wed 28/02/2024

contemporary classical

Uproar, Rafferty, Royal Welsh College, Cardiff review - a rare spring in the new music step

It’s not often one comes out of a concert of mainly new works with a spring in one’s step. A sigh of relief is rather more usual. But this concert on Thursday by the Welsh new music ensemble Uproar was an exception, partly but by no means...

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Paraorchestra, Hazlewood, Southbank Centre review - re-thinking the orchestral experience

The Clore Ballroom at the Southbank Centre is usually an open-plan space within the foyer, a little ambiguous in its extent and purpose. Last night, for the first time, I saw it enclosed and separated off, ambiently lit and full of smoke, for the...

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Ablogin, SCO, Emelyanychev, City Halls, Glasgow review - a happy 50th birthday

The mood was indeed celebratory at Glasgow’s City Halls on Friday evening for the second of two concerts celebrating the Scottish Chamber Orchestra’s 50th birthday. It opened with a suite from Figaro Gets a Divorce, a comic opera written by composer...

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First Person: Natalia Franklin Pierce, Executive Director of Nonclassical, on 'creating a sense of belonging'

Despite my double-barrelled surname (my parents weren't married when I was born – so I was given both their names), a career within contemporary classical music definitely wasn't on the cards for me as a child. My Dad was a self-made man from a...

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Dariescu, BBC Philharmonic, Storgårds, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - sounds of unquenchable optimism

John Storgårds found himself literally facing both ways for the third item on the BBC Philharmonic’s programme on Saturday: towards the audience, with one music stand in front of him, as he played the solo violin role in Sebastian Fagerlund’s Helena...

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Album: Peter Culshaw - Music from the Temple of Light

Music from the Temple of Light has for its cover image a minimalist 17th century representation of Tantra. In this instance, a deep blue field bordering on black, scored by a golden yellow square, an arrow hanging down from the square’s centre, and...

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Grosvenor, Kanneh-Mason, Park, Hallé, Stasevska, Bridgewater Hall, Manchester review - the factors that make for a full house

What makes a classical box office draw these days? If there were a simple answer to that question, a lot of concert givers would be laughing all the way to the bank.Is it recognisability – artists whose names are familiar from big-viewing TV events...

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Facade Ensemble, Collins Rice, St Margaret Pattens Church review - meditation and reflection

The Facade Ensemble is an interesting chamber group of young players dedicated to exploring 20th repertoire, in this case John Cage, Arvo Pärt and Gavin Bryars, who celebrates his 80th birthday this year. The programme, put together by founder and...

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Fröst, Philharmonia, Lazarova, Kuusisto, Southbank Centre review - congenial new works complemented by live-wire classics

Anna Clyne’s engaging First Person here led me to two of her works in a Philharmonia rainbow. She curated a woodwind-based gem of a 6pm programme of works by four women composers, herself included, and her Clarinet Concerto could only gain from two...

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First Person: Anna Clyne on composing collaborations, not battles, in her latest concertos

Collaboration fuels a lot of my music – I love the interaction that takes me outside of my natural tendencies – it’s a source of inspiration and an opportunity to see my own music and creative process through a different lens.This past season I had...

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Osborne, RSNO, Chan, Usher Hall, Edinburgh - cinematic sweep and surging drama

Two women featured prominently in this programme; the one a composer and the other a conductor.To the composer first. Long before she hit New York big time, Anna Clyne was at Edinburgh University, so there’s a strong link with Scotland that the...

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Nonclassical: The Greenhouse Effect, Barbican Conservatory review - enjoyable freestyle happening

It would seem unfitting to report on Nonclassical’s event – happening? – in the Barbican Conservatory on Sunday with anything resembling a conventional review. So instead I shall treat this free-form “experience” to a non-sequential response, in the...

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