Site Search


Other Resources
News Archive






15 May  

The Holland Festival (29th May–June 23rd)

 

The Holland Festival explores cutting edge dance, film, music, opera, theatre, visual arts and multidisciplinary collaborations. This year Stockhausen is very much on the menu, the starting point being a screened documentary of the festival’s first performance of the composer’s notorious Helikopter-Streichquartett in 1995. That work appears in Mittwoch from the composer’s monumental Licht sequence of 7 operas. Highlights from Licht will be performed in three parts across the whole festival (see video trailer, below). 

 

Other festival highlights include a concert by South African artist Gerhard Marx, who makes music from car parts (7th–9th); a new installation, Eight, from Michel van der Aa, mixing music theatre, virtual reality and visual arts (available throughout the festival); contemporary choral works from young American composers, performed by Roomful of Teeth (15th); and a chance to hear Colin Benders’ Electro Symphonic Orchestra, where he will present a new work for modular synthesisers and multiple speakers (22nd).

 

The Aldeburgh Festival (7th—23rd June)

 

Austrian composer Thomas Larcher is composer-in-residence at this year’s festival. His works will appear throughout, with the world premiere of his Movement for Piano on 8th and the UK premiere of his opera The Hunting Gun from 7th–9th. 

 

There will be tributes to Oliver Knussen, who was a key figure in the history of the festival, including performances of his Variations for piano, Scriabin Settings, O Hototogisu!, Prayer Bell Sketch, Ophelia’s Last Dance, Coursing and other chamber works. There is also a screening of a film that was originally made to mark the composer’s 50th birthday Oliver Knussen—Sounds from the Big White House.

 

Composers with premieres at the festival include Charlotte Bray, Caterina di Cecca, Edmund Finnis, Joanna Lee, Nico Muhly, Frederik Neyrinck and Freya Waley-Cohen. There is also radical performance art from Bastard Assignments, outdoor graffiti-style animated opera in Drive-by Shooting, and Listening Walks exploring the sounds of the natural environment.

 

St. Magnus Festival, Orkney (21–27th June) 

 

Like the Holland Festival, St. Magnus offers much more than just music with theatre, dance, poetry, literature, visual art and the MagFest fringe. At its core however it is still very much a music festival. There is much established classical repertoire to enjoy and a good smattering of works by living composers, including by James Macmillan, Joan Tower, Alex Freeman and Arvo Pärt. There is also the chance to hear the premiere of Festival Director, Alasdar Nicolson’s Concerto for trumpet and strings Govan Stones, performed by Tom Poulson on 25th.

 

Holland Festival: Aus Licht Trailer




8 May  

Belgian composer Dominique Lawalrée has died. He was 64.

 

Lawalrée was born in Brussels, studying at the Institut Supérieur de Musique et de Pédagogie in Namur. He began composing in 1973 under the influences of classical composers such as Satie, Stravinsky, Stockhausen, Cage, Feldman, Riley, Bryars and Messiaen and rock musicians including The Beatles, Soft Machine and Brian Eno. In 1976  he founded his own record label, Editions Walrus. It became the principle medium though which his vast catalogue, some 500 compositions and 20 albums, was disseminated. He also gave concerts in Europe and the United States, largely for small private audiences.

 

His style, which is simple, meditative and tonal became associated with the trend known as ‘new simplicity.’ A mystical experience led to a change of focus in 1994, with subsequent works focusing on the liturgy and religion more generally. 

 

Dominique Lawalrée taught at the Ecole Normale Catholique du Brabant Wallon in Nivelles. 

 

For more information: Matrix New Music Leuven 

 

Dominique Lawalree - First Meeting (album)




8 May  

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) has released a new report entitled ‘Impact of Brexit on Musicians’: 

 

The main findings were: 

 

-Almost 50% of respondents identified an impact on their professional work since the EU referendum result in 2016 – 95% of whom said it was negative (from 19% in 2016, to 26% in 2017, to 40% in 2018, and to 50% in 2019)

 

-63% of respondents cited difficulty in securing future work in EU27/EEA countries as the biggest issue they face due to Brexit – and more than 1 in 10 respondents reported that offers of work have been withdrawn or cancelled with Brexit given as a reason.

 

-85% of survey respondents visit the EU27 for work at least once a year, 22% visit the EU27/EEA more than 11 times per year and more than a third (35%) spend at least a month per year working in EU27/EEA countries.

 

-One in seven musicians have less than a week’s notice between being offered work and having to take it.

 

-64% of survey respondents said a two-year, multi-entry visa would allay their concerns about their future ability to work in the EU27/EEA if freedom of movement rights were lost.

 

-95% of respondents preferred the two-year visa over an ‘extension of the Permitted Paid Engagement (PPE) visa.

 

-83% of respondents said it would be beneficial for a government department (e.g. BEIS) to provide a dedicated hotline for musicians to offer guidance on mobility issues

 

-More than half of respondents (58%) reported that they were concerned about the transportation of instruments and/or equipment in the EU27 & EEA in the future.

 

-Amongst other vital recommendations for Government, the report calls for freedom of movement to be protected for musicians, or a two-year working visa to be introduced.

