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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LondonProm 12: Ten Pieces II

Bach, Bernstein, Bizet, Clyne, Haydn, Prokofiev, Shostakovich, Vaughan Williams, Verdi, Wagner
BBC Philharmonic; Alpesh Chauhan; Unknown; Lemn Sissay; DJ Mr Switch; Matilda Lloyd

LondonProm 13: Beethoven – Symphony No.9

Lindberg, Beethoven
London Philharmonic Orchestra; Vladimir Jurowski; Miah Persson; Anna Stéphany; John Daszak; Christopher Purves

QuebecLe serpent et le chat (The Snake and the Cat)

Magnan: Le serpent et le chat
Béatrice Cadrin; Richard Paquet; Joëlle Turcotte; Danielle Boutin

WeymouthLast Night of the BSO Proms

Shostakovich, Ponchielli, Albinoni, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Williams, Suppe, Elgar, Binge, Ellis, Wood, Parry
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Frank Zielhorst

TorquayLast Night of the BSO Proms

Shostakovich, Ponchielli, Albinoni, Rossini, Tchaikovsky, Williams, Suppe, Elgar, Binge, Ellis, Wood, Parry
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra; Frank Zielhorst

LondonLunchtime Recital - Kate Howden (mezzo- soprano) & Sachika Taniyama (piano)

Enescu, Bernstein, Muhly, Bennett
Kate Howden; Sachika Taniyama
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Bruckner and the Minimalists in Berlin

For his guest appearance with the Berlin Konzerthausorchester last weekend, Russell Davies was joined by violinist Chad Hoopes for performances of Glass and Adams alongside Bruckner’s First.
****1
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A haunting, poignant Proms opener

After a stirring Marseillaise, a sombre mood hung over the first half of this Proms season opener, with Sol Gabetta's lyrical, intimate Elgar. 
****1
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Kagel Trios at "Terra Nova", Lockenhaus

Kagel's startlingly vivid piano trios proved this composer is worthy of a lovingly curated retrospective.
***11
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Surrealism, austerity and heroism at Blossom

For his only appearance this season at The Cleveland Orchestra's summer home, Franz Welser-Möst led scintillating performances of scandalous Adès, Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, and Beethoven's "Eroica" Symphony.
****1
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Baroque rarities rapturously received in Riga

Local soprano Elīna Šimkus was a fascinating combination of Farinelli and Emma Kirkby.
***11
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Philip Glass and the Kronos Quartet resurrect Dracula

Philip Glass performs his music to the film Dracula, alongside the Kronos Quartet at the Philharmonie de Paris.
***11
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