The Local: Orchestra Europa with James Bowman

first_imgScott Ellaway, formerly organ scholar at Keble College, and James Bowman, previously a choral scholar at New, are just two of Oxford’s alumni making their way in the classical music world. Last Friday, at the Oxford Playhouse, counter-tenor Bowman performed alongside conductor Ellaway and his newly formed ensemble, Orchestra Europa. Europa has been set up to allow young ambitious musicians throughout Europe the opportunity to launch their careers. The idea is based upon New World Symphony, a project in Miami established in 1987 by Michael Tilson Thomas, which selects promising young classical musicians from across the U.S.A. and trains them for three years as orchestral performers. ‘Europa will take musicians recommended by conservatoires and, having given them training, help them to gain positions in the best orchestras in the world,’ Ellaway told me. ‘We will be holding auditions in April to select members of the orchestra, which will in the end be of symphonic size’.Despite having only rehearsed together for a week at the time of Europa’s first launch concert last Friday, the orchestra played with amazing cohesion, with Ellaway’s own enthusiasm as conductor displayed in the playing. Symphonies by Haydn and Schubert were separated by two short songs, sung by sixty-six year old Bowman. The first song, by Hasse, was extremely playful, and was juxtaposed perfectly by the beautiful Mozart song that followed. Both songs were short, however, and it was disappointing to see Bowman’s performance come to an end so quickly.Orchestra Europa will give a series of concerts in 2008 throughout Europe with world-famous soloists such as Yan Pascal Tortelier, Sir Thomas Allen, Peter Donohoe and Nicola Benedetti. The second of their launch concerts will be in Oxford on 25th April at the Sheldonian theatre, where the orchestra will be performing music by Beethoven, Haydn, and Dr. Robert Saxton, a fellow in music at Worcester College. – Robin Thompsonlast_img read more

Panic On The Boardwalk II: WSP Delivers Old School Set At Brand New Venue

first_imgLast night, Athens, GA rockers Widespread Panic continued their Fall Tour with their second and final performance at the newly opened Ford Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk. The same rowdy crowd that was there Friday night was back again and then some, as the scene on the boardwalk seemed virtually twice as big as the night before. The cool ocean breeze that swept over the beach pre-show was a welcome change after Friday’s swampy heat, and as a beautiful sunset painted the skies above the venue, a rainbow appeared over Coney Island’s iconic carnival rides.With the breathtaking views–and the strength of Friday’s performance–the audience was already buzzing when the band took the stage. From the opening “Disco”, the band made their intentions clear–tonight was going to be a classic dance party. Fourteen of the twenty songs performed were debuted by the band in 1990 or before, making for a show stacked with early Panic and well-loved cover staples (“Stop~Go”, “C. Brown”, “Conrad”, “Pigeons”, “Driving Song”, and “Tie Your Shoes”: 1986; “Arleen”, “Genesis”, and “Bowlegged Woman”: 1987; “Disco”, and “Jack”: 1988; “Rock”: 1989; “Fishwater” and “Ribs and Whiskey”: 1990).“Disco” dissolved into a spacey, Jimmy Herring-led outro jam. Next, the band launched into a well-executed three-song sequence, flowing seamlessly from “Stop~Go” into “Rock” into “Heroes” without skipping a beat. Another three-song run followed, as “Airplane” kept up the energy in the room before segueing into fan-favorite Winston Riley cover “Arleen” and, finally, into the anthemic “C. Brown”. An emotional “Genesis” came next, before a ripping “Conrad”, put an exclamation point on a top-notch first set.The band kicked off Set 2 with Howlin’ Wolf‘s “Tail Dragger”, a staple of the band’s setlists over the last five years. From there on, Widespread Panic launched into the stratosphere and never looked back, putting on a truly memorable set for the Brooklyn crowd. An excellent “Pigeons” got the ball rolling before segueing into “Jack”. “Driving Song” materialized out of “Jack” to roaring approval from the audience, and segued into an extended “Tie Your Shoes”, which the band brought to a raucous peak before diving into “Pilgrims”. While keyboardist “Jo Jo” Herman was notably “on” all night, “Pilgrims” was where his funky keyboard grooves shined the brightest, propelling some locked-in improvisation that eventually made its way back to a “Driving Song” reprise.Next, singer-guitarist John Bell drove the ladies in the audience crazy (and–lets be honest–the guys too) with a steamy rendition of Tom Waits‘ “Goin’ Out West”, before a rowdy “Fishwater” > “Bowlegged Woman” > “Fishwater” sandwich brought the set to a close.Any devoted fan of any band is well-acquainted with the idea of a “piss break song.” Of course, you hope that every song at a show will be so incredible that you can’t look away, but sometimes nature calls, and a so-so tune can be a greatly appreciated window to take care of business. Last night, Panic caught fire as soon as they hit the stage, and stayed red-hot ’til the final notes rang out. Coney Island Night 2 had no “piss breaks” to speak of, and the ecstatic crowd happily “held it”–transfixed by a band performing at the top of their game.Finally, the band returned for a two-song encore to cap off a stellar weekend on the boardwalk, with the whole theater singing along to “Ribs and Whiskey” and the Talking Heads‘ “Life During Wartime”. After getting their footing in D.C. this past week, Panic truly hit their stride in Brooklyn this weekend. With Fall Tour 2016 heating up, you can expect the band to ride this wave of momentum as they make their way to Philadelphia’s Mann Center tonight.You can watch fan-shot video of “Heroes” and “Pigeons” below, courtesy of YouTube user danfro.“Heroes”“Pigeons”Check out the full setlist below, via PanicStream.9/10/16 – Widespread Panic | Ford Amphitheater At Coney Island Boardwalk | Brooklyn, NYSet 1: Disco, Stop~Go > Rock > Heroes, Airplane > Arleen^ > C. Brown, Genesis^^, Conrad (80 mins)Set 2: Tail Dragger*, Pigeons > Jack > Driving Song > Tie Your Shoes > Pilgrims > Driving Song, Goin’ Out West** > Fishwater > Bowlegged Woman > Fishwater (78 mins)Encore: Ribs and Whiskey, Life During Wartime*** (14 mins)Notes: ^General Echo cover; ^^Jorma Kaukonen cover; *Howlin’ Wolf cover; **Tom Waits cover; ***Talking Heads coverlast_img read more

