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The founding of Christchurch and Canterbury in New Zealand in 1850 is to be musically celebrated in 2000 with a cantata premiered on 26 February by the choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford in the Sheldonian Theatre directed by Stephen Darlington.

Francis Grier has set a text by Sue Mayo for this celebratory cantata entitled Around the Curve of the World. A handful of Christ Church men in 1850 were members of the founding organisation for this special settlement, which was to be established around a cathedral and a university college. Christchurch has been New Zealand's principal city ever since.

The prime source of this venture is the Canterbury Association 2000, from which 50 donors have raised over 30,000 pounds towards the commissioning fees.

New Zealander Paul Whelan takes the baritone role as the founder, John Robert Godley, who was described by Gladstone as 'a king among men'. Even the Sheldonian Theatre of 1669 has a link as its construction was financed by Gilbert Sheldon, Archbishop of Canterbury at that time. Furthermore, Canterbury, New Zealand is named after the Archbishopric of Canterbury.

Première at the Sheldonian Theatre in Oxford on 26 Feb: Priority bookings from 22 Nov, +44 (0)870 750 0659. General booking from 6 December:
By internet at
By phone from Oxford Playhouse Box Office +44 (0)1865 798600
By fax to Music at Oxford +44 (0)1865 242867
In person to Oxford Playhouse Box Office, Beaumont St, Oxford OX1 2LW, UK
By post to Music at Oxford, Elms Court, Oxford OX2 9LP, UK


Festival music by the Med

The Aix-en-Provence Festival next summer (June-July 2000) plays host to Pierre Boulez and William Christie directing Academie europeénne de musique. Specialists in their chosen fields, each will demonstrate and teach the developments in instrumental music that heralded the Baroque period and the second half of the 20th century. Others who will share in this survey are René Jacobs, Gustav Leonhardt, Laurence Équilbey, Simon Rattle (with the CBSO), and Daniel Harding (with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra).

Operas to be performed - all linked to these developments - are Janacek The Makropoulos Affair, Rossini Cenerentola, Mozart Cosi fan tutte and Monteverdi Il ritorno d'Ulisse in patria and Le Couronnement de Poppée.

For a prospectus refer to


Schubert Masterclass 2000

The fourth edition of the Dutch Schubert Foundation (Schubert Stichting)'s Schubert Masterclass will take place from 16-18 November 2000, with a final concert by students and teachers on 19 November 2000. Unique in the Netherlands for providing an inspiring interpretation course for both singers and their pianists, the Schubert Masterclass is run by bass-baritone Robert Holl and pianist Rudolf Jansen.


and previously published news ...

The Word of the Day

A recital by soprano Danielle Woerner and pianist Sylvia Buccelli will include a 100th birthday season tribute to composer Otto Luening (1900-96), consisting of songs dating from 1918 to 1984. Luening, one of the fathers of electronic music, but also composer of more traditional music, donated his music to the New York Public Library shortly before his death. The programme, entitled The Word of the Day: Composers and the Poetry of Their Time, also includes songs by Mozart, the French composers Chausson, Debussy and Fauré, by Alma Mahler, and Schönberg's Vier Lieder, Op 2.

You have two chances to hear this recital: 30 November, 8pm at Bard College, Annandale, New York, and 7 December, 7pm at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at The Great Hall, Cooper Union, East 7th Street, NYC (part of the library's 1999-2000 concert series Treasures of the Music Division). Both performances are free. Further information from Leslie Gerber, Parnassus Records, +1 914 246 3332.

Woerner and Buccelli have recorded Luening's songs: She Walks in Beauty: Soprano Danielle Woerner Sings Chamber Music and Songs of Otto Luening and Robert Starer was released in January on the Parnassus label (PACD 96012), and has already gone to a second pressing.

'Luening's idiom is basically tonal and highly melodic...[His] songs with piano are all quite lovely... Woerner has a high, bright soprano of considerable technique along with perfect diction...all of the singing is quite lovely....Recommended.' (John Story writing in Fanfare.)


