Thursday 25 September 2014

Australian Chamber Orchestra gives Jonny Greenwood premiere

Jonny Greenwood
Jonny Greenwood
The Australian Chamber Orchestra, directed by violinist Richard Tognetti, is doing a European tour combining music by Mozart  and Haydn with Webern's Five Movements for Strings and the world premiere of Jonny Greenwood's Water. The tour starts at the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (28/9) with concerts in Dublin (2/10), at London's South Bank (4/10), Symphony Hall Birmingham (5/10),  Luxembourg (7/10), Frankfurt (8/10), Cologne (9/10) and Vienna (11, 12/10). That's quite some travelling! 

Incidentally Richard Tognetti recently appeared at this year's BBC Proms playing the electric violin in Brett Dean's Electric Preludes (see my review)

Jonny Greenwood (born 1971) is perhaps best known as the guitarist with Radiohead, but he has other strings to his bow including as a keyboard performer and composer; he has been composer in residence with the BBC Concert Orchestra since 2004 (see Hilary's review of Greenwood and the orchestra's concert at the Barbican in May). His new piece Water arose out of his interest in the tambura, a lute-like instrument from South Asia. Greenwood describes it as producing 'an enormously complex sound', one which he got obsessed with and he wished to write music which flowed out of the sounds he heard. He travelled to Sydney where he joined the orchestra in workshop sessions to test out ideas for the piece. In fact he stayed three months and played with the orchestra at one of their Underground concerts. The new work is written for strings, piano and tambura with Steven Osborne playing the piano.

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