Friday 9 August 2013

Milton Court and more - new season at GSMD

Martin Creed's new artwork at Milton Court
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama's programme for Autumn 2013 has rather a special buzz about it, because September sees the opening of Milton Court, the school's new facility complete with a concert hall, 227 seat theatre and a studio theatre. This is being inaugurated with a series of events including recitals by such as Thomas Ades, Anne Sofie von Otter, Rolf Hind, Graham Johnson and Felicity Lott. Opera includes a neglected one-act comic opera by Donizetti. There is even a chance to hear Guildhall artists in Louis Andriessen's De Staat and extracts from Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning.

The first event in Milton Court Concert Hall is James Gaffigan conducting the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra and Chorus in the world premiere of Julian Philips Come forth to play, Elgar's Cockaigne and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony with Katherine Broderick, Catia Moreso, Timothy Robinson and David Stout (all of whom are alumni).

A series of recitals by alumni at Milton Court Concert Hall kicks off with Thomas Ades and friends performing Britten's Suite for Violin and Piano, Gerald Barry's Low, Ades' Lieux Retrouves and Catch Couirt Studies, and Stravinsky's Suite from the Soldier's Tale (5/11/2013). Then Anne Sofie von Otter, Bengt Forsberg (piano) and Bengan Janson (accordion) perform a programme entitled Douce France with music by Debussy, Faure, Ravel and Saint-Saens. And no, I don't know which of the repertoire Janson will be playing on his accordion! (23/11/2013) The series continues in the new year.

Still in Milton Court Concert Hall, Rolf Hind who is Professor of Piano at GSMD performs a programme of music for solo piano by Per Norgard, Rolf Hind, John Adams, Mark Simpson and Helmut Lachenmann - sounds quite a programme. (5/12/2013). Another professor, this time Graham Johnson the Senior Professor in Vocal Accompaniment, is presenting a programme Graham Johnson and Friends with Dame Felicity Lott, Stephen Varcoe and Adrian Thompson (7/11/2013).

Graham Johnson's recital is part of the Poulenc Festival which is being presented to mark the 50th anniversary of the composer's death. The festival starts with a lecture on Poulenc and his poets by Graham Johnson (18/10/2013).

Iain Burnside's Journeying Boys takes Britten's Les Illuminations as a starting point for an exploration of the lives of Britten and Rimbaud, fusing music and words (8,9, 10 November).

There is also a studio theatre in Milton Court which is being inaugurated with a production of two Chekov plays, The Seagull in a version by Peter Gill, directed by Christian Burgess and The Three Sisters adapted by David Mamet (both in repertory from 17 - 24 October).

Over in the Silk Street Theatre, there is a double bill of Donizetti's one-act comic opera Francesca di Goix and Debussy's L'Enfant Prodigue (not strictly an opera, but a lyric scene which won him the Prix de Rome), directed by Stephen Barlow and conducted by Dominic Wheeler (4, 6, 8, 11 November).

The Guildhall Percussion Ensemble, the Ubu Ensemble and Guildall Singers are performing on the South Bank as part of the Rest is Noise Festival with music by Xenakis and Cage (6/10), Louis Andriessen's De Staat (3/11) and extracts from Cornelius Cardew's The Great Learning Paragraph 5.

Further information from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama's website.

Update: A correspondent has pointed out to me that Milton Court has a concert hall, a 227 seat theatre and a studio theatre. I've updated the main posting to reflect this.

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