wed 05/10/2022

contemporary classical

theartsdesk at Musikfest Berlin - orchestral and choral rainbows around the clock

In its three weeks of world-class events, Muskfest Berlin has managed to be all things to all people – like a mini-Proms distilling the aspects of top international visitors alongside home-grown excellence, and of a focus on at least one relatively...

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theartsdesk Q&A: Horn player Sarah Willis on returning to Cuba

Berlin Philharmonic Horn player Sarah Willis’s Mozart y Mambo caused a stir in 2020, its mixture of Mozart and traditional Cuban music making it a bestselling crossover disc.Two years on and the second volume has just been released, the sessions...

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Batiashvili, Philadelphia Orchestra, Nézet-Séguin, Edinburgh International Festival 2022 review - classy playing, mismatched programme

For the penultimate concert in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s residency at the Edinburgh Festival, the chosen repertoire was evidently considered so obscure that the box office managers didn’t even try to sell any tickets in the Usher Hall’s cavernous...

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Album: Ruby Colley - Overheard

Violinist and composer Ruby Colley combines elements of folk, contemporary classical and jazz with explorations and evocations of the natural world.Her debut release, 2010’s Murmurations, was a minimalist, paired-down evocation of nature and natural...

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theartsdesk at the Pärnu Music Festival 2022 - conductors from 15 to 85, and the greatest players

When I first came to Estonia with a then still-exiled Neeme Järvi and his Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in 1989, the world-class young musicians who dazzled at this year’s Pärnu Music Festival hadn’t been born.A new Estonian musical golden age is...

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George Fu, St Martin-in-the-Fields review - high intellect and visceral shocks

Semi-standing ovation at a lunchtime concert in a London church? Predictable, perhaps, from the first recital I heard George Xiaoyuan Fu give at the Two Moors Festival, an avian programme which made me long to hear him play Messiaen’s complete...

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Violet, Music Theatre Wales/Britten-Pears Arts review - well sung and played, but to what end?

Best new opera in years, they said – don’t ask who – after the Aldeburgh Festival premiere of Tom Coult’s Violet. I’d have been happy in Hackney had it been as good as, say, Philip Venables’ 4.48 Psychosis or Stuart MacRae’s The Devil Inside. Alas,...

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First Person: Christina McMaster - seeking musical cures for modern malaise

In 2020, during a gentle easing of lockdown restrictions, I was asked to play for the Culture Clinic sessions at Kings Place, a creative initiative where small groups of up to six people could book a ticket for a private, personally tailored...

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Six Brandenburgs: Six Commissions, Chamber Domaine, Malling Abbey review - metaphysical brilliance

"Contemporary classical", for want of a better term, works best in concert as a cornucopia of shortish new works offering a healthy range of styles and voices. Add to the mix six of the most exhilarating and original chamber concertos ever, by no...

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Ennio review - sprawling biog of the maestro of movie music

Ennio Morricone’s collaboration with director Giuseppe Tornatore on 1988’s Cinema Paradiso was one of the countless highlights of his career, and it’s Tornatore who has masterminded this sprawling documentary tribute to the composer, who died in...

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Bournemouth SO, Karabits, Lighthouse, Poole review - more voices from the east

The last of this season’s Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra concert series Voices from the East featured music from Azerbaijan with Kirill Karabits focusing on works by the contemporary composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and her teacher Kara Karayev.Born in...

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‘Let me be your main course’: composer Jimmy López on why new music needs time and space

No, not your aperitif – and certainly not your digestif; your bona fide main dish, the one your audience yearns for, dresses up for, and looks forward to.It’s 2022; time for arts leaders to show the way into the future and to not underestimate the...

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