BCMG 25th Anniversary Brochure - Concerts, Workshops and Events March - July 2013

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A brochure covering Birmingham Contemporary Music Group's public activities from March - July 2013. For a hard copy of the brochure email tim@bcmg.org.uk (depends on availability).


  • March July 2013Concerts, Workshops and Events

    BCMG Online: G facebook.com/bcmgfans U twitter.com/bcmg @bcmg www.bcmg.org.uk

    In an ideal world, all performances of contemporary music would be like this BCMG have thrown down the gauntlet to others. The Birmingham Post

    25 YEARS

    New Music for New EarsAnd New Ears for New Music

  • 2 Box Office: 0121 345 0491

    2000: Thomas Ads Powder Her Face on UK tour and on Channel 4 TVGerald Barrys Wiener Blut becomes the 25th Sound Investment commission to be premiered

    Oliver Knussen has been rightly celebrated in his 60th year as much for his championing of other composers as for his own extraordinary oeuvre. Having opened our 25th season with an important new Alexander Goehr work, he returns in March to launch a piece by BCMGs latest Apprentice Composer-in-Residence Joanna Lee, set amongst American originals from the first half of the last century. March, incidentally, sees the UK premiere at Covent Garden of George Benjamins universally acclaimed new opera Written on Skin (go if you can!); and in April Benjamin conducts BCMG in his masterful chamber opera Into the Little Hill, in Birmingham and Londons Wigmore Hall. In programming a Britten centenary chamber concert, John Woolrich has cast the composers early works amongst influences in both directions. Our Family & Schools Concerts introduce new music and established pieces to a young audience, conducted by Richard Baker, who returns after being featured here as composer in February.

    The summer sees BCMG on the road, taking our Britten tribute to the Spitalfields Festival;

    honouring the late greats Hans Werner Henze and Elliott Carter at the Aldeburgh Festival, the latter with a UK premiere with Carters long-term collaborators Oliver Knussen and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, alongside a Magnus Lindberg premiere commissioned for the Royal Philharmonic Societys bicentenary; unveiling a new vocal work by our previous Apprentice Composer Charlotte Bray at a separate Aldeburgh Festival appearance; and launching David Sawers The Lighthouse Keepers at the Cheltenham Festival with Martyn Brabbins.

    Whether presenting brand new or old new music, our focus is on excellent performances and a warm welcome at the door. Please join us to help these concerts take flight!

    Stephen NewbouldBCMG Artistic Director

    Introducing the second half of our 2012/13 season

    Birmingham Contemporary Music Group celebrates its 25th anniversary season in 2012/13. Emerging from within the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in 1987, the Group quickly established a reputation for brilliant performances, ambitious commissions, innovative collaborations, and a vibrant learning programme. With a central commitment to composers and the presentation of new work, BCMGs open and inclusive approach takes people of all ages through the rich and fascinating world of contemporary music.

    BCMG has premiered over 150 new works, many commissioned through its pioneering Sound Investment scheme. In addition to a busy schedule of concerts in the UK and abroad, BCMG runs an extensive learning and participation programme, working with young people in and out of school and with adults in a range of community settings, as well as presenting ground-breaking Family and Schools Concerts.

    The Group has two Artists-in-Association, Oliver Knussen and John Woolrich, and Sir Simon Rattle is Founding Patron. BCMG has received a host of national and international awards, has an extensive catalogue of CD recordings and broadcasts regularly on BBC radio.

    About Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

    This brochure is available free of charge in large-print, Braille, on audiocassette, CD or by email. Please contact Tim Rushby, Marketing Manager: tim@bcmg.org.uk / 0121 616 2619 / BCMG, CBSO Centre, Berkley Street, Birmingham, B1 2LF

    Support us in our 25th anniversary yearTurn to page 11 to find out more about how you can become involved.Call us on 0121 616 2621 or go to www.bcmg.org.uk/supportus

    Download NMCs BCMG 25th Anniversary SamplerA collection of music from the NMC catalogue selected by Stephen Newbould, BCMG Artistic Director.

    Download in mp3 & FLAC format from the NMC Shop:www.nmcrec.co.uk/bcmg252.99 download only

  • www.bcmg.org.uk 3

    By rights one ought also to mention by name every member of the orchestra, since this was an extraordinary virtuoso evening for the extraordinary BCMG. The Times Literary Supplement

    Free music workshops!As well as concerts BCMG runs fun music-making workshops for young people throughout the year.

    Music Maze for 8 11 year oldsA series of eight creative, participatory workshops that take place at CBSO Centre and link to music from BCMGs concerts. All young people are welcome, whether you can play a musical instrument or not. Each workshop culminates in a performance for parents and family. Children who attend receive a free ticket and a concessionary one for a parent/ guardian to come to the linked BCMG concert.

    Zigzag Ensemble for 12 16 year oldsA series of eight workshops that take place at the same time as Music Maze. These fun workshops explore composing and improvising within an ensemble. Young people need to be able to play a musical instrument and read a little bit of music notation. Participants receive free tickets for BCMG concerts.

