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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.
Upcoming eventsSee more...

Orquesta y Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid

MacMillan, Tallis, Gabrieli, Moody, Pärt, Villette, Helvey, Lauridsen, Whitacre, Busto
Pedro Teixeira; Coro de la Comunidad de Madrid

Christmas by Candlelight

Beethoven, Suk, Harbison
Piano Quartet RIX; Sandis Šteinbergs; Ilze Klava; Reinis Birznieks

The RSNO Christmas Concert

Blake, Koschat
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Christopher Bell; Unknown

Dreaming of a White Christmas

Rachmaninov, Berlin, Kent, Styne, Tormé, Anderson, Coots, Blane, Davis, Gruber, Sandstrom
Kaspars Putnins; Vlaams Radio Koor

Christmas: Baroque gems and Carel Kraayenhof

Vivaldi, Locatelli, Handel, Kraayenhof, Piazzolla, Maessen
Sinfonia Rotterdam; Conrad van Alphen; Carel Kraayenhof

The RSNO Christmas Concert

Blake, Koschat
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Christopher Bell; Unknown

The RSNO Christmas Concert

Blake, Koschat
Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Christopher Bell; Unknown

A Christmas Piano Recital by Johan de Cock

Bach, Beneking, Mendelssohn, Bartók, De Cock, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Stocken
Johan De Cock, Piano
Latest reviewsSee more...

Thought-provoking, violent and percussive

Jean-Efflam Bavouzet gave his thought-provoking, violent and percussive take on Bartók, Ravel and Beethoven - intelligent and uncompromising performance at its best. 
****1
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Serious Christmas fare at Cadogan Hall

The choir tackle an ambitious, if overly long programme of Advent-themed works with mixed results.
***11
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MacMillan’s new Percussion Concerto: a pale imitation

Colin Currie played with passion and verve, but James MacMillan's new Percussion Concerto was a disappointment.
**111
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Extravagances de violon

Stefano Montanari joue et dirige Haendel, D’Alai et Muhly à l’Opéra de Lyon.
***11
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China's heartbreaking The Little Mermaid

In celebration of its 55th anniversary this year, the National Ballet of China revived its beautiful production of John Neumeier's The Little Mermaid. 
****1
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Birtwistle perplexes, but Aimard shines

Birtwistle’s Responses poses more questions than it answers, but Aimard’s Messiaen was a triumph. 
****1
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Whirlwind Berlioz and a superhero trumpet concerto

The BBC Symphony Orchestra continued to offer its audience adventurous programming, with this evening’s London première of Brett Dean’s Dramatic Personae.
***11
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New York première of Glass’ complete Etudes