Doubling up at Harvard

first_imgTwins have been written about and revered in mythology for centuries, going back to the fabled founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus, abandoned at birth and mothered by a wolf. Apollo and Artemis were twins born to Zeus, the mythic Greek king of the gods. And it was Greek mythology  that inspired the astronomer Ptolemy, who in the second century A.D. described 48 constellations of stars in the zodiac and named Gemini (Latin for “twins”) after the mythical twins Castor and Pollux.Twins can be monozygotic (identical) or dizygotic (fraternal). Identical twins are derived from one fertilized egg that splits in two, and are always the same sex. They have similar facial features and the same DNA.Fraternal twins are formed from two eggs, fertilized separately. They may be the same or different sexes, often look different, and share about half their DNA. The birth rate for identical twins remains constant throughout the world and appears to be unrelated to factors such as a mother’s age.The birth rate for fraternal twins, by contrast, differs from country to country, and increases for older mothers as a result of fertility drugs and in vitro fertilization. The birth rate for twins in the United States between 1980 and 2009 rose 76 percent, and is currently at about one in 85 births.Why do twins fascinate us so? On a visual level, the sight of two identical people is arresting, and has us scrutinizing them for distinguishing characteristics. We are used to a world of unique individuals, and our equilibrium is jarred by the mirror image of identical twins.From an emotional standpoint, the closeness shared by most twins, begun by sharing a womb for nine months, is well known. Who wouldn’t want a sibling who is almost an extension of yourself, a constantly supportive person who reinforces your thoughts and feelings by confirming them in themselves? Intimacy, sharing, trust, and empathy, all values we admire, seem an intrinsic part of the twin experience.From the 15 sets of twins currently enrolled as undergraduates at Harvard, Gazette photographers chose four sets to provide a window into the lives of this special segment of the student body. 3“When you’re together and you’re twins, a lot of people perceive you to be the same person,” says Anne Raheem. “Our parents encouraged us to be our own unique individuals.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 11Identical twins Alannah (left) and Grace O’Brien are in their first year at Harvard. Alannah writes, “I get mixed up with my sister almost too many times to count. For example, one day in Annenberg Hall, a guy I didn’t know came up and said hi to me. It soon became clear that he thought I was Grace. When I told him I was Grace’s twin, he thought I was pranking him, and it took some convincing.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 12The O’Brien twins hail from nearby Brighton, Mass., and will live in separate undergraduate Houses next year. Grace says, “I think being a twin has made my experience at Harvard both easier and harder. We are very close, so it’s nice to have someone around who will always be there for me. However, throughout high school and elementary school, we were treated almost like the same person, which was frustrating. So we decided to lead completely different lives at Harvard.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 4Since their arrival on campus, the Raheem sisters’ relationship has evolved. “We were put into this whole new world. It is an entirely new way of living … everything about this place is completely revolutionary,” says Anne. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 13For concentrations, both O’Brien girls are undecided, but Grace is leaning toward government. “We participate in different extracurricular activities, hang out with different people, and we don’t plan on choosing the same concentration,” Grace says. “This allows us to lead separate lives, while staying close.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 6Identical twins Alex (left) and Eli Lee ’17 watch April snow flurries from a Leverett House gateway. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 10“I didn’t set out to go to the same school as my brother, but I don’t regret it,” says Alex Lee. “We don’t have to see each other all the time — and we don’t, really — but it’s good to know there’s someone here who will always have my back. No one understands you like your twin, after all.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 8Eli (left) and Alex Lee ’17 admire a giant mixed-media work by classmate My Ngoc To ’16 in the Carpenter Center. Alex has studied drawing and film as part of his undergraduate concentration. Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 9“My brother and I have always been very different, but the more insular environment and limited opportunities of our hometown prevented us from exploring our different pastimes and interests,” says Alex Lee. “At Harvard, I’ve been able to involve myself in the performing arts community while maintaining a strong friendship with Eli. Even though our interests are very different, we do our best to support each other — Eli comes to my improv shows, and I go to events at the Advocate and tune into his radio show!” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 1Freshmen Anna (left) and Anne Raheem ’19 arrived at Harvard from Tennessee delighted to experience their undergraduate years together. The fraternal twin sisters find it reassuring to know they have each other. “If I was missing home, I would have a piece of home with me here,” Anna says. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 2The Raheem twins stay connected through their academic interests and extracurricular activities. Both plan to concentrate in bioengineering with a possible secondary concentration in government, international relations, or a language program. They are both active in the South Asian Association, Ghungroo, Harvard Political Review, Harvard College Engineering Society, Harvard Women in Computer Science, Harvard Islamic Society, and Harvard Caribbean Club. Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 14Grace O’Brien says, “Obviously my sister and I are not telepathic, but we know each other so well that generally it’s easy to tell what the other is thinking.” Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 7“Joining the [WHRB] Record Hospital eased my greatest concern about Harvard: that people here wouldn’t be weird enough,” says Eli Lee. “If you’d told me three years ago that in college I would be able to study Central Asian languages during the day and debate hardcore scene politics at night, I wouldn’t have believed you.” Kris Snibbe/Harvard Staff Photographer 15Alannah O’Brien will live at Lowell House next year, while Grace chose Quincy House. Rose Lincoln/Harvard Staff Photographer 18Beau (left) and Nicholas Bayh ’18 juggle balls with sticks from their respective sports. Beau is on the lacrosse team, while Nick plays for a competitive club tennis team at Harvard. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 16Harvard sophomores Nicholas (left) and Beau Bayh ’18 are twins from Indiana. Both have an interest in politics and social service, as well as athletics. They stand at the entrance to the Harvard Kennedy School in front of a sign that reflects their desire to serve: “Ask what you can do.” Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 17Beau (left) and Nicholas Bayh ’18 stand in the Taubman Center at Harvard Kennedy School. Their interest in public service stems from a family legacy: Their grandfather Birch Bayh and father, Evan Bayh, have both served as their state’s governor and U.S. senator. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 5As Anne and Anna Raheem look beyond their years at Harvard, “Who knows where we’ll be in three years?” Anna says. “No matter where we end up, we’ll have each other’s back.” Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard Staff Photographer 19Harvard sophomores Beau (left) and Nicholas Bayh toss a ball on the turf at Harvard Stadium. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographer 20Twin sophomores Nicholas (left) and Beau Bayh ’18 stand in Harvard Stadium, holding aloft the flag of Indiana, where both their father and grandfather were well-known politicians. Jon Chase/Harvard Staff Photographerlast_img read more

