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Gyorgy Ligeti dies


"We have lost one of the greatest composers of the 20th century."

Gyorgy Ligeti, undoubtedly one of the most important composers of his generation has died today, aged 83.

Ligeti became known to the wider public after his music was used in Stanley Kubrick's film 2001: A Space Odyssey, but amongst musicians he was appreciated as an outstanding musical mind, and one of the very few post-war composers to bring wit and joie de vivre to the sometimes grey world of contemporary music.

"György Ligeti was an adventurer in form and expression and a great visionary of contemporary music. His richly varied output takes a special position in its musical quality and uncompromising individuality. Ligeti moved far away from aesthetic trends and methods all his life. He was characterized by fresh and unorthodox ideas, any form of dogmatism was foreign to his nature, his entire oeuvre is marked by radical turning points. Admired and hugely influential in the profession, the sensual accessibility of his music has won the hearts of audiences everywhere. "

via Schott website

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UYMP Sign Paul Mealor


In a busy few weeks of new publishing deals the University of York Music Publisher's have announced the signing of Paul Mealor. UYMP (who represent composers as varied as Robert Saxton, Jo Kondo, Trevor Wishart, Elisabeth Lutyens and Anthony Gilbert) describe Mealor as 'a real and original talent' and press quotes include descriptions of music of 'throbbing intensity' which is 'powerful and deeply moving'.

Mealor is currently Head of Composition at Aberdeen University, Visiting Professor at New York University and director of the Northop Festival.
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Faber Music Sign Tansy Davies


Faber music Ltd. have recently announced the signing of a publishing deal with British composer Tansy Davies (b. 1973).

Davies (whose music has been commisioned by ensembles including the LSO, Aldeburgh Festival, London Sinfonietta, the BBC and the Composers Ensemble) originally studied the french horn and composition at the Colchester Institute before studying with Simon Bainbridge at the Guildhal School of Music and Drama and then for a PhD with Simon Holt at Royal Holloway University, London. Davies is currently Composer in Residence at Royal Holloway and has an impressive list of forthcoming premieres/commisions.
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"Classical music is a living clture..."


Scottish composer James MacMillan recently won a Classical Brit Award for the record label Chandos' recording of his Symphony no. 3: Silence. The disc, featuring the BBC Philharmonic conducted by the composer, also features The Confession of Isobel Gowdie.

On receiving the award MacMillan said "an award like this, where the work of a living composer is celebrated at such an event, sends a very clear signal to the world of classical music and beyond, that classical music is a living culture as well as a museum culture and I think that is very important and always has been, and if that can encourage younger composers to continue and write and be creative, I'd be delighted."
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Film Star Turns (Film) Composer


In a bizzare twist of vocation the veteran film star Sir Anthony Hopkins (of 'Silence of the Lambs' fame) has tried his hand at composing. On the 19th May San Antonio's central library saw the first performances of Sir Anthony's three piece work for orchestra described, by the composer, as "impressions of my childhood in Margham, South Wales". The three movemements, entitled 'Stella Aria', 'Summer' and 'Margham', were performed to an intimate 150 strong audience to the backdrop of a fibre-optic screen projecting images of stars.

The evening also included a display of Hopkins' labours as a painter.

Messiaen Work To Receive World Premiere


A previously unperformed Fantasia for violin and piano by Olivier Messiaen is to receive its premiere at the 26th Roque d'Antheron International Piano Festival. Alongside Messiaen pianists Stephen Hough and Lera Auerbach will perform their own original compositions - noteably Hough's 'Three Mozart Transformations'.

The festival, which will take place between July 20th and August 22nd, will also celebrate the 250th, 100th and 125th birth anniversaries of Mozart, Shostakovich and Bartok.

RPS Award Winners Announced


The Royal Philharmonic Society Awards 2006 have been announced. As reported earlier on this site a number of contemporary composers and new music groups were nominated for awards. The big winners were Julian Anderson for 'Book of Hours' (large scale composition award), James Dillon for 'Fourth Quartet' (chamber scale composition), the London Sinfonietta for their 'Connectors' education project, and the London's South Banks's Xenakis concert series.
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Details of 2006 UK Proms announced


Nicolas Kenyon, director of the BBC Proms has announced this year's line up. Anniversaries celebrated in the festival include Colin Matthew's 60th birthday, Steve Reich's 70th, and the 80th birthdays of Hans Werner Henze's and György Kurtág.

The Proms will also see the U.K. premieres of works by Osvaldo Golijov, H. K. Gruber, Magnus Lindberg, Dai Fujikura, and Benjamin Wallfisch. BBC commissions include works from British composers Julian Anderson, George Benjamin, James Dillon, Mark-Anthony Turnage, and Ian Wilson.

Together with the Guardian the proms has also launched a young composers competition (for 12-18 year olds) :
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Knussen awarded $100K Nemmers Prize


British composer Oliver Knussen is the 2006 winner of the $100,000 Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize in Musical Composition.

The biennial award honors classical music composers of outstanding achievement who have significantly affected the field of composition. The inaugural winner in 2004 was John Adams.

Knussen was cited by the selection committee for "his uniquely focused, vibrantly varied music and his total embrace -- as a profoundly influential composer, conductor and educator -- of today's musical culture.

As winner of the 2006 Nemmers Prize, Knussen receives a cash award of $100,000 and a performance of one of his works by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra during the 2007-08 season. He also will serve a residency at Northwestern University's School of Music.

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Pop Star's Piano Concerto to Receive Premiere


Veteran pop star Billy Joel is to see his concerto for piano and orchestra premiered at the Eastern Music Festival on 24th June.

The four movement concerto, orchestrated by Phillip Keveren, was originally planned to be a new work but, due to time constraints, the music has been sculpted from Joel's 2001 classical album 'Fantasies and Delsuions' by pianist Jeffrey Biegel.

News Archive - records 171-180 of 315
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