Brighton Early Music Festival

Early Music Live!

Early Music Live! aims to help musicians to make the leap between music student and music professional. The programme is a package of support for young professionals within their first two years as a professional musician, including performance, broadcast and showcase opportunities, as well as training and mentoring.

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  • Arts/Culture/HeritageArts/Culture/Heritage
  • Education/Training/EmploymentEducation/Training/Employment


  • Women & GirlsWomen & Girls
  • Young People (18-30)Young People (18-30)
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Each year Brighton Early Music Festival supports at least 30 musicians in up to 9 ensembles to take the first step in their professional careers through a range of tailored projects and performing and mentoring opportunities. This project aims to: • equip young musicians with practical as well as musical skills; • inspire them to work creatively with promoters to devise exciting programmes; • champion the young musicians’ successes to promoters, the press and the public; “your support assisted in establishing our profile in the early music world… also boosted our CV and made us more marketable for the London Handel Festival.” Helen Kruger, violinist, Little Baroque Company [Early Music Live! Scheme, 2007] Crucially and unusually, the festival approaches other promoters to tell them about the young ensembles on the scheme. This has resulted in a number of young ensembles being booked by prestigious promoters including the Newbury Spring Festival and the London Handel Festival. The festival also negotiates broadcasts for the young ensembles where possible: in 2009 we arranged 4 first broadcasts and interviews for young ensembles on BBC Radio 3. WHY THE PROJECT IS NEEDED When a young musician finishes studying, the first few years of trying to cope in the professional world are extremely tough. Many musicians feel unsupported outside the security of a music college. Many don’t have the non-musical skills and experience to convince promoters to employ them. In response, many promoters offer young musicians a performance platform. However, all too often this is motivated as much by a desire to promote a cheap concert, as to provide real support for the musicians. This is a one-off, short-term approach and therefore the impact is limited. In contrast, Brighton Early Music Festival is unique in the holistic approach and the longer view we take. It is clear from evaluation of our Early Music Live! scheme that it is the long-term nature of our support that has real value for the musicians. It is also the long view and deep relationships we forge with the artists which enables us to successfully broker relationships between them and a range of promoters and by providing many with their first BBC Radio 3 exposure. “The scheme does really represent the beginning of something lasting….. I am absolutely certain that, without the support of BREMF Live, none of these opportunities would have come to us.” Greg Skidmore, 1607 Ensemble: 2nd year Early Music Live! support, 2008 ACTIVITIES include: • a series of showcase performances; • surgeries and training sessions to help musicians to write and implement a practical plan to approach promoters; • opportunities to participate in largescale orchestral projects alongside top professionals; • mentoring and networking opportunities; • and an opportunity to learn from involvement in a largescale education project and to devise and deliver an education programme with training and support; • workshop, master class and training opportunities with top professional musicians - current and previous artists have included Elizabeth Wallfisch, members of the Orchestra or the Age of Enlightenment, The Orlando Consort and Passcaglia