Saturday, 1 February 2014

South Bank 2014-15 season

RFH Organ
The 2014/15 programming for the South Bank has been announced, with artistic director Jude Kelly seeking to build on the success of the centre's The Rest is Noise Festival with a series of commissions. So for the 2014-15 season there are 20 commissions happening during the season. There are also some interesting operatic offerings ranging from Donizetti's Les Martyrs to scenes from Boris Godounov on period instruments, plus Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande and a contemporary video opera. And the Philharmonia are performing Berlioz's Grande Messe des Morts, should be earthshattering! There are celebrations for birthdays of Harrison Birtwistle, Christoph von Dohnany and Michael Nyman.



There is going to be a percussion festival, Metal, Wood, Skin which will be centred on percussionist Colin Currie. Lasting four months (you never knew there was so much percussion music did you!), there will be premieres of works by Steve Reich, Anna Clyne and Louis Andriessen, plus the UK premiere of James MacMillan's Second Percussion Concerto (his first, if you remember, was a big hit for Evelyn Glennie) plus new work by Julia Wolfe which includes body percussion.

Unsuk Chin, whose Alice in Wonderland opera is being staged by the BBC Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican, is writing a new work for the National Youth Orchestra. And Michael Nyman's 70th birthday celebrations start with the premiere of his Second Symphony, one of a projected cycle of 19!

As part of the continuing celebrations of the completion of the renovation of the RFH organ, the BBC Concert Orchestra will be giving the UK premiere of Terry Riley's Organ Concerto (At the Royal Majestic) with Andre de Ridder and Cameron Carpenter. Organ recitals include visits from Jennifer Bate, Martin Baker (celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal College of Organists with a new work by Simon Holt), Ann-Elise Smoot (performing Elgar's Sonata) and Thomas Trotter.

Foreign visitors include the Simon Bolivar Orchestra with Gustavo Dudamel, Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, with Maria Joao Pires, Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra (who will give the UK premiere of a piece by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead), and Sir Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic.

The OAE are helping to celebrate Rameau's anniversary with a double bill of one-act operas, and will be giving a concert performance of Donizetti's opera Les Martyrs with Mark Elder (a not to be missed event) in association with Opera Rara. Vladimir Jurowski will be conducting a programme of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky including scenes from Boris Godounov with Sergei Leiferkus which will be fascinating on the period instruments. At the other end of the scale Mark Padmore is singing the Evangelist and directing a performance of Bach's St Matthew Passion with what sounds like relatively small scale forces, which should be magical. They are also doing a programme of music by Handel and Telemann which will include a Stevie Wishart premiere, sounds fascinating.

The Philharmonia's new season includes Esa-Peka Salonen conducting the Berlioz Requiem, which should be amazing shoe-horned into the Royal Festival Hall and an 85th birthday concert for Christoph von Dohnanyi. Salonen is also in charge for a concert performance of Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande with Monica Bacelli and Stephane Degout. Still in French mode, Henri Dutilleux: Correspondances is performed by Salonen and Barbara Hannigan paired with the music of Ravel. Their French theme culminates in a performance of Messiaen's Turangalila Symphony conducted by Salonen, with Pierre-Laurent Aimard (no word on who is playing the all important Ondes Martenot) In complete contrast the orchestra are performing live for two Buster Keaton films with Carl Davies conducting his own score.

The London Philharmonic's new season focuses on the music of Rachmaninov, which I previewed yesterday. Renaud Capuçon and Frank Braley will give the complete Beethoven Sonatas in a three concerts. London Sinfonietta perform the London premiere of Fausto Romitelli’s video opera, An Index of Metals and celebrating Harrison Birtwistle’s 80th birthday.

Further information from the South Bank Centre's website.

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