Monthly Archives: December 2014

New Year’s dating resolutions

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2015 is almost here, with many people viewing it as a fresh start. If you've failed to find love during the last 12 months, the New Year really could be the perfect opportunity to step up your search and meet 'the one'. 

However, carrying on as you did in 2014 could leave you with the same results. After all, using the same techniques and expecting different results isn't the best way to go about anything, especially not online dating.

Rather than face another lonely New Year when December 2015 rolls around, why not make some dating resolutions to see if you can change your luck?

Here are some things you can do to better your chances of meeting a new partner.

Update your profile

Head into the New Year with a fresh profile to help you get as much notice as possible from potential matches. Keeping your profile the same for months on end makes it look boring and can mean people don't bother to look properly.

You should aim to update your profile every month or so, even if you just change your picture or some other small thing on it. This will keep it up-to-date and could help attract those that had overlooked you previously.

Don't go overboard with the updates though, as changing your profile too much can make it seem like you spend too much time on there.

Be more forward

Waiting for someone else to make a move can leave you disappointed and dateless. Heading into the new year, try to be more forward with how you date online. Message more people and be more outgoing.

This doesn't mean bombard everyone with messages, but a simple 'hi' can go a long way. Not everyone will message you back, but that's perfectly fine. You'll have more chance of the right person messaging you if you have said hello first.

Go on more dates

If you have been talking to someone and you get on, arrange to meet them in person. This is the best way of assessing whether you really have things in common and whether the relationship can go any further.

Meeting at an earlier point than you might usually stops you from wasting time when there is no future to a match. This frees you up to meet someone who is better suited. You never know, you might make some great friends along the way even if you don't find that special someone.

Have fun

It can be hard work to find the right person, but you shouldn't let the search get you down or stress you out. If you have fun with online dating, you'll stand a better chance of recognising the right one when they do come along.

Enjoy yourself and take the whole process lightly, that way it isn't too big a deal if someone doesn't message you back or if a date goes badly. Being able to laugh about things like this will ensure your experience of online dating is a good one.

2015 is almost here, with many people viewing it as a fresh start. If you've failed to find love during the last 12 months, the New Year really could be the perfect opportunity to step up your search and meet

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Renee Fleming takes on Broadway role

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Best known for her fabulous roles in operas, Renee Fleming will be swapping classical performances for something a bit different in 2015. The soprano will be bidding farewell for a while to the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss in order to take on her first ever role in a Broadway play.

Classic FM reports that Ms Fleming will be appearing in a new comedy written by Joe DiPietro. The role will see her star as an opera singer whose husband falls in love with another woman. In the musical, her composer husband will become besotted with a ghostwriter he hires to write his autobiography.

Ms Fleming told the news provider that she thought the only way she could be on Broadway was to take a part in a musical. However, she knew that she wouldn't be able to perform eight shows in the space of a week as opera singers and musical singers are trained in very different ways.

Her voice would require the two days off that operas provide, she continued, and so Broadway wasn't on her list of things she wanted to do. However, the play came out of the blue and she thought it would be a great opportunity.

She recently performed the play at the Williamstown Theater Festival, where she starred alongside Douglas Sills. While a small amount of improvised singing has been added to the role by Ms Fleming, the majority is completely spoken.

"Learning how to sing well takes a lifetime of effort. Then putting the singing aside is another whole thing," she told the news provider. “But we want to remain challenged in life, I think. And I'm certainly finding a way to do it.”

The play, entitled Living on Love, is directed by Kathleen Marshall and is set to open on April 1st 2015 at the Longacre Theatre, where it will run for 18 weeks.

Best known for her fabulous roles in operas, Renee Fleming will be swapping classical performances for something a bit different in 2015. The soprano will be bidding farewell for a while to the operas of Mozart and Richard Strauss in

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New Year’s date? Don’t mess it up!

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Many people use New Year's Eve as the perfect opportunity for a date with a new partner. It is a chance to have fun, meet each other's friends and get a kiss at midnight. However, there are several things that can mess up a date on this busy night and leave you feeling a bit lonely when the clock strikes 12.

