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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Lindberg, Shostakovich

Lindberg, Shostakovich
Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra; Jukka-Pekka Saraste; Nicolas Hodges

Asia Pacific Dance Platform VII

Shih-yang, Hyoseung
Ye Hyoseung; HORSE; Younguk Lee; Wu-kang Chen; Wei-chia Su; Shih-yang Lee

A Flowering Tree

Adams: A Flowering Tree
Joana Carneiro; Nicola Raab; Göteborg Opera; George Souglides; Julia Sporsen; Eric Fennell

Fröst on the podium: double bass concerto

Schumann, Rautavaara, Sibelius, Albéniz
Norrköping Symphony Orchestra; Martin Fröst; Björn Malmqvist

Lunchtime Concert Series: Clare Hammond – Piano

Ravel, Chopin, Lyapunov, Kapustin
Clare Hammond, Piano

Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet

Liszt, MacMillan, Prokofiev
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Carlos Miguel Prieto; Peter Donohoe

Søndergård Conducts Pathétique

Sibelius, Lindberg, Tchaikovsky
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Thomas Søndergård; Kari Kriikku

Musique Spectrale

Murail, Dufourt
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France; Pierre-Laurent Aimard
Latest reviewsSee more...

A tremendous Nelson Mass from the Britten Sinfonia

In a diverse programme consisting of Haydn and Pärt, Stephen Layton impressed with his choir Polyphony, while the Britten Sinfonia performed a fine rendition of Shostakovich's Chamber Symphony
***11
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Captivating winter warmer from the Bang on a Can

Composer David Lang joined the ensemble in Oberlin for an invigorating night of fresh ideas played with a spirit of adventure.
****1
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A bizarre ride: Chin's enveloping Alice in Wonderland

Unsuk Chin's opera Alice in Wonderland is performed by the Los Angeles Philarharmonic, conducted by Susanna Mälkki. This is no Disney movie! 
***11
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UK première of Penderecki’s Fourth Symphony

This concert, in a nifty piece of skilful programming, comprised a Beethoven sandwich, with Penderecki’s Fourth Symphony as the filling, both composers who clearly enjoy pushing the boundaries of classical form.
****1
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Opera under the sand: captivating El Público

Mauricio Sotelo's world première based on El Público, a fascinating surrealist play by Federico García Lorca, mixed flamenco and tragedy to achieve a great night of opera. 
*****
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Singing from the same Songbook

John Woolrich's Songbook project provided the vocal material on show at the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group recital at Wigmore Hall, featuring sopranos Gillian Keith and Rebecca von Lipinski.
***11
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Imaginative programming from the Britten Oboe Quartet

The Britten Oboe Quartet gave highly engaging and communicative performances of an imaginative and intelligent programme, with cerebral serialism from Elisabeth Lutyens combined with early Elgar, Britten and sublime Mozart to finish.
****1
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Mixed results in Philharmonia's Gruber and Mahler