Ten-day tour

The Northern Sinfonia, which is based in Newcastle, UK, is shortly off on a ten-day tour of Germany - 22 November - 3 December - with Evelyn Glennie, the UK's foremost solo percussionist. Cities to be visited are Düsseldorf, Köln, Stuttgart, Hannover, Berlin, Bielefeld and Osnabrück.


Even jazz

'Jazz on the level' will be a series at St David's Hall in Cardiff, Wales on Tuesdays at 8.30: Just East of Jazz, 30 Nov; John Etheridge's Sweet Chorus, 25 Jan; Tony Coe Trio, 15 Feb; Marlene Verplank and her Musicians, 7 March. Box Office: +44 (0)1222 878444.


Yehuda Kanar recital

Cellist Yehuda Kanar and pianist Julian Jacobson play Max Bruch's Kol Nidrei, Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata, Fauré's Elégie and Rachmaninov's Sonata on 1 December, 8pm at Regent Hall, 275 Oxford Street, London W1. Info: +44 (0)20 8952 2009.


Pettersson, Lidholm and Stenhammar

Nils-Eric Sparf will be the soloist in Allan Pettersson's Concerto for Violin and String Quartet at the Uppsala Chamber Soloists' concert in the Alfvénsalen, Uppsala, Sweden on 2 December, 7.30pm. Also on the programme is Ingvar Lidholm's Music for strings and Wilhelm Stenhammar's Quartet No 6. Tickets: 077-1707070.


News of the New

James Macmillan, whose Easter Triptych on record was reviewed in Music & Vision earlier this year, will conduct the Scottish Chamber Orchestra in his new Symphony No. 2 in Scotland in early December Ayr (and BBC broadcast) 2 Dec, Glasgow 3 Dec and Edinburgh 4 Dec. Macmillans new Magnificat for choir & orchestra will be broadcast live from Wells Cathedral on 2 Jan. He has a large-scale Mass in preparation for Westminster Cathedral on 22 June next.

The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra has appointed Macmillan as its new Composer/Conductor from September 2000.


Warwick Arts Society

Buoyed up by the Lindsays, Warwick Arts Society's 20th Anniversary year concerts in the British Midlands continue with the Skampa Quartet (Dec 3), who set Suk's Meditation and Richter's Divertimento alongside Dvorak in the newly refurbished Royal PumpRooms, Leamington Spa. Events at St.Mary's, Warwick include the Wren Baroque Soloists (30 Nov). December showcases two mediaeval-inspired groups - The City Waites (Dec l0) and Sirinu (Dec l6) - at the Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick, while the Mellstock Band revives raucous memories of Thomas Hardy's Wessex in the historic village of Salford Priors (Dec 15). Next year's Warwick and Leamington Festival will be on 1-l5 July 2000.

Full details : 01926-410747 /496277.



Medieval Feast

York's involvement in early music is increasing progressively through the activities of their Early Music Foundation. On 3 December is held a Medieval Feast for the Archbishop of York, a re-creation of the celebration in 1437, and on 17 December a programme of Christmas music by the group Passacaglia. There is more pre-Christmas and Christmas music. Info


English Fancie Camarada

The English Fancie Camarada presents a retrospective series of 20th century chamber music at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, UK, all starting at 7.30pm. The series includes many Camarada commissions and first performances. On 4 December, 'War years - the aftermath', 29 January - 'New directions' (with a 6.30pm pre-concert talk by Richard Rodney Bennett) and 3 March - 'towards the millennium' (6.30pm pre-concert talk by Howard Skempton).

Tickets cost GBP 7 (concessions GBP 5) per concert, from The Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford, +44 (0)1865 798600 or at the door. Info: +44 (0)1252 727240.


Epic Journey

Sir Colin Davis conducts a Berlioz Odyssey commencing on 5 December. This is described as an 'epic journey' and will involve the London Symphony Orchestra, various soloists and choirs. Full information on +44 (0)845 60 60 888.