If you don't want to start 2015 off on a downer, be sure to take steps to ensure your date goes off without a hitch. Proper planning and good behaviour will help show your date how conscientious you are as well as how much fun you can have together. With this in mind, here are a few things you shouldn't do on New Year's Eve if you want to make the right impression.

Don't drink too much

Yes, New Year's Eve is a time for celebration, but there is such as thing as too much celebrating. If this is your first date or if you are quite early on in your relationship, getting completely trashed is not the way to go.

You can enjoy a drink or two throughout the night but be sure to pace yourself and be responsible. You should also drink plenty of water throughout the evening to stay hydrated.

This will stop you making a fool of yourself, resulting in a bad impression. It also means your date won't be stuck looking after you when they should be having fun.

Don't wander off

Whether you are staying in one place on the evening or moving around to several parties, it is important that you don't wander off and leave your date alone. Not only does this mean it will be hard to find each other again, but it can also be dangerous.

You should keep your phone on you at all times in case you get separated and arrange a meeting point beforehand if this should happen. This means you'll be able to find each other easily and get that all important kiss at midnight.

Don't skimp on introductions

If you and your date are going out with friends, be sure to introduce your partner to everyone before the evening gets too manic. This stops them from feeling too awkward if they find themselves on their own with your mates.

This also ensures they will enjoy their night as they will feel better able to talk, dance and laugh with your friends if they are comfortable right from the start. You'll also find it much easier at future events when your date is around your friends as they will have gotten to know each other a bit already. 

Don't leave them to get home alone

With New Year's Eve being such a busy night, you shouldn't assume that your date has got home okay on their own. This doesn't mean you have to go home with them, but putting them in a taxi at the end of the night and making sure they have enough money will give you peace of mind and show you care.

You should also arrange to text or call each other once you get home, that way you can be sure your partner got home safe, saving you worry. 

Many people use New Year's Eve as the perfect opportunity for a date with a new partner. It is a chance to have fun, meet each other's friends and get a kiss at midnight. However, there are several things that

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Pierre Boulez wins Lifetime Achievement Award

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Conductor and composer Pierre Boulez has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 57th Grammy Awards, due to take place on February 7th 2015. He is one of several musicians who are being honoured for their work within music over the course of their lives.

While the announcement for the award has been made, Mr Boulez will not formally receive it until February at the award ceremony, which is being held in Los Angeles. Currently it is not yet known if he will be attending the event.

In his lifetime, Mr Boulez has won a total of 26 Grammy Awards, with the most recent win being in 2005. This award was presented for his recording of Le Marteau sans Maitre, which is one of his own compositions. The lifetime achievement award shows that he is one of the most influential names within contemporary classical music.

As well as Mr Boulez, a number of other musicians are also being honoured for their work within music throughout their lifetimes. Other people being honoured include jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter and the Bee Gees. A posthumous award will also be granted to late Beatles singer George Harrison.

Neil Portnow, chief executive of the Recording Academy, said: “This year we pay tribute to exceptional creators who have made prolific contributions to our culture and history. It is an honour and a privilege to recognise such a diverse group of talented trailblazers, whose incomparable bodies of work and timeless legacies will continue to be celebrated for generations to come.”

The ceremony for the lifetime achievement awards will be taking place the day before the Grammy's, which will see musicians like Ed Sheeran and Sam Smith fighting it out for the prestigious awards. Ed Sheeran's new album X has been nominated for awards in the album of the year category and for best pop vocal album, while Sam Smith is nominated for three Grammys.

The awards will see some of the music world's best and brightest be honoured for the recent contributions they have made.

Conductor and composer Pierre Boulez has been given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 57th Grammy Awards, due to take place on February 7th 2015. He is one of several musicians who are being honoured for their work within music over

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Great Christmas classical music to get you in the festive mood

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There are many things that can get you in the mood for Christmas. Whether you are a fan of fairy lights, movies or mulled wine, you can start to feel festive due to a number of experiences throughout December. However, nothing quite gets you in the mood for Christmas like music.

