New Music Concert Listings - United Kingdom
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New Music Concert Listings - United Kingdom

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25 Apr 
26 Apr

United Kingdom
 Saturday, April 26, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Codebreaker - world premiere
Barbican Hall, London
Barbican, Silk Street, London EC2
United Kingdom
020 7638 8891

Hertfordshire Chorus
London Orchestra da Camera
David Temple conductor
Naomi Harvey soprano

Codebreaker charts the story of Alan Turing, brilliant mathematician and scientist, key figure at Bletchley Park, who committed suicide aged 41. McCarthy's inspirational work weaves Turing's own words and those of famous poets within music both tender and stirring.

Felix Mendelssohn : Hebrides Overture, Fingal's Cave
Vaughan Williams : Toward the Unknown Region
Ludwig Van Beethoven : Meeresstille und glückliche Fahrt
James McCarthy : Codebreaker

27 Apr

United Kingdom
 Sunday, April 27, 2014 at 6.30pm 
Words and music: an evening in three parts
CBSO Centre
Berkley Street. B1 2LF
United Kingdom

Conductor: Martyn Brabbins
Viola: Christopher Yates *
Director: David Sawer ~
Actors: William Oxborrow & Thomas Howes ~
Sound by Design ~

Howard Skempton’s Only the Sound Remains for viola and ensemble takes its title from the first line of The Mill-Water, a poem on the sad loss of rural industry by Edward Thomas. The sense of nostalgia and elegy that pervades Thomas’ poem is beautifully encapsulated in Skempton’s 35-minute piece. Led by the viola, the ensemble seems to paint a series of long-forgotten landscapes, affirming Skempton’s precious ability to find beauty and expressive power in the simplest musical objects.

BCMG/SaM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence Shiori Usui has been described as a composer with ‘individual ears’ (The Times) and her music has already been performed in Japan, Europe and the US by a diverse range of soloists, ensembles and orchestras. Her new piece takes inspiration from the BBC’s Blue Planet series (originally titled ‘Deep’) and promises to transport both players and audience to the bottom of the ocean.

Skempton’s friendship with Morton Feldman was perhaps his most important single influence. Samuel Beckett/Morton Feldman’s Words and Music deliberates on the comparative power of these two modes of expression. Here presented in a strikingly unusual way, this 40-minute piece, initially written for radio, sees Joe (Words) and Bob (Music), struggle to formulate expressions on themes including love and age under the command of the mysterious Croak. At the heart of the piece is an intensely moving section in which Bob tries to teach Joe how to sing.

Howard Skempton : Only the Sound Remains
Shiori Usui : Deep
Morton Feldman : Words and Music

28 Apr 
29 Apr

United Kingdom
 Tuesday, April 29, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Basel Symphony Orchestra
St David's Hall
St David's Hall, The Hayes, Cardiff CF10 1AH
United Kingdom
029 2087 8444

Basel Symphony Orchestra
Conductor Dennis Russell Davies
Cello Matt Haimovitz

Three minimalist classics: Harmonielehre started life as a dream in which John Adams saw a tanker in San Francisco Bay shoot out of the water like a rocket. From the glittering pulsating rhythms of its opening, through to its closing shimmering light, optimism and energy, this is a roller-coaster of a piece that never lets go for one moment. Hear it next to the fragile stillness of Arvo Part's These Words and Philip Glass's recent Second Cello Concerto, based on the music for the film Naqoyqatsi.

Arvo Pärt : These Words
Philip Glass : Cello Concerto No 2, "Naqoyqatsi "

30 Apr

United Kingdom
 Wednesday, April 30, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Van der Aa: Here
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
South Bank, London SE1
United Kingdom
08700 606 096

Baldur Bronnimann conductor
Claron McFadden soprano
Mark van de Wiel clarinet
Sound Intermedia sound design
London Sinfonietta

“One of the most distinctive young composers in Europe today. Michel van der Aa's ability to fuse music, text and visual images into a totally organic whole sets him apart from nearly all his contemporaries.” Andrew Clements, The Guardian

A black plexiglass cabin, spotlit on an empty stage; an anonymous female figure; a tape recorder shuffling the soundtrack; and just eleven repeated chords.

These are the bare components that make up Michel van der Aa’s intriguing and compelling and complete Here Trilogy, receiving its UK premiere.

With echoes of the spatial manipulation in the works of Escher, combining electric and natural sounds, Here Trilogy explores the clash between the individual and their everyday surroundings, creating a haunting sense of paralysis, separation and isolation.

The programme also features the world premiere of Hysteresis, a new clarinet concerto co-commissioned by the London Sinfonietta for Principal Clarinetist Mark van de Wiel.

Michael van der Aa : Memo for violin & portable cassette recorder
Michael van der Aa : Hysteresis
Michael van der Aa : Here Trilogy

1 May

United Kingdom
 Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 8pm 
Uncovering the political voice of classical music
United Kingdom

Tickets: Ł5/6
The Riot Ensemble / Neil Luck / Audrey Chen / The Broom Brigade

On May Day, Nonclassical uncovers the political voice of classical music and raises it to dangerous decibels. It’s a march on Dalston championing both iconic and new works charged with sociopolitical consciousness – get ready to take contemporary classical to the streets and lift a sonically defiant finger to the establishment.

The night opens with a free, symbolic outdoor performance in Gillett Square of Louis Andriessen’s punchy Workers Union performed by The Riot Ensemble, a collective of top emerging musicians. The march on Dalston then continues at The Shacklewell Arms, exploring iconic works of powerful revolutionary fervor, featuring Luigi Nono’s electroacoustic Non Consumiamo Marx on the 1968 student protests and culminating with Frederic Rzewski’s poignant masterpieces Coming Together and Attica, written in response to the tragic Attica prison riots.

Paired with these established works will be fresh new music that address politics today: composer/performer Neil Luck creatively reinterprets Cornelius Cardew’s Treatise with a modern day twist, The Broom Brigade performs White Haired Boy a new irreverent satirical opera on Boris Johnson by the MAAP Collective, and renowned experimental musician Audrey Chen expressively improvises with voice and cello on the May Day theme.

Between live performances, Nonclassical DJs will be spinning unique politically-themed sets, featuring music from Hans Eisler to Dead Prez.

Frederic Rzewski : Coming Together & Attica
Luigi Nono : Non Consumiamo Marx
Cornelius Cardew : Treatise (re-interpreted by Neil Luck)
MAAP Collective : Music from White Haired Boy
Audrey Chen : Free improvisation with cello & voice

1 May

United Kingdom
 Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 3.15pm 
Tavener and Taverner
St Paul's Knightsbridge
32a Wilton Place, London SW1X 8SH
United Kingdom

BBC Singers
Peter Philips conductor

Join the BBC Singers in a short afternoon concert at St Paul's, Knightsbridge, as they remember a composer who formed a significant part of their history: the late John Tavener. Under the baton of Peter Phillips the BBC Singers perform his iconic tender hymn The Lamb alongside the mournful Funeral Ikos.
Hear the choral masterwork of his near namesake, master of early 16th century music John Taverner, in the six-part intricate polyphony of Missa Corona Spinea.

This concert will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.

John Taverner : Missa Corona Spinea
John Tavener : Funeral Ikos
John Tavener : The Lamb
John Tavener : Two Hymns to the Mother of God

1 May

United Kingdom
 Thursday, May 01, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Thomas Adčs and Nico Muhly
Jerwood Hall
United Kingdom

Nicholas Collon conductor
Iestyn Davies countertenor
Aurora Orchestra

Internationally-acclaimed countertenor Iestyn Davies joins the Aurora Orchestra as it looks heavenwards for a programme which contemplates virtue, peace, and celestial heights. Bach’s meditation on purity and the resistance of sin Widerstehe doch der Sünde is performed alongside Gluck’s ravishing depiction of the wonder of Elysium from the opera Orfeo ed Euridice, and works by two of the brightest stars in the firmament of living composers, Thomas Adčs and Nico Muhly (including an arrangement of Herbert Howells’ King David created by Muhly specially for this concert). Schubert’s effervescent Fifth Symphony – written before the composer’s 20th birthday and filled with optimism and vitality – completes a sparkling programme.

