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Vilancicos de Navidad

Villancicos and instrumental works from Peru, Guatemala, Mexico and Spain will be performed in the United States and Canada this week. Performers include Jennifer Lane, Ruth Escher, Richard Savino, Carla Moore, Ingrid Matthews, Elisabeth Reed, Yuko Tanaka and Peter Maund. 17 December, 8pm, First United Methodist Church, 811 Fifth Ave, Seattle USA (Info +1 206 325 7066); 18 December, 8pm, St Andrews Presbyterian Church (corner of Douglass and Broughton), Victoria, British Columbia; 19 December, 4.30pm, Ryerson United Church, 2195 West 45th Avenue (at Yew Street), Vancouver, BC (with a pre-concert introduction at 4pm).


Bamert in Tokyo

The London Mozart Players embark upon a Japanese tour 22 January - 1 February under the direction of Matthias Bamert. 22 Jan Tokyo: Akigara Kirara Hall; 23 Jan Tokyo: Kodaira Citizen's Cultural Hall; 25 Jan Kyto: Yasu Bunka Hall: 26 Jan Fukui: Harmony Hall; 27 Jan Aomori: Towada Shimin Bunka Center; 28 Jan Tokyo: Metropolitan Arts Space; 29 Jan Ibarahi: Iwai Shimin Hall; 30 Jan Kobe: Portopia Hall; 1 Feb Kagoshima: Venue tbc.


Arthur Pendragon

Following their huge success with Edward II, David Bintley and John McCabe are collaborating again to produce two new ballets based on Arthurian legends. The first of these, Arthur Part I: Arthur Pendragon, has been completed, and will be premièred 25-29 January in the UK by the Birmingham Royal Ballet. Further information from the websites of John McCabe or the Birmingham Royal Ballet.


Brandon Hill Cosi

On January 25-29 are to be performances of Mozart's Cosi fan tutte (in English) by the Brandon Hill Opera at St George's Bristol UK. The rebuilt and refurbished building provides an ideal acoustic and setting for small-scale opera. Richard Studer has artistic direction and Andrew Shulman will conduct the Brandon Hill Chamber Orchestra. Box Office +44 (0)117 923 0359: info 


and previously published news ...

Jornadas Nova Música

The 3rd Jornadas Nova Música focusses on the Portuguese composer Emmanuel Nunes. The interpretation workshop 'Nova Música' is run by Wolfgang Niessner, an experienced conductor from the Saltzburg Mozarteum, and gives the opportunity for young Portuguese composers and players to contribute. A set of composition seminars will be held by Emmanuel Nunes, Edwin Roxburgh and Wolfgang Niessner. Ana Ester Neves (a prominent Portuguese soprano), Pascal Gallois (bassoonist with Ensemble InterContemporain) and Henk Van Twillert (saxophonist and founder of the Amsterdam Saxophone Quartet) will all give masterclasses.

A series of conferences will be held on various themes, including Portuguese music and various aspects of the creation and interpretation of music, and a series of concerts and recitals has been designed to present the essence of contemporary musical art, including a special concert in memory of the recently deceased composer Gérard Grisey, viola player Christophe Desjardins playing music by Emmanuel Nunes, and two concerts by the Workshop Nova Música Chamber Orchestra featuring baritone António Salgado and including works created during the Festival.

Jornadas Nova Música's base will be the Portuguese coastal town of Aveiro, from 10-19 December. A complete listing of events is at, and further information is available from Joao Pais.


Warwick Arts Society

Buoyed up by the Lindsays, Warwick Arts Society's 20th Anniversary year concerts in the British Midlands continue with December showcases of 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.



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.


Medieval Feast

York's involvement in early music is increasing progressively through the activities of their Early Music Foundation. On 17 December the group Passacaglia will give a programme of Christmas music. There is more pre-Christmas and Christmas music. Info


In Rome for the millennium?

Francesco Carotenuto conducts the String Orchestra of the International Chamber Ensemble in six concerts from 28 December - 9 January in the All Saints Anglican Church in Rome. Two programmes are repeated - music by Vivaldi (the Four Seasons, the concerto alla rustica, the concerto for two violins in A minor and the concerto for two violins, cello and orchestra in G minor) will be played on 28, 30 December and 2 January. A programme of music by Vivaldi (the concerto for two violins, cello and orchestra in D minor), J S Bach (the concerto for two violins and orchestra in D minor) and Mozart (the divertimenti for strings K136 and K138, and Eine kleine nachtmusik) can be heard on 7,8 and 9 January. All concerts begin at 9pm. Tickets L 30,000 (with concessions) available at the door.


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.


News of the New

James Macmillan's 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. Macmillan's Easter Triptych on record was reviewed in Music & Vision earlier this year.

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


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


Even jazz

'Jazz on the level' is a series at St David's Hall in Cardiff, Wales, continuing on Tuesdays at 8.30: 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.


English Fancie

Camarada has commissioned Richard Rodney Bennett for an Oboe Quartet. This will be premièred on 29 January in the Holywell Music Room, Oxford UK, in 'New directions' - part of an ongoing series entitled The English Fancie - a retrospective series of 20th century chamber music including many Camarada commissions and first performances. The programme also includes Bennett's first Oboe Quartet from 1975, with works by Lennox Berkeley and John McCabe, and Bennett will give a pre-concert talk at 6.30pm.

The next concert in the series will be 'towards the millennium' on 3 March (with a 6.30pm pre-concert talk by Howard Skempton).

Tickets for each concert cost GBP 7 (concessions GBP 5), from The Playhouse, Beaumont Street, Oxford, +44 (0)1865 798600 or at the door. Info: +44 (0)1252 727240. Both concerts begin at 7.30pm.


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.


Millennium Tales

Charles Vignoles of the Bromley Youth Music Trust in London UK has commissioned Bob Chilcott for the Borough's Millennium celebrations. It has resulted in Millennium Tales, a cantata for children's choir, SATB youth choir, and instrumental ensemble which takes a look at modes of communication down the centuries. There are performances at Croydon's Fairfield Halls on 16 and 17 February, and at the Millennium Dome on 18 May. Info from Val Withams (tel/fax +44 (0)1494 866389).


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.


Around a curve

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 the South Island'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


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.


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


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.


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.


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