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.
Contemporary Focus 2014: Colin Matthews © Fiona Garden
Contemporary Focus 2014: Colin Matthews
Fiona Garden
Contemporary Focus 2014: Joby Talbot © Johan Persson
Contemporary Focus 2014: Joby Talbot
Johan Persson
David Lang: Interviews, events and reviews © Peter Serling
David Lang: Interviews, events and reviews
Peter Serling
Contemporary Focus 2014: Julian Anderson © Maurice Foxall
Contemporary Focus 2014: Julian Anderson
Maurice Foxall
Composers Project: Kaija Saariaho Interview
Composers Project: Kaija Saariaho Interview
Contemporary Focus 2014: Oliver Rudland © Jermone Woodwark
Contemporary Focus 2014: Oliver Rudland
Jermone Woodwark
Composers Project: Unsuk Chin Interview © Eric Richmond
Composers Project: Unsuk Chin Interview
Eric Richmond
Composers Project: Anna Meredith Interview
Composers Project: Anna Meredith Interview
Composers Project: Johannes Staud Interview © Jonathan Irons
Composers Project: Johannes Staud Interview
Jonathan Irons
Composers Project: Mark Simpson Interview © Elisabeth Blanchett
Composers Project: Mark Simpson Interview
Elisabeth Blanchett

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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Madman Across the Water: The Music of Elton John

John
Dayton Philharmonic

Sommets Musicaux de Gstaad

Flagello, Piazzolla, Bach C.P.E., Fedele, Parish Alvars, Walter-Kühne
Agne Keblyte, Harp

Asher Fisch conducts Dorman, Prokofiev and Schumann featuring violinist Julian Rachlin

Dorman, Prokofiev, Schumann
Boston Symphony Orchestra; Asher Fisch; Julian Rachlin

Vasks, Nielsen, Bruckner

Vasks, Nielsen, Bruckner
Bamberg Symphony Orchestra; Jaap van Zweden; Daniela Koch

Jeffrey Tate / Giuseppe Albanese

Britten, Rachmaninov, Pärt
Orchestra of Teatro di San Carlo; Jeffrey Tate; Giuseppe Albanese

Jennifer Koh

Bach, Berio, Harbison
Jennifer Koh, Violin

New Jerusalem

Parry, Panufnik, MacMillan
Jeffrey Skidmore; Ex Cathedra Choir; Ex Cathedra Baroque Ensemble

Also sprach Zarathustra and a new Mantovani symphonic poem

Mantovani, Grieg, Strauss R.
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; François-Xavier Roth; Alexander Gavrylyuk
Latest reviewsSee more...

Striking Lindberg the highlight from the LPO

Magnus Lindberg's first work for solo voice proves an important new contribution to the genre, while Debussy, Wagner and Scriabin lack magic.
***11
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Vibrant Hosokawa and Ravel but strangely muted Mahler

Simon Trpčeski gives us precision and delicacy in a magical Ravel Piano Concerto in G major; fine singing from Karen Cargill can't prevent Ticciati's Mahler 4 from falling flat.
***11
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Inés de Castro: shocking and unmissable

James MacMillan has honed his first opera Inés de Castro into an unmissable evening:  unspeakably gory but utterly thrilling.
****1
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Cage and Time: an intriguing multimedia experience

Where lies the boundary between musical performance and performance art? With more and more musicians choosing to incorporate digital or multimedia elements into their performances, concerts are increasingly defying easy categorisation.
***11
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A brilliant 90th birthday tribute to Pierre Boulez

The four-part concert, conducted by Franz Welser-Möst, emphasized Boulez's relationship with the orchestra as composer, teacher, conductor, and friend, with four musical works to illustrate those characteristics.
*****
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Nordic Lights with a French touch

A superb lunch time concert by the Britten Sinfonia players which included outstanding performances of works by Debussy, Fauré and a newly commissioned work titled "Light and Matter” by the Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho. 
****1
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Conflict Unresolved: The Enchanted Wanderer

Shchedrin’s opera The Enchanted Wanderer is the complete opposite of shocking and director Alexei Stepanyuk’s staging alongside Valery Gergiev’s command over the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra revealed something of a translucid daydream.
***11
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Carte blanche for MaNOj Camps

