The Rambler :: blog

Monday, March 27, 2006

New Music on a Shoestring - April 

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Loads going on this month.

1st - As part of the Royal Academy's weekend exploration of Improvisation and Synaesthesia, organist Dame Gillian Weir presents an illustrated recital. Messiaen may crop up. Free admission, no tickets required. See the RAM events diary for more info [scroll down]

2nd - One of many celebrations for Richard Rodney Bennett's 70th birthday, this 5pm concert, also at the RAM (free, no tickets), includes chamber works by RRB, as well as Debussy and a new piece, Notes for a time past by Graham Williams. See the RAM events diary for more info [scroll down]

4th - The next installment of the Philharmonia's occasional Music of Today series includes three pieces by Derek Bermel. Free as always, more details.

6th - Gabriel Prokofiev - featured previously on these pages - presents his characteristically eclectic Concerto for Turntables and Orchestra at the Blackheath Halls, SE3, with the Trinity College Contemporary Music Group and DJ Yoda 'pon decks. Tickets £5/£3, more details.

9th April - John White is another composer who turns 70 this year. Wiltons Music Hall is the venue for the celebrations, an all-day, three-concert, all-star extravaganza drawn from White's immense output of 150+ piano sonatas. By my count, 46 (46!) of them will be performed during the day, 18 of them (including numbers 146-152) as world premieres. The roster of pianists assembled for this marathon is equally impressive: Dave Smith, Jonathan Powell, Christopher Hobbs, Kathron Sturrock, John Tilbury, Mary Dullea, Niel Immelman, and finally White himself. The three concerts, which start at 3pm, 5pm and 7.30pm, are £5/£3 each, or £12/£6 for a day pass for the lot. We call that value, people.

13th - Sleeps in Oysters, Modern Art Cafe, Oxford. As the blurb says: "Imagine a pop song, then re-imagine it stretched, mangled, quirkified and stuck back together with all the imagination of the best electronica you've heard and buckets of childish charm - oh, and toy ukeleles and glockenspiels!" More details; see also Oxford Contemporary Music. Tickets are £3/£2

-- Later the same evening, Unsuk Chin's Piano Concerto is being recorded for broadcast by the BBC SO (Andrew Zolinksy on piano) at Maida Vale. Tickets are free, but need to be booked. More details.

22nd - The Yehudi Menuhin School hosts a 90th anniversary concert for their founder; music includes Malcolm Singer's Opening Rites, Peter Maxwell Davies's The Fall of Leafe and A Voyage to Fair Isle, and Stephen Goss's Frozen Music. Free admission, ticket required, call 08700 842020 to book.

24th - Deptford Town Hall, 5pm, a concert of Beethoven, Bartok and Schubert chamber music also features two works by Per Norgard - Duo for guitar and cello, and Quaerendo Invenietis. Free admission.

25th - Deptford Town Hall again, 6pm, pianist and Russian music scholar Tanya Ursova gives a recital-talk on the music of Nikolai Kapustin, in the presence of the composer. Free, more details here if you scroll down the page.

27th - Modern Art Cafe, Oxford, hosts singers Jeremy Askew and Rebecca Avis and laptop musician Robin Whitnell for some voice and electronica fun. As with Sleeps in Oysters above, tickets are £3/£2; more details are here.

-- If you're in London rather than Oxford, however, you can catch Timothy Orpen playing clarinet music by Howells, Denisov and Milhaud. More details.

-- And if that's not enough for one day, the BBC SO are making another recording, free admission by ticket only as before, of Beethoven, Brahms, and Rihm's Ernster Gesang. More details. Rihm is no doubt delighted to discover that in some parts of the BBC at least he is still regarded as an "exciting young composer".

30th - As part of the regular New Music Morning series at Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, M.E.M.E. (Mechanical and Electronic Musical Experience) from Anglia Ruskin University present "a surround performance and diffusion of electroacoustic music and electronica". Admission is free; New Music Morning concerts start, perversely, at 12pm.

That'll do you; all for less than a pair of tickets to Yet Another Symphony.

Performers, composers, promoters - please get in touch with details of any events you think should be included in my (semi-) regular 'New Music on a Shoestring' posts. I only cover UK concerts, and to qualify as 'Shoestring' tickets must be available at £5 or less. Email: tim.johnson77 AT btopenworld.com

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