The Tectonics Festival takes place over the weekend of 4th–5th May in Glasgow. On the first day harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani will perform recent works by Anahita Abbasi, Miroslav Srnka, George Lewis as well as by one of the great pioneers of electronic music, Luc Ferrari. There are world premieres from the BBC SSO of works from Martin Arnold and Sarah Davachi; two BBC commissions from Christian Wolff and Juliana Hodkinson; a co-commission with WDR Cologne and the BBC from Mauro Lanza; and the UK Premieres of Jennifer Walshe’s The Site Of An Investigation and Andrew Hamilton’s c. Lucie Vítková is also in residence for the weekend with her installation Makeup Scores: Environmental Music. The work features scores drawn with old or expired make-up performed by Vítková with Maya Verlaak, Suze Whites and Jorge Boehringer.
The Norfolk and Norwich Festival (10th–26th) offers a whole host of cultural events, including theatre, cabaret, circus, dance, literature and visual arts. Its list of contemporary music may be a little on the light side for some, but are interesting nevertheless: an ambitious new project Celebration combining music, poetry and dance on 11th; chamber music, including new compositions from June Talbot (voice), Iain Bellamy (saxophones) and Huw Warren (piano) on 13th; new works by Venezuelan singer Nella Rojas on 15th; pianist/composer Tord Gustavsen on 16th; and composer/organist Kit Downes on 22nd (see video, bottom, for a flavour of his work).
Founded by John Metcalf in 1969, the Vale of Glamorgan Festival (18th–24th) is celebrating its 50th anniversary. It remains, as ever, focused on the music of today and particularly on music by Welsh or Welsh-based composers. World premieres this year include works by Charlie Barber, Mark David Boden, Graham Fitkin, Gareth Glyn, Lynne Plowman, Steph Power, Guto Pryderi Puw, Claire Victoria Roberts, David Roche, Ben Wallace and Robert Fokkens.
The Prague Spring Festival goes on for the best part of a month (12th–4th June) and features around fifty concerts. Amongst these is the chance to hear Harfenianna, a new Concertino for Harp and Strings by Ondřej Kukal on 20th; Jakub Rataj’s æther for theremin, oboe & piano quintet on 24th; Jana Vöröšová’s Cloud Atlas for saxophone quartet on 26th; and the European premiere of Miroslav Srnka’s Overheating on 27th.
Of the many other premieres one can hear this month (see my picks below), I make special mention of Roberto David Rusconi’s new work Variazioni Tiepolo at the Southbank Centre’s Purcell Room on 17th. Rusconi is a fascinating figure whose work is informed by shamanism, ritual, music embodiment and 3D sound projection. We will talk with him here on C:T next week.
1st Lighthouse, Poole. Leshnoff, Suite for Cello, Strings and Timpani.
2nd Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Edinburgh. Dove, Accordion Concerto. Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
7th Royal Festival Hall, London. McDowall, Da Vinci Requiem. Philharmonia Orchestra, Wimbledon Choral Society.
9th Invisible Wind Factory, Liverpool. Goves, Parker, Zaba premieres. Solem String Quartet.
17th Purcell Room, London. Rusconi, Variazioni Tiepolo. Minguet Quartet.
18th BBC Hoddinott Hall, Cardiff. Bowden, Descent. BBC National Orchestra of Wales.
1st Rudolfinum: Dvořák Hall, Prague. Unknown, Winning work from the Czech Philharmonic Composers’ Competition. Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
4th Liszt Academy: Grand Hall, Budapest. Elia, Implicate Inklings. Concerto Budapest.
8th Victoria Hall, Geneva. Montalbetti, Flute Concerto, “Memento vivere” Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
16th Pierre Boulez Saal, Berlin. Widmann, Melodie. Kian Soltani, Cello; Nathalia Milstein, Piano
17th Concertgebouw: Recital Hall, Amsterdam. Davies, New work. Asko/Schönberg.
18th Concertgebouw: Main Hall, Amsterdam. de Raaff, Violin Concerto no. 2 “North Atlantic Light”. Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
22d Grieg Hall (Grieghallen), Bergen. Knausgård, New Work.
25th Universitetsaulaen, Universitet i Bergen, Bergen. Hvoslef, String Quartet no. 4.
25th Philharmonie 1: Grande salle Pierre Boulez, Paris. Jarrell, Piano Concerto. Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.
30th Concertgebouw Brugge: Chamber Music Hall, Bruges. Lang, Bernhard, HERMETIKA IX ‘vox angeli II.’ Nadar Ensemble.
2nd Symphony Hall, Boston. Currier, Aether for violin and orchestra. Baiba Skride, Violin; Boston Symphony Orchestra
2nd Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Andriessen, The only one. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
10th Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles. Adès, New Ballet Work for Orchestra. Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra.
14th Saint-Sixte Church, Saint-Laurent, Montreal. Brown, Trumpet Concerto. Orchestre Métropolitain de Montréal.
19th University of Utah: Libby Gardner Concert Hall, Salt Lake City. Thomas, Folding. Thierry Fischer, Conductor; Madeleine Adkins, Violin; Davidson, Mark, Trombone; Hardink, Jason, Piano; Johnson, Matt, Cello; Smith, Mercedes, Flute.
24th Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. Pal, New Work. Toronto Symphony Orchestra.
Kit Downes: Rings of Saturn