The city of Hiroshima in southern Japan was once primarily known for its oysters which were farmed just off the coast. In Noriko Koide’s work Oyster Lullaby, the oyster is symbolic of the process of healing following the devastation that resulted from the use of the atomic bomb in the final month of World War II, an event that has overshadowed the city’s historic reputation. The new work for orchestra, commissioned for the Hiroshima Symphony Orchestra, will receive its world premiere on 14 June 2019 under the baton of Seitaro Ishikawa.
On 7 June 2019 the Villiers Quartet will give the world premiere of Alexander Goehr’s string quartet Vision of the Soldier Er at the idyllic Swaledale Festival. The piece comes after a break of almost thirty years since the completion of his fourth quartet.
On 28 May, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt will open at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. With musical direction from Alan Gilbert and a cast including Asmik Grigorian as Marietta and Klaus Florian Vogt as Paul, Korngold’s thrilling psychological opera is set to receive a daring production.
On 25 May 2019, Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame opens with Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf in a staging by director Lydia Steier. The story of Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) is centered on a destitute officer named Hermann, whose obsession with gambling and a secret winning formula of three cards ultimately fails to bring him the success he desires and leads instead to disaster.
18 May 2019, violist Lawrence Power and Britten Sinfonia will give the world premiere of Gerald Barry’s Viola Concerto with conductor Thomas Adès. The concert at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden will be the first of two performances of the new concerto this month; the second takes place at the Barbican Centre in London on 21 May 2019.
Continue reading “Work of the Week – Gerald Barry: Viola Concerto”
György Ligeti once referred to his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra as his “artistic credo”. The 25-minute concerto is a tour de force of pianistic discoveries that has captured the imagination of pianists around the world. On 9, 10 and 11 May, Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs the concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, and Ensemble Intercontemporain will also perform it on 10 May in Paris and 11 May in Zurich with pianist Sébastien Vichard. Continue reading “Work of the Week – György Ligeti: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra”
Adapted from Dave Eggers’ 2013 bestselling novel The Circle, Ludger Vollmer’s new thought provoking opera re-tells the story of a powerful social media and technology company as it seeks to extend its influence further in peoples’ daily live. The Circle will receive its world premiere on 4 May at the Deutsche Nationaltheater in Weimar in a new production directed by Andrea Moses and conducted by Kirill Karabits. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Ludger Vollmer: The Circle”
The devastating effect mankind has on the planet is the subject of Thierry Pécou’s new chamber opera Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World, which will be premiered on 23 April at the Opéra de Rouen in Normandy. The opera explores its themes through texts written by Navajo poet Laura Tohe about the Navajo creation story and its connection to the present. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Nahasdzáán in the Glittering World”
On 17 April, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Andrew Davis will perform Sir Michael Tippett’s The Rose Lake (1991-93) at the Barbican in London. The work was originally premiered in 1995 following the request of Sir Colin Davis for a new orchestral piece to celebrate the composer’s 90th birthday. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Sir Michael Tippett: The Rose Lake”
Franz Liszt’s legacy as a composer is dominated by his virtuosic piano works and evocative symphonic poems. By contrast, the composer’s theatrical pieces remain relatively unknown despite a wealth of evidence, in the form of fragments and compositional sketches intended for his assistant Joachim Raff, that suggest opera was never far from his mind. The most developed of these are Liszt’s sketches for his opera Sardanapalo, which have been painstakingly reconstructed by musicologist, David Trippet. On 9 April 2019, Trippett’s reconstruction will be performed in concert in Novi Sad, Serbia. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Franz Liszt: Sardanapalo”