Saddened to learn of the passing of composer and conductor Oliver Knussen. One of the truly great musicians of our time, Knussen had received an honorary doctorate from the Royal Academy of Music, where he was Richard Rodney Bennett Professor of Music, just a few days ago. A renowned pedagogue as well as a superlative conductorContinue reading “RIP Oliver Knussen (1952-2018)”
This year’s Festival of Contemporary Music at Tanglewood (in Lenox, Massachusetts) was curated by three youngish stars of the new music community: pianist Jacob Greenberg (ICE), cellist Kathryn Bates (Del Sol Quartet), and violist Nadia Sirota (Q2, ACME). Each planned a chamber music concert, consisting of commissioned new works and contemporary repertory selections. The curatorsContinue reading “Tanglewood FCM 2017 Highlights (Pt. 1)”
The Sunday concert at Tanglewood’s Festival of Contemporary Music is always something of a marathon. It starts at 10 AM and is chock full of offerings that usually challenge the ear as much as tantalize it. The Sunday concert has traditionally also been the one that tests the capacities of the TMC Fellows most thoroughly.Continue reading “Sunday Morning at FCM”
The Pierrot Ensemble, named after Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire and consisting of flute, clarinet, violin, cello, and piano, has, since its inception, been a signature assembly for contemporary music. The preferred version of the ensemble also includes a percussionist: the “Pierrot plus Percussion” grouping is the default core membership for many new music groups. Even afterContinue reading “7/23: Pierrot plus Percussion at Tanglewood”
At the Festival of Contemporary Music today, we also heard the premiere of Julian Anderson’s Second String Quartet. A fascinating piece filled with alternate tunings and myriad playing effects, it is one that I will be pondering for a long while. Here’s a video of a piece that I heard recently, Anderson’s Prayer for solo viola. It was playedContinue reading “Julian Anderson”
Enjoyed hearing the premiere today at Tanglewood of Oscar Bettison’s string quartet. Here’s an excerpt from one of his best known works, O Death, played by the estimable Ensemble Klang.
Premiered by the BSO.
On Monday, July 21st at 8 PM, the last concert of Tanglewood’s 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music is a well-stocked program of orchestral works. The centerpiece is Roger Sessions’s Concerto for Orchestra, a work commissioned by the BSO thirty years ago. Steven Mackey’s violin concerto Beautiful Passing will feature as soloist Sarah Silver, one ofContinue reading “Tanglewood’s FCM on Monday”
The BSO announced its 2014 Tanglewood season today. The 2014 Festival of Contemporary Music is a potpourri – a single work per composer year instead of focusing on a few figures. Co-curated by Michael Gandolfi and John Harbison, the programmed composers include Perle, Rands, Druckman, Mackey, Lash, Cheung, and Soper. Most exciting: Sessions’ Concerto forContinue reading “Tanglewood 2014”