Nico Muhly : Drones on ‘O Lord, whose mercies numberless’
Herbert Howells : King David
Christoph Willibald Gluck : ‘Che puro ciel’ from Orfeo ed Euridice
J.S. Bach : Cantata BWV 54, ‘Widerstehe doch der Sünde’
Thomas Ades : Three Studies from Couperin
Franz Schubert : Symphony No 5 in B flat

2 May 
3 May

United Kingdom
 Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 2pm, 6pm 
Street Stories
Lindbury Studio
Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
United Kingdom

Thirty young East Londoners perform new interpretations of Faust, created by emerging artists: choreographer Hannah Anderson-Ricketts, composer Alex Groves and designer Kelli Des Jarlais.

Alex Groves : Street Stories

3 May

United Kingdom
 Saturday, May 03, 2014 at 7.30pm 
WORLD PREMIERE: Julian Anderson’s Thebans
English National Opera
London Coliseum
United Kingdom


An important ENO commission, Thebans unites prize-winning British composer Julian Anderson and his librettist, the distinguished playwright Frank McGuinness. This compelling re-telling of Sophocles’ timeless Theban tragedies focuses on the fate of Oedipus and his daughter Antigone. Murder and incest, political ambition, love and loyalty, hatred and revenge drive everyone on a collision course which can only lead to catastrophe.

Anderson, ‘a composer to cherish’ (The Times), is recognised for his fresh melodic gifts, vivid orchestration and rhythmic drive, all of which he brings to Thebans, his first opera. Among his recent orchestral showpieces is The Discovery of Heaven (2013 South Bank Sky Arts Award), while Harmony was premiered at the opening night of the 2013 Proms season. A playwright of international repute, McGuinness is also acclaimed for his vivid translations of Ibsen, Strindberg and Sophocles. His Oedipus, based on the Theban tragedy, was staged by the National Theatre in 2008.

De Nederlandse Opera Artistic Director Pierre Audi makes his much-anticipated ENO debut with this world premiere production of Thebans. Music Director Edward Gardner leads the ENO Chorus and Orchestra and an outstanding cast of ENO regulars, including Roland Wood as the tormented Oedipus, Susan Bickley as his wife/mother Jocasta, ENO Harewood Artist Julia Sporsén as the doomed Antigone, and Peter Hoare as Creon.

Performances: 03 May - 03 Jun

Julian Anderson : Thebans

4 May 
5 May

United Kingdom
 Monday, May 05, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Protest Songs
St Gregory’s Centre for Music, Canterbury
United Kingdom

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta presents the culmination of a four-day residency at Canterbury Christ Church University, focusing on protest songs, a programme of striking works that address politics through music.

Cornelius Cardew : Workers Song
Frederic Rzewski : Coming together
Johannes Kreidler : Fremdarbeit
Louis Andriessen : Workers Union

6 May 
7 May

United Kingdom
 Wednesday, May 07, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Edge of Sound
Queen Elizabeth Hall, London
South Bank, London SE1
United Kingdom
08700 606 096

BBC Concert Orchestra
A Hawk and a Hacksaw Jeremy Barnes | Heather Trost | Balázs Ungar
Synergy Vocals
André de Ridder conductor

Immerse yourself in the folk cultures of Eastern Europe. Explore the gritty, rustic and evocative music of the original folk collector Béla Bartók in Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. We evoke the spirit of Romania in Ligeti’s full-blooded Concert românesc.

Discover A Hawk and A Hacksaw. An American duo, with cimbalom maestro Balázs Unger as special guest, they seek to create and document an ecstatic sound much like the village bands of old where the communal aspect of folk tradition is the key factor. They will weave their music into Bartók’s Three Village Scenes.

Experience something new when BBC Concert Orchestra and A Hawk and A Hacksaw come together to perform a brand new piece written specially for their combined forces in a unique collaboration.

Béla Bartók : Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, Sz 106
Gyorgy Ligeti : Concert Românesc
Béla Bartók : Three Village Scenes, Sz 79

8 May 
9 May

United Kingdom
 Friday, May 09, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Bright Sheng Violin Concerto
Barbican Hall, London
Barbican, Silk Street, London EC2
United Kingdom
020 7638 8891

BBC Symphony Orchestra
Sakari Oramo conductor
Gil Shaham violin

This kaleidoscopic programme will delight old and young alike, from Dukas’s vividly imagined Sorcerer’s Apprentice to Bartók’s dizzingly virtuoso celebration of the symphony orchestra. Far Eastern colours and sonorities give Chinese-born composer Bright Sheng’s music a distinctive appeal. Sakari Oramo is joined by distinguished Israeli-American violinist Gil Shaham for a performance of the composer’s recent violin concerto.

