A busy week of contemporary music coming up. On Thursday I’m delighted to be conducting Psappha’s final concert of the season, which includes Nigel Osborne’s incredibly evocative Bosnian Voices. Written to mark 20 years since the conclusion of the war in Bosnia (a conflict in which the composer was a humanitarian volunteer) it is a set of arrangements based on songs written by inhabitants of Srebrenica.
On Saturday the RNCM New Ensemble will be at the Wigmore Hall presenting a study day of the music of Sir George Benjamin.
A typically busy autumn term at the RNCM saw me recording a CD of Martin Ellerby’s music with the Wind Orchestra, a classical programme of Mozart and Haydn with the Concert Orchestra, a major festival of the music of Kaija Saariaho, amongst several other performances.
The conducting department welcomed David Hill as our new International Chair in Choral Conducting. As well as classes with David, there were also 4 masterclasses with Sir Mark Elder and 1 with Vassily Sinaisky. As always, the students also conducted in several public concerts each, and acted as assistant conductors to the BBC Philharmonic, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Manchester Camerata, Psappha, and Fodens Brass Band.
After the exhilaration and intensity of the premiere of Adam's opera in June (review); a brilliant end to the Nottingham Philharmonic season ("And to end: Debussy's La Mer, in which Heron and the NPO ensured that every tiny detail, every flute flurry, every percussion stroke, every muted trumpet note was coloured and focused with pinpoint precision."); several fun projects in July culminating in 2 wonderful weeks at Sherborne (featuring the music of Torstein Aagaard-Nilsen) and the amazing Dirigentuka course in Stavanger; it's finally time for a break!
Dates for the autumn are now on the schedule page.
Delighted to have been able to put together this exciting project with my colleagues Morten Wensberg in Stavanger, and Andre Granjo in Aveiro. We'll be developing a MOOC and researching approaches to the use of technology in the teaching conducting.
I'm delighted to be working on the world premiere of this new opera by Adam Gorb, on a libretto by Ben Kaye.
"A powerful tale of extremism, expedience and deceit, The Path to Heaven exposes the disintegration of the loves, lives and hopes of a family struggling to survive during the Holocaust. Sara, Hanna, Dieter, Magda and Hans return home from a party to find that having ‘danced too long in the moonlight’, evil stalks them from the darkness. The discovery that their adoptive parents have disappeared triggers a descent into a nightmare from which none will escape unchanged. A meticulously-researched series of individual real stories has been woven into a thrilling new opera for the 21st Century."