Pärt’s singers repeat the same song, seven times in succession. Every time it sounds different. Richter’s four grey diptychs, hanging opposite the Birkenau panels, play a further formal game of similarity and difference (the paint hidden from us on the reverse of glass sheets). (Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 9 July 2015)
Arvo Pärts Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima has successfully been presented together with several works by Gerhard Richter at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. In the frame of the Manchester International Festival (2 until 19 July), Vox Clamantis performed Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima on 9, 10 and 11 July, for the rest of the exhibition, local choirs will present the piece. Find out more on the website of the Manchester International Festival.
Watch a video by the Manchester International Festival on the event:
The Musik 21 Festival “Klang-Körper” kicks off today and will go on until Sunday!
Prominent guests of the festival will be pianists Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who will be performing a selection of Pierre Boulez’ piano pieces, including Structures, Deuxième Livre for 2 pianos.
Furthermore, the Kairos Quartett will be performing Georg Friedrich Haas String Quartet No. 3 „In iij. Noct.” – a piece in which darkness is not present merely as an absence of light, but becomes the key theme of the work – on Saturday.
Find out more on Musik 21’s website.
Komponist und Musiker agieren auf Augenhöhe. (Rita Argauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30 June 2015)
The Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a preview for tonight’s world première of Hirta Rounds by David Fennessy at the Prinzregententheater. The piece was written for the Münchener Kammerorchester with the stipulation that it be unconducted.
View the full score of Hirta Rounds:
Songbirds softened the severities of Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé, as if Messiaen, Boulez’s bird-loving teacher, were providing commentary.
Alex Ross has reviewed The Ojai Music Festival for The New Yorker.
Tonight sees the Irish première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The work is part of a trilogy that was inspired by Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless.
Watch an interview with the composer:
Join Jill Richards and Waldo Alexander in their celebrations of the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez: the “Day of the Giants” – an informal, informative and interactive day of fun and music – takes place on 28 June from 11:00 until 17:00 at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg.
On the programme: Boulez’ Anthèmes (with live electronics), Domaines, Deuxième Sonate as well as John Cage’s 4′33″ and four new compositions in response to the works of Pierre Boulez.
Find the full programme on the Facebook event page.
Nicolas Hodges presents a recording of Birtwistle’s major works from the 1990s. Among them is the first recording of the revised version of Antiphonies, performed by pianist Nicolas Hodges and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Stefan Asbury.
Bálint Varga on Antiphonies:
This work is not a “piano concerto” in the way the term is usually understood; it is a struggle between the solo instrument – perhaps a struggle for survival – and the menacing, often demonic powers of the orchestra.
The winds and percussion dominate the sonic character while the strings, except for one short melodic fragment, remain in the background. Slow forte sections unleash the full orchestra, between moments of Impressionistic calm, where the piano part seems like an improvisation, a fantasia - until the struggle resumes …
Find out more on the website of Nicolas Hodges.
We’ve prepared a short playlist of the music of Jay Schwartz for you – the composer will be celebrating his 50th birthday on 26 June.
Find out more about Jay Schwartz.
The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is nothing short of a musical phenomenon. He can lay claim to being the most popular of contemporary composers.
Arvo Pärt is this week’s BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week. Donald Macleod presents the series, the first three episodes carry the titles The Soundtrack of an Age, The Soundworld of the Composer and Silence Is Like Fertile Soil.
The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and Kent Nagano will be performing Bluebeard´s Castle by Béla Bartók at the Wiener Festwochen: Andrea Breth’s production premières tonight with follow-up performances on 21, 23 and 25 June:
Read a (German) interview with director Andrea Breth on Kurier.
We are happy to say that the opera in 1 act will also be performed tonight at the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou. Find out more on their website.
The piece was described as “extremely disturbing and technically impressive” by the Independent on Sunday, Michael Dervan of the Irish Times wrote that it “unleashes orchestral violence with the abandon of Edgard Varèse” and praised the “strong performances from the NSO”.
We’ve prepared an audio excerpt and the full digital score for you; find them here.
This Monday, 15 June 2015, Heinz Fischer, the president of the Republic of Austria, ceremonially presented the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art – which is the state’s highest decoration for remarkable services in this field of activity – to Arvo Pärt.
The decoration has been awarded since 1955, and the fact that the number of its recipients is strictly limited, makes it special. There can be only 72 people wearing the decoration at the same time, half of which are Austrian citizens and half foreign nationals.
Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.
Watch an excerpt from the concert that was held during the ceremony:
The legend of Pierre Boulez as a towering icon of the avant garde precedes him, but what I want to bring to our retrospective is my overriding impression of his humanity. Pierre is a man who is passionate, loyal and very human – an outstanding leader but also modest and generous. (Pierre-Laurent Aimard)
From today until Friday, the Aldeburgh Music Festival honours Pierre Boulez with a range of performances of the composer’s works, including A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez.
Find the full programme on the website of the Aldeburgh Festival.