Site Search




Other Resources
News Archive






27 Jan  

Robert Matthew-Walker

Robert Matthew-Walker is a fascinating figure. In the 60s he served in the army, including in North Africa, studied in Paris with Darius Milhaud and founded the Tunnel Club rock venue in Greenwich. In the 70s he worked for CBS records and subsequently founded several record labels of his own. He is also prolific as a broadcaster, author, critic and editor.

 

He is less well-known, however, as a composer, even though he has achieved considerable success in the field (listen to this fine recording of his Piano Sonata No.3, Op 34, for example). Matthew-Walker’s composing output, with some 150 numbered works to his name, is borne of formidable self-discipline—in a recent interview he described being inspired by Hans Keller, who worked from 1.30am–4.30, before starting a full day at 7.30am. 

 

Matthew-Walker’s approach to composition owes much to his varied biography. His latest work A Bad Night in Los Angeles, for example, was inspired by a club experience in L.A.: 

 

Following his outstanding recording of my fantasy-sonata Hamlet, Mark Bebbington asked me for a short solo concert work lasting about five or six minutes. I wanted to write something completely different and decided on a piece in modern disco-style, taking the essence of present-day dance music and transferring it to the recital room.

 

The title comes from a time, many years ago, when I was working in Los Angeles. One evening, I wandered into a nightclub to hear a new driving rock band, Azteca. I was astonished when they began their set with a modern-dance version of the opening sequence of the French composer Darius Milhaud’s Concerto for Percussion and Small Orchestra of 1930.

 

As I had studied in Paris with Milhaud, and knew the concerto well, I was taken aback. At first, it was a bad night for me in Los Angeles, but it turned out well in the end. I hope my piece does, too!

 

You can hear the premiere of Matthew-Walker’s A Bad Night in Los Angeles, his Fantasy-Sonata: Hamlet together with works by Schubert, Bliss and Beethoven at Bromsgrove’s Atrix on 3rd February.

 

Source:

 

Birmingham Post, LA club experience inspired composer's disco-style piece, interview by Christopher Morley



0 comments | Post Comment



25 Jan  

Hamburg’s stunning new Elbphilharmonie Hall opened earlier this month with a programme designed to show off the possibilities of the building’s near-perfect acoustics. The main auditorium is lined with 10,000 gypsum panels, each of which has a unique acoustic property but which cumulatively give the hall its distinct reverberative properties. 

 

As well as being a tour de force in acoustics and design the hall will act as a focal point for new music. Conductor composer Matthias Pintscher has been appointed composer-in-residence, with the first three seasons focusing on his works and also music by Peter Eötvös and George Benjamin. 

 

The success of the new concert hall has raised comparisons with London’s foot-dragging over Rattle’s proposed venue, a comparison that Norman Lebrecht calls ‘A False Equation’, listing 10 reasons why. They are worth reading, if only because they raise questions about relative attitudes to culture in Germany and the U.K.

 

It’s not the same as being there, of course, but to get a feel for the look and sound of the new Elbphilharmonie, here are videos from the opening concert:

 

 



0 comments | Post Comment



18 Jan  

February night not be the best time of year for festivals, but there are two decent events this month. The first, in Paris, is Festival PrésencesKaija Saariaho, Un Portrait, which runs from 10th–19th. Whilst the Finnish-born French composer’s work is the main focus, there is also a lot else to enjoy. One of the strands, indeed, focuses on other composers that have chosen France, and Paris in particular, as their place to live and work, including figures such as Ramon Lazkano, Hèctor Parra and Martin Matalon. There are also performances of music by well-known figures of the previous generation, such as Messiaen, Xenakis, Dutilleux and Grisey. In total there are 18 concerts, 40 composers, 78 works and 31 world premieres.

In UK from Friday 24th–Sunday 26th, Plymouth University will hold its annual Peninsula Arts Contemporary Music Festival. Titled ‘Voice 2.0’ the festival ‘offers a glimpse of how musicians, scientists and linguists are re-inventing voice through an ambitious programme exploring new means, forms and usages of voice in communication and musical creativity.’ Not all of the events are musical, but all are fascinating. 

 

The first, for example, is a lecture by David J. Peterson, the world-famous language creator whose inventions include Dothraki for HBO’s Game of Thrones. He will talk about the experience of creating new languages and specifically that used in Eduardo R. Miranda’s vocal work Vōv. That will be premiered the following day with new works by Linas Baltas, Butterscotch and Nuria Bonet. 

