The American Composers Forum and the National Endowment for the Arts
have launched an historic initiative, Continental Harmony. The programme
links rural and under-served communities with composers to celebrate the
millenium with new musical works. Host sites will decide the kind of music
which best reflects their history, culture, and hopes for the future. They
will then choose a composer to write the piece, participate in residency
activities, and help local musicians -, town bands, choirs, children's ensembles
- prepare the composition for performance during the millenium year.
Many communities will present a performance of their commissioned piece
on a single day - July 4 2000 - to unite all in an exciting new-music festival
that will sound the millenium throughout the land. By encouraging communities
to collaborate with one another, by bringing new music directly into the
service of community needs, and by national coordination of performance,
publicity and process this project will provide a fitting affirmation of
the importance of community life and the vitality of the arts in our society.
Details from www.composersforum.org/harmony.html
The 14th International Arthur Honegger Prize, announced last week, has
been awarded to the American composer GERALD LEVINSON for his nine-minute
orchestral piece Five Fires, completed in 1995 and inspired by Balinese
gamelan. The piece is described as 'festive and ceremonial in character'.
Levinson studied for two years with Messiaen at the Paris Conservatoire,
and had several periods as Visiting Professor in Indonesia in the 1980s.
The Arthur Honegger Prize has a value of 50,000 francs, and is offered
every two years under the auspices of the Fondation de France on behalf
of the composer's family. This competition seeks to inspire new works in
a single 8-15 minute movement, in the spirit of Pacific 231 or Rugby.
and information previously published here (and there) ...
The theft of Jane Eyre
An agonising theft has hit one of Britain's best-known composers:the
score of a partially completed opera by Michael Berkeley has vanished from
his car outside his London home. 67 vanished sheets comprising two scenes
for Jane Eyre, an opera for the Cheltenham Festival next year and
later at Covent Garden, have brought the composer to 'the lowest point of
my life and I feel as if I have had my heart ripped out'. Berkeley feels
that he has no option to abandonment of the opera. There is a reward for
return of the score.
Portrait of a Composer
Published in association with the Rawsthorne
Trust, John McCabe's 'Alan
Rawsthorne - Portrait of a Composer' will be published this summer by Oxford University Press. For more information,
contact Andrea Nicholls.
After Dame Gillian Weir's highly
perceptive article on performance written for Music & Vision
recently, news of her forthcoming tours of Europe, America, and Asia should
alert readers to watch out for dates, perhaps locally. She was awarded 'Outstanding
Individual Performer in 1998' in the [London] Evening Standard Classical
Music Awards during March and is due to appear in London's 'Last Night of
the Proms' in September.
Anglo-German Youth Music Week
A partnership between The National Association of Youth Orchestras (UK)
and the Internationaler Arbeitskreis für Musik e.V (Germany) invites
young orchestral musicians between 15 and 25 years old from any European
Union country (in particular from any of Germany, France, Netherlands, Spain,
France, Belgium, Denmark, Italy and Switzerland) to attend the 1999 Anglo-German
Youth Music Week in Dover, England from July 31st to 7th August.
For further information or to submit an application (closing date May
30th), please visit www.nayo.org.uk/agymw.htm
or email Malcolm Goodman
(the Course Administrator).
Opera North's new Musical Director
Opera North announces Steven Sloane as their new Musical Director for
the 1999/2000 season. New autumn productions are La traviata, Katya
Kabanova, Don Giovanni. Looking ahead, there are new productions
in the making for Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Handel's
Radamisto. Info +44 (0)113 243 9999.
Organ concert guide
With the rise in popularity for good organ recitals (as opposed to the
indifferent playing of indifferent music a decade ago), a reliable guide
to London Organ Concerts is now published twice yearly. Details from 27
Southwood Avenue, London N6 5SA, United Kingdom.
Death of Graham Steed
The death of Graham Steed in Canada on 6 March has only just reached
us. In his eighties, and obviously distressed at his wife's death a few
months back, he was touring Europe and playing only early last year. For
many years he championed the organ music of Marcel Dupré and played
most of it in recitals worldwide. His autobiography was due to be published
this year, but sadly he will not see it.
