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Joseph Schwantner awarded the second 50-State 'Made in America' Commission

27/06/2007

Composer Joseph Schwantner is to be the second recipient of the American Symphony Orchestra League (ASOL) biennial 'Made in America' commission. The scheme sees fifty small-budget orchestras club together to commission a major new work that none of them could afford by themselves. Schwanter's piece will then get a performance from all of them, making it instantly one of the most played contemporary orchestral pieces in the US.

The first recipient of a Made in America commission was Joan Tower. The resulting orchestral work, titled Made in America, has received performances by 65 orchestras.


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UK Messiaen premiere

21/06/2007

Pianist Matthew Schellhorn and violinist Elizabeth Cooney have managed something of a coup for their concert in the Jacqueline du Pre Concert Building in Oxford next Friday (29th) - the concert will include a UK premiere of Messiaen's Fantaisie which dates from 1933 but has only recently been published.

Fantaisie (1933) pour violon et piano
(from Durand press release)


Composed in Paris in 1933 and hitherto unpublished, this work is dedicated to the violinist Claire Delbos.


Messiaen's output for the violin is very slight, limited as it is to two extremely well-known pieces: the Théme et variations of 1932 and the 'Louange a l'immortalité de Jésus' from the Quatour pour la fin du temps. So violinists will be especially glad to discover his Fantasie, a work for violin and piano.
It is dedicated to 'Mi', as the composer affectionately referred to Claire Delbos his first wife, whom he had already dedicated a cycle of melodies with piano or orchestral accompaniment called Poemes pour Mi.
The Fantasie is a continuous composition of 161 bars with three distinct themes, though the different sections also comply with the standard structure of exposition, development and recapitulation.


The first theme, stated by the piano alone, has considerable rhythmic variety and anticipates the 'gigantic' music of the Danse de la fureur of the Quatour. The second theme is based on a triplet motif followed by four repeated notes and a trill.
The third theme is a melody (marked molto appassionata) sustained by a variegated piano accompaniment.
Fantasie for violin and piano has a duration of 15 minutes.


The full programme is:


FRI 29 JUNE 2007, 20:00
JACQUELINE DU PRÉ CONCERT BUILDING, OXFORD, UK


Elizabeth Cooney violin
Matthew Schellhorn piano


Schubert Sonata in D major, D 384
Ian Wilson Drive
Messiaen Thème et variations
Poulenc Sonata


INTERVAL


Messiaen Fantaisie UK premiere
James MacMillan Kiss on Wood
Franck Sonata


Tickets £12 (concessions £10) available from TicketWeb or telephone 08700 600 100

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Faber Music Sign Jonny Greenwood

14/06/2007

Faber Music have announced an exclusive publishing deal with former Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. Greenwood, who sites his influences as including Messiaen and Ligeti, has won a number of awards and grants for his 'classical' scores and, in recent years, has been working regularly with the BBC Concert Orchestra.
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London's Festival Hall re-opens

12/06/2007

After a £115 million makeover, London's Festival Hall has re-opened with a gala concert including two world premieres. Today's critics seem generally positive, though often tinged with a sense of less than overwhelming support for the new acoustic.

Independent Review

Times Review

Guardian Review

Maxwell Davies's friend arrested in connection with missing £500,000

22/05/2007

According to reports in yesterday's Times, Michael Arnold, the husband of composer Peter Maxwell Davies's longterm friend and business manager has been arrested in connection with the embezzlement of £500,000. Judy and Michael Arnold have known the composer for over 30 years, have had pieces dedicated to them, and Davies even reportedly numbers his scores in 'J numbers' after Judy.
Davies became suspicious when a large sum went missing from the proceeds of MaxOpus, the company he founded in 1999.
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New Zealand Composer David Farquhar Dies

10/05/2007

One of New Zealand's leading elder statesmen of new music, David Farquhar has died aged 79.

Judith Tizard, the New Zealand government's Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage said in a statement that Farquhar "made an enormous contribution to New Zealand music — as a highly valued professor, a committed advocate of New Zealand music, and a prolific and celebrated New Zealand composer.”

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Peters Edition signs Judith Bingham

04/05/2007

Peters Edition has signed an exclusive publishing contract with Judith Bingham. Currently Associate Composer with the BBC Singers (a post she has recently extended until 2009) Bingham is well known for her choral music, which is performed around the world.
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Rostropovich dies

27/04/2007

The great Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich has died at the age of 80.
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Steve Reich Awarded Polar Music Prize 2007

25/04/2007

Steve Reich has been awarded the prestigious Polar Music Prize 2007. The prize, to be awarded on 21st May in Sweden, is in recognition of Reich's inovations in compositional technique in this, his seventieth year.
More Info...

Roger Wright appointed news director of PROMS

23/04/2007

BBC Radio 3's Controller Roger Wright has been appointed to take over from Nicholas Kenyon as the new director of the BBC PROMS festival. Kenyon is leaving to become the new managing director at the Barbican. Wright has long been a champion of new music and will now be responsible for commissioning policies not only at Radio 3, but also at the PROMS.


News Archive - records 121-130 of 315
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