Tuesday 12 October 2021

Catalonia, Poland, Canada and more: London Sinfonietta's new season

London Sinfonietta (Photo Kevin Leighton)
London Sinfonietta (Photo Kevin Leighton)

The London Sinfonietta's new season is brimful of new works, and of works exploring new territories whether geographical or metaphysical.

The Autumn season includes two major works by Catalan composer Roberto Gerhard, Libra and Leo, both of which were premiered in 1968. Edmon Colomer conducts a programme which includes the Gerhard pieces alongside works by Catalan composers Joan Magrané Figuera and Raquel García Tomás (Huddersfield, 22/11/21, Southbank, 1/12/21). Poland is the focus for Jessica Cottis' concert which includes Krzysztof Penderecki’s Sinfonietta per archi (1992) alongside two world premieres from Wojciech Błażejczyk and Paweł Mykietyn, both commissions from the newly launched International Centre for Contemporary Music (27/4/2022). Canada is the next country, as Ilan Volkov conducts Lonely Child the master work of Canadian composer Claude Vivier, with soprano Clare Booth, alongside a new work by contemporary Canadian composer Nicole Lizée. The concert is also a training event as the London Sinfonietta will be playing side-by-side with players from the Royal Academy of Music (6/5/2022).

Opera performances include a new chamber version of Bartok's Bluebeard's Castle being performed at Stone Nest as the inaugural production of Theatre of Sound, with Susan Bullock, Gweneth Ann Rand, Gerald Finley and Michael Hayes. The director is Daisy Evans and music director is Stephen Higgins, both of whom have been prime movers in Silent Opera (November 2021). And the orchestra will be in the pit when Tom Coult's opera Violet (much anticipated and much delayed by pandemic cancellations) gets its premiere at the Aldeburgh Festival, with performances at the Hackney Empire, Buxton Festival and more (June 2022)  

Other explorations include jazz with London Third Stream, an evening of new commissions which blur the boundary between classical and jazz, and Cathy Milliken's new work Night Shift which blurs the line between dreams and reality, rehearsal and concert, audience and performer.

London Sinfonietta's Writing the Future programme supports composers at the beginning of their career, allowing them to work with the ensemble. Products of the scheme are on display in February 2022 when Sian Edwards conducts Luke Lewis' The Echoes Return Slow and Alicia Jane Turner's Tell me when you get home. This latter is a theatrical and sensory piece for solo soprano (Ella Taylor) and ensemble, exploring gendered experiences of walking home alone at night (6/2/2022). Another Writing the Future composer is Alex Paxton, and his new work inspired by Grayson Perry's Walthamstow Tapestry and including elements from improvisatory workshops with school children will be premiered alongside a new work by George Lewis (31/3/2022).

London Sinfonietta will taking part in Contemporary Music For All's (COMA) biennial event in which COMA and partners celebrate the joy of participating in contemporary music making (6/3/2022). And the ensemble's annual concert for young people Sound Out Live returns in March 2022 when Patrick Bailey conducts a participatory concert which explores iconic works of contemporary classical music.

From January 2022, the ensemble's digital Channel will resume its World Premiere Wednesday when there are monthly new commissions performed, alongside conversations with the composers. This season all the new pieces will reflect the issues of climate change.

Full details from the London Sinfonietta website.

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