James Murphy
James Murphy is Managing Director of Southbank Sinfonia, the orchestra which gives talented graduates their first steps into the profession. He has worked at the Royal College of Music, National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, and commentated regularly on television coverage of the BBC Proms.

Entries by James Murphy

The Talent Show You Should All Be Talking About

(2) Comments | Posted 10 May 2016 | (00:00)

Did you see Britain's Got Talent on Saturday night? No, not the ITV show. I mean the BBC4 version.

It goes by the less catchy title BBC Young Musician and has no sassy, glitzy celebs on its panel but, for sheer star quality, it leaves ITV's larks at the end...

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Raising a Glass to Classical Music

(0) Comments | Posted 4 March 2016 | (12:26)

A couple of years ago, I was having a drink with a friend at the Clapham Picturehouse bar when the time came to take our seats in the cinema. We asked the barman for plastic cups to pour our wine into, but he shook his head, saying they no longer...

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Let the New Star Wars Awaken Your Musical Appetite

(2) Comments | Posted 5 January 2016 | (19:20)

So most of us have now seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens. One thing it has certainly awoken is a deluge of blogs addressing its merits or otherwise. Forgive me for joining the party.

In the film, and the avalanche of commentary it has inspired, there is...

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Let's Make London's New Concert Hall Into a Cathedral

(2) Comments | Posted 23 February 2015 | (19:56)

Some people will tell you the last thing London needs is another concert hall. In truth, the last thing we need is another article about whether London needs another concert hall. This last week, there have been hundreds. For the first time in decades, it's even put classical music on...

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Coronation Street Gets Classical

(0) Comments | Posted 31 January 2014 | (21:42)

This week, I attended the Association of British Orchestras annual conference. For those dedicated to sharing the power and worth of classical music with the wider world, it's always a great opportunity to meet like-minds, refuel, and plot new initiatives.

Contrary to the claptrap we often hear about classical...

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Introducing the Orchestra With No Conductor

(1) Comments | Posted 6 June 2013 | (00:00)

Imagine you're playing Pictionary. To your slight horror, the word that comes up is 'orchestra'. Where do you start? With so many instruments to depict, the easiest thing to do, unquestionably, is to start with something intrinsic and central to all orchestras: the conductor.

But what if an orchestra had...

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The Music Master

(0) Comments | Posted 3 November 2012 | (11:46)

For me, there are two great things about film music.

For starters, it unlocks emotions that seemingly great acting, writing, cinematography and editing cannot do alone. E.T. is a beautifully told fantasy but would we feel quite so airborne when those bikes take flight if it wasn't for John...

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Guaranteed Gold for Team GB This Saturday

(0) Comments | Posted 1 August 2012 | (20:26)

This week, we're all feeling the thrill of seeing our national teams in action: mostly young people from all over the country whose extraordinary dedication to their craft gives us an uplifting sense of what we can all achieve if we put our mind to it. Each day we marvel...

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Boldly Go Where No Orchestra Has Gone Before

(1) Comments | Posted 13 July 2012 | (00:00)

Long before NASA gave us a glimpse of outer space, classical music led the way. In 1914, over 40 years before Sputnik was launched, composer Gustav Holst cast his imagination to the far side of the solar system, embarking on a piece of music entitled The Planets.

It's one...

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Prometheus Proves Classical Music Still Matters

(5) Comments | Posted 19 June 2012 | (00:00)

Oh no. Not another blog about Prometheus. There's surely nothing left to be said.

Yet, of all the surprises (good and bad) to be found in Ridley Scott's sci-fi spectacular, I was most struck to discover an unlikely stowaway aboard the fated spaceship: 19th Century Polish composer Frédéric Chopin....

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