Living Music

The Living Music Foundation Concerts in Bucharest, Romania, featuring works by various American-based composers, including Aaron J Rabushka, will take place 6-7 December 1999, at the Sala Enescu, Bucharest, Romania.


Galliard Ensemble

The Galliard Ensemble Wind Quintet will play in London's Purcell Room as part of 'Fresh Young Artists Platform' on 7 December, 7.30pm. The ensemble will give the world première of a work written for them - Paul Patterson's Westerley Winds, the European première of Philip Bimstein's Casino for quintet and tape, and music by Berio, Briccialid, Pärt and Tinoco. Tickets GBP 10 (GBP 8, concessions) from or phone +44 (0)171 960 4242. Other Galliard Ensemble appearances include 6 February 2000, 9pm (Cambini, Briccialdi, Holst, Ibert, Pärt, Ligeti and Patterson - Balliol College Oxford).


Forgotten genius of Renaissance Spain

A native of Flanders, Philippe Rogier (c1561-1596) lived and worked mostly in southern Spain, and his music reflects both styles. Magnificat 's final concert of Rogier's music in London this Autumn is at St James, Piccadilly, 10 December, 7.30pm: Missa Domine Dominus Noster - also featuring The Wallace Collection in Rogier's festive polychoral Christmas music.


Going Dutch

The Dutch composer Louis Andriessen's 60th birthday is acknowledged on 10 December with a Barbican concert from the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins. Included is the UK première of De Tijd, exploring the phenomenon of time. Also as accompaniment to a screening of Peter Greenaway's film will be the music for M is for Man, Music, Mozart.


About Time in Ely

On Sunday 12 December a BBC Millenium concert will take place in Ely Cathedral presenting The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group conducted by Sir Simon Rattle in a programme including Haydn's Te Deum and Beethoven's Ninth plus the première of Mark-Anthony Turnage's About Time. Info: +44 (0)1353 660349.


1999/2000 season in Budapest

The Budapest Philharmonic's 1999/2000 season includes music by Liszt, Mozart and Tchaikovsky (13-14 December, conducted by Zuohang Chen, with Barry Douglas, piano); Mozart, Brahms and Beethoven (31 January, with the Beaux Arts Trio); Bach, Mozart and Bartók (28 February); Mahler's 3rd Symphony (20-21 March); Sibelius (3-4 April); Beethoven's Symphonies 1 and 9 (15-16 May).

Budapest Opera features Britten's Peter Grimes (staged by Balazs Kovalik - 18, 20 January), Three Sisters by Peter Eotvos (based on Chekhov, staged by Istvan Szabo - 2, 5 April) and Bizet's Carmen (staged by Mikos Szinetar - 20, 21, 23, 25, 27, 30 May).

Other events in Budapest include the Nureyev Ballet Competition (16 March finals, 17 March gala. Opera House).


Uppsala Choral Symphony

Soprano Gunilla Stephen-Kallin, mezzo Ulrika Tenstam, tenor Lars Cleveman, bass Gunnar Lundberg, the Störkyrkans Kor, and the Uppsala Chamber Orchestra will be conducted by Gustaf Sjökvist in a performance of Beethoven's Symphony No 9 at Universitetets Aula, Uppsala, Sweden on 16 December, 7.30pm. Tickets: 077-1707070.


Adam lay y bounden

Howard Skempton's carol setting of Adam lay y bounden is to be premièred by the choir of St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, Edinburgh on 28 December.


Classics and lasers

The Munich Philharmonic has chosen an existential theme - 'Man between Earth and Cosmos' - for its New Year's Eve concerts. The programme is in three parts: vox mundana/music of the earth, vox humana/music of mankind and vox coelestis/music of the cosmos. Music performed will include La Création du monde by Milhaud, Scriabin's Le Poème de l'extase, Wotan's Farewell and the Magic Fire Music from Wagner's Die Walküre and Also sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss. Laser choreography will be provided by Laserland (who provided impressive laser-lit performances for the handing over of Hong Kong to China, and at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro). The two events are in the Munich Philharmonia at the Gasteig, Munich, Germany, 30 December, 7pm and 31 December, 5pm.


