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Collection: Engaging with Beethoven

Date 3/25/2021 The International Telekom Beethoven Competition offers a platform and the best possible support to talented young pianists. Applications for this year’s prize in December 2021 are open until May 14. Another goal of the competition is to encourage musicians and audiences to engage intensively with the work of the composer. VAN has some […]

Posted inRankings & Roundups

Sonic Distancing

A guide to livestream concerts during the coronavirus outbreak. By VAN Team · Title Image JD X/Unsplash · Date 3/13/2020 In the last 10 years or so, countless theories have surfaced to describe what ails classical music’s concert halls. Is it the stuffy architecture; the ban on beverages; the hushers and passive-aggressive insiders; or the […]

Posted inInterview

Listening Blind

An Interview with Paul Lewis By · Title Image Tim Jokl (CC BY-NC 2.0) · Date 4/2/2019 Whatever your image of the standard background and biography for a world class concert pianist, Paul Lewis ain’t it. Born in Liverpool, the son of a dock worker and a local council employee, there were no other musicians […]

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Brian Ferneyhough at 75

Date 12/6/2018 To celebrate the 75th birthday of Coventry-born composer Brian Ferneyhough, the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group has invited the pioneering Arditti Quartet to perform his music in the heart of the Midlands. Also featuring Oliver Janes on clarinet and the conductor Emilio Pomarico, a concert on Sunday, December 9 at 4 p.m. will present […]

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Collection: Marx at 200

Date 8/30/2018 200 years since his birth, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Karl Marx Exhibitions Organisation present a series of concerts, soundart installations and events commemorating the life and work of Karl Marx in Trier in Germany and Birmingham and London in the UK. Sergej Newski, a featured composer on the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s […]

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Summer Special Pt. I

Five of our favorite articles this year,for free. Title Image Toni Cuenca · Date 07/12/2018 My Racist Kentucky Home In 1957, Congress considered outlawing unapproved changes to historic songs. Nick Tochka examines the legacy of Stephen Foster and an overlooked test case for the hot-button issue of political correctness in the arts. #Bassic Beaches and […]

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Summer Special Pt. II

Five more of our favorite articles,for free. Title Image Garett Mizunaka · Date 07/19/2018 Hearing Queerly The way we talk about music and music history is littered with sexism. Rebecca Lentjes makes the case for a queerer, wonkier, fairer language in discussions of artistic influence and the nature of sound. I Did That Ben Johnston […]

Posted inInterview

A Knife to Reality

An Interview with Niels Rønsholdt By · Photography © Lars Svankjær · Date 5/17/2018 I was supposed to meet the Danish composer Niels Rønsholdt at the SPOR Festival in Aarhus. There, his recent music theater piece “Gaze for Gaze” received a new production, performed by Denmark’s SCENATET ensemble, with whom Rønsholdt has worked closely for […]

Posted inPlaylist

A Trans Composers Playlist

Trans people are used to seeing ourselves refracted through the eyes of cis artists. Sometimes it’s done very well; more often it’s not. But what happens when we’re the ones making the art? Much has been written about video games, novels, and rock and pop music by trans artists, but our presence in the contemporary […]

Posted inRankings & Roundups


The Best and Worst of Instagram Score Studying By · Date 5/3/2018 If a musician studies a score and doesn’t post about it on social media, does it still count? No point in risking it, which is why the VAN social media channels see a steady flow of visually pleasing, life-envy-inducing photographs of scores being […]