 

The full report is available here.

 

You can read the above summary as well as responses to the report and its recommendations on the ISM website, here




1 May  

UK Music is asking composers to respond to a government consultation which will be fed into its Online Harms White Paper. Part of the paper’s remit is to make tech firms more responsible for the content that they publish online. This then is an opportunity for creators to ask for better protection against copyright infringement and unfair working practices, such as poor renumeration.

 

More details, here.

The survey itself can be found, here.




1 May  

The Ivors celebrate excellence in songwriting and screen composition, across works released in the UK during 2018. The Awards also honour songwriters and composers with categories recognising their contribution to UK music. 

 

The ceremony will take place on 23rd May.

 

 

This year’s nominees are: 

 

Best Album

 

COCOA SUGAR

I’M ALL EARS

JOY AS AN ACT OF RESISTANCE

 

Best Contemporary Song

 

BLACK ROSE

BLUE LIGHTS

LOVE IT IF WE MADE IT

 

Best Original Film Score

 

AMERICAN ANIMALS by Anne Nikitin 

PHANTOM THREAD by Jonny Greenwood 

SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE  by Daniel Pemberton

 

Best Original Video Game Score

 

ASSASSIN’S CREED ODYSSEY  by Michael Georgiades, Joe Henson and Alexis Smith

Q.U.B.E. 2 by David Housden

SEA OF THIEVES by Robin Beanland

 

Best Song Musically and Lyrically

 

FOUR OUT OF FIVE

NICA LIBRES AT DUSK

NINA CRIED POWER

 

Best Television Soundtrack

 

FLOWERS (SERIES 2) by Arthur Sharpe 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, COLIN BURSTEAD by Clint Mansell 

REQUIEM by Natasha Khan and Dominik Scherrer

 

PRS Most Performed Work

 

BREATHE

SHOTGUN

THESE DAYS

 

 

 




30 Apr  

C:T talks to cross-arts composer and sound designer Roberto David Rusconi, whose new work Variazioni Tiepolo will be premiered by the Minguet Quartet in May.
 

Roberto David Rusconi

Tell us something about your background.

I am a producer of immersive music for opera, dance, music theatre, screen soundtracks and art galleries. I graduated in composition, piano, choir, conducting, specialized in electro-acoustic music and have been awarded a PhD at King's College London on the relationship between music, memory and matter. My profound expertise of the international cultural scene has inspired me to pursue a career as producer, curator and education co-creative projects manager. I am particularly interested in sound projection and live digital sound processing. In recent years I have been collaborating with L-Acoustics and their new processor for immersive sound hyperrealism, L-ISA. 

What was your first success as a composer?

I think my first success was the music I made under a pseudonym for the CD Game Punto per Punto that celebrated Fiat motors 100 years. 1,150,000 copies were released, and I was able to keep the copyrights on the music. 

>> Click here to read the rest of the interview 




24 Apr  

German composer, arranger and conductor Martin Böttcher died on 19th April. He was 91.

 

His early years were dominated by the war; a period in the Luftwaffe was followed by time as a prisoner of war. Having learnt to play the guitar during his incaceration, on his release he made a living playing jazz and arranging music for film composers, including Michael Jary and Hans-Martin Majewski. 

 

Böttcher made his own cinematic debut in 1955, writing the music for the satirical film Der Hauptmann und sein Held. This proved to be the launch of a highly successful film and later television music career. 

 

Perhaps his most well-known score was for the Karl May film Der Schatz im Silbersee, with its Old-Shatterhand-Melodie:




24 Apr  

UK Music are asking composers to fill in their 2019 survey to allow them to analyse trends and to document day-to-day conditions in the UK music business.

 

Their last report revealed that the UK music industry contributed £4.5bn to the UK economy and sustained over 145,000 jobs. The information helped UK music to argue their case with government, to shape future strategy and to defend areas under threat.

 

The survey is available, here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/UKMusic




17 Apr  

The Tectonics Festival takes place over the weekend of 4th–5th May in Glasgow. On the first day harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will perform recent works by Anahita Abbasi, Miroslav Srnka, George Lewis as well as by one of the great pioneers of electronic music, Luc Ferrari. There are world premieres from the BBC SSO of works from Martin Arnold and Sarah Davachi; two BBC commissions from Christian Wolff and Juliana Hodkinson; a co-commission with WDR Cologne and the BBC from Mauro Lanza; and the UK Premieres of Jennifer Walshe’s The Site Of An Investigation and Andrew Hamilton’s c. Lucie Vítková is also in residence for the weekend with her installation Makeup Scores: Environmental Music. The work features scores drawn with old or expired make-up performed by Vítková with Maya Verlaak, Suze Whites and Jorge Boehringer.

 

The Norfolk and Norwich Festival (10th–26th) offers a whole host of cultural events, including theatre, cabaret, circus, dance, literature and visual arts. Its list of contemporary music may be a little on the light side for some, but are interesting nevertheless: an ambitious new project Celebration combining music, poetry and dance on 11th; chamber music, including new compositions from June Talbot (voice), Iain Bellamy (saxophones) and Huw Warren (piano) on 13th; new works by Venezuelan singer Nella Rojas on 15th; pianist/composer Tord Gustavsen on 16th; and composer/organist Kit Downes on 22nd (see video, bottom, for a flavour of his work). 

