black Angels, was featured in the Exorcist.

If you are a lover of classical music then you will undoubtedly be familiar with legends such as Mozart, Vivaldi and Johann Sebastian Bach among others. These great artists are the most influential in the genre, and have contributed greatly

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Who is Mr Right?

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There are many blogs and articles out there designed to help you find Mr Right, but would you recognise the right man if you found him?

Most importantly, would you recognise Mr Wrong?

Many of us have been in relationships where we thought things were perfect at first – until it all went badly awry.

Similarly, there are also those of us who have met our ideal partner before somehow managing to mess it all up.

Were they right for us? Possibly. But if it doesn't feel right at the time, then no matter how great your significant other is, it is unlikely to work out.

So just how do you recognise Mr Right when he finally comes along?

Follow our little hints and tricks below to spot your prince charming when he appears.

Intuition

I don't see the word 'intuition' mentioned when it comes to reading the plethora of dating websites and women's magazines on the market.

Often, it is dismissed as some superstitious fantasy. However, if you are not 100 per cent sure about your man – even after a few weeks of being together – the chances are the relationship won't be 100 per cent either. Similarly, if alarm bells start ringing, you should listen to that inner voice and approach with caution.

Have a clear idea of what you are looking for

If you have no idea what you are looking for or what type of qualities you want in a partner, then how will you recognise your knight in shining armour when you find him?

This is why it is important to know exactly what qualities you would like in a partner – and indeed, possess those attributes yourself.

Mutual respect

No relationship can work without mutual respect. Choosing a partner who is highly respectful of you is important. If the person you are with is highly controlling or doesn't value who you are, it is probably time to find someone new. Similarly, if you can't respect him, it is time to look at your own choices.

There are many blogs and articles out there designed to help you find Mr Right, but would you recognise the right man if you found him? Most importantly, would you recognise Mr Wrong? Many of us have been in relationships

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