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Work of the Week – Julian Anderson: Exiles

Displacement and cultural longing – this is, according to Julian Anderson, the essence of his composition Exiles for solo soprano, chorus and orchestra. Over five movements, the composer thematises variations of exclusion and exile, ranging from corona-lockdown to national socialism. The work’s texts include French, Hebrew, English and Czech, as well as quotations from the Bible. The world premiere on 22 April 2022 at the Philharmonie Berlin sees Robin Ticciati conduct the Rundfunkchor Berlin and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin with soloist, Australian soprano Siobhan Stagg.
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Work of the Week – Joerg Widmann: Viola Concerto

The entire beginning is played without a bow. The conductor reacts slightly irritated.” Surprisingly, this is not a stage direction, but is taken from the score of Joerg Widmann’s Viola Concerto. The SWR-Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Theodor Currentzis, will perform Widmann’s work throughout their current European tour. Premiered in 2015 with Antoine Tamestit as soloist, the programme for this tour is one of German, Ukranian and Russian heritage, sending a message of unification and peace. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Joerg Widmann: Viola Concerto”


Work of the Week – Valentin Silvestrov: Prayer for the Ukraine

The war in Ukraine continues to shock the whole world as millions of people are leaving their homes and communities in search of peace. Among them, the renowned Ukrainian composer, Valentin Silvestrov, who celebrates his 85thbirthday in September. Originally, Silvestrov did not want to leave Kiev, but as the war progressed he and his family were forced to flee to Berlin, where the composer has been living and composing since 8 March. His Prayer for the Ukraine, composed in 2014, is now seeing performances in concert halls around the world. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Valentin Silvestrov: Prayer for the Ukraine”


Work of the Week – Katherine Balch: Illuminate

And just like that, we find ourselves exploring the first work of spring! Katherine Balch’s work Illuminate follows the seasons through a cycle of five movements, beginning and ending with spring. On 26 March 2022, Donato Cabrera conducts the world premiere of the work at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, California. Sopranos Molly Netter and Alexandra Smither alongside mezzo-soprano Kelly Guerra are accompanied by the California Symphony Orchestra. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Katherine Balch: Illuminate”


Work of the Week – Anno Schreier: Mina

An opera with only two performers – a rarity within which Anno Schreier has succeeded. Within his new ballad, fairytale mini-opera Mina  “The journey to the sea”, we enter into the adventures of a young girl with mutism who discovers the magic of music. The opera’s premiere is set to take place on 20 March 2022 at the Theatre Bonn. Flautist Sally Beck alongside baritone Frederik Schauhoff will perform all 21 roles providing a ballad-like background to the play. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Anno Schreier: Mina”


Work of the Week – Florence B. Price: Concert Overture No. 2

On 8 March, the world celebrates the 111th International Women’s Day. There seems no better occasion to take a look at female composers and their works in the Schott catalogue . There have certainly been moves recently further to promote the myriad of works by female composers. In spite of this, the work of male composers still dominates the music scene. One piece that remains largely unknown is the Concert Overture No. 2 for full orchestra by Florence Beatrice Price.  Continue reading “Work of the Week – Florence B. Price: Concert Overture No. 2”


Work of the Week – Joerg Widmann: 7 Capricci

Reverent chorales alongside circus music –  a contradiction? Joerg Widmann unites the alleged opposites in his 7 Capricci for saxophone quartet. On 4 March 2022 the Spanish Kebyart Ensemble will present the British premiere in London’s Jarewood Hall at LSO St. Luke’ s.   Continue reading “Work of the Week – Joerg Widmann: 7 Capricci”


Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Nocturnal Movements

A nocturnal work through a dark, silent city. The name of Christian Jost’ s Nocturnal Movements could assume this impression. Still, the auditory impression is different, showcasing a lively nightlife and a visit to a vibrant jazz club. On 24 February 2022 the composer conducts the world premiere of his work for piano and chamber orchestra at the Berlin Philharmonie. Pianist Michael Wollny, renowned in the international jazz scene, takes the stage, alongside the Kammerakademie Potsdam.  Continue reading “Work of the Week – Christian Jost: Nocturnal Movements”


Work of the Week – Ludger Vollmer: Der Tigerprinz

A cinema screen, a live camera and a children’s book. Most people probably wouldn´t associate these objects with an orchestral work, but they prove an important component to the performance of Ludger Vollmer’s Der Tigerprinz (The Tiger Prince). The work for narrator and orchestra sets to music Chen Jianghong’s book of the same name. The music and narration are accompanied by unique images, projected onto a screen, providing an experience which can be appreciated by people of all ages. On 20  February the piece will be performed to a live audience for the first time at the Tonhalle Düsseldorf. The Düsseldorf Symphony Orchestra will perform under the direction of Harish Shankar, Wolfram Boelzle appearing as narrator. The visual realisation is the work of the theater collective compagnie toit végétal. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Ludger Vollmer: Der Tigerprinz”


Work of the Week – Gregory Spears: Love Story

On hearing the title Love Story, many people probably first think of the 1970s filmic melodrama whose title melody by Francis Lai achieved worldwide fame as the “melody of fate”, and still serves as a memory hook for the minor sixth in aural training. With his 15-minute work for countertenor and orchestra, Gregory Spears now rivals this melody. His own Love Story is a setting of a new poem by Tracy K. Smith. The premiere of the work will take place at New York’s Alice Tully Hall on 3 February 2022. Countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo sings alongside the New York Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Jaap Van Zweden. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Gregory Spears: Love Story”