artistry beyond the notes…

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Young People and The Mozart Project Live! in Peterborough

And so it begins. Our first detailed planning meeting with the Manager of the Peterborough Music Education Hub, Michael Cross, and with the Head of the Technical Team at Peterborough Key Theatre, Gary Linley, to scope the two pilot presentations of The Mozart Project Live! there on 19 and 20 April.


In addition to getting to know the theatre, the space, lighting, sound, access for the piano, camera positions and a whole lot else besides, we had the opportunity to meet a group of journalism students at Peterborough Regional College and their tutor, Mart, to raise awareness of this ACE-funded project locally through the making of a promo film – the students’ first experience of film-making in a journalistic context. Jane Booth and John Irving were presented with a range of questions about our project and over the course of the next couple of weeks, the students will edit the footage into a short film about the project which we will link to here once complete.

Here are our thoughts about one or two of the student questions:


“Why did you choose to focus on Mozart?”

Mainly because his chamber music suits the instrumentation of Ensemble DeNOTE so well, and also because this is music we’ve played a great deal and know intimately. We’re keen to present our passion for this music in a new way, and to engage new audiences. It helps that John has worked a lot on Mozart in his writings over the years, so we can approach the early autograph scores and first editions of these works a bit more closely that we might otherwise. There’s always something new to learn in this music. Recently, when we were rehearsing a quintet arrangement of Mozart’s Gran’ Partita, we had a facsimile of Mozart’s autograph manuscript to hand, and Marcus, our violinist (who is also a composer) was absolutely fascinated by this – especially the really detailed articulation marks Mozart had added into the score (originally for 13 Winds). So this kind of insider knowledge really fires our enthusiasm for making the music speak afresh in our performances.

“Do you think your show will appeal to young people?”

Well, we certainly hope it will! It combines live performance with the digital technology of The Mozart Project – the multi-award-winning iBook of the Year 2015 which brings Mozart’s music to readers and audiences who access their information ‘on the move’, on tablet devices with lots of different layers of information (text, audio, video) just a click away. We’ll make this experience come alive on stage as we act out some of the hypertext links from the original iBook (projected behind us on the theatre stage). By working with Stage Director, Wendy Allnutt, we’ll be maximising the visual dimension – showing how Mozart’s music can be seen as a collaborative act where the performers work together to achieve results as a team, listening, watching, responding to each other. More than ‘just a concert’!


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THE MOZART PROJECT LIVE! Funded by Arts Council England

PrintWe can now spill the beans on our funding from Arts Council England...


Supported by Arts Council England, The Mozart Project Live! is a unique 90-minute stage show exploring Mozart’s Chamber Music, building on the chamber music chapter DeNOTE’s founder, John Irving authored for the groundbreaking digital book for iPad, The Mozart Project (2014) – winner of two major prizes at the 2015 World iBook Author Conference for “Best Musical Work” and “iBook of the Year”.


Released to international critical acclaim in 2014, The Mozart Project (for which DeNOTE recorded several video performances) capitalizes on innovative tablet technology, enabling learning to happen through the tactile medium of the iPad in a form familiar to users of Facebook and similar social media. Since then, The Mozart Project has created new audiences for Mozart’s music on the iPad platform (subsequently also iPhone). The Mozart Project Live! is a new adaptation of the chamber music chapter exploring some of Mozart’s key works for chamber ensemble as a stage show combining live performances with the hypertext resources embedded within the digital book. We are thrilled that ACE is supporting this project. It enables us to communicate our enthusiasm for new modes of interactive learning about Mozart’s music and its contexts. Ultimately the aim is to develop and inspire new audiences – especially younger listeners – and to encourage attendance at more classical concerts, appreciating this music’s power to express meaning and offer deep artistic fulfillment.


The Mozart Project Live! will run initially at Peterborough Key Theatre on 19 & 20 April 2016, in collaboration with project partners The Mozart Project, and Peterborough Music Education Hub. The performances – also including live demonstrations of historical dance- will explore a range of issues around chamber music performance and will be recorded. The principal project outcome will be a short film documenting the project, to be distributed to Music Hubs and Music Festivals nationwide as a possible future educational resource.

We initially developed a working relationships with the Peterborough Music Education Hub (Peterborough Music Partnership) in April 2015 with our immensely successful 2-day residency. We are delighted to be building that project now.



Many thanks to all the team at Arts Council England who helped and supported us during the last few months as we have developed our planning!