Friday 18 March 2016

Celebrating George Benjamin

George Benjamin
George Benjamin
This weekend (18-19 March 2016) the Barbican centre devotes itself to celebrating the work of composer George Benjamin. The centrepiece on Saturday is Benjamin's second opera, Written on Skin which premiered at Aix-en-Provence and received its UK premiered at Covent Garden in 2013 (see my review), and on Friday Benjamin's Dream Song will get its UK premiere.

Tonight, Friday 18 March 2016, Oliver Knussen conducts counter-tenor Iestyn Davies and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Benjamin's Dream Song setting verse by three major poets who spent formative years in Granada; Samuel HaNagid and Solomon Ibn Gabirol wrote in Hebrew in the mid-11th century, while the third, Gabriel García Lorca, wrote in Spanish and was killed by Fascists soon after the Spanish Civil War broke out in 1936. The concert also includes music by Schuller, Debussy and Stravinsky.

Tomorrow, Saturday 18 March there is a semi-staged performance of Benjamin's Written on Skin, directed by Benjamin Davis with Benjamin conducting the Mahler Chamber Orchestra with Christopher Purves, Barbara Hannigan, Tim Mead, Victoria Simmonds, and Robert Murray. And in the afternoon there is a chance to hear members of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra in Benjamin's chamber music.

Full information from the Barbican website.

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