Tuesday 17 September 2019

New season, new premieres: Britten Sinfonia in Turnage and more

Britten Sinfonia (Photo Harry Rankin)
Britten Sinfonia (Photo Harry Rankin)
The Britten Sinfonia kicks off its 2019/20 season this week with the UK premiere of a new song-cycle by Mark-Anthony Turnage. Tenor Allan Clayton joins the Britten Sinfonia and conductor Andrew Gourlay for Turnage's Refugee setting texts by Benjamin Zephaniah, Emily Dickinson, Brian Bilston and W H Auden, exploring what it means to be a refugee now and through the ages. Clayton and the orchestra will be giving the work's premiere at the Enescu Festival in Romania in 19 September 2019, and they perform it at Milton Court Concert Hall in London on Friday 20 September 2019. Also in the programme is Benjamin Britten's Nocturne, his 1958 song cycle for tenor, seven solo instruments and strings, Oliver Knussen's Songs without Voices and Tippett's Divertimento on Sellinger's Round.

Further ahead, the orchestra's A Lunch season begins with a concert with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani in JS Bach, CPE Bach, Richard Strauss, De Falla’s Harpsichord Concerto, and a new work by Laurence Osborn. To celebrate Sir James MacMillan's 60th birthday the orchestra joins forces with The Sixteen to perform MacMillan's The Sun Danced and Symphony No. 5, Le Grand Inconnu at the Barbican Hall, and the two groups give the American premiere of MacMillan's Stabat Mater at Alice Tully Hall in New York. A new collaboration between Steve Reich and artist Gerhard Richter receives its UK premiere conducted by Colin Currie at the Barbican and Saffron Hall in October. Whilst violinist Thomas Gould leads the orchestra in Norwich for Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and Astor Piazzolla’s The Four Seasons of Buenos Aires.

The orchestra is participating in the Barbican's Ada Lovelace Day on Saturday 2 November 2019, events curated by Emily Howard celebrating the visionary Victorian mathematician. The day features the Barbican commissioned world premieres of new works by Shiva Feshareki, Patricia Alessandrini and Emily Howard’s own Ada Sketches, plus music generated by artificial intelligence!

In November, pianist Benjamin Grosvenor will be directing the Britten Sinfonia from the keyboard in Bach’s Keyboard Concerto in F minor and Mozart’s Piano Concerto no 9, in a programme which also includes a new William Alwyn Foundation commission by Robin Haigh, alongside Dobrinka Tabakova’s Fantasy Homage to Schubert and arrangement of Schubert’s Fantasie in F minor for strings, in Norwich, Saffron Hall and at Milton Court, London.

Full details from the orchestra's website.

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