On 20 February Arvo Pärt was awarded the Cultural Merit Order of Romania (Meritul Cultural). The order was awarded by President of Romania Klaus Iohannis in recognition of the dedication, talent and innovativeness of the composer throughout his creative journey, as well as his open and receptive attitude to the cultural merits of Romania.
Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Our latest newsletter is out now:
- Nicolas Hodges presents the UK première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Piano Concerto No 2 at the Barbican Hall
- The definitive form of Janáček’s Sinfonietta premièred in Prague
- Johannes Maria Staud’s opera Die Antilope receives its German première at the Cologne Opera
“Unlike Wagner’s maximalist, ultra Romantic and overtly theatrical operation, the trance-like, mesmeric effect of Martin’s music, is, like the love potion, a rare kind of intoxication, which leads us towards the mythical.” (Polly Graham, The Guardian, 2917-02-16)
Polly Graham blogs about Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé – “the magic potion”. Graham is the director of the Welsh National Opera’s recent production of the secular oratorio. The production premièred on 15 February at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff before it will go on tour in March and April.
Swedish tabloid Expressen gave out its annual Spelmannen culture award – Sweden’s oldest music prize – to Victoria Borisova-Ollas: congratulations!
The award ceremony took place at Nalen in Stockholm on 13 February.
25 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted.
On the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.
In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.
… and on this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was performed for the very first time in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.
And Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 132 years ago today.
“Everything comes to me without effort, technically it all comes very easily & in the end I feel I’ve produced something worthwhile.” writes Alexander Zemlinsky in a letter to Arnold Schönberg on A Florentine Tragedy.
Exactly one hundred years ago, Zemlinsky’s gripping one-act opera was premièred at the Stuttgart State Theatre by Max von Schillings
In 2015 Roland Freisitzer arranged a chamber version of the opera. This chamber version makes do with just 20 instruments (optionally with string sections).
Panopticon continues a line of enquiry present in pieces of mine beginning with graft (1999) for string quartet through to Hauptstimme (2013) for solo viola and ensemble, and Hirta Rounds (2015) for sixteen unconducted strings – namely the role of the individual within a larger, group setting and particularly, the functions of leaders and followers. (David Fennessy)
The shortlist for the first Scottish Awards for New Music has been announced! Congratulations to David Fennessy whose work Panopticon for string sextet and cimbalom has been nominated for the Dorico Award for Small/medium Scale Work.
Distracted from his composing and iconoclasm by the necessity of earning some money, a young Pierre Boulez found work with a Parisian theatre company. Three trips he made with them to South America changed him and his music forever. (Robert Worby, The Guardian, 26 January 2017)
Listen to “Boulez and his Rumble in the Jungle”, a programme by Robert Worby, on BBC Radio 3 on 29 January at 19:45 CET.
The programme will be available on iPlayer for 30 days.
Congratulations to Pierre-Laurent Aimard for being awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2017!
In January 2015, we talked to Aimard about Pierre Boulez – you can watch the whole interview below:
The Italian magazine Classic Voice recently announced Georg Friedrich Haas’ work in vain to be the “most beautiful score of the new millennium” – the result of a survey in which 130 experts of European contemporary music participated.
You can watch a five-minute introduction to in vain – recorded in 2016 in Valencia – here:
The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt runs from 5 to 12 February. The Arvo Pärt Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon and is presented by the Cappella Romana.
From the press release:
The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.
The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.
Congratulations! Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain wins the new music hit parade of Classic Voice – find out more in this [Italian] article on Corriere Della Sera.
Today’s opening concerts that mark the start of a three-week festival celebrating the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg can be watched in a 360 degree live stream.
Among the works performed is the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Reminiszenz | Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn.
Watch the opening concert live here: