Saturday 15 February 2014

Wigmore Hall 2014-15 season

Wigmore Hall 2014/15 season
The Wigmore Hall's 2014/15 season has been announced and there are some very tempting offerings. With the announcement of the hall reaching the first stage of its endowment appeal, it is clear that some impressive investment has gone into the programme Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano launch the season and other highlights include a series devoted to the music of Purcell and to Robert Fayrfax as well as Mozart's chamber music. There is an increase in artist residences and multi-concert focus series, but still some impressive solo recitals. Major names include Maria Joao Pires, Paul Lewis, the Pavel Haas Quartet, Florian Boesch, Wolfgang Rihm, Ensemble Modern and the Cardinall's Musick. (A video of John Gilhooly's speech launching the season follows after the break.)

Joyce DiDonato and Antonio Pappano open the season with a pair of concerts combining Haydn, Bellini and Donizetti with songs from the Great American Songbook. Another highlight must surely be Sir Thomas Allen's 70th birthday celebration.

Henry Purcell: A Retrospective encompasses a series of concerts celebrating the composer with performers such as The Sixteen, the English Concert, the Gabrieli Consort, the Early Opera Company, Carolyn Sampson, and Trevor Pinnock.

One of the features of the season is an increase in the number of multi-concert events focusing on particular artists. The Swedish clarinetist Martin Frost will be Artist in Residence, and Paul Lewis: A Celebration will explore both the pianist's solo recitals as well as his work as a chamber musician and accompanist. Another pianist, an up an coming one this time, is Igor Levit who has a four concert series performing virtuoso works such as Rachmaninov's Etudes tableaux and Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. Pianist Maria Joao Pires will be giving a solo recital as well as performing Beethoven piano trios with Augustin Dumay and Antonio Meneses.

Singer residences include four concerts from Florian Boesch, exploring Schubert, Mahler, Schoenberg and Krenek, and concerts from Carolyn Sampson covering Brahms, Grieg, Purcell, and a new work for soprano and string quartet by John Musto.

Contemporary names which occur during the season include Wolfgang Rihm and Julian Anderson (on his second year as Composer in Residence), along with performers such as the JACK Quartet, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble Intercontemporain, EXAUDI, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, the Pacifica Quartet, Britten Sinfonia and the Nash Ensemble.

In addition to the Purcell series, period performance includes Vox Luminis, Hesperion XXI and Jordi Savall, Max Emanuel Cencic and Il Pomo D'Oro, the Monteverdi Choir, Collegium Vocale Gent, Le Concert Spirituel, Franco Fagioli, Stile Antico and a series from the English Concert, plus the Cardinall's Musick and Andrew Carwood exploring the music of Fayrfax,

Associate Artists the Takacs Quartet are performing Beethoven, Schubert and Mozart including Mozart's String Quintet in G minor and the Elias Quartet continues its Beethoven Project. And there is also the Wigmore Hall International String Quartet Competition. Other artists include the Pavel Haas Quartet in Czech music.

Schubert features in song recitals from Ian Bostridge and Julius Drake, plus Simon Keenlyside and Emanuel Ax performing Die Winterreise, whilst Andras Schiff plays the late piano sonatas.

Kristian Bezuidenhout has the opening concert in the Mozart Odyssey, a two year project covering his chamber music which involves performers such as Martin Frost, the Apollon Musagete Quartet, Freiburg Baroque Orchestra, the Hagen Quartet, Alina Ibragimova and Cedric Tiberghien.

A total of 200,000 tickets were sold in 2013, representing a 60% rise in attendance since 2005. More concerts are being broadcast on BBC Radio 3, as well as being released on the Wigmore Hall Live Label,  as well as relays on the Sky Arts television channel.

Further information from the Wigmore Hall website.

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