On 8 August 2019, BBC National Orchestra and Chorus of Wales conducted by Tadaaki Otaka will give the world premiere of Huw Watkins’ new work The Moon at the BBC Proms. The work, which has been inspired by the fiftieth anniversary of the moon landing on 20 July 1969, is the result of a major BBC Radio 3 commission for chorus and orchestra that will be further augmented by the Royal Albert Hall’s organ.
On 14 June, the Berlin Philharmonic will give the world premiere of Andrew Norman’s Spiral as part of the orchestra’s farewell season of their principal conductor Simon Rattle, and within their “tapas” series of new works approximately six minutes in length, designed to whet the appetite for contemporary music. Continue reading “Work of the week – Andrew Norman: Spiral”
Ludwig van Beethoven and Canada. What do those two have in common?
Gerald Barry’s new work for voice and orchestra, Canada, will have its world premiere at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms on 21 August.
The Berlin Philharmonic and Sir Simon Rattle will give two national premieres of Julian Anderson’s new orchestral work Incantesimi this week at the Lucerne Festival on Wednesday 31 August and at the BBC Proms on Saturday 3 September.
On 28 August, Thomas Larcher’s Symphony No. 2 ‘Kenotaph’ will receive its UK premiere at the BBC Proms in London, played by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conducted by Semyon Bychkov. Bychkov, to whom the symphony is dedicated, conducted the world premiere with the Vienna Philharmonic earlier this year on 3 June in Vienna.
On 12 August, Huw Watkins’ new Cello Concerto (2016) will receive its world premiere at the 2016 BBC Proms.
Commissioned by BBC Radio 3, Watkins composed the Cello Concerto for his brother Paul Watkins, who will perform as soloist with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales and their Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård. This is Huw Watkins’ first commission as Composer in Association with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, a three-year appointment that will include two further orchestral commissions.
Watkins has a longstanding relationship with BBC NOW beginning in 2001 with the commissioning of his Piano Concerto (2001-2), his first major orchestral work. The orchestra later commissioned a Double Concerto (2004–5) for the 2005 BBC Proms, and have given many performances of his works. Paul Watkins has a similarly strong relationship with BBC NOW, and Huw has stated that the Cello Concerto seemed an obvious choice for his first Composer in Association project.
“Paul’s wonderfully expressive, and deeply musical cello playing has been at the front of my mind while writing the piece. Perhaps this explains why the two outer movements are largely slow, with the lyrical qualities of the cello to the fore; although the central movement is, for the most part, a mercurial scherzo.”
Watkins is currently working on his first Symphony, commissioned by the Hallé Orchestra, which will premiere in spring 2017 with Sir Mark Elder.
This year’s BBC Proms will include a performance of Arnold Schoenberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw (1947) on 8 August. Simon Russell Beale will narrate, with Esa-Pekka Salonen conducting the Philharmonia Orchestra and Philharmonia Voices.