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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...

Bach, Holliger, Kancheli, Martynov, Nystedt, Pärt, Silvestrov

Bach, Holliger, Kancheli, Martynov, Nystedt, Pärt, Silvestrov
Sinfonietta Rīga; Kaspars Putnins; Ilze Reine; Latvian Radio Choir; Uģis Brikmanis

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

Sibelius, Saariaho, Tchaikovsky
Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra; Ernest Martinez Izquierdo; Pia Freund

Iceland Symphony Orchestra: Concerto and Symphony

Mendelssohn, Speight, Vaughan Williams
Iceland Symphony Orchestra; Yinon Israel; Bryndís Halla Gylfadóttir

Orquesta Sinfónica de RTVE

Haydn, Corigliano, Sibelius
Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro de RTVE; Dima Slobodeniouk

Sax in the City | Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Gershwin, Adams, Strauss R.
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra; Vasily Petrenko; Timothy McAllister

Amsterdam Sinfonietta and Isabelle Faust

Hirs, Schumann, Hartmann, Bartók
Amsterdam Sinfonietta; Candida Thompson; Isabelle Faust

On Heaven and Earth: A Song for All Ships, All Seas

Tavener, Corigliano, Bryars, MacMillan, Kernis
Nic Pendlebury; Unknown; Trinity Laban String Ensembles

SSO on tour

Matre, Prokofiev, Tchaikovsky
Stavanger Symphony Orchestra; Christian Vasquez; Veronika Eberle
Latest reviewsSee more...

Language, oppression and human rights in music

Margaret Barrett's new work Universal Language explores the linguistic basis of oppression. This Fine Arts Chamber Players concert featured musicians of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and The Obscure Dignitaries.
***11
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A Passion for our times: The Gospel According To The Other Mary

The view of Jesus as the archetypal left wing radical, champion of the poor and dispossessed and scourge of the wealthy forms the foundation of John Adams and Peter Sellars’ oratorio The Gospel According To The Other Mary. A strong score and outstanding conductor and singers make for an impressive première.
****1
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A generous gift for John Woolrich

John Woolrich is a publically undervalued contributor to British musical life. This evening’s concert attempted to celebrate as many of the man’s musical guises as possible.
***11
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Post;Ballet's High-5

Robert Dekkers' Post:Ballet presents High:5 , a full-evening program of innovative works, including Yours Is Mine, Sixes and Seven and Do Be. Reviewwed at Z Space, San Francisco 
***11
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An early Christmas present from the BBCSO

Brett Dean's The Annunciation offers a Moderninst take on Christmas traditions. Curiosities from Respighi and Strauss complete an eccentric programme.
***11
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The John Adams Playlist

In an innovative concert experience, John Adams curated a night of living composers to shine the spotlight on his favorite new works, answering the question: “Who’s on John Adams’ playlist?”
*****
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From Les Adieux to Miroirs: Jean-Efflam Bavouzet’s musical portrait

 Jean-Efflam Bavouzet impresses in Gallic repertoire, but his Beethoven took longer to win our reviewer around. 
****1
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Triptych: a tribute to Fausto Romitelli in Milan

RepertorioZero's account of Professor Bad Trip has the audience exploring new, unseen worlds.
****1
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Pärt, ArvoAbrahamsen, HansAdams, JohnAho, KaleviBacharach, BurtBenjamin, GeorgeBingham, JudithBirtwistle, HarrisonBlake, HowardBoulez, PierreBryars, GavinCage, JohnCorigliano, JohnCrumb, GeorgeDaugherty, MichaelDean, BrettDorman, AvnerDubugnon, RichardElfman, DannyEötvös, 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, ColinMiki, MinoruMorricone, EnnioNaon, LuisPenderecki, KrzysztofPicker, TobiasPrevin, AndréRaskatov, AlexanderRautavaara, EinojuhaniReich, SteveRihm, WolfgangRiley, TerryRouse, ChristopherRutter, JohnSaariaho, KaijaSandstrom, JanSchoenberg, Claude-MichelShchedrin, Rodion KonstantinovichSilvestrov, ValentinSondheim, StephenTanaka, KarenTavener, JohnTüür, Erkki-SvenVasks, PeterisWallin, RolfWeir, JudithWilliams, JohnWuorinen, CharlesZorn, JohnDove, JonathanPintscher, MatthiasTurnage, Mark-AnthonyMatthews, DavidAdès, ThomasPoole, GeoffreyLachenmann, HelmutFokkens, RobertMarsh, RogerHellawell, PiersGrime, HelenSimpson, MarkKernis, Aaron JayKapustin, NikolaiWhitacre, EricWilliams, RoderickCasken, JohnSalonen, Esa-PekkaStaud, Johannes MariaQigang ChenFitkin, GrahamLindberg, MagnusDun, TanFujikura, DaiConnesson, GuillaumeDusapin, PascalWidmann, JörgMeredith, AnnaMurail, TristanDufourt, HuguesWoolrich, JohnJenkins, KarlTovey, Bramwellvan der Aa, MichelWigglesworth, RyanShepherd, SeanGlanert, DetlevMackey, StevenAnderson, JulianShore, HowardBates, MasonLloyd Webber, AndrewMantovani, BrunoTodd, WillPanufnik, RoxannaLudwig, DavidBruce, DavidFranke, BerndHaas, Georg FriedrichSkempton, HowardPuts, KevinMuhly, NicoChin, UnsukGjeilo, OlaPhilips, JulianHamelin, Marc-AndréCurrier, SebastianGandolfi, MichaelSchafer, Raymond MurrayClyne, AnnaByström, BrittaBorisova-Ollas, VictoriaAdams, John LutherRoukens, JoeyZimmer, HansGiacchino, MichaelHurel, PhillipePesson, GérardFedele, IvanMatre, ØrjanDessner, BryceNorman, AndrewMealor, PaulCerha, FriedrichHenderickx, WimFrank, Gabriela LenaÅm, MagnarSharafyan, VacheFagerlund, SebastianParry, BenMendoza, ElenaBjarnason, DanielCamilo, MichelSchoenberg, AdamWilkinson, StephenCheung, AnthonyChampert, AnneBearcroft, NormanLuc, María EugeniaLennox, KrisEscaich, ThierryCarnahan, CraigDai, AaronPaus, MarcusMaessen, SylviaVazquez, OctavioRonchetti, LuciaAttahir, BenjaminKrauss, MorganTiguls, RaimondsRan, ShulamitKechley, DavidBaigent, BertieVan Oosten, RoelKox, HansWagenaar, DiderikHirs, RozalieLa Bouchardière, JohnBerg, OlavAquino, Darwinde la Fuente, BenjaminSøderlind, RagnarZavaro, PascalLack, GrahamCampogrande, NicolaMercurio, StevenAdámek, OndrejLuchterhandt, FabianDoldinger, KlausKüchler-Blessing, SebastianSárik, PéterDukay, BarnabásDe Cock, JohanGyöngyösi, LeventeMcGowan, NedStookey, NathanielFang, DongqingBource, LudovicIppolito, MichaelMellits, MarcMelford, MyraSotelo, MauricioMoore, PatrickIvan, LinsNewman, RandyLittle, David TŽivković, ÐuroKlaverdal, StefanPerich, TristanDobson, ChaseComeau, BenJirásek, JanMills, JeffHaber, YotamFitch, KeithLeisner, DavidRiley, GyanYork, AndrewMontalti, VittorioBaldvinsson, Tryggvi M.Hazmat ModineRechter, YoniAzurza, DavidBeneking, StephanSpeight, JohnMolino, AndreaDanna, MychaelDurán, HilarioDavis, Ed FrazierKulesha, GaryHagen, ToonButterworth, IanClemmitt, RichardTerracini, PaulTurina, José LuisJoo, Hyung-KiIgudesman, AlekseyGuevara, Juan CruzManuel, CastilloBuide del Real, FernandoRuíz, J MRosinskij, WladimirCoello Cabrera, EmilioGolinski, TomaszMuñoz, EnriqueZárate, JoséHollinden, DaveEstapé, VictorRoig-Francolí, MiguelGonzalez 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, ÁngelReinvere, Jüridel Campo, ConradoRabade, AbePichard, JacquesColomer, JuanDu Prez, JohnWebb, JimmyPetrauskis, RaimondsAllevi, GiovanniMelnyk, LubomyrMchedelov, MikhailBoldachev, AlexanderFondse, MartinMarin, Marie-MartinLe Page, DavidShilkloper, ArkadyPerkin, SamHajdu, AndreWhates, DouglasTreseder, GarethLoureiro, JoãoHemenger, DrewMantas, SantiagoDarbourne, Jonathan