This weekend saw the New York première of Philip Glass' complete Piano Etudes. Produced by Glass’ long-time collaborator Linda Brumbach, the dazzling showcase divided the 20 etudes equally among the ten performers.
****1
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Pärt, ArvoAbrahamsen, HansAdams, JohnAho, KaleviBabbitt, MiltonBenjamin, GeorgeBingham, JudithBirtwistle, HarrisonBlake, HowardBoulez, PierreBryars, GavinCage, JohnCorigliano, JohnCrumb, GeorgeDaugherty, MichaelDean, BrettDorman, AvnerDubugnon, RichardEötvös, PeterFeldman, MortonGruber, H.K.Gubaidulina, SofiaHarbison, JohnHarrison, LouHigdon, JenniferHillborg, AndersHorner, JamesHosokawa, ToshioHovhaness, AlanJohn, EltonKagel, MauricioKancheli, GiyaKilar, WojciechKnussen, OliverKurtág, GyörgyLang, DavidMacMillan, JamesManoury, PhilippeMarquez, ArturoGlass, PhilipGolijov, OsvaldoLidholm, IngvarLindberg, ChristianMaskats, ArtursMatthews, ColinMaxwell Davies, PeterMiki, MinoruMorricone, EnnioNaon, LuisPenderecki, KrzysztofPicker, TobiasPrevin, AndréRaskatov, AlexanderRautavaara, EinojuhaniReich, SteveRihm, WolfgangRouse, ChristopherRutter, JohnSaariaho, KaijaSallinen, AulisSandstrom, JanSchoenberg, Claude-MichelShchedrin, Rodion KonstantinovichSierra, RobertoSilvestrov, ValentinSondheim, StephenTavener, JohnTüür, Erkki-SvenVasks, PeterisWallin, RolfWilliams, JohnWuorinen, CharlesZorn, JohnDove, JonathanPintscher, MatthiasTurnage, Mark-AnthonyMatthews, DavidAdès, ThomasLachenmann, HelmutFokkens, RobertMarsh, RogerHellawell, PiersGrime, HelenSimpson, MarkKernis, Aaron JayKapustin, NikolaiWhitacre, EricWilliams, RoderickCasken, JohnSalonen, Esa-PekkaStaud, Johannes MariaQigang ChenFitkin, GrahamWatkins, HuwLindberg, MagnusDun, TanFujikura, DaiConnesson, GuillaumeDusapin, PascalWidmann, JörgGorb, AdamMeredith, AnnaMurail, TristanDufourt, HuguesWoolrich, JohnJenkins, KarlWigglesworth, RyanShepherd, SeanGlanert, DetlevMackey, StevenAnderson, JulianShore, HowardBates, MasonLloyd Webber, AndrewMantovani, BrunoPanufnik, RoxannaLudwig, DavidLuciano, LucaFranke, BerndHaas, Georg FriedrichSkempton, HowardPuts, KevinMuhly, NicoChin, UnsukGjeilo, OlaHamelin, Marc-AndréCurrier, SebastianGandolfi, MichaelSchafer, Raymond MurrayClyne, AnnaWolfe, JuliaByström, BrittaAdams, John LutherRoukens, JoeyZimmer, HansHurel, PhillipePesson, GérardFedele, IvanMatre, ØrjanDessner, BryceNorman, AndrewCerha, FriedrichPētersons, KristapsHenderickx, WimFrank, Gabriela LenaGoss, StephenÅm, MagnarFagerlund, SebastianMendoza, ElenaBjarnason, DanielCamilo, MichelSchoenberg, AdamChristensen, Christian WintherCheung, AnthonyChampert, AnneO'Leary, JaneLuc, María EugeniaLennox, KrisSchöllhorn, JohannesEscaich, ThierryCutler, IvorPaus, MarcusMaessen, SylviaVazquez, OctavioRonchetti, LuciaAttahir, BenjaminKrauss, MorganRan, ShulamitBaigent, BertieVan Oosten, RoelKox, HansWagenaar, DiderikLa Bouchardière, JohnBerg, OlavAquino, Darwinde la Fuente, BenjaminSøderlind, RagnarZavaro, PascalLack, GrahamCampogrande, NicolaAdámek, OndrejLuchterhandt, FabianDoldinger, KlausKüchler-Blessing, SebastianBlecharz, WojtechSárik, PéterDukay, BarnabásDe Cock, JohanGyöngyösi, LeventeMcGowan, NedStookey, NathanielFang, DongqingBource, LudovicIppolito, MichaelMellits, MarcMelford, MyraSotelo, MauricioMoore, PatrickIvan, LinsLittle, David TŽivković, ÐuroPerich, TristanDobson, ChaseComeau, BenJirásek, JanHaber, YotamFitch, KeithLeisner, DavidRiley, GyanYork, AndrewMontalti, VittorioHazmat ModineRechter, YoniBeneking, StephanMolino, AndreaDanna, MychaelDurán, HilarioDavis, Ed FrazierKulesha, GaryHagen, ToonButterworth, IanClemmitt, RichardTerracini, PaulTurina, José LuisJoo, Hyung-KiIgudesman, AlekseyGuevara, Juan CruzBuide del Real, FernandoRuíz, J MRosinskij, WladimirCoello Cabrera, EmilioGolinski, TomaszMuñoz, EnriqueZárate, JoséEstapé, VictorRoig-Francolí, MiguelZeljenka, IljaGonzalez Mantici, EnriqueHelvey, HowardHing-yan, ChanKuan, Nai-chungLam, DomingShang, YiPeng, XiuwenChan, Ming-chiChen, Ning-chiMak, ClarenceCheng, DazhaoLiu, XingWai-chung Tang, JoyceShih-yang, LeeHyoseung, YeJustyne, LiPoon, WaysonFung, VictorWong, ChloeIllarramendi, ÁngelRabade, AbeColomer, JuanPetrauskis, RaimondsAllevi, GiovanniMchedelov, MikhailBoldachev, AlexanderFondse, MartinMarin, Marie-MartinPerkin, SamHajdu, AndreHemenger, DrewNilsson, IvoDurieux, FrédéricTalvitie, RiikkaBuc, NicholasMorrison, TheodoreWhite, RichardHybler, MartinGiger, JannikBelling, HuwLeinonen, MinnaČekovská, ĽubicaKlusák, JanHartzell, EdmundWajsar, PetrŠesták, ZdeněkSándor, LászlóPetraškevičs, JānisRaab, LorenzHarneit, JohannesSavvopoulos, DionysisWeiser, MarkØdegaard, MartinVilums, MartinsCoblentz, HunterCrossley, Andrew