 

Other highlights include Nuria Bonet’s The Voice of the Sea, a collaboration with the Marine Institute and the Plymouth Coastal Observatory that uses information from a marine buoy to determine compositional choices; Alexix Kike’s Come Together: The Sonification of Lennon and McCartney, which analyses the emotions of their lyrics, the results being turned into a classical duet; and Marcelo Gimenes’s Silicon Voices, which draws upon the composer’s research into music and Artificial Intelligence.

 

Significant premieres next month include Michael Zev Gordon’s Violin Concerto at the Barbican, London on 3rd; Wolfgang Rihm’s Gruß-Moment 2 – in memoriam Pierre Boulez at the Philharmonie, Berlin on 10th; Timo Andres’s Steady Hand for two pianos and orchestra at the Barbican London on 25th; and Ryan Wigglesworth’s The Winter’s Tale, a new opera that begins its run at ENO, London on 27th. Astonishingly, Birtwistle’s Earth Dances receives it’s French premiere at the Philharmonie de Paris on 1st conducted by Daniel Harding.

 

Another event that promises to be a real treat is the chance to hear Jonny Greenwood’s magnificent score to Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood, played live with a screening of the film at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall on 5th February



0 comments | Post Comment



15 Jan  

Chilean composer José Vicente Asuar died on 11th January. He was 83. Asuar studied in his native Chile and subsequently in Germany, later taking charge of electronic studios in both countries. He is best known as a composer of electronic music. Works include Guararia repano, for Indian instruments and tape (1968); Formas I (1970) and II (1972), orchestra (computer-generated scores); Imagen de Caracas, voices, instruments, tape (1968); and a number of works for tape alone (Catedral, 1967; Buffalo 71, 1971).

(Source: The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music)



0 comments | Post Comment



10 Jan  

This second part to my Dorico diary has been a long time coming, so perhaps I should start by explaining why. When I took a first look at the software back in November, I was impressed by its potential, especially feeling that the typesetting algorithms were better than those in Sibelius. Unfortunately, whilst this made a firm foundation, it did not alter the fact that the software lacked so many features that I was unable to adopt it into my daily workflow. 

 

The team at Steinberg have always made it clear, however, that their aim is to keep iterating Dorico until it is as powerful as its rivals. Two new releases, Dorico 10.0.10 on November 25th and 10.0.20 on December 20th, start to make good on these promises.

 

One of the headline features is the introduction of VST Expression Maps support, so that Dorico now recognises expression marks. Back in November I did a comparison of the playback of a simple arrangement for string quartet on Sibelius and on Dorico, the result being a hands-down win for Sibelius. Using the same example, however, Dorico has now closed the gap considerably. Here is the original playback on Dorico 1.0:

With the recording from Sibelius 7.1.3:

And now here is the new recording, on Dorico 1.0.20:

 

You can hear that the addition of articulation recognition makes a big difference, especially after the introduction, where there is extensive use of staccato. 

 

Despite this, however, in terms of raw sound file quality, Sibelius remains, in my opinion, the more convincing. And there are also more fundamental problems. In the above extract Dorico responds to dynamic changes, though this appears to be because the file was imported via mxl (i.e. it wasn't created in Dorico). Actually the program still appears not to support intensity markings—any changes I make within the program do not affect the playback, the same being true when I experiment with dynamics on a new score.

 

Selection tools have improved a great deal. In version 1.0, you had to drag a marquee selection box over anything you wanted to edit. Now, however, it is possible to select all of the music in a bar, several individual bars and whole sections. In some ways these basic editing tools are implemented more logically than in Sibelius, for example in that selections also include any music tied over to another bar. Whilst there are editing situations where that could be a nuisance, I like the fact that Dorico tries to implement things in a way that is musically logical.

 

Also new is transposition. The dialogue (see picture, left) is accessed on the Write menu, but surprisingly doesn't have a keyboard shortcut, an irritation for a feature that I use all of the time. Implementation is fine, though it lacks the intuitive elegance of Sibelius, concentrating on intervallic transposition rather than by key signature. If you select a whole score, however, Dorico will offer you the option to alter key signatures too. Also, I quite like the way that Dorico helps those who might not understand the whole business of major vs. minor/augmented vs. diminished intervals—it provides a little box where you enter the starting pitch and target pitch, translating that into musical intervals without you having to think about it.