Reputational risk drives ESG at pension funds more than at other investors

first_imgSource: Fossil Free Greater ManchesterFossil Free UK campaigners outside the office of Greater Manchester Pension Fund, a UK public pension fund, in July 2019This is arguably no surprise given developments such as the European Commission’s sustainable finance action plan in Europe, while the US, according to the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI), is an exception to the growth in sustainable finance policy measures since 2000.Across all regions, outperformance emerged as a less significant ESG adoption driver than risk mitigation.Almost half of the surveyed investors (48%) felt their ESG/responsible investing strategy had a positive impact on the “ESG behaviour” of their investee companies or reduced ESG risks to their portfolio (47%).For respondents who noted fiduciary duty as their primary consideration, the next and highest ranked drivers – both at 40% – were requirements for ethical and social responsibility on behalf of their clients and a desire to mitigate ESG-related risks.Hurdles: data, resource constraintsThe survey, which was of senior executives directly involved in or influencing asset allocation decisions, also sought to delve into factors holding back ESG adoption.The chief deterrent selected by respondents across all investor types was unreliability and inconsistency of ESG data, although internal resource constraints/cost implications were a close second (44% and 43%, respectively).Pension funds were most concerned with a lack of reliable or consistent ESG research/data, according to the survey, while sovereign wealth funds and endowments and foundations cited internal resource constraints and cost implications as the top factor hindering increased uptake of ESG.A lack of expertise to integrate ESG factors appears to be problematic for pension funds in particular, with 45% citing this as a top three barrier compared with 21% of endowments and foundations, and 38% of sovereign wealth funds.SSGA surveyed senior executives with asset allocation responsibilities at more than 300 institutions, comprising private and public pension funds (78%), endowments (6%), foundations (11%) and sovereign wealth funds (5%).A spokesman for SSGA said that where the firm referred to ESG or responsible investing in the survey, it was describing “a deliberate investment approach that aims to incorporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors into investment decisions”. By a policy on ESG or responsible investment the company meant a formal code or set of guidelines adopted by a respondent’s institution that sets out its approach to responsible investing, including the objectives and scope of its responsible investment strategy.The SSGA survey report can be found here. Across all types of institutions, in Europe, regulatory shifts were the clear top “push factor” (52%), said SSGA, followed by a desire to mitigate ESG and reputational risks (45% and 39%, respectively). In North America, regulation was the third most significant driver. Avoiding reputational risk drives pension funds to adopt environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) “principles” more so than it does other types of institutional investors, a survey suggests.More than one-third (35%) of pension fund respondents to the survey – carried out by State Street Global Advisors (SSGA) earlier this year – included reputational risk as a top three factor driving ESG investing at their institution, compared with 21% of endowment and foundation respondents, and 6% of sovereign wealth funds.“Reputational risk is of greater concern for pension funds, particularly public pension funds, because any public criticism of their portfolio allocation decisions often leads to additional scrutiny by their beneficiaries,” Rakhi Kumar, head of ESG investment strategy at SSGA, told IPE. “This could result in increased regulation or interference in the investment decision making process.”Meeting or anticipating regulation was the most significant driver of pension funds’ adoption of ESG principles, however, the survey showed, followed by mitigating ESG risks, and fiduciary duty.last_img read more


first_imgSaturday saw a great turnout for President Martin Farren’s prize in Greencastle G.C. Thankfully the weather seemed to go for us on the day as well as the course being in very fine shape. Winner on the day by an absolute country mile was Chris Hegarty, also a winner last time out in Murvagh, with an outrageous score of 46pts, a great score from a young golfer who will surely tumble down the handicaps.Second with an otherwise fine score was popular society chairperson Jim McGlynn with 36pts b.o.t. closely followed by Eanna o Mainnin also on 36pts. Three players were also split on b.o.t. on 35pts namely Sean Boyle, Liam Galbraith and Alex Harkin respectively. Mary Walsh on 34pts won the category 4 prize.The society would like to extend its thanks to Cllr Martin Farren and his wife for joining us on the day and to Greencastle G. C. for the excellent service and meal. Next month’s outing takes the society to Ballybofey G.C. on May 19th and as always new members are encouraged to join.The top three in the golfer of the year standings after two outings are 1st Chris Hegarty 50pts, 2nd Eanna O Mainnin 42pts and 3rd Martin Gallen 40pts.  DONEGAL VEC GOLF NOTES was last modified: April 22nd, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more