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Young Composer network to have its own Prom night in 2022



Young musician composing in bed
The next BBC Young Composer competition takes place in 2023 | Photo: Tima Miroshnichenko

Since its inception in 1998, BBC Young Composer has launched a series of musical careers and the scheme is committed to reaching a wide pool of talent of all technical abilities, backgrounds, and musical styles across the UK.

And for the first time ever, the initiative will have its own Prom, scheduled to take place at Battersea Arts Centre with the BBC Concert Orchestra and conductor Alice Farnham, featuring six new works by the winners of the BBC Young Composer 2021 competition. The winners, who are being supported and mentored by British-Bulgarian composer Dobrinka Tabakova and London-based composer Gavin Higgins, have been commissioned on the theme of ‘BBC 100, celebrating 100 years of the BBC’ for this special concert which takes place on Saturday 30 July.

There will also be a new programme of live and online activities for teachers, schools and young people available from July, offering a variety of opportunities to learn and create with BBC Young Composer, including a full day of workshops in the summer open to all young musicians interested in creating their own music aged 12 – 18. Further schools workshops will be on offer later in the year, with a focus on increasing skills and confidence in music composition.

“2020 and 2021 were incredibly hard for young people in the UK and so I was overwhelmed and humbled by the quality and creativity I saw from our young composers. With twice as many entries to the BBC Young Composer Scheme than in previous years, and the standard of work incredibly high, the future of music in the UK is in safe hands. Music really does change lives, and these young composers have bright futures ahead of them.” – says Gavin Higgins, composer and BBC Young Composer mentor.

The significant increase in applications to the competition, over the past couple of years, means that the event will move to a biennial pattern to allow time for a more comprehensive development and mentoring programme for more of the many young musicians applying for the scheme. The next BBC Young Composer competition takes place in 2023.

The BBC Young Composer Network will also launch, which is a new database for teachers, schools, and partners to sign-up for access to Continuing Professional Development (teacher training) activities and resources.

Teachers interested in these resources and opportunities can sign up to the BBC Young Composer mailing list here.

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Food truck to offer students with learning disabilities hands-on experience for a career in hospitality



Students serving food from the project's food truck
Ready for the summer: the Flying Fox truck, funded by a £30,000 grant from the Hilton Global Foundation, will serve customers in Minehead

A food truck parked outside the Foxes Hotel in Somerset, England, will allow students with learning disabilities to have a hands-on experience in hospitality through a variety of events, from food fairs to music festivals, boosting their skills and confidence while preparing them for employment in the industry. It has been funded by a £30,000 grant from the Hilton Global Foundation, which aims to have a positive impact on the communities that Hilton hotels serve.

The project is led by Aurora Foxes, previously known as Foxes Academy. Hilton, which is present in 122 countries and territories, has been a partner of Aurora Foxes since 2015, offering placements and work experience to students from the college. Since the partnership began, the centenary hotel chain has provided work placements for over 30 Foxes’ students and is set to offer a number of placements later this year. Currently, there are seven Aurora Foxes graduates employed in six of Hilton’s hotels. Foxes’ students work towards nationally-recognised qualifications and complete work experience at businesses across the UK.

“Finding fulfilling work is so important for our mental health and wellbeing, and we believe those who are able to work shouldn’t be locked out of the workforce. With the right support, employing someone with a disability can be a positive experience and helps to promote a happy and inclusive workforce” – says Emma Cobley MBE, principal at Aurora Foxes.

“Nurturing diverse talent is hugely important to us – and our close partnership with Aurora Foxes not only furthers these aims but has such a positive impact on our hotels where students come to work with us. Aurora Foxes has been a fantastic partner for us over the years and I’m thrilled that we’re offering a number of additional work placements at our hotels later this year. As we continue to build on our partnership, I look forward to seeing the benefits of the Flying Fox truck on the lives of students – and to tasting the delicious food they create.” – says Steve Cassidy, managing director at Hilton UK and Ireland.

The truck – supported by a team of Foxes’ students – will welcome customers on the promenade three days a week throughout the summer term, serving a selection of paninis and rice boxes. Foxes’ students will be running the truck, learning outdoor service skills including food preparation, hygiene and storage.

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Grammy Awards to air special segment about Ukraine during Sunday telecast



British singer Harry Styles performs at the Grammys 2021 in Los Angeles
British singer Harry Styles performs at the Grammys 2021 in Los Angeles | Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy

A special segment scheduled during the 64th Grammy Awards taking place this Sunday, April 3rd, will raise awareness about the situation in Ukraine. The initiative is a partnership with Global Citizen and “Stand Up For Ukraine” and will feature opportunities for viewers to take action and contribute to the global “Stand Up For Ukraine” campaign.

“We are heartbroken by the situation in Ukraine, yet still moved by the resilient spirit on display there every day. We hope the segment inspires our worldwide audience to get involved to support these critical humanitarian efforts.” – says songwriter and movie producer Harvey Mason Jr., current CEO of The Recording Academy.

Recording Academy partner Global Citizen has played a leading role, along with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, in organizing an April 9 “Stand Up For Ukraine” pledging summit to help mobilize funding to support humanitarian efforts for Ukraine, and to show support to refugees everywhere. Hundreds of world-renowned musicians and artists have pledged to join the global social rally and urge world leaders to commit to aiding refugees.