Flashes of brilliance, but also mediocrity in performances of HK Gruber and Mahler by the Philharmonia.
***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, WolfgangRiley, TerryRouse, ChristopherRutter, JohnSaariaho, KaijaSallinen, AulisSandstrom, JanSchoenberg, Claude-MichelShchedrin, Rodion KonstantinovichSilvestrov, ValentinSondheim, StephenTavener, JohnTüür, Erkki-SvenVasks, PeterisWeir, JudithWilliams, JohnWuorinen, CharlesZorn, JohnDove, JonathanPintscher, MatthiasTurnage, Mark-AnthonyMatthews, DavidAdès, ThomasLachenmann, HelmutFokkens, RobertGrime, HelenSimpson, MarkKernis, Aaron JayKapustin, NikolaiWhitacre, EricSalonen, Esa-PekkaStaud, Johannes MariaQigang ChenFitkin, GrahamWatkins, HuwLindberg, MagnusDun, TanDusapin, PascalWidmann, JörgGorb, AdamMurail, TristanDufourt, HuguesWoolrich, JohnJenkins, KarlTovey, BramwellSollima, GiovanniMackey, StevenAnderson, JulianShore, HowardBates, MasonWallfisch, BenjaminLloyd Webber, AndrewMantovani, BrunoRzewski, FredericTodd, WillPanufnik, RoxannaLudwig, DavidLuciano, LucaFranke, BerndHaas, Georg FriedrichSkempton, HowardPuts, KevinMuhly, NicoChin, UnsukGjeilo, OlaHamelin, Marc-AndréCurrier, SebastianGandolfi, MichaelDillon, JamesClyne, AnnaByström, BrittaAdams, John LutherRoukens, JoeyZimmer, HansHurel, PhillipePesson, GérardMatre, ØrjanDessner, BryceNorman, AndrewMealor, PaulCerha, FriedrichHenderickx, WimFagerlund, SebastianMendoza, ElenaBjarnason, DanielCamilo, MichelChampert, AnneLuc, María EugeniaMacdonald, CurtisPatterson, AlexMuyanga, NeoEscaich, ThierryScott, JohnPaus, MarcusHackmann, SteveRonchetti, LuciaAttahir, BenjaminRan, ShulamitHuillet, ThierryBaigent, BertieDumitrescu, IancuVan Oosten, RoelKox, HansWagenaar, DiderikHansson, ÚlfurLa Bouchardière, JohnSøderlind, RagnarZavaro, PascalGelgotas, GediminasLambert, EdwardCampogrande, NicolaLuchterhandt, FabianMitterer, WolfgangGyöngyösi, LeventeMcGowan, NedFang, DongqingBource, LudovicIppolito, MichaelMellits, MarcMelford, MyraSotelo, MauricioMoore, PatrickLittle, David TŽivković, ÐuroPerich, TristanDobson, ChaseJirásek, JanLeisner, DavidRiley, GyanYork, AndrewMontalti, VittorioMolino, AndreaDanna, MychaelDurán, HilarioDavis, Ed FrazierKulesha, GaryButterworth, IanJoo, Hyung-KiIgudesman, AlekseyGuevara, Juan CruzBuide del Real, FernandoRuíz, J MRosinskij, WladimirCoello Cabrera, EmilioGolinski, TomaszZárate, JoséEstapé, VictorZeljenka, IljaGonzalez Mantici, EnriqueHing-yan, ChanKuan, Nai-chungLam, DomingShang, YiPeng, XiuwenChan, Ming-chiChen, Ning-chiWai-chung Tang, JoyceShih-yang, LeeHyoseung, YeJustyne, LiPoon, WaysonFung, VictorWong, ChloeIllarramendi, Ángeldel Campo, ConradoRabade, AbeColomer, JuanOnovwerosuoke, FredHemenger, DrewBuc, NicholasHybler, MartinGiger, JannikLeinonen, MinnaČekovská, ĽubicaKlusák, JanCazaban, CostinWajsar, PetrŠesták, ZdeněkDatta, PedroRaab, LorenzHarneit, JohannesØdegaard, MartinVilums, MartinsCoblentz, HunterCrossley, AndrewKoskinen, JuhaShimizu, KensakuSpring, RudiTakemitsu, ToroMedtner, NikolaiLaurušas, VytautasButterley, NigelPerrin, RolandMacbride, DavidBurtner, MatthewAho, HetaToovey, AndrewNowak, JerryLoxley-Blount, DavidOgonek, ElizabethKapustka, JozefTurnbull, KitHuma, CalinTura, Hasan NiyaziErdem, TayfunBalcı, OğuzhanSchuler, DenisHurel, PhilippeCrowther, SteveCaine, Edwardvan Veen, JeroenHelvacioğlu, ErdemThe White StripesAlagna, DavidGringolts, IlyaSchulkowsky, RobynHaraldsdóttir, Kristín ÞóraLamb, CatherineMoreno-Rathgeb, RogerSiffling, ThomasShearer, AllenLewis, Michael JBrower, RussellJones, TrevorSoule, JeremyOtani, KowDjawadi, RaminBoyd, Stephanie AnnMaalouf, IbrahimMahmoud, HossamBaldy-Moulinier, PierreInge, Leifvon Harder, BurkhardLevy, EmilyAbras, Juan ManuelMcCracken, DougAstor, MiguelGabirro, BrunoHoward, JosephBanting, CydonieIsenberg, RexEdwards, Deborah BroderickAndrews, Kerry JohnRusby, KateGowers, RichardMatthews, StephenGoddard, MarcusWilliams, Michael F.Dębski, Krzesimir