‘Encounters with British Composers‘, a new book by Andrew Palmer, contains interviews with around 40 British composers on how they work, how they live, and what, if anything, ‘British music’ is. There’s an interview with me from about 18 months ago inside (that’s me second from the left on the bottom row of the cover), alongside interviews with many more august names.
The book is released on the 19th November, and can be purchased from publishers Boydell and Brewer.
Also in attendance are writers Simone van Saarloos, Nathalie Gendrot, Alice Birch and Isabelle Kranabetter, Sabryna Pierre and Ana Maria Versloot, and composers Adam Maor, Christian Mason, Andrzej Kwieciński, Christiaan Richter, Igor Silva, Anat Spiegel, Nuno da Rocha, Pedro Faria Gomes, Jug Markovic and Frederik Neyrinck. I am very grateful to Aldeburgh Music for supporting my attendance at the workshops.
The score for my Four Perpetual Motions for ten players is now on sale from Faber Music. I’m very grateful to the estate of László Moholy-Nagy for allowing me to use his wonderful painting Komposition A XXI on the cover.
For Beautiful Caged Thing, commissioned by the festival, I have extracted lines and phrases from Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray and arranged them to form three poems – ‘I have known everything’, ‘Monstrous marionettes’ and ‘I am tired of myself tonight’.
The concert, at Snape Maltings concert hall, 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. More information and tickets can be found here.
From today, I am starting a residency hosted by the Britten-Pears Foundation at the former home of Imogen Holst (pictured here with Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears) in Aldeburgh, Suffolk. I will be staying in the property, located at Church Walk in the centre of Aldeburgh, for five weeks and will work on two upcoming pieces for 2016 – my new work for the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and a concerto for piano and ensemble (more details of which later).
Five composer/playwright pairings are being commissioned – myself with Vivienne, Aaron Parker with Francesca Martinez, Nina Whiteman with Esther Wilson, Chiu-Yu Chou with Lee Mattison, and Daniel Kidane with Zodwa Nyoni – and each pair will work on a new play inspired by a Shakespeare sonnet. The radio plays will be recorded by actors and the orchestra at BBC Media City and broadcast on Radio 3 in April 2016. The new, standalone pieces will then be performed by the orchestra at Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on 23 April, conducted by Andrew Gourlay.
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.
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.