Guide to Contemporary Music: Concerts, Reviews and Interviews

October feature

Contemporary Focus

During October, we focus on the here and now, with contemporary music and dance featured in a number of articles. We have spoken to a number of composers and choreographers about their work accross various mediums, and their collaborations with other contemporary artists.
contemporary opera

Leigh Warren

In August, Philip Glass' “portrait operas” were presented as a cycle in Adelaide, revived by Leigh Warren who took time to talk to Bachtrack about the what makes Glass’ works so great, as well as about the challenges inherent in staging these operas.
featured article

Dancing to the music of Thomas Adès

Sadler's Wells presents See the Music, Hear the Dance, an evening dedicated to the music of Thomas Adès, who will himself conduct the Britten Sinfonia through works by Karole Armitage, Wayne McGregor (revivals), Crystal Pite and Alexander Whitley (world premières). 
choreographer's interview

Pontus Lidberg: On Music for Dance

As part of our Contemporary focus, I spoke to Swedish filmmaker, choreographer and dancer Pontus Lidberg, about his musical choices and his collaborations with contemporary composers. An intimate conversation with a leading voice in contemporary dance.
choreographer's interview

Inspirations, aspirations and the new PARK

Jasmin Vardimon talks to Bachtrack's Dance Editor about her new production of PARK, which tours the UK this Autumn. She also opens up about her vsion for dance, the power of performance, and the exciting developments of her new home in Ashford
beamish première

Sally Beamish world première for LSO

Ben Shephard’s A War of Nerves provide the inspiration behind Sally Beamish’s new choral work Equal Voices which receives its première on Sunday 2 November; his words feature heavily in Sir Andrew Motion’s “found poem”, recounting the horrors of the Great War, which Beamish has juxtaposed with passages from the Old Testament’s Song of Songs
new music in new places

Composers, Performers and Space

“Singers wound their way through the frozen food aisle, followed by musicians trying not to let their instruments topple over any produce.” The performance raised many questions pertaining to place and how composers and performers incorporate the idea of space or venue into their work.

October 2013: Contemporary Music Month

September 2013 is Contemporary Music Month on Bachtrack. Read our series of articles and interviews here.

Introduction to Contemporary Music 1: The Young Generation

In the first of a four-part series, Peter Reynolds looks at different strands in contemporary music with a focus on composers in the immediate here and now. This week he writes about five composers now in their 30s and 40s, all writing very different kinds of music.

The freedom of what to hear: Sound installations in New York

As part of Bachtrack’s Contemporary Music Month, Rebecca Lentjes writes about the vibrant world of sound installations and immmersive musical experiences in New York City.

Holding hands with Stockhausen: Programming 20th– and 21st–century music

Part of Bachtrack’s Contemporary Music Month, Paul Kilbey takes a look at concert programming of 20th- and 21st-century music in several venues around the world.

Glass ceilings and open doors: Women in contemporary music

As part of Bachtrack’s Contemporary Music Month, Meg Wilhoite takes a look at the question of gender equality in the world of new music, in light of the recent debate sparked by conductor Vasily Petrenko.
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Four Horns

Bates, Schumann, Brahms
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra; Andrés Orozco-Estrada; Unknown

Road 66

Adams, Evans, Grainger, Barber, Cage, Glass, Beach, Bernstein, Ginastera, Gershwin
Shani Diluka; Alexander Gatehouse

American Guitarist-Composers

Hand, Leisner, Riley, York
Frederic Hand; David Leisner; Gyan Riley; Andrew York

Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya

Wagner, Boulez, Strauss R., Ravel
Orquestra Simfònica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya; Michel Tabachnik

Homo ludens: 'man the player' with Adams and Stravinsky

Haydn, Adams, Stravinsky
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; Markus Stenz; Doric String Quartet

John Adams’s Scheherazade.2World première

Liadov, Stravinsky, Adams
New York Philharmonic Orchestra; Alan Gilbert; Leila Josefowicz

