Wednesday 6 October 2021

Chaya Czernowin as composer-in-residence, two James Dillon premieres and much more: Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival is back.

Chaya Czernowin, hcmf// composer-in-residence
Chaya Czernowin, hcmf// composer-in-residence

Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (hcmf//) returns to in-person, live performance for the (somewhat delayed) 2021 festival, following its online presence for 2020. From 18 to 22 November 2021, hcmf// 2021 features a wide ranging programme of concerts, talks, exhibitions and installations. This year's composer-in-residence is the American/Israeli composer Chaya Czernowin, and there will be two new works by Scottish composer James Dillon. Other premieres include music from composer/improvising saxophonist John Butcher and Cath Roberts, writing for her own trio. UK premieres will include Laurence Osborn (UK), Eva Reiter (Austria), Enno Poppe and Eva-Maria Houben (Germany), and Mauro Lanza and Andreas Valle (Italy).

Cologne-based Ensemble Musikfabrik gives the UK premiere of Czernowin’s latest composition, The Fabrication of Light, whose structure she compares to optical illusions, 'colours that seem striking and deep, but that aren’t really there', whilst The Arditti Quartet and IRCAM perform HIDDEN (2014), one of Czernowin’s most notable compositions, combining string quartet, electronics and multi-speakers. Scotland’s Red Note Ensemble presents Dillon’s immense new work Emblemata: Carnival, and the second Dillon piece is the UK premiere of The Freiburg Diptych, a phenomenal new work for violin and tape that will be performed by Irvine Arditti.

Many of the new works are the result of hcmf//’s own commissioning activity, including its COVID-19 Commissions programme which, since 2020, has been responsible for 30 original compositions, ranging from large-scale pieces to miniatures, providing immediate and direct support for artists, including established composers and new voices. The programme is full of good things, and though shorter than usual includes everything we might expect, including hcmf// shorts, a wide-ranging programme of free concerts and events on the Festival’s final day (Monday, November 22), culminating in a concert devoted to Catalan composers by London Sinfonietta.

Full details from the festival website.

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