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Mark-Anthony Turnage 50th Birthday Concert

 14 November 2010 at 8pm 

Mark-Anthony Turnage 50th Birthday Concert

CBSO Centre, Birmingham
Berkley Street, Birmingham
United Kingdom


Conductor: Oliver Knussen
Violin: Alexandra Wood
Cello: Ulrich Heinen

We are delighted to celebrate Mark-Anthony Turnage’s 50th birthday year in our 2010/11 season, in a concert conducted by Turnage’s former teacher Oliver Knussen, BCMG Artist-in-Association and winner of this year’s Royal Philharmonic Society Conductor Award.

Twenty-one years have passed since Three Screaming Popes was premiered by Sir Simon Rattle and the CBSO, marking the happy beginning of Turnage’s four-year residency in Birmingham and laying the foundations of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s strong relationship with one of Britain’s foremost composers.

No piece symbolises this strong relationship better than Turnage’s Kai and it is fitting that our birthday celebrations include what is one of our most successful commissions to-date. Kai was premiered by BCMG, Ulrich Heinen and Sir Simon Rattle in December 1990. This jazz-influenced cello concerto was written in memory of Kai Scheffler (principle cellist of Frankfurt’s Ensemble Modern at his tragically early death) and features music from an aria entitled Sleep On from Turnage’s abandoned opera, Mingus.

Performed either side of Kai are three more Turnage works – all full of the jazz-infl uenced energy and rhythms that have filled his vivid sound world to date. Oliver Knussen conducted the premieres of both Crying Out Loud, a boisterous and extrovert Ensemble Modern commission from 2003, and Dark Crossing, written for the London Sinfonietta in 2000. Completing our Turnage snapshot, we give the UK premiere of Three for two, a piano quartet written for conductor Christophe Eschenbach’s 70th birthday in February this year.

Oliver Knussen, a long-standing supporter of Mark-Anthony Turnage, has also been a mentor for our Apprentice Composer-in-Residence, Charlotte Bray, whose new violin concerto is given its world premiere. Hans Werner Henze is represented by his short but typically intense and beautiful piano trio Adagio, adagio. That Henze was an important mentor for Turnage, and Bray a former pupil of his, adds a nice touch to the evening’s celebrations.

There will be a pre-concert talk at 7pm with Mark-Anthony Turnage and Charlotte Bray, open to all ticket holders, lasting approx. 30 minutes.

The BCMG/Sound and Music Apprentice Composer-in-Residence scheme is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust.

Mark-Anthony Turnage : Crying Out Loud
Mark-Anthony Turnage : Three for two (UK premiere)
Mark-Anthony Turnage : Kai* (BCMG commission 1990)
Charlotte Bray : Caught in Treetops
Hans Werne Henze : Adagio Adagio
Mark-Anthony Turnage : Dark Crossing

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