The concert finishes at approximately 9.45pm

Paul Dukas : The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Bright Sheng : Violin Concerto
Béla Bartók : Concerto for Orchestra

10 May

United Kingdom
 Saturday, May 10, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Fantasia on all the notes: celebrating Harrison Birtwistle
CBSO Centre, Birmingham
Berkley Street, Birmingham
United Kingdom

BCMG, Oliver Knussen

Harrison Birtwistle is one of the major musical figures internationally and this concert sees BCMG and Oliver Knussen showcase works from across his career in his 80th birthday year.

An early breakthrough work, Tragoedia (1965) not only marked Birtwistle out as an independent voice but was also one of the first major scores to draw on what would prove to be a continuing interest in his music – Greek theatre, myth and ritual. Today Tragoedia is a classic of modern chamber repertoire, and like the most recent piece in the programme, Fantasia Upon All the Notes (2012), employs two groups of instruments, winds and strings, which are linked and fused by means of a third force, a harp.

All Birtwistle’s music is in essence a single melodic line that is filled out – a compositional trait that perhaps carried over from his early days as a clarinettist – and nowhere is this more evident than in the soaring lines he wrote in the opera Gawain, and in 4 Poems by Jaan Kaplinski (1991), written in its wake and here sung by rising young Belgian soprano Katrien Baerts.

Another of Birtwistle’s continuing fascinations, the medieval and the mythic, comes to the fore in earlier classic Silbury Air (1977, revised 2003), which takes its inspiration from the prehistoric mound of Silbury Hill in Wiltshire.

Birtwistle’s music has been an important influence for Tansy Davies. Premiered by these forces in May 2012, Davies’ funky, hyperactive and sumptuously scored piano concerto Nature has already enjoyed repeat performances by both BCMG and other ensembles.

Harrison Birtwistle : Tragoedia
Tansy Davies : Nature
Harrison Birtwistle : Cantata
Harrison Birtwistle : Fantasia on all the notes
Harrison Birtwistle : 4 Poems by Jaan Kaplinski
Harrison Birtwistle : Silbury Air

11 May 
12 May 
13 May

United Kingdom
 Tuesday, May 13, 2014 at 8pm 
Kronos at 40
Barbican Hall, London
Barbican, Silk Street, London EC2
United Kingdom
020 7638 8891

Kronos Quartet

San Francisco's Grammy Award-winning Kronos Quartet continues its tradition of storied Barbican appearances in this one-of-a-kind 40th-anniversary celebration.

The evening features commissioned works by favourite composers and collaborators from throughout Kronos' history, including a UK premiere by Philip Glass and world premieres of pieces by Bryce Dessner (guitarist of The National) and Jarvis Cocker.

Ukranian singer and composer Mariana Sadovska also joins Kronos on stage for the UK premiere of her composition, Chernobyl.The Harvest. A piece for one voice and string quartet, based on ancient-ceremonial music of norhtern Ukraine and contemporary sound scales, it is a 'pagan requiem' which uses the nuclear catastrophy of Chernobyl as a starting point to experiment with distruction and creation of musical structures and stories.

Terry Riley : The Serquent Risadome
Philip Glass : String Quartet No. 6
Bryce Dessner : 40 Canons
Jarvis Cocker : NEW WORK
Mariana Sadovska : Chernobyl. The Harvest

14 May 
15 May

United Kingdom
 Thursday, May 15, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Scelsi, Helmut Lachenmann, György Kurtág and Julian Anderson
Wigmore Hall, London
36 Wigmore St, London W1
United Kingdom

Arditti Quartet

The Arditti Quartet celebrates its fortieth anniversary, catching the diversity and expressive range of works created over the past half century.