 

Dorico is supposedly faster than before, not just in note input and editing, but ‘all across the application.’ Working on individual scores, I think this is probably correct. I also tend, however, to move between multiple open scores in my work. In doing this I experienced unacceptable levels of interruption from Mac’s spinning rainbow beachball. Sometimes this only lasted a split second as I began work in a different window, but for someone who spends long periods working at their computer, this kind of interruption can make the difference between a good and a bad day. Also I had some eccentric playback moments when flipping between scores, suddenly being presented with a comically wrong instrumental sound instead of the one I was actually working with.

 

Apart from a new scissors tool, note input is essentially the same as before. Computer keyboard input is in my opinion better than Sibelius. All the tools one needs are arranged around the edge of the screen and the keyboard shortcuts are sensible. I also appreciate the ability to be able to insert notes into a musical texture without having to delete anything first or renotate the surrounding notes myself. Step input with a MIDI keyboard also works fine, but it remains a big disappointment that there is still no real-time input. This means getting notes into the system is a rather laborious process. 

 

Other marquee improvements include support for arpeggio signs, playback for grace notes and improved handling of rests when using multiple voices on one stave. The most disappointing omission at this stage is that there is still no support for repeat markings, something that needs rectifying quickly. 

 

Given the improvements, am I any closer to adopting the program in my everyday workflow? Yes, I am. Will I be? No, I won’t. The fact is, there is still too much missing from this program for me to rely upon it. That may not be the case for you, however, and a glance around Dorico’s forums proves that, even where some are keen to criticise, there are many happy users leaping to its defence. This is because that, once you get beyond the shock of a new interface and different ways of doing things, the fundamentals are strong. As such, I will continue dropping in on Dorico from time to time. It might win me over yet.


EDIT: 12th January
 
Some responses from Daniel Spreadbury at Steinberg (via Twitter):


0 comments | Post Comment



7 Jan  

Belgian composer Tristan Clais died on 4th January aged 87. He studied music and theatre at the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles and from 1958 presented musical programmes on Belgium television, at the same time following a parallel career as a baritone. After receiving a grant in 1962 he continued his musical studies at the Academia Belgica de Rome, where he decided to dedicate himself to composition. 

 

He was involved with the surrealist group ‘Phases’, writing texts and participating in ‘happenings.’ His works are written for a diverse range of ensembles, the most well known including the Cygnus series, le Clavecin libéré, le Regard de l’orgue and la Montagne, l’écriture et la soie.

 

Summarised from this fuller obituary, in French. 

 

For further information see the Tristan Clais official site.



0 comments | Post Comment



31 Dec  

© Nick Seluk theawkwardyeti.com

Even after my roundup of a tumultuous year, 2016 had more bad news in store. December saw the deaths of George Michael and actress Carrie Fisher and a tragic Russian plane crash that included the loss of 62 members of the Alexandrov Ensemble. 

 

As in 2016, 2017 promises to be a year of political change. In the US Donald Trump will take up his duties as President on January 20th, the Brexit negotiations will begin and there will be a round of crucial elections in Europe. 

 

However we feel about events in the world, however, one thing is certain: just as in 2016, the arts scene will remain as vibrant as ever. There is much to look forward to, as my little preview, below, shows. There are the birthday celebrations of two of minimalism’s founding fathers, John Adams and Philip Glass; the usual round of festivals; and some notable premieres, including major new commissions from Harrison Birtwistle, Wolfgang Rihm, Simon Holt, Ryan Wigglesworth and Brett Dean.

 

In a world that seems ever more insecure, we forget that, in many cases, things continue to get better. Certainly I think it is fair to say that opportunities for artists have never been more prevalent. 

 

I wish you and all C:T members a happy, peaceful and musically productive New Year!

 

January

 

5th–7th HK Gruber, Piano Concerto (world premiere). New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall, NYC. 

11th Friday Night is Music Night: John Williams's 85th Birthday. Watford Colosseum, Watford.

14th Hear and Now: Birtwistle’s The Last Supper. City Halls, Glasgow.

14–15th Ligeti, Le grand macabre Rattle/Sellars/London Symphony Orchestra (semi-staged performance), Barbican, London.

20th Philip Cashian, The Book of Ingenious Devices (BBC commission, world premiere). Barbican, London.

28th BBC Total Immersion Day: Philip Glass at 80. Barbican, London. 

30th Composition: Wales - Open Workshop. Hear the latest in composition in Wales, as composers worthy of wider exposure have the opportunity to hear their works performed by the BBCNOW.

 

February

 

1st Thomas Adès, In Seven Days. Royal Festival Hall, London. 

1st Harrison Birtwistle, Earth Dances (French premiere). Philharmonie de Paris.

3rd Michael Zev Gordon, Violin Concerto (BBC commission, world premiere). Barbican, London.

4th Composing in America, Ives, Cage, Carter and Feldman. BCMG, St. David’s Hall, Cardiff. 

10th–19th Festival Présences. Paris, France.

10th Wolfgang Rihm, Gruß-Moment 2 – in memoriam Pierre Boulez (world premiere). Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonie, Berlin.

24th–26th Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival, Voice 2.0.

15th Mark-Anthony Turnage, Håkan (UK premiere). LSO, Barbican, London. 

25th Timo Andres, Steady Hand for two pianos and orchestra (world premiere), part of John Adams at 70: Grand Pianola Music, Barbican, London.

27th–14th March Ryan Wigglesworth, The Winter's Tale (opera world premiere). ENO, London.

 

March

 

2nd Huang Ruo, New Work (world premiere). Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. 

3rd Helen Grime, Piano Concerto (world premiere). Wigmore Hall, London.  

3rd Composition: Wales. Culmination concert.

5th Helen Grime, Piano Concerto. CBSO Centre, Birmingham.  

19th New London Children’s Choir 25th Anniversary Concert. Multiple premieres. Barbican, London.

25th Turning Points: Works by Ligeti. London Sinfonietta, Kings Place, London. 

30th Afternoon Performance: MacMillan Conducts MacMillan. City Halls, Glasgow.

30th Genesis, seven new works to mark the fortieth anniversary of Ensemble Intercontemporain. Philharmonie de Paris.

 

Also in March (details not available):

 

LONDON EAR festival of contemporary music.

 

April

 

1st–9th Lucerne Festival at Easter.

19th Brian Elias, Oboe Quintet (world premiere). Britten Sinfonia, Wigmore Hall. 

20th Panufnik Composers Scheme Workshop. LSO St Luke's, London.

22nd Gavin Higgins, Dark Arteries, National Youth Brass Band, Barbican, London

24th Thomas Adès, The Exterminating Angel. ROH, London. 

25th John Adams conducts Doctor Atomic. Barbican, London.

27th Georg Friedrich Haas, in vain. London Sinfonietta, Royal Festival Hall, London.

 

May

 

5th Simon Holt, Surcos (world premiere). Berlin Philharmonic, Philharmonie, Berlin.

6th BBC Total Immersion Day: Edgard Varèse. Barbican, London.

11th Ryan Wigglesworth, New Work Concertgebouw, Amsterdam. 

12th–28th Norfolk and Norwich Festival.

19th–26th Vale of Glamorgan Festival 

22nd David Fulmer, New Work (world premiere), Sam Pluta binary/momentary: flow state/joy state ii (world premiere). New York Philharmonic, National Sawdust, NYC.

26th–4th June St. Davids Cathedral Festival.

28th Philipp Maintz, New Work. Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Philharmonie, Berlin.

 

Also in May (details tbc)

 

Prague Spring International Music Festival.

Bath International Music Festival.

Northern Chords Festival.

The English Music Festival.

York Spring Festival of New Music.

 

June

 

2nd Nordic Nights. Eivind Buene, New Work (2016) (world premiere); Rolf Wallin, New Work (2016) (world premiere). London Sinfonietta, Håkon's Hall, Bergen, Norway.

5th Harrison Birtwistle, Deep Time. Staatskapelle Berlin, Philharmonie, Berlin.

9th–17th Charlie Parker, YARDBIRD (opera, European premiere). ENO, London.

9th–25th Aldeburgh Festival

11th–6th Brett Dean, Hamlet (opera, world premiere). Glyndebourne, UK. 

25th-–8th July Soundscape. Maccagno, Italian Alps.

 

Other June festivals (dates tbc):

 

Munich Opera Festival Nationaltheater and other venues in Munich.

St Magnus International Festival.

 

July

 

2nd&9th Philip Venables, Illusions. Hull and London, UK.

7th ALIVE Choral music by Eric Whitacre and Contemporaries. Milton Court Concert Hall, London.

7th–23rd Buxton Festival. A marriage of opera, books and music, including some by contemporary composers. Buxton, Derbyshire.

14th-9th September BBC Proms. Programme not currently available, but there will be premières aplenty. Royal Albert Hall, London.

