The Britten Sinfonia will premiere my new piece for string orchestra, ‘My Curves are not Mad‘, on the 20th March. The piece’s title comes from a quote in Henri Matisse’s 1947 book Jazz where he asserts that the inventive and organic shapes and curves of his cut-outs are conceived always with reference to plain vertical lines. The piece was commissioned by the Britten Sinfonia with funds from the William Alwyn Foundation.
The orchestra, conducted by Carlos del Cueto and led by Thomas Gould, will premiere the piece at Barbican/Guildhall‘s Milton Court Concert Hall in London on the 20th, before touring it to Norwich’s Theatre Royal on the 21st and Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden on the 22nd. All concerts will also feature Locatelli’s Concerto Grosso Op. 1 No. 11, Hans Abrahamsen‘s Double Concerto (featuring Alasdair Beatson as soloist), and Sitkovetsky’s arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations.
I’m delighted to have been commissioned by Aldeburgh Music to write an orchestral song cycle for the 2015 Aldeburgh Festival, to be premiered by soprano Claire Booth with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra conducted by George Benjamin. The programme will also feature Wagner’s Siegried Idyll, Benjamin’s A Mind of Winter, Boulez’s Mémoriale and Ravel’s Piano Concerto, featuring festival director Pierre-Laurent Aimard on piano. The concert will be at Snape Maltings concert hall on the 13th of June.
George is a featured artist at this year’s festival, and will also be conducting the London Sinfonietta, as well as appearing as a pianist alongside Aimard in Ravel’s Ma mère de l’oye. A rundown of some highlights of the festival programme is available here, and the full lineup will be announced in January when tickets go on sale.
I am to be a featured composer at the Soundings 2014 programme of events this October, at London’s Austrian Cultural Forum. Curated by the Fidelio Trio‘s Mary Dullea, Soundings is a platform for contemporary music that brings together composers from the UK and Austria for four days of roundtable talks, workshops and concerts.
- On Thursday 30th October (7pm), my Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux will be performed by Mary Dullea, Rose Redgrave, Rowland Sutherland & Alice Purton at the Austrian Cultural Forum.
- On Friday 31st October (7.30pm) at the Royal College of Music, I will conduct violinist Darragh Morgan and students from the RCM in Sparking and Slipping.
This will be the second performance of Sparking and Slipping, after Sarah Hill performed it with an ensemble on the 11th September. Both concerts will also feature music by the other composers featured at Soundings – Julia Purgina, Arturo Fuentes and Simon Vosecek (from Austria) and Joanna Lee, Ruaidhri Mannion and myself (from the UK). There will also be various discussions, talks and open rehearsals that are happening – check here for details.
In other news, Trio Atem are performing some of my Seven Face Pictures at Manchester’s St Ann’s Church on the 14th October, in a concert also featuring works by Camden Reeves, Kaija Saariaho, Larry Goves and György Kurtág. Details here.
I’m thrilled to be signing with Faber Music as one of their House Composers. They will publish my scores from now on, including my upcoming piece for the strings of the Britten Sinfonia, and will be publishing much of my back catalogue. Pieces available from Faber will include Codex (Homage to Serafini) for symphony orchestra, Four Perpetual Motions for ten players, Enmîmés sont les gougebosqueux for five or four players and Antic Rounds for 17 instruments. A full list of the pieces available from Faber can be seen on their website, where you can also view many of the scores.
To enquire about purchasing or rental of scores and parts, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Thursday 11 September, violinist Sarah Hill will perform a new piece of mine, entitled Sparking & Slipping, at her final Masters recital at Trinity Laban Conservatoire. The piece is a virtuosic showpiece for violin soloist, accompanied by piano, harp & percussion – the accompagnato ensemble will be comprised of pianist Hannah Ely, harpist Anne Denholm and percussionist Henry Fynn, and I will be conducting. Sarah will also be playing Tartini’s unaccompanied Sonata in D Min, Kaija Saariaho’s Nocturne and Stravinsky’s Duo Concertant.
The recital begins at 11.30am at the Peacock Room, Trinity Laban in Greenwich.
My new Études Nos. 3 & 4 for solo violin, commissioned by London Sinfonietta as part of their ‘Sinfonietta Shorts’ series, were premiered on the 23rd July at King’s Place‘s Rotunda Room. The two new études, lasting around five minutes in total, were played wonderfully by the Sinfonietta’s principal violinist Jonathan Morton to invited guests at one of the Sinfonietta’s ‘World Premiere Wednesdays’ series. The études will be recorded for NMC Recordings, who are recording all of the Sinfonietta Shorts for digital downloads.
The two new études now form a set alongside Études Nos. 1 & 2, which I wrote in 2010 for violinist Sarah Hill. Find more about the études here.
It’s the 67th Aldeburgh Festival this month, and my piece Rainbow-Shooting Cloud Contraption for 15 players is being performed on Saturday 21st by the Britten-Pears Composers Ensemble, conducted by Gregory Charette. The piece was written at Aldeburgh’s Contemporary Composition course last year, run by Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Michael Gandolfi. The concert is at 6pm at the Britten Studio at Snape Maltings. The concert also features pieces by Elliott Carter, Louis Chiappetta, Bruno Maderna, Nicholas Moroz, Robert Peate, Emma Ruth Richards and Michael Taplin.
While you’re at it, you can also find some new recordings over at my revamped Listen page, now featuring recordings of Antic Rounds by Orchestra of the Swan, and Limp by Helen Tonge & Richard Whalley.