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Malcolm Arnold Celebration; 20 September 2004


Monday 20th of September
Royal Festival Hall, South Bank Centre, London (tel 020 7840 4242)

World premiere screening of Tony Palmer's film Toward the Unknown Region: Malcolm Arnold - A Story of Survival, introduced by Melvin Bragg.
Malcolm Arnold on NMC: Severn Bridge Variations, on Themes & Variations (NMC D062)

Two Music Theatre Premieres in Dresden


In early autumn 2004 the 18th Dresden Festival of Contemporary Music presents the world premieres of two new music theatre projects by Benjamin Schweitzer: The short opera Informationen über Bartleby, commissioned by the European Centre of Arts in Hellerau, will be performed for the first time on 20 September and 1 October in a production by Rainer Holzapfel under the musical direction of Titus Engel. Structured in the form of a kind of ’time loop’, the complex and tangled network of fragments and text collages from Herman Melville’s famous novella prompted the director to make the piece the framework of the evening; among others, miniature operas by Charlotte Seither and Michael Hirsch will be heard, too.

anordnen/verschieben, Schweitzer’s first dance theatre project, was commissioned by the Sächsischer Musikrat [Saxonian Music Council] together with the Berlin choreographer Martin Nachbar and will be performed for the first time on 7 October. the concentrated abstract ’chamber dance theatre’ for three dancers and three instrumentalists is based on an improvisatory structure in which seven different musical dancing subjects can be combined in constantly new orders and overlappings.

Judith Weir is featured composer at Alicante Festival


Organised by the Spanish Music Information Centre, the ‘Festival Internacional de Música Contemporánea de Alicante 2004’ which runs from 21 September to 2 October, will this year be featuring the music of Judith Weir. The London Sinfonietta will be performing Tiger Under the Table on the 25 September, and this is followed by performances by Frances Lynch of ‘I was born in a small village’ (taken from the opera Blond Eckbert) and King Harald’s Saga on 30 September.

The festival will also include the music of other composers from the Music Sales catalogues including Kaija Saariaho, Magnus Lindberg and Bent Sørensen.

Ireland's Contemporary Music Centre autumn season starts 17 September


The Contemporary Music Centre's autumn season of informal Salon performances commences on 17 September.

The first event, with a new slot on Friday night at 6.30 pm, also visits a new venue for CMC, the Printing House in Trinity College Dublin.

Harpist Cliona Doris will give informal performances of Ian Wilson's In Blue Sea or Sky, Donnacha Dennehy's Curves and Philip Hammond's A Question of Angels?, the latter a recent RTÉ LyricFM commission.

Clíona Doris is one of Ireland's leading harpists and has extensive experience as a soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. She has performed throughout Ireland, Britain, Europe and the United States. Her broadcasts include performances on BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio Ulster, UTV, RTÉ LyricFM and National Public Radio USA. She is chairwoman of the Ninth World Harp Congress which Dublin will host in July 2005, and a member of the string faculty of the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

For the October Salon, which returns to our regular venue and partners, the Project arts centre, Irish composer and guitarist Ben Dwyer and flautist Susan Doyle head the bill. Their programme of solo and duo works by composers Paul Hayes, Raymond Deane, and Dwyer himself takes place at 3.00 pm on Saturday 30 October.

On 13 November, once again at Project, Donnacha Dennehy, composer and lecturer in music technology and composition at Trinity College, curates a programme of music by graduate and undergraduate composers of the College.

The CMC Salon series, initiated experimentally last autumn in conjunction with Project arts centre, is proving very successful both with composers as a platform for gaining informal feedback on their music, and with performers as an opportunity to try out new repertoire in a relaxed atmosphere. For the growing audience, one of the most stimulating aspects is the opportunity to ask questions – whether technical or philosophical -- and be drawn into debate around the music.

Admission is free and all are welcome. Discussions continue informally after the performances.

