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On the horizon

Soile Isokoski at Symphony Hall

The opening concert of Birmingham's Symphony Hall season is a visit of the Bavarian State Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta on 7 September in an all Richard Strauss programme. Soile Isokoski will sing the Last Four Songs between Don Juan and An Alpine Symphony. Other visiting orchestras include the Bournemouth Symphony (25 Sept), the Russian State Philharmonic (30 Sept), Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (6 Oct), Leipzig Gewandhaus (14 Oct), Slovenian Philharmonic (16 Oct), and Czech Philharmonic (17 Oct).

St Ceciliatide International Festival

The 5th St Ceciliatide International Festival of Music takes place at Stationers' Hall in the City of London 20-28 November. American musicologist Joshua Rifkin and the Bach Ensemble play Bach concertos and the Ouverture in D (minus the oboes, trumpets and drums it later acquired) 24 Nov. Fiori Musicale present Vivaldi's Seasons on 20 & 21 November with new music by Geoffrey Burgon reflecting on the Vivaldi work and interweaving with it. Chapelle du Roi sing Guerrero's Vespers for St Ceciliatide on 22 Nov, and the Finnish Yggdrasil Quartet mark the 150th anniversary of Chopin's death on 25 November with pianist Fumiko Shiraga playing new chamber arrangements of Chopin's two piano concertos. The Lindsay Quartet plays Beethoven on the 26th and Fiori Musicale reappear on 27 and 28 November with James Bowman presenting two choral works by Zelenka and Bach Cantata 54 (Widerstehe doch der Sunde). Info:

Chamber Orchestra of Europe

The Chamber Orchestra of Europe financially supported by CGU announce plans that take them around Europe during the coming year. They are at the Edinburgh Festival 30 Aug and1 Sept with Andras Schiff directing and playing six Mozart piano concertos - and repeats of this go to Vienna, Zurich, Brussells, Bremen and Oldenburg during the following weeks. Info:

and previously published news ...

Schleswig Holstein

The Schleswig Holstein Music Festival runs through the region from 11 July to 29 August. Details of this wide-ranging festival from

Edinburgh Festival

The 53rd Edinburgh Festival runs 15 August to 4 September. Highlights include the return of the Vienna Philharmonic after 23 years, the Pittsburgh Orchestra, the Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester, and the NDR Symphony Orchestra Hamburg, the new Ensemble Modern Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

In the realm of opera, a new production of Puccini's Turandot is to be seen with an Asian cast, and a new production of Verdi's Macbeth. Britten's The Rape of Lucretia will be heard in a concert version.

A galaxy of international performers will be heard in recitals and chamber music. Music of the Pipes is a series planned to show its expanding repertory and the diversity of music.

Perhaps the most innovative step for the Festival this year is a new Centre, The Hub, which is described as a 'stunning building'. It opens in July.

Scotland's Youth

Scotland shortly hosts two youth orchestra festivals: the Edinburgh Festival of British Youth Orchestras and the Glasgow Festival of British Youth Orchestras, running concurrently 16 August to 5 September. Thirty orchestras are involved embracing a highly diverse range of music from Mahler Symphony 5 (Hertfordshire County Youth Orchestra) to a commissioned The Duegar's Revelry from our contributor Patric Standford (Yorkshire Youth Orchestra).

Info from

Full Moon Over Killaloe

From 21 August to 4 September, Canadian artists will meet in the Ottawa area to record local sounds such as traffic noise, voices and waterfalls and then produce new audio artworks, and a series of concerts, performances, retreats and workshops are planned, under the guidance of audio artists Hildegarde Westerkamp and Michael Waterman. Info: Canadian Society for Independent Radio Production.

Organ Recital

Friedemann Herz will play the organ of Brixen Cathedral in Italy on 24 and 26 August. Music by Ligeti (Volumina), Schnittke (Two little pieces), Corneliu Dan Georgescu (Orbis III, first performance), Adriana Hölszky, Viktor Suslin, Paul Hindemith, Arvo Pärt, Giacinto Scelsi and Bojidar Spassov, Info:

Presteigne Festival

John McCabe is composer in residence at this year's Presteigne Festival (August 26 - 31) in the Border Marches region between Wales and England. Also featured are the Vanbrugh Quartet and prize-winning New Zealand pianist Stephen de Pledge. Contemporary works by McCabe, Alun Hoddinott (as part of his 70th birthday celebrations), Gerald Barry, Celia Harper, Rodney Sephen Newton, Graham Fitkin, Malcolm Arnold and the Festival's founder Adrian Williams can be heard, as well as music by Brahms and the romantics.