MaNOj Kamps honours Claude Vivier in carte blanche concert Cappella Amsterdam. 
***11
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Matthews, ColinPärt, ArvoBoulez, PierrePrevin, AndréDove, JonathanKurtág, GyörgyBjarnason, DanielAdams, JohnDorman, AvnerKrauss, MorganMeredith, AnnaVan Oosten, RoelKox, HansMantovani, BrunoLachenmann, HelmutMuhly, NicoWagenaar, DiderikRihm, WolfgangSalonen, Esa-PekkaReich, SteveRonchetti, LuciaAho, KaleviBates, MasonByström, BrittaGruber, H.K.Tüür, Erkki-SvenSilvestrov, ValentinKancheli, GiyaStaud, Johannes MariaRaskatov, AlexanderHaas, Georg FriedrichCurrier, SebastianDean, BrettWilliams, JohnMorricone, EnnioLindberg, ChristianÅm, MagnarTavener, JohnRautavaara, EinojuhaniKagel, MauricioWigglesworth, RyanMacMillan, JamesEscaich, ThierryRouse, ChristopherHillborg, AndersChin, UnsukPintscher, MatthiasLa Bouchardière, JohnMatre, ØrjanFagerlund, SebastianDubugnon, RichardAquino, DarwinPaus, Marcusde la Fuente, BenjaminCorigliano, JohnCheung, AnthonyNaon, LuisSøderlind, RagnarMurail, TristanDufourt, HuguesGubaidulina, SofiaAttahir, BenjaminHurel, PhillipeKnussen, OliverJohn, EltonNorman, AndrewShepherd, SeanAdès, ThomasZavaro, PascalDaugherty, MichaelAnderson, JulianLindberg, MagnusHorner, JamesPenderecki, KrzysztofLack, GrahamMatthews, DavidCasken, JohnGrime, HelenChampert, AnneMaskats, ArtursZimmer, HansLuchterhandt, FabianRutter, JohnVasks, PeterisKüchler-Blessing, SebastianHosokawa, ToshioWidmann, JörgLang, DavidBirtwistle, HarrisonGandolfi, MichaelCampogrande, NicolaQigang ChenDukay, BarnabásGyöngyösi, LeventePanufnik, RoxannaMcGowan, NedGlass, PhilipAdámek, OndrejFang, DongqingHigdon, JenniferIppolito, MichaelClyne, AnnaMellits, MarcZorn, JohnMelford, MyraSotelo, MauricioMendoza, ElenaBlake, HowardWuorinen, CharlesSimpson, MarkMoore, PatrickGolijov, OsvaldoLittle, David TSondheim, StephenPuts, KevinSaariaho, KaijaŽivković, ÐuroEötvös, PeterShchedrin, Rodion KonstantinovichMarquez, ArturoDun, TanHenderickx, WimSandstrom, JanDessner, BryceMackey, StevenPerich, TristanFeldman, MortonAbrahamsen, HansDobson, ChaseComeau, BenHarrison, LouRoukens, JoeyJirásek, JanFokkens, RobertAdams, John LutherHarbison, JohnHaber, YotamRan, ShulamitHamelin, Marc-AndréHovhaness, AlanFitch, KeithLeisner, DavidRiley, GyanYork, AndrewMontalti, VittorioFranke, BerndWallin, RolfSchoenberg, Claude-MichelGlanert, DetlevMolino, AndreaFujikura, DaiBenjamin, GeorgeKilar, WojciechDanna, MychaelDurán, HilarioDavis, Ed FrazierKulesha, GaryGjeilo, OlaWhitacre, EricLudwig, DavidLidholm, IngvarButterworth, IanBryars, GavinKernis, Aaron JayPicker, TobiasBource, LudovicTurina, José LuisCamilo, MichelJenkins, KarlJoo, Hyung-KiIgudesman, AlekseyVazquez, OctavioGuevara, Juan CruzRuíz, J MRosinskij, WladimirCoello Cabrera, EmilioGolinski, TomaszBuide del Real, FernandoZárate, JoséCrumb, GeorgeEstapé, VictorGonzalez Mantici, EnriqueWoolrich, JohnCerha, FriedrichHing-yan, ChanKuan, Nai-chungLam, DomingShang, YiPeng, XiuwenChan, Ming-chiChen, Ning-chiMak, ClarenceCheng, DazhaoLiu, XingWai-chung Tang, JoyceShih-yang, LeeHyoseung, YeJustyne, LiPoon, WaysonFung, VictorWong, ChloeBaigent, BertieLuc, María EugeniaIllarramendi, ÁngelKapustin, NikolaiRabade, AbeColomer, JuanOnovwerosuoke, FredAllevi, GiovanniMchedelov, MikhailFedele, IvanBoldachev, AlexanderFondse, MartinMarin, Marie-MartinSchafer, Raymond MurrayLennox, KrisPerkin, SamHemenger, DrewFitkin, GrahamNilsson, IvoDusapin, PascalDurieux, FrédéricBabbitt, MiltonTalvitie, RiikkaChristensen, Christian WintherBuc, NicholasSallinen, AulisMorrison, TheodoreWatkins, HuwHybler, MartinGiger, JannikZeljenka, IljaGoss, StephenLloyd Webber, AndrewO'Leary, JaneTurnage, Mark-AnthonyLeinonen, MinnaBelling, HuwČekovská, ĽubicaKlusák, JanCazaban, CostinMaxwell Davies, PeterPesson, GérardWajsar, PetrŠesták, ZdeněkSárik, PéterSándor, LászlóDatta, PedroKoskinen, JuhaRaab, LorenzHarneit, JohannesWeiser, MarkPerdue, MikeWu, She-eGorb, AdamMerchán Correas, PedroIllean, LisaØdegaard, MartinVilums, MartinsCoblentz, HunterCrossley, AndrewQuail, JoBirkin, RichardLiebermann, LowellShimizu, KensakuSpring, RudiCambon, JoanBlecharz, WojtechBonvini, FaustoTakemitsu, ToroMedtner, NikolaiLaurušas, VytautasFerneyhough, BrianLeFanu, NicolaButterley, NigelLuciano, LucaMoran, JasonPerrin, RolandMacbride, DavidBurtner, MatthewAho, HetaPatterson, AlexToovey, AndrewShore, HowardKampe, GordonMitterer, WolfgangWoolgar, JonathanNowak, JerryTodd, WillRzewski, FredericLoxley-Blount, DavidOgonek, ElizabethWallfisch, BenjaminHartzell, EdmundBrody, BenSegal, YanivDai, AaronKapustka, JozefBacharach, BurtBrady, JamesTurnbull, KitRands, BernardMansurian, TigranHuma, CalinHough, StephenTovey, BramwellSkempton, HowardSchuler, DenisHurel, PhilippeDillon, JamesWeir, JudithCrowther, SteveCaine, Edward