21st–30st August Salzburg Festival. Salzburg, Austria.

22nd Kit Armstrong, Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra. Konzerthausorchester, Berlin. 

 

Other July festivals (dates tbc):

 

Schleswig-Holstein Musik Festival. Various venues, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Tête à Tête Opera Festival. Described as ‘our most imaginative opera laboratory’, the festival focuses entirely on new music. 

‘Aix en Provence Festival. ‘Aix en Provence, France. 

 

August

 

4th–28th Edinburgh International Festival. Programme not yet available, but there is usually a good selection of new music.

24th–29th Presteigne Festival. Artistic innovation, musical discovery and, of course, new works in the Welsh Marches. Presteigne, Powys. 

 

Other August festivals (dates tbc):

 

High Score Festival. Contemporary music festival and classes. Pavia, Italy.

 

September

 

Also in September (date tbc):

 

Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.

Beethovenfest, Bonn.

Warsaw International Festival of Contemporary Music. Not clear if there will be a festival in 2016.

 

October

 

Dates not yet available:

 

Sound. North East Scotland’s Festival of New Music. Various venues.

Wien Modern. Festival that focuses on contemporary music. Still showing 2015 programme. Vienna, Austria.

 

November

 

18th–26th Lucerne Festival at the Piano.

 

Dates not yet available:

 

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

 

December

 

Date not yet available:

 

Spitalfields Winter Festival.



0 comments | Post Comment



27 Dec  

I very much enjoy writing posts here at C:T. Inevitably, however, I do not always have the time to cover every news story. Often, I don't have the expertise. There are probably writers capable of turning their hand to anything. I am not one of them. Which leads me to wonder whether anyone who passes this way might be interested in doing some writing? 

 

Contrary to appearances, the C:T blog is open to all and I would be thoroughly delighted if anyone else were to post here. Especially I’d be interested to read some posts with a different geographical perspective to my own, which tends to be European and British. It would be great if we could get a more international feel here.

 

If you’d rather, you could always get in touch with with any ideas you have before posting. At the same time, if you have something to say, you certainly don't need my permission to say it!



0 comments | Post Comment



23 Dec  

This splendid arrangement of We Wish You a Merry Christmas recently appeared in my Facebook feed, with a greeting from its creator, Jim Aitchison. Jim is a composer who cultivates links with the visual arts, both through interaction with figures such as Gerhard Richter, Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor, and in his own explorations of the art form, for example in his visual score work

 

Jim has very kindly allowed me repost this arrangement here as a means of wishing all C:T members a happy and peaceful Christmas. Enjoy!



0 comments | Post Comment



16 Dec  

With the loss of a number of musicians, cultural icons such as Peter Shaffer, Umberto Eco, Harper Lee, Elie Wiesel and Alan Rickman, not to mention some seismic political events, many are describing 2016 as a year to forget.

 

Things did not start auspiciously, the first two weeks of January seeing the deaths of two of the most iconic musicians of our time, Pierre Boulez on 5th and David Bowie on 8th. Bowie’s death, as the 2016 turned from bad to worse, would become responsible for one of the year’s best memes: 

22nd January would have been the 100th birthday of that other iconic French composer, Henri Dutilleux. The date marked the start of a year of celebrations in his honour. 

 

February saw the inauguration of the new organ at the Philharmonie de Paris with a performance of Ligeti’s majestic Volumina and, at WNO, the premiere of Elena Langer’s opera Figaro Gets a Divorce, which speculated on events after Mozart’s Le nozze di Figaro. In terms of opera shenanigans, however, nothing could beat the real-life drama at English National Opera, the parlous situation seeming to be an obvious vindication of Micawber's advice regarding fiscal contentedness.

 

In March I could scarcely contain my delight at the chance to hear a half-remembered work from my youth, Grace Williams’ Missa Cambrensis. I am still hoping that it might be given a commercial release. That delight was tempered by more depressing news with the death of Peter Maxwell Davies on 15th. Given how ill he had been in 2013, however, we should be grateful for those extra works that flowed from his brief recovery, especially his magnificent Symphony No.10. 

 

Maxwell Davies on his Symphony No. 10

 

April, indeed, saw evidence of the fecundity of Maxwell Davies’s last years, with the first performance of his Piano Sonata No. 2 on 27th (there would be other posthumous premieres, including his children’s opera The Hogboon in June). On 21st came the death of Prince. His prolific talent, like that of David Bowie, raised him above other pop musicians, justifying his inclusion here. Elsewhere the Dutilleux celebrations continued with a BBC Total Immersion Day at the Barbican and there were festivals of new music in Budapest and Witten, Germany. Meanwhile I was rather struck by a beguiling disk of choral music by Martin Smolka.

