Friday 20 May 2022

Afghan music, Stravinsky on the pianola, live-stream collaborations: Spitalfields Music's 2022 festival features over 20 London and world premieres

Spitalfields Music's 2022 festival (30 June to 13 July 2022)

Spitalfields Music's 2022 festival (30 June to 13 July 2022), curated by chief executive Sarah Gee, celebrates the power of music to transcend culture, communities, languages and borders at a time when global unity is urgently needed, with performances combining different styles, artforms and genres to demonstrate the extensive range and resilience of classical music.

Co-curated with conductor Cayenna Ponchione-Bailey and Afghan pianist and composer Arson Fahim, Spitalfields Music has commissioned Afghan musicians in exile or hiding to write new compositions and create arrangements of Afghan traditional songs which will be performed by a chamber orchestra of instruments from Afghanistan and the Western classical music tradition. The UK's first women and non-binary orchestra Her Ensemble performs music from Barbara Strozzi to Dobrinka Tabakova. 

Voice trio celebrate the legacy of Hildegard of Bingen, juxtaposing her music with new works by Stevie Wishart, Marcus Davison, Emily Levy, Tim Young and Laura Moody. There is a rare chance to hear Biber’s virtuosic Mystery Sonatas played on baroque violin by Kazakh violinist Aisha Orazbayeva, whilst a talk from Professor James Sparks on Bach's mathematical genius, illustrated by a performance of the Goldberg Variations by City of London Sinfonia, pays homage to The Spitalfields Mathematical Society - a working men’s club founded in 1717. There will also be a chance to hear Stravinsky's Rite of Spring on pianola, performed by Rex Lawson

George Parris and The Carice Singer celebrate RVW's 150th anniversary with a performance of the Mass in G minor alongside the London premieres of works by James Batty, Michele Deiana, Will Harmer, Electra Perivolaris, Claire Victoria Roberts and Aileen Sweeney, as part of Spitalfields Music and Cheltenham Music Festival’s ongoing partnership. Composer and clarinettist Arun Ghosh presents the London premiere of his St Francis of Assisi-inspired Canticle of the Sun, Inner City Brass give the premiere of a new work by composer, trombonist and big band arranger Callum Au, and composer Neil Luck and filmmaker Hydar Dewachi are collaborating on the premiere of The Melting Ceremony. Soprano Juliet Fraser will collaborate with the Talea Ensemble live streamed directly from New York City to premiere Laura Bowler's Distance. George Barton, Siwan Rhys and Mira Benjamin will perform a concert celebrating composer Barbara Monk Feldman’s minimalist masterpieces.

The festival ends with a concert from Voces8 alongside the TUKS Camerata, a student choir from the University of Pretoria.

Full details from the festival website.

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