Further information: Karen Hennessy, Promotion Manager,

Polar Music Prize for Ligeti


György Ligeti has been awarded the Polar Music Prize 2004, one of the most important accolades in the musical world. He shares the prize, which he will be awarded in May 2004, with the American blues-legend B.B. King. Former recipients include: Paul McCartney, Elton John, Isaac Stern, Iannis Xenakis and Nikolaus Harnoncourt.

Awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Music, they announced: “The Polar Music Prize for 2004 is being awarded to the Hungarian-born composer György Ligeti for stretching the boundaries of the musically conceivable, from mind-expanding sounds to new astounding processes, in a thoroughly personal style that embodies both inquisitiveness and imagination.”

BBC launches Gavin Bryars website


The BBC has launched an innovative website centered around a piece by Gavin Bryars. As the piece is being written, Bryars is interacting with users to the site and answering questions.

The new piece is called ' From Egil's Saga ' and relates to the Viking heritage of Eastern England.

Bryars, born 1943, has been commissioned by Radio 3 and the Eastern Orchestral Board to create this new work, due to be premiered in November 2004 by the London Sinfonietta.
More Info...

LPO honours Malcolm Arnold on South Bank


London’s South Bank hosts an Arnold Celebration this autumn, culminating in an all-Arnold concert given by the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Vernon Handley on 24 September.

The festivities begin on 20 September at 7.30pm with the premiere screening of a new 2¼ hour film by Tony Palmer entitled “Toward the Unknown Region, Malcolm Arnold - A Story of Survival.” Filmed with his family and friends in Norfolk, London, Cornwall and Ireland where he lived, this profoundly moving and illuminating portrait of Arnold includes extracts from his movies and many performances of his works including the famous clarinet concerto written for Benny Goodman and extracts from the nine symphonies. The film does not shirk the darker side of Arnold’s life - his frequent mental breakdowns, his alcoholism, his despair. It is a gripping, absorbing but ultimately inspiring story: the triumph of a man of indomitable will against all the odds. It will be introduced by Melvyn Bragg and was commissioned by Melvyn Bragg and The South Bank Show in a co-promotion with Isolde Films and RTE.

On 24 September there will be an Arnold Study Day running from 10am-4pm in the Chelsfield Room. It will include discussion with the biographers of a new book published by Thames, Anthony Meredith and Paul Harris. This fascinating publication uses material unavailable to previous biographers and will be compulsive reading. Entitled Malcolm Arnold: Rogue Genius, it will be published on the 24 September. Other Study Day highlights include Benjamin Frith discussing Arnold’s piano works and a chance to attend an hour of the LPO’s rehearsal.

The LPO concert, later that day, will include the Philharmonic Concerto (written for the LPO in 1976), the Clarinet Concerto No 2 (originally written for Benny Goodman and here performed by the young prodigy Julian Bliss), and the Sixth Symphony.

On 27 September, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band present a concert containing many of Arnold’s brass band composition, including the Cornish, English and Scottish Dances and many other works. Elgar Howarth conducts.

For tickets contact the LPO Box Office on 020 7840 4242, or the RFH box office 08700 60 60 10.

Halffter's Adagio for WTC attacks has premiere


Cristóbal Halffter's Adagio en forma de rondó for orchestra, written in the wake of the appalling terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 and premièred by the Vienna Philharmonic, will have its German territorial première on 10 Sep 2004. Semyon Bychkov, who also led the work’s world première, will conduct the WDR SO Cologne at the Cologne Philharmonie.

US Premiere of Le Grand Macabre


San Francisco Opera launches a new production of Ligeti's zany "anti-opera", featuring Willard White as Nekrotzar. Surprisingly it is the first time the 27 year old work has been heard on the US mainland. The production is by the Royal Danish Opera.

Conductor Michael Boder
Director Kasper Holten
Production Designer Steffen Aarfing

More Info...

Schott and Boosey's form partnership


In a surprise move, music publishers Boosey & Hawkes and Schott have formed what they call a 'strategic partnership', which will focus on the production, marketing and sales of printed music. Editorial decisions will remain unaffected.

News Archive - records 281-290 of 315
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