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After the eccelesiastical ruptions that encircled the unpleasant encounter between the Dean of Westminster and his sacked Abbey organist Martin Neary earlier this year, curiosity has mounted over the appointment of a successor. The announcement this week has silenced speculation since the job has gone to the Abbey's close neighbour, James O'Donnell from Westminster Cathedral. His musical capabilities have shone for several years as music in this establishment reached ever higher standards. All ears and eyes will be alert after the successor has commenced his duties.


In the next eleven months, five composers associated with Boosey & Hawkes have new operas/music theatre pieces in production. Elliott Carter leads with What Next? a chamber opera for Deutsche Staatsoper, Berlin; Joseph Suss by Detlev Glanert is an opera in thirteen scenes for Bremen Theater; David Horne's Friends of the People is an opera in three acts for Scottish Opera; Writing to Vermeer is a music-theatre piece by Louis Andriessen for Netherlands Opera; and The Last Supper is also a music-theatre piece by Harrison Birtwistle commissioned by Glyndebourne Opera - although first staged in Berlin next April.

and information previously published here (and there) ...

Harmonious Continent

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

Honegger Prize

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.

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.

Gillian Weir

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 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 For more information, please refer to

Current Vice Presidents of the Elgar Society:

Sir Colin Davis
Sir Charles Mackerras
Dame Janet Baker
Vernon Handley
Richard Hickox
Leonard Slatkin
Professor Ian Parrott
Sir David Willcocks
Percy Young
Diana McVeagh
Michael Kennedy
Jerrold Northrop Moore
Michael Pope
Lady Evelyn Barbirolli
Wulstan Atkins
Robert Anderson
June, Marchioness of Aberdeen

Seattle Opera

Seattle Opera has announced the dates and cast of their 2000/2001 Ring production. Further info at .

National Centre for Early Music

With UK lottery funding, the £2 million restoration of St Margaret’s 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 .

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 .

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 in hand.

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.