“History has shown us that conflict and poverty are closely interconnected, resulting in the weakening of the rule of law, a collapse in economic development and often catastrophic humanitarian situations. There is no doubt that the conflict in Ukraine has led to a humanitarian crisis – members of Global Citizen saw this ourselves at the Ukrainian-Polish border” – says Global Citizen CEO Hugh Evans.

A diverse roster of artists, musicians and actors will take the stage as presenters at the 64th Annual Grammy Awards, including nominees Megan Thee Stallion and Joni Mitchell; actors and musicians Jared Leto and Michaela Jaé Rodriguez; as well as previous winners Dua Lipa,  Bonnie Raitt, Lenny Kravitz and Keith Urban.

The 64th Grammy Awards will be hosted by South African comedian and television host Trevor Noah and broadcast live on CBS from MGM Grand Garden Arena, in Las Vegas, from 5pm on April 3 (ET), which is 1 am on April 4 in the UK (GMT). The event will also be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+.

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15 projects are selected for Cannes’ Cinéfondation L’Atelier



A group of young filmmakers filming on the streets
Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers | Photo: Lê Minh

The full list of emerging film directors invited to attend the 18th edition of L’Atelier this year, during the Cannes Film Festival, has been released.

Part of Cannes’ Cinefondation film development initiative, L’Atelier was launched in 2005 to support promising filmmakers and, to date, the initiative has supported over 200 projects, with 182 already completed and 19 currently in pre-production.

In 2020, despite the global pandemic and many challenges for the filming industry, three projects have been shot.

‘’The biggest challenge of a shoot is to stay flexible as team. There are always so many things happening which can potentially distract you from your goal. Maybe that’s even more so when you have a long shooting period like we do; our shooting period will cover 14 months. It’s a challenge to bend those situations into something good for the film.’’ – acknowledges Rosanne Pel, a Dutch filmmaker, revealed in 2018 in Toronto. Her feature debut, Light as Feathers. She has been selected as one of the L’Atelier participants for her new film Anna Ist.

‘I am so happy for the chance to meet the other filmmakers who are selected and learn about what they are up to. Since the pandemic, I feel myself being thirsty for these kinds of interactions. For our project, being selected means that the difficult process of financing and making the film will be a little less difficult. It opens doors and that’s fantastic’’ – celebrates Pel ahead of the event.

All selected film professionals will be offered expert advice and the opportunity to meet potential co-production partners, and funding sources, during the the75th edition of the film festival first held in 1946.

For Czech filmmakers Tomas Weinreb and Petr Kazda, first discovered based on their work on I, Olga Hepnarova, which opened the Panorama section of the 2016 Berlinale, attending the Festival de Cannes in 2022 is a long held dream.

“We are both over 40 years old and, honestly, being part of the Cannes film festival is our dream since we were students. We grew up watching films by Frantisek Vlacil, Andrej Tarkovskij, Milos Forman, Francois Truffaut and Vojtech Jasny – and all of them went to Cannes, as the most important international film event, to show their movies for the first time.” – says the filmmaker duo.

In Cannes for the third time this year, Bulgarian filmmaker Stephan Komandarev previously attended the film festival in 2016, as a co-producer of Bogdan Mirica’s film “Dogs”, and in 2017 with his own film Posoki (Directions). In 2022 he returns, this time with Made in EU, production selected for L’Atelier’s 18th edition.

“Made in EU is intended as EU co-production and financial survival has been a big challenge for independent companies in Bulgaria (and Europe), as many went bankrupt, while others began to compromise their aesthetic views and produce entirely commercial products. The development of a quality project on contemporary themes suck as modern slavery in today’s Europe, the topic of our film, is a very difficult one. In recent years, Bulgaria had very unstable conditions for film production. Working on an international level with producers from different countries is an alternative that allows us carry on  the process of creating quality films.” – believes Komandarev.

The full list of selected films includes directors from Israel, Colombia, Turkey, and the Philippines, amongst other countries:

Anna Ist – Rosanne Pel (Netherlands)
Chimbo cheBere (The Hyenas Song) – Naishe Nyamubaya (Zimbabwe)
Cotton Queen – Suzannah Mirghani (Sudan)
Guria – Levan Koguashvili (Georgia)
Hamlet from the Slums – Ahmed Fawzi Saleh (Egypt)
Made in EU – Stephan Komandarev (Bulgaria)
Philax – Rûken Tekeş (Turkey)
Sam – E del Mundo (Philippines)
The Beer Girl In Yangon – Sein Lyan Tun (Myanmar)
The Blind Ferryman – Ali Al-Fatlawi (Iraq/Switzerland)
The Doubt – Ihab Jadallah (Palestine/Israel)
The Forest – Tomas Weinreb et Petr Kazda (Czech Republic)
The Last Tears Of The Deceased – Beza Hailu Lemma (Ethiopia)
Where The River Begins – Juan Andres Arango (Colombia)
You Are My Everything – Michal Vinik (Israel)

The 75th international Festival de Cannes will take place from 17 to 28 May 2022 at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès, France.

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