Mardi Gras Manchester

Music for a While present songs by Sterndale Bennett, Elgar and Sullivan, solos and duets of the period and a reading of Oscar Wilde's the Nightingale and the Rose on 28 August, 7.30pm at Cross St Chapel, Cross St, Manchester M2 1NL, United Kingdom, as part of the Gay and Lesbian Manchester Mardi Gras Festival.

'Ale and 'Arty

The group Tubalaté will perform tuba quartets at the BMIC in London on Wednesday 1st September, 7.30pm. The following works will be performed: John Reeman's Episodes, Pieces of Eight by David W Solomons, Almost a Fugue by Georg Pelecis, Tolsten Aagaard Nielsen's Pas de Quatre, 'Ale and 'Arty by Colin Bayliss and Philip Clarke's Smack.

Berliner Mahler-Fest

The complete works of Mahler will be performed at the Berliner Mahler-Fest, throughout September. Info: .

What Next?

The Berlin premiere of Elliot Carter's one act comic opera What Next? is at the Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden, 16 September 1999. With text by Paul Griffiths (after Jacques Tati's film Traffic), What Next? is conducted by Daniel Barenboim and directed by Nicolas Brieger, with decor by Gisbert Jaekel. There are further performances on 18, 22 and 25 September, and on 25 and 31 March 2000.

RFH Classics International

Looking forward to London's Royal Festival Hall's Classic International Series starting in September, a procession of great orchestras of Europe and one American will dazzle the musical scene on the South Bank. Leading off with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam on 22 September under Riccardo Chailly, there follows in date order the La Scala Philharmonic Orchestra, Milan directed by Riccardo Muti (4 October), Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under Claudio Abbado (11 October), Pierre Boulez directing the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (22 October), the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Rome conducted by Myung Whun Chung (21 and 22 November), the Vienna Philharmonic again with Seiji Ozawa (15 March), and the Philadelphia Orchestra conducted by Wolfgang Sawallisch (19 May).

La Guitarra California

Tickets are now on sale for La Guitarra California (24-26 September 1999 on the campus of Cuesta College, scenic Highway 1, north west of San Luis Obispo, California) from +1 805 546 3131. Info: La Guitarra California website.


Gerard Schurmann's song-cycles, Chuench'i (translations of Chinese poems by Arthur Waley), and Six Songs of William Blake, together with Nine Slovak Folk Songs are due to be performed in Manchester on September 25, to be followed by recordings for commercial CD on September 27 and 28 by Alison Wells (soprano) and Martyn Hill (tenor), with Keith Swallow (piano). In addition, Moonbird for solo recorder will be given its first performance at the concert on September 25 by John Turner. Info:

Music to move you

'Music to move you' is an eight-concert season announced for the St David's Hall as the National Concert Hall of Wales from September through to May 2000. Apart from top ranking British orchestras and conductors there will be visits by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra.

Beethoven cycle

The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will give a Beethoven symphony cycle at the Royal Festival Hall in London commencing October 14 with conductor Sir Roger Norrington. Info: +44 (0)171 960 4242.

A Tale of Three Cities

An international conference is to be held at London University's Senate House, 22-24 October 1999. Entitled, A Tale of Three Cities: Janácek's Brno Between Vienna and Prague, the aim of the conference is to re-assess the self-image of Brno and Moravia between (roughly) 1850 and 1930, using Janácek as a focus. Info from Royal Holloway College.

Steel and Gold

'Steel and Gold' is the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra's title for a forthcoming Rachmaninov retrospective. Over October and November, five concerts will contain the three symphonies, Symphonic Dances, and a concert version of his opera The Miserly Knight, as well as works by contemporaries. A series booking will also include a free celebrity concert with Artur Pizarro. Info:


A European tour by the Merce Cunningham Dance Company will bring Biped, a new work to a commissioned score by Gavin Bryars to Paris for a season 9-20 November. The work explores a new animation technology of motion capture.

Millennium Pilgrimage

From 25 December 1999 to 1 January 2001, The Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and John Eliot Gardiner will perform all 200 of Bach's surviving church cantatas, each on the precise liturgical date for which it was written, in abbeys, cathedrals and churches throughout Europe. The project will cost more than 5 million UK pounds (approx. 7.5 million US dollars), and will involve Gardiner in 150 air flights. Deutsche Grammophon will record the concerts, and many will be televised.