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

Blazers hope for another post-All-Star break revival

first_imgDon’t miss out on the latest news and information. “I mean, I think that’s in the back of our minds. We know that we’re usually a better team in the second half of the season,” Portland guard Damian Lillard said. “We can’t just go into it saying, ‘All right, we’re always good at this part of the season.’ I think mentally we have to understand how close of a race it is and that we’ve got to be sharp all the way through.”Portland is 32-26 at the break, tied for sixth in the West, which is better off than it was last season at the same point.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSTim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crownSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSAfter winning title, time for LA Tenorio to give back to Batangas folkBut the Blazers are one of five teams in the West with 26 losses. The Warriors and Houston Rockets sit comfortably atop the standings with the next eight teams jostling for position.The Blazers headed into the All-Star Game with a 123-117 victory over Golden State, snapping a seven-game losing streak to the Warriors. Lillard had 44 points, his third straight game with 39 or more and the best scoring stretch of his career. His 133 points over the last three games is the best such run in franchise history. Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano LATEST STORIES GALLERY: Barangay Ginebra back as PBA Governors’ Cup kings Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew UK plans Brexit celebrations but warns businesses may suffer Sea turtle trapped in net freed in Legazpi City Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Nueva Ecija warehouse making fake cigarettes raided, 29 Chinese workers nabbed Struggling Hornets fire general manager amid 24-33 season Steam emission over Taal’s main crater ‘steady’ for past 24 hours Phivolcs records 2 ‘discrete weak ash explosions’ at Taal Volcano Afterward, Lillard sounded like he was taking it upon himself to improve the Blazers’ playoff position.“Each season, it’s always a few teams that fall by the wayside and we’ve just got to make sure we’re not one of them,” he said. “As a leader, I’ve got to be the guy to lead that charge.”In 2015-16, Portland was 27-27 at the All-Star break after winning eight of nine games going into it. The Blazers finished the regular season 44-38 and in fifth place in the West. They got past the Clippers in the first round of the playoffs before falling to the Warriors in the conference semifinals.Last season, Portland lost three straight games to go into the break at 23-33. Shortly thereafter, an overtime loss at Detroit put them 11 games under .500.But in March, Portland caught fire and went 13-3, best in the NBA. Lillard was named the conference’s Player of the Month, averaging 29.1 points, 4.4 rebounds, 6.0 assists and 1.4 steals in 16 games. Terry Stotts was named Coach of the Month.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Center Jusuf Nurkic, who came to Portland in a trade a handful of days before the All-Star break, went on to average 15.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and 1.9 blocks in 20 games with the Blazers. Portland was 14-5 with the 7-footer in the starting lineup.Portland made the playoffs for the fourth straight season, but fell in the opening round to the Warriors.This season, Portland is in the thick of the race. Lillard leads the team with 26.1 points per game, sixth in the league, while also averaging 6.6 assists. Backcourt teammate CJ McCollum is averaging 21.7 points, and Nurkic is at 14.1 points and 8.2 rebounds.Stotts was asked just before the break whether he was happy with the team’s position.“We’ve got a lot of work ahead of us. We’ve got a lot of teams out there fighting for playoff spots,” the coach said. “It’s not about where we are. It’s about where we’re headed.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ FILE – In this Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 file photo, Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, dribbles past Los Angeles Clippers forward Wesley Johnson during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. The Trail Blazers have been known for their post-All-Star break revivals for the past two seasons. Those late-season rallies will no doubt be an ongoing theme in the congested Western Conference playoff race once Portland resumes the season on Friday, Feb. 23,2018 in Utah. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)PORTLAND, Ore. — The Trail Blazers have enjoyed post-All-Star break revivals the past two seasons.Those late-season rallies will no doubt be an ongoing theme in the congested Western Conference playoff race once Portland resumes play on Friday in Utah.ADVERTISEMENTlast_img read more