Tuesday 3 October 2023

Nigel Foster's London Song Festival celebrates centenaries and more: Ned Rorem, Walton's Facade, Rachmaninoff, Walter de la Mare & the Mackintosh raincoat

Nigel Foster's London Song Festival returns to Hinde Street Methodist Church this Autumn with a series of concerts celebrating the countryside, as well as commemorating centenaries of Ned Rorem and Walton & Sitwell's Facade, Rachmaninoff and Walter de la Mare's 150th, the bicentenary of the invention of the Mackintosh raincoat

The series opens on 20 October with Rebecca Leggett (mezzo-soprano) and George Ireland (piano), winners of the 2022 London Song Festival British Art Song Competition, in The South Country – a celebration of Sussex with songs from Butterworth, RVW, Ireland and Bridge.

Jonathan Eyers (baritone) and Nigel Foster will be celebrating Ned Rorem in Paris and New York, marking the centenary of the composer's birth. Foster will be joined by Alexandra Dunaeva (soprano) and Iestyn Morris (countertenor) for Escape to the Country, a celebration of Rachmaninoff at his country estate, Ivanovka, combining the composer's songs with extracts from his letters.

With Childhood in the Countryside and the City, Lotte Betts-Dean (mezzo-soprano) and Hugo Brady (tenor) celebrate the 150th anniversary of Walter de la Mare's birth with settings of his poems by Howells, Gurney and Britten plus what might be the premiere of The White House Song Cycle by John Carol Case, written by the celebrate baritone in the 1940s.

Claire Booth (soprano) and James Atkinson (baritone) will be celebrating the bicentenary of the invention of the Mackintosh raincoat with a programme about rain, including premieres of songs written for this concert by Noah Max and David Ward. Escape to the City: Edith Sitwell in London is a multi-media celebration of the life and work of the poet Edith Sitwell, and the centenary of Façade, with music by William Walton, Britten, Michael Head, Noël Coward, Debussy, and the premiere of songs by Hayley Jenkins. 

The series ends on 1 December 2023 with A Rural Ramble, a programme English Song and German Lieder about the countryside from the winners of the 2022 John Kerr Award for English Song, Peter Edge (baritone), Frasier Hickland (piano).

Full details from the London Song Festival website.

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