With this in mind, here are some of the best Christmas classical compositions that are sure to have you feeling merry and bright this week.

Bach's Christmas Oratorio

In this stunning piece of music you'll get to experience all the joy of the Christmas season and follow its story right from the birth of Christ up to the arrival of the three wise men.

It is a triumphant piece of music that shouts for sheer joy. It was composed in the key of D major, which sets a celebratory tone, while trumpets help to support this and set the mood.

Tchaikovsky's Waltz of the Flowers 

This stunning piece of music features in the Nutcracker and is the perfect choice for Christmas. After all, what better way to start feeling festive than to listen to the music that accompanies the telling of a magic land made up of sweet treats and Christmas gifts?

The piece is from Act Two of the ballet, following on from the success of the Nutcracker against the army of wicked mice before he turns into a handsome prince. It is perfect for creating a magical feeling at Christmas.

Gerald Finzi's In Terra Pax

Inspired by the sound of church belts heard on a Christmas Eve thirty years before its composition, this piece of music helps to conjure up the nostalgia of a truly British Christmas. 

Along with the beautiful score, the words of the piece are taken from a Robert Bridges poem along with the description of the angels that features within St Luke's chapter of the Bible. It is everything perfect and memorable about the Christmas season.

There are many things that can get you in the mood for Christmas. Whether you are a fan of fairy lights, movies or mulled wine, you can start to feel festive due to a number of experiences throughout December. However,

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How to use social media when online dating

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In this age of digital innovation, it is no wonder online dating has become so popular. But as well as finding dates through dedicated websites, people are also increasingly looking at their potential matches via social media accounts. 

This means that they are able to check you are who you say you are – which is great if you are starting to really like someone – however, it also means they could see some things you don't want to reveal to them just yet. 

With this in mind, it is important that you take steps to protect some of your more sensitive information and control what any potential partners can see both before you add them to your social media network and if you decide to friend them later on.

A recent picture

Even if you hide absolutely everything on your social media profiles from prying eyes, your profile picture will be visible. This is the first thing anyone sees when looking for you online so it should be a professional and recent.

Ideally, your profile picture on sites like Twitter or Facebook should be different to the one you use on your online dating profile. This is because using different pictures – each of which should show your face clearly – shows that you are a real person, which can help someone feel happier arranging a date with you.

Failing to choose a suitable image, or selecting one of you in a compromising position could create the wrong impression with a possible partner and damage your chances of a date.

Make a good impression

If a social media profile requires a bio, or if you can fill in large amounts of information that will be public, think carefully about what you are going to say.

Keeping it simple tends to be your best bet, as then anything you say can't be misconstrued. This serves, once again, to prove you are a real person without getting into too much detail.

While you and your friends might think certain statements are funny, posting offensive or rude comments in these public sections can be off-putting for a potential partner. They'll be able to get used to your sense of humour later on, when you can explain certain in-jokes to them, so aim to keep it light at first.

You should also make sure you use correct spelling and grammar, as this is another point that can put people off taking a relationship further.

Don't make everything public

On sites like Facebook, you can choose exactly what information you make public. This means that those who aren't your friends yet can only see what you want them to see, allowing you to hide photos, contact information and status updates. 

You can also limit what information can be seen by your friends, which can help you avoid sharing embarrassing or controversial information with new connections.

However, sites like Twitter post everything publicly unless you totally lock your account. This means you should consider what you are posting as each tweet is a reflection on you, which could damage your dating chances.

Don't lie

While you shouldn't lie to prospective partners when online dating anyway, you definitely shouldn't fib at all if you have social media profiles. It can become easy to see if you have told someone a little white lie, which can damage a relationship before it has even begun.

In this age of digital innovation, it is no wonder online dating has become so popular. But as well as finding dates through dedicated websites, people are also increasingly looking at their potential matches via social media accounts.  This means

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Online dating tips for parents

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Meeting your perfect partner can be difficult enough already, but throw in the fact that you are a single parent and you have a whole other host of issues to deal with. As well as searching for someone who you want to be with, you also need to take into account the fact that any potential partner needs to be suitable to be around your child.