    Music Maze and Zigzag Ensemble workshops will be held on the following dates:Sunday 3 March 2013Sunday 14 April 2013Sunday 12 May 2013Sunday 9 June 2013

    Feel the Buzz for 14 18 year oldsCreate music with other young people, top composers and BCMG musicians. These two-day workshops are an amazing opportunity to learn new ways to compose and develop musical ideas. Workshops to be held on:Tuesday 9 and Wednesday 10 April 2013

    2001: BCMGs recording of David Langs Sound Investment commission The Passing Measures released on Cantaloupe Music label

    2002: British Council tour of India with Judith Weir, storyteller Vayu Naidu and tabla player Sarvar Sabri

    March July at a glanceBCMG concerts, workshops and events, in Birmingham and beyond, during our 25th anniversary season. For additional information please visit www.bcmg.org.uk.

    Crossing the Atlantic Lee (world premiere) / Carter (UK premiere) / Cowell / Ruggles / Ives / Crawford Seeger / Cage Sunday 10 March 2013, CBSO Centre, Birmingham Page 4

    CAGE100: Water MusicThursday 14 March 2013, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham Page 5

    Into the Little HillSawer (world premiere) / Benjamin / AntonioniSaturday 6 April 2013, Wigmore Hall, London Sunday 7 April 2013, CBSO Centre, Birmingham Page 6

    Noise into Notes Chapman (world premiere) / Weir / Anderson / MessiaenSunday 28 April 2013, CBSO Centre, Birmingham Page 7

    Illuminating Britten Britten / Berg / Copland / Knussen / Henze Sunday 14 April 2013, Wiltshire Music Centre, Bradford-on-Avon Sunday 21 April 2013, Turner Sims Concert Hall, Southampton Saturday 18 May 2013, CBSO Centre, Birmingham Friday 24 May 2013, Maidment Hall, Shrewsbury Thursday 13 June 2013, Shoreditch Church, London Page 8

    BEAST: Vanishing PointSonic adventures with BEASTs immersive multi-channel sound system Friday 24 Sunday 26 May 2013, CBSO Centre, Birmingham Page 9

    BCMG at Aldeburgh Music Festival Bray (world premiere) / Debussy / Stravinsky / Knussen / Britten / Matthews / Henze / Woolrich / Berg Tuesday 18 June 2013, Britten Studio, Snape

    BCMG at Aldeburgh Music FestivalLindberg (world premiere) / Carter (UK premiere) / Henze / Britten / Lutoslawski Saturday 22 June 2013, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape

    BCMG at Cheltenham Music FestivalSawer (world premiere) / Beckett/Feldman Thursday 4 July 2013, Parabola Arts Centre, Cheltenham

    and online at www.bcmg.org.uk

    BCMG Family Concert

    In this brochure

  • 4 Box Office: 0121 345 0491

    Crossing the Atlantic

    Many American composers, I believe, have been interested in working things out for themselves to a great extent Charles Ives

    Sunday 10 March 2013, 7.30pmCBSO Centre, Birmingham

    Conductor: Oliver KnussenBaritone: Leigh Melrose *Mezzo-soprano: Lucy Schaufer ~

    Henry Cowell: 26 Simultaneous MosaicsCarl Ruggles: Vox Clamans in Deserto ~Charles Ives: Set for Theatre OrchestraRuth Crawford Seeger: Three Songs ~Ruth Crawford Seeger: Piano Study in Mixed AccentsJohn Cage: The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs ~Elliott Carter: Double Trio (UK premiere)Joanna Lee: new work * (BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence / world premiere)Charles Ives: General William Booth Enters into Heaven * BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence Joanna Lee is widely regarded as a strikingly original voice in the musical world, whose sharply witty (Daily Telegraph) and assured and confident (Birmingham Post) music has already received critical acclaim. Lees new work, a political satire, places former

    leaders from either side of the Atlantic on trial in a waxwork museum of suspect ideologies; the structure shaped around courtroom proceedings.

    The beginning of the 20th century saw composers in the United States begin to turn away from the European conventions on which their music had been modelled. It was in this period of change that experimentalism was born and America subsequently became, as it remains, a major source of new musical ideas for European musicians.

    Nobody cared for Americas new experimental music more than Henry Cowell, whose 26 Simultaneous Mosaics, a series of tonal and atonal kaleidoscopic segments for mixed quintet, open the concert. As a composer, programmer, publisher and teacher, Cowell played a significant role in the careers of Ives, Ruggles and Crawford Seeger, and acted as mentor to a young John Cage.

    Astonishingly, for a composer who departed this world so recently, you have to go all the way back to 1928 for Elliott Carters Opus 1, placing him at the heart of Americas music revolution. Carters monumental career spanned ten decades. In tribute we give a UK premiere to one of his final works for trumpet, trombone and solo strings.

