Out of the Shadows

Thursday, 15 July 2021

Manchester Collective's new season of goodies from thrusting new composers to elder statesmen

Manchester Collective collaborators Abel Selaocoe, Hannah Peel and Ben Nobuto Photography: Phil Sharp

Manchester Collective collaborators Abel Selaocoe, Hannah Peel and Ben Nobuto
Photography: Phil Sharp


The Manchester Collective's recently announced 2021/22 season is full of exciting goodies, from Julius Eastman, Britten and Mahler to Abel Selaocoe, Hannah Peel, Alex Groves, Edmund Finnis and more, including two distinguished elder statesmen George Crumb (born 1929) and Joseph Horovitz (born 1926).

They start with Voice of the Whale which combines George Crumb's Vox Balaenae with a new piece by Alex Groves. The keen eyed amongst you will have realised that this was a show which was due to be toured earlier this year, but is now in Bristol, Stockport, Leeds, Birkenhead and London in September and October. All the ensemble's programmes for 2021/22 have been announced with tour dates to major venues with more tba. 

Automata will continue the ensemble's collaboration with harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani which is being showcased at the BBC Proms this Summer. November will see them performing Górecki, Bach, Laurence Osborn and Joseph Horovitz (best known for Captain Noah and his Floating Zoo but with an output far wider than that) in Bristol and Cardiff.

Heavy Metal (which debuts at the Southbank in December) features new music for amplified strings, big percussion and live electronics with new pieces from Vessel (Sebastian Gainsborough) and Japanese-British composer Ben Nobuto, plus music by Bryce Dessner, Dobrinka Tabakova and Michael Gordon

Combining Aaron Copland's Appalachian Spring with Ferruccio Busoni's Berceuse élégiaque and Henryk Górecki's Kleines Requiem für eine Polka is an intriguing idea, contrasting the promise of life from the one with the examining of our end in the other two. The programme A Little Requiem debuts in Manchester in February 2022 and we hope for more dates.

The Manchester Collective has a long history of collaborations with cellist, composer and singer Abel Selaocoe, and The Oracle (March/April 2022) will feature their exploration of music from South Africa, the Ivory Coast and Mali together with 20th-century classical repertoire in an explosive celebration of musical traditions from across the globe which will include some of Selaocoe's own work.

May 2022 sees the ensemble moving to America with Neon, music for strings, percussion and live electronics which interrogates the darker side of the American dream, including music by Julius Eastman, David Lang and Steve Reich, alongside new pieces by Lyra Pramuk and Hannah Peel (who is also known from her moonlighting as a presenter on BBC Radio 3).

The final tour of the season, The Savage Parade in June 2022 sees soprano Ruby Hughes joining the Manchester Collective for Britten's Les Illuminations, plus music by Mahler and a new song cycle set to the words of British poet Alice Oswald with music by Edmund Finnis.

Full details from the Manchester Collective's website.

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