It's all well and good dating someone who you get on with and have fun with, but if they aren't ready for the responsibility that comes with a child, the chances are it won't go very far. It is best to look for someone who is able to accept that you have a child and who wants to have a serious relationship with you.

With this in mind, here are some tips for online dating as a parent.

Be honest

There is no point in spending a lot of time getting to know someone without telling them from the start that you are a parent.

Failing to give this information can mean that you'll get emotionally invested in the relationship, which can be damaging if you haven't told them the whole story. It can be a bit much for someone when they find out you have a child and it could stop them wanting to take things further, leaving you where you started in the first place.

You should be honest and tell any possible matches that you are a parent from the start. This will help you weed out those that aren't suitable and will build a relationship on trust.

Don't let your child take over

It can be easy to fill your profile up with information about you as a parent, and while this informs other online daters that you have a child, it only shows a small part of you. A relationship should be built on all aspects of your personality, so failing to show more than the fact that you are a mum or dad can have a negative impact.

While it can be a good idea to mention the fact that you are a parent in your profile, don't let it be the only thing you talk about. Include your likes, hobbies, activities and what you are searching for as a singleton, rather than as a parent.

Take it slow

Dating as a parent can be difficult anyway, but it can get harder if you rush things and introduce your little one to every person you go on a date. They are likely to get attached to someone, which can make things awkward should you split up.

You should aim to keep your dates separate from your child for a while; just until you can be sure things are going well. It is best to be cautious when introducing your little one for a number of reasons, not least because it can be confusing for them.

Feedback

If the time comes for you to introduce your children to a person you have been seeing, listen to their feedback. If they don't like them, it is likely to make things difficult for you and you should try to understand why they didn't get on.

When children do like a partner, it can make the whole experience much easier and be a sign that things will work out.

Meeting your perfect partner can be difficult enough already, but throw in the fact that you are a single parent and you have a whole other host of issues to deal with. As well as searching for someone who you

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£141 million investment will create a new cultural district

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New plans will see an investment of £141 million to turn Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a new higher education and cultural district. The money is being provided as part of the government's National Infrastructure Plan. The development could see the an increase in the number of classical music events happening in the capital.

The world-class educational and cultural district that will be delivered to bring together a number of organisations. These will showcase some of the best art, dance, music, science, technology and design.

A new campus for the University College London (UCL) will be created close to the ArcelorMittal Orbit, while the University of the Arts London will construct a new campus on the Stratford Waterfront. The Waterfront area of the site will also be used as a new location for the Victoria and Albert Museum and Sadler's Wells.

As well as resulting in a huge cultural area, the project will also see the creation of around 3,000 jobs, while also bringing in an extra 1.5 million visitors every year. This will result in a £2.8 billion worth of economic value to Stratford and its surrounding area.

The mayor of London Boris johnson has welcomed the investment by the government, which will be helping to deliver his 'Olympicopolis' vision.

He said: “Olympicopolis will create a world-class centre for arts and education on Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, which will generate millions of pounds for East London’s economy and support thousands of jobs. It is absolutely fantastic that the government has confirmed funding for this ambitious project to the tune of £141 million, enabling us to progress with detailed plans for its delivery. This is an important milestone in our plans to realise a legacy from London’s 2012 Games that reaps economic and social dividends to last for generations to come.”   

 

New plans will see an investment of £141 million to turn Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park into a new higher education and cultural district. The money is being provided as part of the government's National Infrastructure Plan. The development could see

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Five questions you should ask before arranging a date

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Online dating is growing in popularity, with many people turning to it as it is easy to fit conversations with potential matches around their everyday lives. Smartphones have also helped online dating to grow as you are able to keep track of your profile on the go. 

All of this means that more people are choosing to date online, increasing your chances of finding a potential partner.

However, with it now being easier to set up online dating profiles, some people may not be entirely truthful. This can lead to you going on a date with someone who has not given you an honest representation of themselves, wasting your time and damaging your trust in the process.

Here are five questions you should ask anyone before agreeing to a date.

Can I see your Facebook?