Giacinto Scelsi’s music, with its highly original soundworld and mystical qualities, has been championed worldwide by the Ardittis since the 1970s. They open the programme with the Italian composer’s Fourth String Quartet of 1964, a ten-minute study in microtonality and formal symmetry, before exploring Helmut Lachenmann’s white-hot deconstruction of Gluck’s ‘Dance of the Blessed Spirits’.

The second half includes the world premičre of a major new work by Julian Anderson, Wigmore Hall’s second Composer in Residence, distinguished by its luminous textural and tonal contrasts and irresistible rhythmic energy.

Giacinto Scelsi : String Quartet No. 4
Helmut Lachenmann : String Quartet No. 2 ‘Reigen seliger Geister’
Gyorgy Kurtág : Officium breve Op. 28
Julian Anderson : String Quartet No. 2

16 May 
17 May 
18 May

United Kingdom
 Sunday, May 18, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Explorations Weekend: Session Five
Barbican Hall, London
Barbican, Silk Street, London EC2
United Kingdom
020 7638 8891

BBC Concert Orchestra
André de Ridder conductor
Jessica Rivera soprano
Jonny Greenwood electric guitar, ondes martenot

Radiohead guitarist and former BBC Concert Orchestra composer-in-residence, Jonny Greenwood performs Reich’s legendary piece for electric guitar and tape, Electric Counterpoint – and plays the early electronic instrument ondes martenot with the orchestra on his own score from Oscar-winning film There Will Be Blood.

Górecki’s Symphony No. 3, also known as Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, is recognised as one of the most affecting and spellbinding works of the late 20th century. Inspired by stories of children separated from their families during World War II, the piece premiered in 1977 and – since its release by Nonesuch in 1992 – it has become one of the biggest classical music sellers of all time.

Steve Reich : Electric Counterpoint
Jonny Greenwood : There Will Be Blood Suite
Henryk Gorecki : Symphony no. 3

19 May 
20 May 
21 May 
22 May 
23 May 
24 May

United Kingdom
 Saturday, May 24, 2014 at  
Moses und Aron
Millennium Centre, Cardiff
Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, Wales
United Kingdom


Imagine you’ve been told the most important thing man has ever been told. What you have been told will change the world and save mankind. You must now share what you have heard, you are God’s spokesperson on earth. Imagine, however, that you are overcome with despair that you find yourself unable to find the right words to communicate God’s will. This is Moses’ tragedy in Moses und Aron.

It is impossible not to listen to Schoenberg’s ‘fragmentary masterpiece’ and not be stunned by his achievement. Moses und Aron reaches to the outer limits of what opera was capable of in the last century. It’s a sound so unique, so urgent that you might be forgiven for thinking that it has come down from heaven itself.

Welsh National Opera is proud to stage this rarely performed opera in Sergio Morabito and Jossi Wieler’s highly charged production. Moses und Aron is a huge undertaking for both performers and audiences but the rewards will be extraordinary.

Performances until 26th July

Arnold Schoenberg : Moses und Aron

24 May

United Kingdom
 Saturday, May 24, 2014 at 7.30pm 
Laura Bowler Premičre
Bridgewater Hall, Manchester
Lower Mosley Road
United Kingdom
44 (0) 161 907 9000

Gábor Takács-Nagy conductor | Benjamin Grosvenor piano | Giovanni Guzzo violin | Hannah Roberts cello

Pre-concert performance at 6.30pm: REmix: Young people from Greater Manchester use their own musical influences to create new fusion music inspired by Beethoven.

Considered one of the most talented and respected pianists of the younger generation, Benjamin Grosvenor joins Camerata’s leader, Giovanni Guzzo, and principal cellist, Hannah Roberts, in Beethoven’s beautifully lyrical Triple Concerto.

Gábor Takács-Nagy will bring his limitless musical imagination, emotional depth and sizzling energy to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony – the most iconic and timeless of all orchestral works. Legend has it that Beethoven’s famous motif came to the composer from a yellow-hammer’s song as he walked through the Prater Park in Vienna. You will also hear a miniature masterpiece by Camerata’s 2013/14 Sound and Music ‘Embedded’ Composer-in-Residence, Laura Bowler.

Ludwig Van Beethoven : Triple Concerto Op.56
Laura Bowler : New Work
Ludwig Van Beethoven : Symphony No.5 Op.67

25 May 

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