Lucia AlibertiFestival of Love

Tonhalle Düsseldorf's New Years Day concert, Romeo und Julia, features soprano Lucia Alberti, who is at home on some of the World's most important opera stages - the Metropolitan Opera House, New York, London's Covent Garden, the Deutsche Oper Berlin and La Scala Milan. She will be joined by the Georgian tenor Shalva Mukeria, winner of numerous prizes. Son of professional musicians, Mukeria studied clarinet before the discovery of his extraordinary voice. Conducting the Düsseldorfer Symphoniker will be Martin Fischer-Dieskau, who has appeared with more than fifty orchestras worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic, London's Royal Philharmonic and the Moscow State Orchestra. The concert includes music by Gounod, Bernstein, Bellini, and Prokofiev, with arias from the operas of Verdi and Puccini. 1 January 2000, 8pm. Tickets (35-70DM) from +49 (0)211 89 96 123.


Tallis Scholars

The UK-based Tallis Scholars under their founder and conductor Peter Phillips visit the Netherlands 12-13 January (Rotterdam and Enschede). Full info on their recordings at


Danielpour Première

The illustrious Guaneri String Quartet, which has a residency at the University of Maryland, is to première a Concerto for string quartet and orchestra by Richard Danielpour with the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Leonard Slatkin at Washington's Kennedy Center on 13, 14, and 15 January 2000 then in New York at Carnegie Hall on 25 January.


Oreste and Oresteia

The English Bach Festival Opera presents a short season in January at the Linbury Studio Theatre of the Royal Opera in London. Oreste by Handel, not heard in England since 1734, will be staged on January 14 and 22 at 7.30 and 16 and 23 at 4. At the reverse end of the chronological scale Xenakis' Oresteia will be given its first performance in England of the new complete version. Dates: Jan 15,18,19,21 at 7.30.Box office: +44 (0)207 304 4000.


Song at St John's

The 30th Anniversary Season commencing in October at St John's Smith Square, London, contains Song at St John's, a blossoming of solo song with piano. There will be a Study Day led by Roderic Swanston on 16 January with the first recital on 7 February bringing Susan Bickley and Paul Robinson for a programme drawn from Italy, Spain, Russia and the UK. On 17 March Rosalind Plowright and the Mastersingers Company introduce a Celebrity Song Series. Box office: +44 (0)20 7233 1618


The Sixteen in sixteen cathedrals

From February to November 2000, The Sixteen will perform in 16 of England's finest cathedrals. Starting in York and ending in Canterbury, the choir will sing some of the best renaissance music by Byrd, Taverner and Tallis - composers connected historically with the cathedrals. Watch out for a new page on The Sixteen website, which (by the end of October) will give further information and booking details.


Uncommon Artistry

The Plymouth Music Series in Minneapolis has announced its 1999-2000 season, called 'Uncommon Artistry'. Witness will be partially African American with a song cycle from John Williams and Dream N. the Hood, a rap symphony by Gregory T.S.Walker to be programmed in Orchestra Hall on 19 Feb; The Kings Singers will present Aha! Cappella at Wooddale Church on 7 April; Czech composer Jan Jiraseks reworking of Bach's St Luke's Passion will be sung on 12 May at the Ted Mann Concert Hall. Info: +1 612 624 2345.


What Next?

Elliot Carter's recently premièred one act comic opera What Next? is at the Deutsche Staatsoper Unter den Linden, 25 and 31 March 2000. 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.


A variety of conductors

The Philharmonia Orchestra's Spring/Summer 2000 concerts at the Royal Festival Hall in London bring a variety of conductors to the rostrum. Leonard Slatkin (Principal Guest), Vladimir Ashkenazy, Junichi Hirokami, David Zinman, Vladimir Conta, Richard Hickox; and Valery Gergiev conducting four concerts devoted to works associated with Diaghilev (two with the Kirov Orchestra). Mikhail Pletnev plays Tchaikovsky's complete works for piano and orchestra in two concerts. Slatkin will present two American concerts, including a première.


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