Thursday 8 March 2018

Celebrating Stephen Montague's birthday with 24 hours of music

Stephen Montague
Stephen Montague
The composer Stephen Montague is 75 on Saturday 10 March 2018, and as a birthday present for the composer, St John's Smith Square is presenting 24 hours of continuous music. Starting at 12 noon on Friday 9 March, the event will bring together 90 performers to celebrate with a series of programmes which showcase both the diversity of Montague's work and his varied interests.

Things start off with a bang, with the Horn Concerto for klaxon horn soloist and an orchestra of vintage cars, and this is followed in more sober style by an afternoon of Montague's works for keyboard, chamber ensembles, and electronics, culminating in Dead Cat Bounce and 3 Concertos. The evening is devoted to concertante pieces with the Fulham Symphony Orchestra, conductor Marc Dooley. Nancy Ruffer (flute) and SJSS Young Artist Oliver Wass (harp) play Disparate Dances, then Jenna Sung and Project Instrumental join the orchestra for the European premiere of Ritual: Ode to Changwon (2017) for prepared piano and string orchestra, and finally Rolf Hind joins the orchestra for Montague's virtuoso Piano Concerto.

Late evening, and beyond is devoted to a candle-lit performance of Eric Satie’s rarely performed Vexations, all 840 mesmerising repetitions of it, played by a team of pianists and along with special visual projections by students from the Royal College of Art. Audience members are invited to bring sleeping bags, enjoy SJSS coffee and doughnuts!

In the crypt running throughout the day is the world premiere of Montague’s sound installation, Tryst Whispers, secret messages whispered behind closed doors, and a video cube with short films by Alex Julyan, Rob Munday and others.

Full details from the St John's Smith Square website.

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