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Guide to contemporary music

Contemporary music is often reputedly difficult. But anyone who approaches it with an open-mind is immediately struck by the incredible richness of sound, colours and impressions that contemporary composers have explored. If you're still a bit confused and need some guidance for your first steps in this vast territory, you will find here An Introduction to contemporary music, as well as interviews with specialist performers and composers to witness the vitality of contemporary music today.
An introduction to contemporary music...

Introduction to Contemporary Music 1: The Young Generation

Michel van der Aa
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.

Introduction to Contemporary Music 3: Cutting-Edge Heavyweights

© Kathinka Pasveer
In the third 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 looks at five composers whose music occupies the challenging end of the spectrum.

Introduction to Contemporary Music 2: The Minimalists

Philip Glass © Raymond Meier
In the second 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 who have, in different ways, attracted the label “minimalist”.

Introduction to Contemporary Music 4: Rugged Individuals

In the last 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 looks at five composers whose approach to music is utterly individual.
Articles and interviews

"No soy un compositor político": John Adams

© Deborah O'Grady
Robándole tiempo de trabajo de la composición de su nueva ópera, Girls of the Golden West, que se estrena en San Francisco este año, hablamos con John Adams sobre política, Scheherazade.2 y cómo ve el fututo de la música clásica.

Remembering the legacy of Pauline Oliveros

© Hand Gamper
“Music is a multi-dimensional, dynamic process unfolding as a relationship between an individual or a group of individuals, and sound vibrations.

Challenges of contemporary composition: Amos Elkana

Amos Elkana © Natali Schor
Amos Elkana is at the crossroad of many genres and styles. We ask him about the challenges faced today by contemporary composers, and his reflections about his own technique.

Keeping the Boulez spirit alive

Pierre Boulez © Harald Hoffmann | DG
Daniel Barenboim inaugurated last month the Barenboim-Said Academy in Berlin. The most interesting feature of the hall lies not in its flowing architecture, but rather in its name: the Pierre Boulez Saal. One year after the French composer death, what is his legacy?

A guide to contemporary music festivals

Festival Messiaen au pays de la Meije © Colin Samuels
There are plenty of occasions to hear Beethoven's symphonies or Mozart's operas throughout the year. But what about the 21st century repertoire? Contemporary music lovers often find it hard to quench their thirst for new music. Thankfully, some festivals specialise in contemporary music, giving to everyone the opportunity to drink their fill.

Top 10 Living Women Composers

According to online showcase/podcast Listening to Ladies, during the 2015–2016 season, the top 89 symphony orchestras in the US dedicated only 2% of their programs to music composed by women. 

John Constable, London Sinfonietta: interview

We kick off our interviews series with John Constable, London Sinfonietta Emeritus Principal Piano.

Enno Senft, London Sinfonietta: interview

We continue our interviews series with Enno Senft, the London Sinfonietta's Principal Double Bass.

Jagdish Mistry, Ensemble Modern: interview

© Andreas Etter
We continue our interviews series with Jagdish Mistry, violinist at the Ensemble Modern.
Want to read more? Check out Bachtrack Composer Project for interviews with established leading figures and emerging voices.
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Conmovedor programa de la OSG con Chloë Hanslip y Eugene Tzigane

Chloë Hanslip © Benjamin Ealovega
La Sinfónica de Galicia estrenaba en España Four Iberian Miniatures del compositor Francisco Coll, la violinista Chloë Hanslip se erigió en auténtica protagonista de la interpretación de esta obra ecléctica y dinámica. Hanslip continuó en el escenario con el concierto de Britten, para dar paso a otra obra llena también de desolación, la despedida sinfónica de Shostakovich.

Alondra de la Parra y Pacho Flores hicieron bailar al Euskalduna

Alondra de la Parra y Pacho Flores elevaron la temperatura del Palacio Euskalduna en una noche de marcado aire latino.

El cromatismo de Saariaho regresa a España con la OSG y Jennifer Koh

La violinista Jennifer Koh © Juergen Frank
Un atractivo programa fundado en los contrastes, con un discurso heterogéneo que entrecruza lenguajes folclóricos, electroacústicos y clásicos, donde la emotividad se reinventa en las melodías de Kaija Saariaho.