Described by the press as “irresistible”, “beautiful” and “enchanting”, the Musical Myths series from Mash Productions offers children an escape into a world of imagination and wonder created by some of classical music’s greatest composers, through the fairy tales which have enchanted us for countless generations. Each production is accompanied by a series of newly…
Temple Church provides a uniquely historic setting for our Winter Festival. The deep musical traditions of the Temple are still embedded in the daily life of this atmospheric Church and we are delighted to be hosting another Festival of enriching music within its ancient walls. This year, Temple Church Choir open the festival with repertoire…
New signing Jess Dandy kicked off her summer at the Händel Festspiele Halle with John Butt and the Dunedin Consort, in a performance and recording of Samson (Micah); the recording will be the first of its kind to present Handel’s work in its earliest performed version (London 1743).
Deemed “a name to watch” by The Times, Jess then opens her 2018/19 season by returning to the Oxford Lieder Festival having won the Young Artist Platform award earlier in the year, before heading to Cardiff, where on October 27th she sings in the world première of Charles Villiers Stanford’s previously unheard Mass Via Victrix with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One. In December Jess will make her début with the Hallé Orchestra at the Bridgewater Hall in Handel’s Messiah, and the following spring, she embarks on a two-week trip to Australia to perform Bach’s St. John Passion alongside the Adelaide and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestras.
2018 started with a bang for Laura van der Heijden, releasing her debut CD “1948” on the Champs Hill label. Featuring cello sonatas by Soviet composers, it has received much attention and superlative reviews all round, incl.“Recording of the Month” in the spring issue of BBC Music Magazine. The disc has been described as “an imaginative and impressive debut”, with Laura playing “with a winning and refreshing determination to make this music dance and sparkle.” Currently in her second year reading music at Cambridge University, Laura’s international career is continuing to flourish, with her debut in Japan coming up this summer, performing the Dvorak cello concerto with the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. She will also make her debut with the Hallé Orchestra, give her first duo recital at Wigmore Hall in April as part of the BBC lunchtime series, and travel to Cremona Festival in Italy with the London Mozart Players.
To mark the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall this spring, Nicolas Hodges and Colin Currie gave the UK premiere of Intrada for piano and percussion: a specially commissioned work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle. This announcement came during an important season for Hodges, in which he also gives three world premiere performances in Germany with Trio Accanto, and revisits Gerald Barry’sPiano Concerto, which he premiered with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham and Aldeburgh, in 2013.
Hodges’ collaborative relationship with Sir Harrison Birtwistle has been particularly rewarding with the composer recently commenting, “Nic Hodges is becoming like my Peter Pears” during his acceptance speech at the British Composer Awards. Hodges has long been a muse figure for Birtwistle and Intrada for piano and percussion, which received its UK premiere on 19 April, following the world premiere at LOC Washington on 24 March, is the most recent in a long line of commissions written for, and dedicated to, Hodges by the composer.
At the beginning of the 2018/2019 season, after seeking advice from many trusted colleagues and coaches, Natalie made the change from soprano to mezzo-soprano. Since then she won the “Prix de la mélodie française” in the recent finals of the Concours International de Chant Lyrique de Vivonne, that took place in October’18 at l’église Saint-Georges à Vivonne, France. The following month, Natalie reached the finals of the Concours International Bordeaux Médoc Lyrique singing competition held in Bordeaux.
Forthcoming engagements include “Nuit de Noel” with Les Arts Florissants at the Philharmonie de Paris, a Christmas Concert in Moscow with Pratum Integrum Orchestra, “Castor et Pollux” at the Heidelberg Spring Festival, “The Golden Bride” with Opera Fuoco in Sweden and a Pergolesi/Handel programme with Orchestre Regional de Normandie.
Having made return visits already this season to the Norrköping Symphony, Trondheim Symphony and Turku Philharmonic, as well as a debut with Manchester Camerata, Christian Kluxen is getting ready for a round-the-world trip. Starting with two weeks with the Victoria Symphony, where Christian is in his second season as Music Director, the journey continues to Australia and New Zealand. There, Christian makes his debuts with the Tasmanian Symphony and Auckland Philharmonia, before returning home briefly. Then he’s off again to Victoria, bringing his season there to a close with two performances of Verdi’s Requiem.
Throughout this period, Christian conducts a wide variety of repertoire, ranging from Mozart and Haydn, to Sibelius and Richard Strauss, to Ligeti and Turnage.
Following another outstanding year which saw debuts with the Filarmonica della Scala, London Symphony Orchestra, Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich and the Orchestra of St Luke’s, Benjamin Grosvenor started the 2017/18 season with a European recital tour taking him to Muziekgebouw Amsterdam, Théâtre des Champs-Elysées Paris and Casa da Musica Porto among others, before he crossed the Atlantic for further solo dates in Toronto, Philadelphia and in New York at 92nd Street Y.
In the new year concerto repertoire took centre stage, as Benjamin prepared for his debut performances with the Boston Symphony, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. April 2018 saw him return to New York for three subscription series concerts with the New York Philharmonic as well as one chamber music concert with players from the orchestra. This followed the Ackman Classical Piano Prize which Benjamin was awarded last year as inaugural recipient.