Bach Collegium Japan’s most recent tour last April, which included concerts in Amsterdam, London, Paris, St Petersburg and Vienna amongst others, was highly successful with excellent audiences throughout. We are now planning their next major European tour. Having recently recorded the Mozart Requiem, and with a new recording of Mozart’s C minor mass about to…
Tenor James Gilchrist and pianist Anna Tilbrook take to the stage at Wigmore Hall for a series of three recitals across three seasons, performing Robert Schumann’s song cycles alongside music inspired by the English Romantic poets. The project premieres three new commissions from major British composers: Scottish composer Sally Beamish looks to the Gothic, setting…
Eighth Blackbird kicked off its 20th anniversary auspiciously in 2016, quickly garnering its fourth GRAMMY Award as well as the prestigious MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.
Highlights of the 2016-17 season include keystone performances as part of Steve Reich’s 80th birthday celebrations (in collaboration with the San Francisco Symphony and beyond), a debut performance on Justin Vernon (Bon Iver) and Aaron Dessner’s (The National) Eaux Claires festival, a fresh round of raucous shows with “Appalachian post-punk solipsist” (The Wanderer) Will Oldham aka Bonnie Prince Billy, and world premieres by Holly Harrison, Pulitzer Prize-winner David Lang, and Ned McGowan. The 20th anniversary also brings significant expansion of the group’s international terrain, with debuts in Paris (Paris Philharmonie, Mona Bismarck), through multiple cities in Amsterdam, and through multiple cities in Australia.
Violinist Henning Kraggerud has released the world premiere recording of the long-lost violin concerto by fellow Norwegian Johan Halvorsen (1864-1931). Recorded with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and conductor Bjarte Engeset for Naxos, this is a work that had been considered lost for over 100 years, before being re-discovered at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music Library in early 2016.
The original life of the work was brief; it was given only a couple of performances in the early 1900s, and not long afterwards the manuscript was burned by the composer himself. But fast-forward to the 21st century, and in a significant moment for Norway’s musical heritage, another copy of the score and parts was found by curator James Mason amongst the personal possessions of Kathleen Parlow, the young Canadian soloist who had given these first performances. The wheels turned quickly and the concerto was given its first modern performance by Kraggerud, Engeset and the Norwegian Chamber Orchestra at the Risør Festival in Summer 2016.
The work is flavoured with Norwegian folk music, and Kraggerud – who felt an affinity with Halvorsen, both being violinists and composers – soon realised that it was a masterpiece deserving of recognition.
This summer, Vox Luminis, under the direction of Lionel Meunier, takes on a residency at the Aldeburgh Festival. Their opening concert in Blythburgh Church celebrates 500 years since the start of the Reformation with Schutz’s Musicalische Exequien – their recording of which won them Gramophone Recording of the Year 2012 – and Bach’s canatas Actus Tragicus and Christ lag in Todesbanden. Their second performance, in Snape Maltings Concert Hall, includes Britten’s Hymn to the Virgin and Sacred and Profane, plus music by Morley, Byrd, Tallis, White and Purcell. Bringing their residency to a close, the group will perform, from memory and with narration, Purcell’s 1691 colourful music-drama, King Arthur.
London-based Australian pianist Piers Lane frequently travels back to his home country to perform and in his role as Artistic Director of the Australian Festival of Chamber Music and Sydney International Piano Competition. The first year in his role at the piano competition has been deemed a great success. Substantially updating the rules and prize pool, Piers has also given the festival global exposure as for the first time it was live-streamed on the internet as well as broadcast on ABC Classic FM.
In the forthcoming season Piers Lane will return to Australia for two tours performing solo, concerto and chamber music at the Huntington Festival. This Autumn also sees the release of Piers Lane’s recording of the Alfred Hill concerto with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra on Hyperion label.
Adrian Thompson continues to maintain a busy diary – currently appearing as Mr Upfold ALBERT HERRING at The Grange Festival, he returns to WNO later this year as Scribe KHOVANSHCHINA and Shapkin FROM THE HOUSE OF THE DEAD. Adrian will also sing Mime in a concert performance of DAS RHEINGOLD for the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall (V. Jurowski) and makes a welcome return to Garsington Opera in 2018 when he will be appearing in both DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE and FALSTAFF.
Anna Stéphany makes her Glyndebourne debut this summer singing Sesto in La Clemenza di Tito. A busy 2017/18 season follows, featuring concerts with the London Philharmonic Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra and the BBC Symphony Orchestras, before returning to Zürich Opera as Idamante in Idomeneo, followed by Cosi fan Tutte at the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.