Tuesday, 4 August 2015

From Babbage's Difference Engine to all of Mozart's piano concertos - the Aurora Orchestra in 2015 / 2016

The London Science Museum's difference engine, the first one actually built from Babbage's design.
The London Science Museum's difference engine,
the first one actually built from Babbage's design.
Inspiration for Barry Guy's Mr Babbage is Coming to Dinner

Celebrating its 10th anniversary season in 2015/2016 the Aurora Orchestra and artistic director Nicholas Collon are showing that the orchestra is remaining true to its lively and innovative programming. They will be giving all of Mozart's piano concertos in a 25 concert odyssey lasting five years which is being produced in collaboration with King's Place where the orchestra is resident. 2016 sees the first seven concertos performed with a fine range of soloists including John Butt,  Robert Levin, Cedric Tiberghien, Lara Melda, James Bartlett and John Reid. Still at King's Place, the orchestra is launching its own casual late-night series The Lock-In.

Over at the Science Museum the orchestra is re-imagining Pictures at an Exhibition for the 21st century and presenting Objects at an Exhibition with premiere performances of new works by six leading living composers, Gerald Barry, Barry Guy, Chris Mayo, Claudia Molitor, Thea Musgrave and David Sawer, each inspired by an object or space in the Science Museum. Featured objects include a nineteenth-­century London-­York mail coach, Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine (Barry Guy's Mr Babbage is Coming to Dinner), and 2L0, the BBC’s first radio transmitter. The performance is devised in collaboration with director Tim Hopkins.

Maxamorphosis, rehearsal photos from a 2012 project
Sophie Hunter and tenor Andrew Staples will be directing performances of Britten's Turn of the Screw at LSO St Luke's and Snape Maltings, with Staples himself, Sophie Bevan, Ann Murray and Jane Irwin.

The orchestra is also becoming an Associate Orchestra at the South Bank Centre where in 2016 it will be launching its series Orchestral Theatre in which the audience will be joining the orchestra on and around the stage. The first two concerts will see the orchestra continue to explore memorised performance, with The Musical Memory Palace (7 February 2016) which explores Mozart's Symphony No. 40 concluding with a memorised performance of the whole work by the orchestra, and Playing with Fire (29 May 2016) which looks at the figure of Prometheus with excerpts from Beethoven's The Creatures of Prometheus alongside HK Gruber's Frankenstein.

Potter and writer Edmund de Waal is curating a series of diverse events themed around the colour white, to celebrate the launch of his new book The White Road. Events include tenor Allan Clayton in Hans Zender's arrangement of Schubert's Die Winterreise, a new commission from Martin Suckling and an evening of music and poetry inspired by the writings of Paul Celan.

Full details of all events can be found at the Aurora Orchestra website.

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