2015: A Review

We take a look back at some of the biggest stories from the classical music world in 2015

Published: January 5, 2016 at 4:46 pm

As 2016 gets slowly under way, we take one final look back at the year just gone. Here are just some of the more important stories to have caught the attention of BBC Music Magazine readers over the past 12 months…


An act of defiance

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo massacre on 7 January 2015, British musicians gathered in Trafalgar Square to pay tribute to the victims in a performance of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings.

Looking after our ears

In March, the World Health Organisation called listening to music a 'serious threat' to the public health. The WHO advise a listening limit of just one hour a day to help preserve hearing.

Rattle comes home

Also in March, the LSO revealed that Simon Rattle would return to the UK after 13 years in Germany to take over as their principle conductor. Rattle's appointment caused a stir due to his demand for a new concert venue in London that could compare with acoustics found outside the capital. A new 'London Centre for Music' has since been promised, and a feasibility study in December focused on the site of the old Museum of London as first choice for the new building.

BBC Music Magazine Awards

In April we revealed the best recordings of the year, as voted for by you, the public. A star-studded ceremony, winners included pianist Leif Ove Andsnes, mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato, conductor Sir Andrew Davis, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor, and harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani. To read the full list of winners, click here.

A question of face

In May, the Metropolitian Opera in New York announced that they would no longer be using 'blackface' make up in productions of Othello. While the move was welcomed as a step forward by many, it also provoked a debate about the neglect of black opera singers in casting.

Berlin Philharmonic announces its new conductor

Speculation abounded as the intensely secretive discussions to replace Simon Rattle's successor took place, but in June the Berlin Philharmonic announced that the Russian Kirill Petrenko would take on the role from 2017. The Berlin Philharmonic decides on its chief conductor by democratic vote, and the process is traditionally one of the most closely guarded secrets in the classical music business.


With another outstanding season from the BBC Proms reaching its traditional conclusion at a packed Royal Albert Hall, in September we took a look at some of the less glorious moments from its 120-year history.

A 21st-century icon immortalised in opera

Steve Jobs has been the subject of several biographies, plays and a film since his death in 2011. Now, as we reported in September, it's the turn of classical music, as the Santa Fe opera company explore Job's life of through opera.

The loss of a choral giant

Also in September, the choirmaster and composer David Wilcocks died aged 95. He was renowned for his contribution to British choral music, and especially for his time as director of King's College, Cambridge, where he transformed Carols at Kings into a Christmas institution.


Music makes money!

In November, a report from UK Music revealed that the Music industry made £4.1billion for the UK economy in 2014. This euphoric news was quickly followed by chancellor George Osborne calling cuts to the arts 'a false economy.' Hurrah

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