Music for Lent - inspirational music spanning six centuries

Palestrina, Tavener, Pärt, Penderecki, Allegri, Redford
Tom Bullard; Nonsuch Singers

Hands of Tomorrow

Scarlatti, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Ravel, Boulez, Debussy, Messiaen, Chopin, Liszt, Fauré
Marina Koka; Sophia Dee; Justine Leroux; Tanguy de Williencourt
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Hahn sparkles in a varied programme at Wigmore Hall

With a programme spanning from Bach through Schumann, Cage, all the way to Lera Auerbach and David Lang, Hilary Hahn shows she is on top form alongside pianist Cory Smythe.
****1
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Boulez turns 90 in style at the Barbican

The first performance of the BBC Symphony Orchestra's Total Immersion Day: Pierre Boulez at 90 featured the composer's Piano Sonata no. 2 and Éclat/Multiples.
****1
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Fine playing of both old and new

A UK première, movements from a rarely performed Prokofiev ballet by Prokofiev and a revitalising performance of Petrushka demonstrates the LPO's bold programming. 
****1
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A moving Child Of Our Time in Auckland

A Child Of Our Time brought this year's Auckland Arts Festival to a magnificent finish with its message as universal as it was when first composed. 
****1
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An American in Edinburgh

Peter Oundjian and the RSNO perform an imaginative programme airing the varied moods and influences which make up modern America.
****1
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Wide-ranging Britten Sinfonia programme centres on the Goldberg Variations

Works by Locatelli, Hans Abrahamsen and Tom Coult accompanied Dmitry Sitkovetsky's arrangement of Bach's Goldberg Variations
***11
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Datong: Opera strikes political nerve in Hong Kong

Datong: The Chinese Utopia, a Chinese chamber opera in three acts, commissioned by the Hong Kong Arts Festival, takes a daring stab at Chinese political history while celebrating the life of a pioneering Chinese feminist. 
****1
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Transforming George Eliot's Middlemarch into opera

