After writing the C:T review of 2017, I found myself reflecting on the things that were predicted to happen in 2017 but didn’t. Chief among these was that a wave of populism would engulf Europe, with the possibility that other countries would follow the UK out of the EU.
Though this did not happen, we must be wary of complacency in 2018. In Europe problems persist: Angela Merkel still struggles to form a government and there are challenges in the east. And the UK still has big decisions to make about its future with the EU. If musicians want to preserve a spirit of cooperation with our friends on the continent it is vital we make our voices heard. The UK may be leaving the EU, but the manner of doing so is still up for grabs.
The world is an unstable and difficult place, but despite this the arts scene is as vibrant as ever. My little preview of 2018, below, is ample evidence of this. There are celebrations to mark the hundredth birthday of Leonard Bernstein; major premieres from Philip Sawyers, John Adams, James Macmillan, Philippe Manoury, Nico Muhly, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Mark Simpson, David Matthews and many others; and the usual round of festivals, of which I present a small portion here.
I will expand upon this preview in the months to come—do check in for my regular roundups. In the meantime I wish you and all C:T member and visitors a peaceful, happy and musical New Year!
18th Stephen Pratt, Symphonies of Time and Tide (World Premiere), Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool, UK.
20th Huw Watkins, New Work (World Premiere), Brangwyn Hall, BBCNOW, Swansea, UK.
25th Sebastian Currier, New Work for String Quartet (World Premiere), Lincoln Center, Rose Building, NYC, US.
27th BBCSO Total Immersion, Leonard Bernstein. Barbican, London
6th–11th Festival Présences with a portrait of composer Thierry Escaich. Paris, France.
8th Symphony Without a Hero (World Premiere), Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Benaroya Hall, Seattle, US.
15th Helen Grime, New Work (World Premiere), Ruby Hughes (Soprano) and Joseph Middleton (Piano), Wigmore Hall, London, UK.
23rd Nico Muhly, Organ Concerto, (World Premiere). Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, US.
23rd Composition Wales Culmination concert. Hear the latest in composition in Wales, as composers worthy of wider exposure have the opportunity to hear their works performed by the BBCNOW.
25th Philip Sawyers, Violin Concerto (World Premiere). English Symphony Orchestra, St. Peter’s Square, Hereford, UK.
2nd–4th Peninsular Arts Contemporary Music Festival 2018. The theme is Decoding Life.
4th André Previn The Fifth Season, for violin and piano (World Premiere). Anne-Sophie Mutter, Lambert Orkis, Carnegie Hall, NYC, US.
10th Gary Kulesha, Double Concerto (World Premiere). Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Canada.
21st Judith Weir Piano Quintet (World Premiere). Schubert Ensemble, Wigmore Hall, London.
21st–25th LONDON EAR festival of contemporary music.
29th John Luther Adams, Become Desert (World Premiere). Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Benaroya Hall, US.
6th Michael Daugherty Concerto for Orchestra (World Premiere). Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Ferguson Centre, Virginia, US.
11th James MacMillan Saxophone Concerto (World Premiere). Perth Concert Hall, Perth, UK.
13th Esa-Pekka Salonen New Work (World Premiere). Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, US.
17th–25h Lucerne Festival at Easter.
19th Helen Grime New Work (World Premiere).
18th Panufnik Composers Scheme Workshop. LSO St Luke’s, London.
21st Mark Simpson Cello Concerto (World Premiere). Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK.
3rd Elvind Buene New Work (World Premiere). Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, Oslo Concert Hall, Oslo, Norway.
9th David Matthews Symphony No. 9 (World Premiere). English Symphony Orchestra, St. George’s, Bristol, UK.
9th–16th Vale of Glamorgan Festival
11th–27th Bath International Music Festival.
11th–27th Norfolk and Norwich Festival.
15th–3rd June Prague Spring International Music Festival.
17th–20th Northern Chords Festival.
20th Adam Vidiksis Concerto Grosso (World Premiere). The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Kimmel Centre, Philadelphia, US.
25th–3rd June St. Davids Cathedral Festival.
Also in May (details tbc)
1st Josef Bardanashvili, Ex Animo (World Premiere). Orchestre National de Lyon, L’Auditorium de Lyon, Lyon, France.
5th Charles Wuorinen Eros and Nemesis (World Premiere). The MET Orchestra, Carnegie Hall, NYC, US.
6th–31st Munich Opera Festival Nationaltheater and other venues in Munich.
8th–24th Aldeburgh Festival.
12th David Bedford at 80. David Bedford, Symphony No. 1; Robin Rimbaud New Work (World Premiere). BBC Concert Orchestra, Southbank Centre, London, UK.
16th Pascal Dusapin New Work (World Premiere). Château de Versailles: Royal Opera House, Paris, France.
30th–26th August Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival
Other June festivals (dates tbc):
St Magnus International Festival.
1st Samuel Carl Adams Concerto Grosso (World Premiere). Australian Chamber Orchestra, Sydney Opera House, Sydney, Australia.
8th Philippe Manoury Concerto for Flute and Orchestra (World Premiere). Gürzenich Orchestra, Philharmonie, Cologne, Germany.
8th–21st Soundscape. Maccagno, Italian Alps.
6th–22rd Buxton Festival. A marriage of opera, books and music, including some by contemporary composers. Buxton, Derbyshire.
13th-8th September BBC Proms. Programme not currently available, but there will be premières aplenty. Royal Albert Hall, London.
20th–30st August Salzburg Festival. Salzburg, Austria.
Other July festivals (dates tbc):
Schlern International Music Festival
Tête à Tête Opera Festival. Described as ‘our most imaginative opera laboratory’, the festival focuses entirely on new music.
‘Aix en Provence Festival. ‘Aix en Provence, France.
3rd–27th Edinburgh International Festival. Programme not yet available, but there is usually a good selection of new music.
6th–18th High Score Festival. Contemporary music festival and classes. Pavia, Italy.
23rd–28th Presteigne Festival. Artistic innovation, musical discovery and, of course, new works in the Welsh Marches. Presteigne, Powys.
30th Carl Vine Symphony No.8 (World Premiere). Arts Centre Melbourne: Hamer Hall, Melbourne, Australia.
13th–22nd Oslo Contemporary Music Festival.
21st Richard Mills Island Signal Island Song (World Premiere). Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne, Australia.
23rd Ruta Vitkauskaite New Work (World Premiere). COMA London Ensemble, Kings Place: Hall One, London, UK.
30th Lisa Illean New Work (World Premiere). ExplorEnsemble, Kings Place: Hall One, London, UK.
Also in September (date tbc):
10th Stephen Goss, Time (World Premiere). Christoph Denoth (guitar), Kings Place: Hall One London, UK.
11th Iain Grandage (World Premiere). Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Melbourne Recital Centre: Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne, Australia.
28th–30th November Wien Modern. Festival that focuses on contemporary music. Vienna, Austria.
Dates not yet available:
Sound. North East Scotland’s Festival of New Music. Various venues.
17th–25th Lucerne Festival at the Piano.
Dates not yet available:
Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.
Date not yet available: