Postcards From Vienna

Postcards From Vienna

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We believe classical music should be the opposite of stuffy and intimidating.

Postcards From Vienna is like going to four private recitals in four days, all with your very own expert guide, and then coming together to talk about it on the fifth day.

We steer clear of music terminology and focus on what matters: listening and watching closely, enjoying the music and seeing brilliant artists perform.

This series is designed for anyone who'd like to learn something new about some of the most prominent composers in history. You might know Brahms, Mahler, Haydn and Schoenberg... or you might not. You might be studying music in school, a lifelong classical music lover, or new to classical music. It doesn't matter. All we ask is that you come curious and ready to listen closely. No musical or artistic training is needed!

Each day for four days, you will receive exclusive access to one 30-minute episode or 'postcard' to watch at a time that suits you.

Each episode starts with a mini-documentary presented by British conductor Jonathan Berman, who is known for his jargon-free and cross-artform approach to sharing complex ideas with all audiences. He draws on examples in visual art and sculpture and points out musical details you might not have noticed before. Together, you'll discover nuances that bring the music to life. If you don't have any artistic or musical training, don't worry! It's not needed.

To close, you'll be treated to a recital of the music, up close and in high quality film and sound. The performers are American pianist George Fu and Australian mezzo-soprano Lotte Betts-Dean.

The mini-documentaries and recitals were filmed at the Austrian Cultural Forum in London in July 2020.

On the fifth day, you'll take part in a live group discussion by video.

Jonathan Berman will be the host, and you'll join with the other people taking part in this series. Ask questions, share your observations, or make a request. It's up to you!

The musical programme is:

1. Johannes Brahms. Intermezzo Op. 117 No. 1

2. Gustav Mahler. Um Mitternacht (At Midnight) from Rückert-Lieder

3. Joseph Haydn. Piano sonata in E flat No. 59, 1st movement

4. Arnold Schoenberg. Six Little Piano Pieces Op. 19 

Prices and timings

Individuals or groups can join the inaugural group for Postcards From Vienna on 9-13 November 2020. The live online discussion will take place via video conferencing at 5-6pm UK time on the Friday.

Alternatively, anyone can create their own schedule anytime from the 14th of November onwards. Small group sessions will be available to schedule for the final discussion with Jonathan Berman.

Access to the 5-part programme is available for £65. Reduced rates are available for early bookers, freelance artists and students. Group access codes for schools and other institutions are available on request.

Access and technology

This course is open to anybody and we are taking special care to provide easy access to people for whom technology can be challenging. If you have any queries concerning access or the technical aspects of this programme, please contact us at hello@greengageventures.com and we will be delighted to help.

About this series and Greengage

Postcards From Vienna is one of a string of projects by Greengage Ventures, all of which stimulate creative innovation in digital arts performances, create paid work for artists during the COVID-19 pandemic, and demonstrate the power of the arts to bring people together.

Greengage Ventures does not receive any grant or government funding, and is pursuing a vision of financially-sustainable digital performances built on earned income streams. Box office revenue goes towards recouping production costs so that Greengage can continue making more paid work for more artists. As an online-only company, Greengage has very limited overhead costs. All artists are paid for their work.

About the artists

Jonathan Berman

Jonathan Berman

Jonathan Berman is a Conductor who performs with orchestras all over the world. He is known for his unique approach to communicating complex ideas with all audiences. He goes above and beyond the traditional role of a conductor, forming the trust of audiences from traditional listeners to the next generation. He is currently in the process of recording the complete symphonies and promoting the music of Franz Schmidt. ​At the start of lockdown, he began the website standtogethermusic.com in order to promote artists who have had cancellations.
George Fu

George Fu

Described by the Boston Music Intelligencer as a “heroic piano soloist” with “stunning virtuosity”, Chinese-American pianist George Xiaoyuan Fu is establishing a reputation as a captivating performer with distinctive intelligence and sensitivity.
Lotte Betts-Dean

Lotte Betts-Dean

Australian mezzo soprano Lotte Betts-Dean is a versatile and dynamic concert artist, whose performance experience encompasses opera, oratorio, contemporary music, art song recital/chamber music, early music and non-classical collaborations. She has been based in London since 2014 and works internationally, most often in the UK and Australia. Lotte is Associate Artist with Southbank Sinfonia, and is a member of London-based contemporary music group Ensemble x.y. She is also a City Music Foundation Artist for 2017-2019, recently won the 2019 Oxford Lieder Young Artist Platform, and was selected as a 2020 Samling Young Artist. Lotte is a regular collaborator with guitarist Andrey Lebedev with whom she won the inaugural 2018 New Elizabethan Award. Lotte is one 2018 bursars with the Imogen Cooper Music Trust and in 2019 became a Yeoman of the Worshipful Company of Musicians.

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