Shearer’s music is lush, elegant and witty. There is a playful irony that asserts itself.
***11
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Pärt, ArvoAbrahamsen, HansAdams, JohnAho, KaleviBacharach, BurtBeamish, SallyBenjamin, GeorgeBirtwistle, HarrisonBlake, HowardBoulez, PierreBryars, GavinCorigliano, JohnCrumb, GeorgeDaugherty, MichaelDean, BrettDorman, AvnerDubugnon, RichardElfman, DannyEötvös, PeterFeldman, MortonGruber, H.K.Gubaidulina, SofiaHarbison, JohnHarrison, LouHigdon, JenniferHillborg, AndersHorner, JamesHosokawa, ToshioHough, StephenKagel, MauricioKilar, WojciechKnussen, OliverKurtág, GyörgyLang, DavidMacMillan, JamesMansurian, TigranMarquez, ArturoGlass, PhilipGolijov, OsvaldoLidholm, IngvarLiebermann, LowellLindberg, ChristianMaskats, ArtursMatthews, ColinMaxwell Davies, PeterMorricone, EnnioPenderecki, KrzysztofPrevin, AndréRands, BernardRaskatov, AlexanderRautavaara, EinojuhaniReich, SteveRihm, WolfgangRouse, ChristopherRutter, JohnSaariaho, KaijaSallinen, AulisSandstrom, JanSchoenberg, Claude-MichelShchedrin, Rodion KonstantinovichSierra, RobertoSilvestrov, ValentinSondheim, StephenTavener, JohnTüür, Erkki-SvenVasks, PeterisWeir, JudithWilliams, JohnŽivković, Nebojša JovanZorn, JohnDove, JonathanPintscher, MatthiasTurnage, Mark-AnthonyMatthews, DavidAdès, ThomasGrime, HelenSimpson, MarkKernis, Aaron JayKapustin, NikolaiWhitacre, EricWilliams, RoderickEwazen, EricSalonen, Esa-PekkaStaud, Johannes MariaQigang ChenFitkin, GrahamDun, TanFujikura, DaiConnesson, GuillaumeDusapin, PascalWidmann, JörgGorb, AdamMurail, TristanJenkins, KarlTovey, BramwellSollima, Giovannivan der Aa, MichelMackey, StevenShore, HowardBates, MasonWallfisch, BenjaminLloyd Webber, AndrewMantovani, BrunoTodd, WillPanufnik, RoxannaLudwig, DavidFranke, BerndHaas, Georg FriedrichSkempton, HowardGoodall, HowardPuts, KevinMuhly, NicoChin, UnsukGjeilo, OlaHamelin, Marc-AndréCurrier, SebastianGandolfi, MichaelTanguy, EricClyne, AnnaAdams, John LutherZimmer, HansHurel, PhillipePesson, GérardHersch, FredMatre, ØrjanDessner, BryceNorman, AndrewMealor, PaulCerha, FriedrichHenderickx, WimFagerlund, SebastianMendoza, ElenaChampert, AnneLuc, María EugeniaMacdonald, CurtisErkoreka, GabrielPatterson, Alexdel Puerto Jimeno, DavidMuyanga, NeoEscaich, ThierryScott, JohnPaus, MarcusHackmann, SteveRonchetti, LuciaAttahir, BenjaminBaigent, BertieDumitrescu, IancuVan Oosten, RoelKox, HansWagenaar, DiderikHansson, ÚlfurLa Bouchardière, JohnZavaro, PascalGelgotas, GediminasLambert, EdwardCampogrande, NicolaGyöngyösi, LeventeMcGowan, NedFang, DongqingBource, LudovicIppolito, MichaelMellits, MarcMelford, MyraMoore, PatrickLittle, David TFekete, GyulaPerich, TristanJirásek, JanLeisner, DavidRiley, GyanYork, AndrewMontalti, VittorioMolino, AndreaDanna, MychaelDurán, HilarioDavis, Ed FrazierKulesha, GaryButterworth, IanTaylor-West, LiamJoo, Hyung-KiIgudesman, AlekseyGuevara, Juan CruzBuide del Real, FernandoRuíz, J MRosinskij, WladimirCoello Cabrera, EmilioGolinski, TomaszZárate, JoséEstapé, VictorZeljenka, IljaGonzalez Mantici, EnriqueWai-chung Tang, JoyceIllarramendi, ÁngelRabade, AbeColomer, JuanOnovwerosuoke, FredBuc, NicholasHybler, MartinGiger, JannikLeinonen, MinnaČekovská, ĽubicaKlusák, JanCazaban, CostinWajsar, PetrŠesták, ZdeněkDatta, PedroRaab, LorenzHarneit, JohannesKoskinen, JuhaShimizu, KensakuSpring, RudiTakemitsu, ToroMedtner, NikolaiLaurušas, VytautasPerrin, RolandMacbride, DavidBurtner, MatthewAho, HetaNowak, JerryOgonek, ElizabethKapustka, JozefDoherty, SeánTurnbull, KitHuma, CalinTura, Hasan NiyaziErdem, TayfunBalcı, OğuzhanSchuler, DenisHurel, Philippevan Veen, JeroenHelvacioğlu, ErdemThe White StripesAlagna, DavidGringolts, IlyaSchulkowsky, RobynHaraldsdóttir, Kristín ÞóraLamb, CatherineMoreno-Rathgeb, RogerSiffling, ThomasLewis, Michael JBrower, RussellJones, TrevorSoule, JeremyOtani, KowDjawadi, RaminMaalouf, IbrahimMahmoud, HossamInge, Leifvon Harder, BurkhardAbras, Juan ManuelMcCracken, DougAstor, MiguelRusby, KateGowers, RichardMatthews, StephenBurgan, PatrickJoseph, StevenGoddard, MarcusWilliams, Michael F.Minchin, TimKim, HeeraFisk, DouglasWeiser, AlexDevastato, GiuseppeSchwob, DanielleJuroussky, PhilippeHoban, WielandBodrov, KuzmaNegrón, AngélicaSnowden, LauraKaran, PanosKœchlin, CharlesDuMont, HenriBoondiskulchok, Prach