Elgar Society seeks President
The recent and sudden death of Lord Menuhin deprives the Elgar Society
of a much loved President. Another of the diminishing number of people who
were personally acquainted with Elgar has gone. The Society is looking for
a suitable successor. To express your view on Menuhin's successor, please
write to Robert Gilbert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, please refer to www.elgar.org/1news.htm.
Current Vice Presidents of the Elgar Society:
Sir Colin Davis
Sir Charles Mackerras
Dame Janet Baker
Professor Ian Parrott
Sir David Willcocks
Jerrold Northrop Moore
Lady Evelyn Barbirolli
June, Marchioness of Aberdeen
Seattle Opera has announced the dates and cast of their 2000/2001 Ring
production. Further info at www.seattleopera.org
National Centre for Early Music
With UK lottery funding, the £2 million restoration of St Margarets
Walmgate York church as a National Centre for Early Music is now in hand
for opening at Easter next year.
Contemporary Piano Department
The London College of Music and Media - part of the Thames Valley University
- is to open a Contemporary Piano Department under the direction of Philip
Mead and Ian Pace. Students must be 'open-minded amd adventurous' to fully
take advantage of the experience and opportunities for performance that
will be offered.
Unusual Musical Collaboration
An unusual musical collaboration paves the way for two composers and
two orchestras to create both harmony and understanding. The Scottish and
Swedish Chamber Orchestras have invited one composer each from their respective
countries to work with them and to write four works between now and 2003,
with performances by both orchestras. From Sweden has been chosen Karin
Rehnqvist, and from Scotland Sally Beamish.The Millenium Festival Fund in
the UK has awarded £30,000 to Barbican Education to create Dreamspaces,
a large-scale choral event to be performed on the Barbican lakeside. It
will involve 2,000 young people and give individuals a chance to express
their visions for the new century. Working with them will be a leading composer,
poet and visual artist.
Robin Orr's 90th Birthday
Celebrating his 90th birthday this year is Robin Orr, Professor of Music
at Cambridge for many years. Events to mark this occasion include performances
of his music, a recording of orchestral music by the Northern Sinfonia,
and celebratory articles in music journals. Professor Orr's autobiography
Musical Chairs was published last year (Thames Publishing).
James Macmillan recordings
Imminent is the release of two world premiere recordings of three works
by James Macmillan (The World's Ransoming, Cello Concerto, and Symphony
Vigil) on the BIS label. They form a Triduum that yet again demonstrates
the deep spiritual awareness of this young Scottish composer.
Associated Board Piano Anthologies
For Associated Board Grade 8 (1999 and 2000) Piano Anthologies, apply
to Peters Edition, London. Info on email@example.com
Chopin Study Editions
The well-known Henle Urtext edition of Munich is publishing Study Editions
of Chopin Impromptus and Scherzos and a two piano Urtext edition of Beethoven's
Piano Concerto No. 4. Info on www.henle.de
Complete editions of Johann Strauss and Sibelius
Two new projects for complete editions of important composers of the
past are announced. Barenreiter is to publish a complete Johann Strauss
edition in 72 volumes. Breitkopf & Hartel has a complete Sibelius edition
Red House Editions
United Music Publishers are now the sole UK distributor for the Australian
catalogue Red House Editions which specialises in contemporary music.
Flute Competition Winner
The Kathryn Thomas Flute Competition 1999 has been won by Neil Crossland
for his Reminiscenses for flute/alto flute and piano. Kathryn Thomas
presents this work at the Purcell Room on 27 May.
Kathryn Thomas wins Young Musicians Trust Award
As a flautist and founder member of the Galliard Ensemble, which is to
record Paul Patterson's complete music for wind quintet for Meridian, Kathryn
Thomas has been awarded a Young Musicians Trust Award and the Worshipful
Company of Musicians' Maisie Lewis Young Artists' Award.