 

Founded by John Metcalf in 1969, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (18th–24th) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It remains, as ever, focused on the music of today and particularly on music by Welsh or Welsh-based composers. World premieres this year include works by Charlie Barber, Mark David Boden, Graham Fitkin, Gareth Glyn, Lynne Plowman, Steph Power, Guto Pryderi Puw, Claire Victoria Roberts, David Roche, Ben Wallace and Robert Fokkens.

 

The Prague Spring Festival goes on for the best part of a month (12th–4th June) and features around fifty concerts. Amongst these is the chance to hear Harfenianna, a new Concertino for Harp and Strings by Ondřej Kukal on 20th; Jakub Rataj’s æther for theremin, oboe & piano quintet on 24th; Jana Vöröšová’s Cloud Atlas for saxophone quartet on 26th; and the European premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s Overheating on 27th. 

 

Of the many other premieres one can hear this month (see my picks below), I make special mention of Roberto David Rusconi’s new work Variazioni Tiepolo at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on 17th. Rusconi is a fascinating figure whose work is informed by shamanism, ritual, music embodiment and 3D sound projection. We will talk with him here on C:T next week.

 

Premiere Picks

 

UK

 

1st Lighthouse, Poole. Leshnoff, Suite for Cello, Strings and Timpani. 

2nd Queen's Hall, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Dove, Accordion Concerto. Scottish Chamber Orchestra.

7th Royal Festival Hall, London. McDowall, Da Vinci Requiem. Philharmonia Orchestra, Wimbledon Choral Society. 

9th Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool. Goves, Parker, Zaba premieres. Solem String Quartet.

17th Purcell Room, London. Rusconi, Variazioni Tiepolo. Minguet Quartet. 

18th BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff. Bowden, Descent. BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

 

Europe

 

1st Rudolfinum: Dvořák Hall, Prague. Unknown, Winning work from the Czech Philharmonic Composers’ Competition. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra

4th Liszt Academy: Grand Hall, Budapest. Elia, Implicate Inklings. Concerto Budapest.

8th Victoria Hall, Geneva. Montalbetti, Flute Concerto, “Memento vivere” Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.

16th Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin. Widmann, Melodie. Kian Soltani, Cello; Nathalia Milstein, Piano

17th Concertgebouw: Recital Hall, Amsterdam. Davies, New work. Asko/Schönberg.

18th Concertgebouw: Main Hall, Amsterdam. de Raaff, Violin Concerto no. 2 "North Atlantic Light”. Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.

22d Grieg Hall (Grieghallen), Bergen. Knausgård, New Work. 

25th Universitetsaulaen, Universitet i Bergen, Bergen. Hvoslef, String Quartet no. 4. 

25th Philharmonie 1: Grande salle Pierre Boulez, Paris. Jarrell, Piano Concerto. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

30th Concertgebouw Brugge: Chamber Music Hall, Bruges. Lang, Bernhard, HERMETIKA IX ‘vox angeli II.’ Nadar Ensemble.

 

World

 

2nd Symphony Hall, Boston. Currier, Aether for violin and orchestra. Baiba Skride, Violin; Boston Symphony Orchestra

2nd Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Andriessen, The only one. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.

10th Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Adès, New Ballet Work for Orchestra. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. 

14th Saint-Sixte Church, Saint-Laurent, Montreal. Brown, Trumpet Concerto. Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.

19th University of Utah: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Salt Lake City. Thomas, Folding. Thierry Fischer, Conductor; Madeleine Adkins, Violin; Davidson, Mark, Trombone; Hardink, Jason, Piano; Johnson, Matt, Cello; Smith, Mercedes, Flute.

24th Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. Pal, New Work. Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

 

Kit Downes: Rings of Saturn




17 Apr  

It seems that the majestic Cavaille-Coll organ at Notre Dame has emerged from the dreadful conflagration relatively unscathed.  Vincent Dubois, the organist titulaire, said ‘It’s a miracle! The most recent news, a priori, [the organ] is saved.’ He also however, stuck a note of caution about the stability of the building, especially the vault, which was severely damaged in the fire. The priority, he said, was to remove the instrument whilst repairs are made. 

 

This came as the first pictures have emerged of the inside of the building, which shows its fabric in much better shaped than many feared. In particular, the three rose windows, with their precious 13th century glass, appear intact.

 

Messiaen's Le Banquet Celeste, played by Pierre Cochereau






Archive
 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  | ... |  58  |
CompositionToday offers a huge range resources exclusively for composers.

The benefits of Full Membership include:
  • our comprehensive jobs, competitions and opportunities service
  • Create your own showcase website, including MP3 samples of your work
  • In-depth interviews with leading figures from the world of new music
  • A unique soundbank resource, where you can listen to real instrument sounds organised by range and technique.

Concert Listings Today & Tomorrow:
No concerts listed today