 

Few things in May seemed so bizarre as Valery Gergiev’s concert in Palmyra, so obviously was it a propaganda exercise for President Vladimir Putin. Such a celebration now looks obscenely premature, with Daesh recently retaking the ruins (not to mention the unfolding humanitarian tragedy in Aleppo). Putin would become the bogeyman during the rest of the year, with many claiming he interfered with the US election and even the UK’s Brexit vote.

 

‘Pray for Palmyra’ concert conducted by Valery Gergiev

June started positively enough with a new crowdfunder from Dan Goren to launch Sounds Like Now, a magazine devoted to new music in the UK and Ireland. This ran throughout the month, eventually reaching its funding target in July. The first issue should be on its way in the New Year. There were a number of festivals, including at Aix-en-Provence and Cheltenham, important premieres such as Thomas Adès’s third opera at Salzburg, and a fabulous new Jonathan Harvey CD from St. John’s College, Cambridge. Then came the misery of Brexit on 23rd. I do not mean to be divisive with this description—I think its fair to say that the experience has not been such a lovely one for either Leavers or Remainers, the country feeling so horribly divided in the aftermath.

 

Given the seismic nature of this political event, in July C:T ran a straw poll of UK composers and also some arts organisations. The reaction to Brexit, not unexpectedly, was overwhelmingly negative, though there was at least one person prepared to give an alternative view. Given the depression of the situation I found solace in music, namely in a disk of trumpet music from Norwegian record label Lawo. Sadly the Norway option didn't seem so popular with politicians…

 

I made my own arguments in favour of that option in a post that eventually found it’s way to my website rather than on C:T—it felt a little too political to be here. Meanwhile the Proms continued apace, with 11 world premieres in August. It you click on the date links of my original Proms roundup you can go directly to these pieces on the BBC website, where they are still available. At the end of the month the old question of atonality in music reared it’s head, Jacques Attali making the absurd comment that it was akin to musical terrorism.

 

In September there were more rumblings of Brexit discontent, with two leading arts figures quitting the UK and a flag-waving dispute at the Last Night of the Proms. Given the climate I wondered whether it would be better to head to the continent for post-Proms blues-busting festivals in Germany, Norway, France and Poland. Also depressing, though not surprising, was the news that most new classical musicians are white and middle class, further evidence, should we need it, that not properly funding music tuition in schools is a mistake. There was a nice light news story at the end of the month, however, with the discovery that Alan Turing was also a musical pioneer, having created a device that produced the first computer-generated music.

 

First recording of computer music

 

On 3rd October Steve Reich turned 80, the event being marked in a number of events around the world. Mostly, however, the world seemed transfixed by the US elections and especially the Trump/Clinton televised debates. These were memorably turned into two musical parodies.

 

A luvvie singalong…

…and something rather more sinister… 

I found myself thinking of home, both my adopted one here in Nice, where funding cuts had affected the Manca festival, and, with a greater sense of hiraeth, to Wales, where composer Peter Reynolds died suddenly on October 11th

 

In probably the most significant tech news of the year, on 19th Steinberg released Dorico, a scorewriting package designed to compete with industry heavyweights Sibelius and Finale. 25th October saw the announcement of the British Composer Awards Shortlist and, much more seismically, on the same day C:T joined Twitter

 

I kicked off November with a first look at Dorico, finding it full of promise but lacking significant features. I hope to share some more thoughts on it soon. Then, on 9th, came another political earthquake with the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States. Time will tell whether this and Brexit really do signify the collapse of the liberal consensus, though from here in France, where it is probable that Marine Le Pen will make it to the run off for President next year, things are not looking good. On 21st, pioneering French composer Jean-Claude Risset died. He is credited with being one of the first composers to write an original work only using a computer. 

On 2nd December we were treated to the ‘world premiere’ of Stravinky’s Funeral Song, an early work that was lost after its first performance. On 7th the British Composer Award winners were announced. I also rounded up some opportunities to hear new Christmas music. These have mostly passed, but there remains the opportunity to hear the first performance of Michael Berkely’s This Endernight, which will be performed by the Choir of King’s College Cambridge in their A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas Eve.



3 comments | Post Comment





Archive
 1  | ... |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  | ... |  41  |