Most people nowadays have a Facebook profile, even if the majority of content is hidden from public view. This makes it a great way to tell whether the person you are talking to is really who they say they are.

Asking to see their profile and giving them yours can help make you both feel safer about meeting in person as you are able to see pictures and get a better idea of who they are. You can also often tell whether they are in a relationship with other people, while a quick search for their name can reveal if they have more than one profile.

Even if you don't add each other as friends so you can see more of their profile, this small step could help you feel better about going on a date.

How tall are you?

Beyond telling what height your potential match is, this is a really good way to test how truthful they are. Everyone can tell little white lies but ideally you want someone who is going to be honest with you from the start.

If you go on a date with someone who has told you they are a certain height and then you find that they didn't tell the truth, it could be an indication that they have lied about other things. This is not a great start to a relationship.

Have you got any full-length photos?

Quite often people will just put pictures of their faces on their online profile. This could be because they are trying to hide something, aren't confident or genuinely because they like the photo.

As physical attraction is a big part of any relationship, you want to be sure the person you are meeting is your type. This means you should ask for a full-length photo and be willing to supply one of yourself.

This will help you decide whether they are your type and whether it is worth pursuing the match. If they refuse to give you a photo, it could be because they are hiding something or are not being entirely honest with you.

What is your job?

This is bound to come up in conversation as you are getting to know each other, but it is something you should get an answer to. Finding out what job someone has and what company they work for can tell you a bit about your potential match.

It could be that they have a job that requires a lot of travel or that they work for a company you don't like for whatever reason. You may also find that you aren't comfortable with their choice of career.

You also get a good idea as to what their income is, which is important if you want an equal relationship and don't want to be left either footing the bill for every date or relying on them to pay for you.

What type of relationship do you want?

This is vitally important when it comes to ensuring you are on the same page when it comes to the type of relationship you both want. If you are looking to get involved romantically, you don't want to meet with someone that just wants a friend or simply wants to meet up for sex.

If you are both on the same page with what you are hoping to get from meeting in person, the match is more likely to work out.  

Online dating is growing in popularity, with many people turning to it as it is easy to fit conversations with potential matches around their everyday lives. Smartphones have also helped online dating to grow as you are able to keep

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Joo Yeon Sir awarded classical music award

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Violinist Joo Yeon Sir has been awarded the chance to record a piece of music to be broadcast on Classical FM, as well as a prize including £4,000. Classical FM has reported that the talented violinist beat five other finalists to the prize at The Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award.

Earlier this year, Joo Yeon – who is a junior fellow and former student of the Royal College of Music (RCM) – won the RCM's President's Award. She has also won the RCM's Concerto Competition on two occasions.

The latest prize will see the violinist record two pieces of music, one of which will be her choice while the second has been composed by Karl Jenkins especially for the award winner. Both of these pieces will be broadcast on Classical FM.

Accordionist Losif Purits and violinist Benjamin Baker were the award runner-ups and both walked away with a cash prize of £500. The other finalists were viola player Shiry Rashkovsky, Pianist Andrejs Osokins and Recorder player Euncho Yeom. 

Each of the candidates was judged on their technique, musicality, communication, individualism, interpretation and overall performance.

The finalists performed for a panel of internationally renowned soloists, and Chairman Karl Jenkins. Members of the panel included Carol Barratt (composer of educational music), Julian Lloyd-Webber (cello), Emma Johnson (clarinet), Kathyn Entocott (founder and director of Enticott Music Management) and Sam Jackson (managing editor of Classic FM).

Mr Jenkins told Classic FM: "I am delighted to have been able to support the next generation of musicians through The Arts Club Karl Jenkins Classical Music Award, in association with Classic FM.

"The standard of performances from our finalists was incredibly high, and I'm thrilled with the diverse range of applications the Award attracted. Our winner, the violinist Joo Yeon Sir, displayed panache and vitality, and made an emotional connection with both the panel and the wider audience."

Violinist Joo Yeon Sir has been awarded the chance to record a piece of music to be broadcast on Classical FM, as well as a prize including £4,000. Classical FM has reported that the talented violinist beat five other finalists

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