    There will be a free pre-concert talk from 6.30-7pm with Joanna Lee, open to all ticket holders.

    See back page for ticket price and booking information.

    Concert followed by a late-night Thumb ensemble performance (see page 5).

    The BCMG/SAM Apprentice Composer-in-Residence scheme is generously supported by The Leverhulme Trust.

    Joanna Lee

    2003: Premiere and UK tour of Simon Holt opera Who put Bella in the Wych Elm with Almeida OperaBCMG launches Music Maze workshops for young people aged 811

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    Feel the BuzzExciting composing and improvising project for 14 18 year olds

    Tuesday 9 April 2013, 10am 4pm, andWednesday 10 April 2013, 10am 6pm,CBSO Centre. Free eventFeel the Buzz is a creative composing project for 14 18 year olds. Led by composer Fraser Trainer and taking inspiration from contemporary repertoire the young people will create music for BCMG musicians to perform. There will be two days of workshops culminating in a performance for friends and family on the evening of Wednesday 10 April at 5pm. Participants must be able to attend both workshops. BCMG welcomes musicians from all cultural traditions.

    Feel the Buzz will give participants: a fun and supportive environment to make

    music new ways to get started composing new ways to develop your musical ideas amazing professional musicians to create

    music with and for ideas for GCSE/A level composing

    Places must be booked in advance either through the BCMG website or by calling 0121 616 6525. Booking opens 4 weeks before the workshop.

    Music MazeCreative music workshop for 8 11 year olds

    Sunday 3 March 2013,10am 2.30pm,CBSO Centre. Free eventIn Marchs Music Maze the young people, inspired by the programme of the Crossing the Atlantic concert, will compose music for voice and other instruments, setting poems and other texts to music.

    Zigzag EnsembleCreative music-making for 12 16 year olds

    Sunday 3 March 2013,10am 2.30pm,CBSO Centre. Free eventLed by composer Ben Markland alongside BCMG musicians, these fun workshops provide a safe environment for young musicians to explore composing and improvising within an ensemble.

    Places must be booked in advance either through the BCMG website or by calling 0121 616 6525. Booking opens 3 weeks before each workshop.

    2004: Nordic Music Days Festival in Copenhagen and Malm with Diego Masson

    2005: BCMG wins Royal Philharmonic Society Audience Development Award

    2006: First ever BCMG Family Concerts receive five-star national reviews

    highlight of the international art and music festival CAGE100. The concert will be one of several Water Music performances across Leipzigs sister cities from 8 15 March, including Bologna, Houston and Lyon all streamed live on www.cage100.com.

    The setting for this six-minute piece is Ikons exhibition of work by the Russian artist Timur Novikov who along with Cage and others, created and performed Water Symphony in St. Petersburg in 1988, a piece symbolising the unification of American capitalist and Soviet state culture.

    For more information visit www.bcmg.org.uk

    John Cage: Water MusicPart of the CAGE100 festival

    Thursday 14 March 2013, 6 7pmIkon Gallery, Birmingham. Free event Piano: Christopher Hobbs BCMG and IKON Gallery present Cages Water Music for piano (plus radio, whistles, water containers and a deck of cards) as part of a live internet concert curated by the Forum of Contemporary Music Leipzig - the biggest

    late-nightSunday 10 March 2013, approx .10pmFollowing Crossing the Atlantic concert CBSO Centre. Free event Artistic Director/Conductor: Dan Watson Violin: Alexandra Wood * Saxophone: Kyle Horch * Howard Skempton: In Tandem Joe Cutler: Sikorski B Sen Clancy: Strange to See You Again * (Thumb commission / world premiere)

    Birmingham-based Thumb perform the ensembles premiere commission, written by BCMGs 2011 Apprentice Composer-In-Residence, Sen Clancy - a double concerto for BCMG musicians Alexandra Wood and Kyle Horch. www.thisisthumb.co.uk

    Thumb is grateful to the following for their generous support:

  • 6 Box Office: 0121 345 0491

    Saturday 6 April 2013, 7.30pmWigmore Hall, LondonPart of Wigmore Halls George Benjamin Day

    Sunday 7 April 2013, 7.30pmCBSO Centre, Birmingham

    Conductor: George BenjaminSoprano: Susanna Andersson *Contralto: Hilary Summers *

    Franceso Antonioni: Ballata (BCMG Sound Investment commission 2009 / London premiere)David Sawer: Rumpelstiltskin Suite (BCMG Sound Investment and Wigmore Hall co-commission / world premiere)George Benjamin: Into the Little Hill * (concert performance) George Benjamins jewel-like, award-winning chamber opera - a contemporary re-imagining of the Pied Piper fable has gone on to enjoy worldwide success since its premiere in 2006.

    The opera tells the tale of a morally bankrupt politician who, desperate to shore up a flagging public vote, promises to exterminate a plague of rats. A faceless stranger arrives and offers his services; but when the Mayor refuses to pay up, his actions have terrible repercussions. All

    the roles in Into the Little Hill are perf...