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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Campogrande, Glazunov, Beethoven, Taneyev, Stravinsky

Campogrande, Glazunov, Beethoven, Taneyev, Stravinsky
Symphony Orchestra of Milan Giuseppe Verdi; Francesco Lanzillotta

Prom 22: Aurora Orchestra

Dean, Mozart, Meredith, Beethoven
Aurora Orchestra; Nicholas Collon; Francesco Piemontesi

Proms Chamber Music 3: Webern, Colin Matthews & Beethoven

Webern, Matthews C., Beethoven
Apollon Musagète Quartet

Prom 24: James MacMillan & Mahler

MacMillan, Mahler
BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Donald Runnicles

The Danish String Quartet

Beethoven, Adès, Nielsen
The Danish String Quartet

Westminster Abbey Summer Organ Festival 2015 - Jos van der Kooy

Sweelinck, Bach, Ireland, Leighton, Reger, van der Kooy
Jos van der Kooy, Organ

Cold Mountain

Higdon: Cold Mountain
Miguel Harth-Bedoya; Leonard Foglia; Santa Fe Opera; Robert Brill; David C. Woolard; Isabel Leonard; Emily Fons

Enchanting Encounters

Salonen, Crumb
Senja Rummukainen, Cello
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Bychkov and the BBCSO conquer Leningrad

Let’s not beat about the bush: the BBC Symphony Orchestra wouldn’t rank among my top ten orchestras in the world. Semyon Bychkov, however, has a transformative power over its players and in a monumentally impressive account of Dmitri Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony, Bychkov made the BBCSO truly sound one of the world’s greats.
****1
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Mälkki puts the BBC SO through its paces

Exquisite Boulez and Francesconi from Mälkki and the BBC Symphony Orchestra, before the conductor pushed the ensemble to its limits in The Planets.
***11
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Glorious philosophy in music at the Salzburg Festival

Konwitschny's bold approach to Rihm's musical dialectic surprises, challenges, and bewilders. The glorious soundscape created in the Felsenreitschule makes this Eroberung von Mexico a unique, unmissable operatic experience. 
*****
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Adventures in Birmingham

An evening of fine music-making in Birmingham thanks to the CBSO Youth Orchestra Academy and Michael Seal. 
****1
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A unique pianist in an unique venue

Everybody should visit the 1901 Arts Club at least once. Bulgarian-born pianist Tania Stavreva is exactly the sort of performer these venues need: combining genuine quality with a refreshing approach to programming.
****1
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The curate's night out: the Tête-à-Tête Clubnight

Tête-à-Tête's installation of four works is something of a curate's egg, but worth it for James Schouten's exhilarating Rock Tosca and Workshopera's visionary Boys of Paradise
***11
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Prom 4: Nelsons' era at the CBSO comes to a close

Traditionally at the Proms, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is reserved for the penultimate prom slot in September, but this year, they have made an exception and given it to the CBSO and Andris Nelsons.
****1
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Uplifting Haydn a highlight from the ACO

As usual, the performances here were thoroughly committed, but repeated cases of uncertain intonation and rhythmic imprecision prevented them from reaching the heights the audience have experienced in earlier programmes.
***11
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