Out of the Shadows

Friday, 9 July 2021

Rebecca Saunders to be composer-in-residence with Dresden Philharmonie for 2021/22

Rebecca Saunders (Photo Astrid Ackermann)
Rebecca Saunders (Photo Astrid Ackermann)
The British-born Berlin-based composer Rebecca Saunders has been announced as the Dresden Philharmonie's composer-in-residence for the 2021/22 season which also includes premieres from Salvatore Sciarrino, Brett Dean and Christfried Schmidt, alongside performances of RVW, Elgar, and Ethel Smyth.

Saunders, who was awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize in 2019, will see performances of two of her larger works as part of the orchestra's season at Dresden's Kulturpalast, To an Utterance for piano and orchestra and Still for violin and orchestra. The soloist in To an Utterance will be pianist Nicolas Hodges who gives the work's delayed premiere at the Lucerne Festival this year [see my interview with Nicolas], whilst the title Still comes from the eponymous short story by Samuel Beckett.

The orchestra's recently announced 2021/22 season will also include the premiere of Piogge diverse (Types of Rain), written in 2020 by Salvatore Sciarrino for the orchestra's 150th anniversay. And another delayed work will be Brett Dean’s Gneixendorfer Music - A Winter Journey for which the orchestra will give the work's German premiere, and the season also includes a programme of Dean's chamber music.

A programme commemorating the unification of Germany will include the premiere of  Symphony No.2 by the East German Christfried Schmidt, 50 years after the work was written. Schmidt dedicated the work to Martin Luther King Jr. The programme will also include the final work by Bernd Alois Zimmermann (1918-1970), Ecclesiastic Action, which is based on passages of the Old Testament and The Grand Inquisitor episode of Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

The season also includes the Symphony No. 4 by Franz Schmidt (1874-1939) as well as music by Karl Amadeus Hartmann (1905-1963) including his Symphony No. 6. Intriguingly a programme focusing on Women Composers conducted by Marie Jacquot will include Ethel Smyth's Mass in D alongside music by Lili Boulanger. Whilst Andrew Manze conducts a music from around the time of World War I, pairing RVW's Pastoral Symphony and Elgar's Cello Concerto with music by Rudi Stephan (1887-1915) who died in the war.

Full details from the Dresden Philharmonie's website.

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