16 April 2013
Composer & performer news April 2013
Our bulletin from the composing/performing world, with performance news, awards, new releases, ensemble news. Featuring: Luke Styles, Lachlan Skipworth, Maria Grenfell, Peter Knight, Andrián Pertout, Kristian Ireland, Natalie Williams, Eve Duncan, Alister Spence, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Stephen Lalor, and many others.
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Luke Styles's work Vanity for violin, solo tenor, bass and female choir will receive its first performance in Glyndebourne, UK, as part of Styles's residency with the Glyndebourne Festival. More details on the festival website.
Lachlan Skipworth's new composition Afterglow will feature, in good company, in a Metropolis New Music Festival concert in Melbourne on 20 April. Commissioned by the MSO as part of its Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers Program, Skipworth's work will be conducted by Thomas Adès, together with music by Kurtág, Turnage and Adès.
The Music Board's latest assessment meeting in February resulted in commissions and funded projects involving music by Brian Howard, Katia Tiutiunnik, Joe Chindamo, Ross Bolleter, Peter Sculthorpe, Clare Cooper, David Chesworth & Sonia Leber, Grahame Dudley, Jon Rose, Robin Fox, Peter Knight, James Ledger, Stephen Leek, Lyle Chan, Gerard Brophy, Nigel Butterley, Stuart Greenbaum and Kate Neal, as well as many others. Read the full assessment report.
Maria Grenfell has spent recent months in Nacogdoches, Texas, as part of an exchange program between the University of Tasmania and the Stephen F. Austin State University's School of Music. As a visiting professor, Dr Grenfell has been teaching composition students as well as teaching music analysis. She and her family are returning to Hobart in May. More information about the exchange on the SFA website.
Peter Knight has toured overseas, performing a number of solo and ensemble concerts in February, first in Japan and Korea, and later in Brooklyn, Seattle, Vancouver and San Francisco. Next up in Australia, a concert in Cairns on 26 April at the Tanks Art Centre, with Way Out West.
Andrián Pertout has attended a performance of his Iluminismo, Concertino-Doppio for alto saxophone, harp and strings in Houston, Texas - the work was commissioned by the American Harp Society for performance by Noah Getz, Jacqueline Pollauf and the Houston Composers' Orchestra conducted by Karl Blench. Other recent commissions include a work for saxophone and organ, premiered in February in Boston.
Kristian Ireland's work limit of correction was performed by cellist Séverine Ballon at the Eavesdropping concert series at The Tank in New York on 21 March. A few months earlier, Ireland was an artist in residence at Villa Sträuli in Winterthur, Switzerland.
A series of new radio works by Australian artists was broadcast by the Kunstradio (ORF) in Austria in February and March - on air as well as online. The Transmuted Signal series was curated by Colin Black and included works by Philip Samartzis, Cat Hope, Colin Black, Nigel Helyer, Lizzie Pogson, Melanie Herbert and Entoptic.
Awards and appointments
Andrián Pertout has won the Jean Bogan Prize for his work Luz meridional, twenty-four études for piano (2012). He has also won the Boston Metro Opera 'Mainstage Award' (USA) for Hypatia's Circle, Song Cycle for voices, flute, viola and harp (2012).
Joseph Twist has won an APRA Professional Development Award in the TV and film category. The Award in the Classical category went to the Melbourne-based sound artist and composer Alexander Garsden, and the Jazz award went to the New York-based composer, pianist and arranger Matthew Sheens. The list of PDA finalists also included the AMC-represented Julian Day, Nirmali Fenn, Daniel Rojas and Chris Williams (in the Classical category), Steve Newcomb (Jazz category), and Aaron Kenny (TV and Film category).
Natalie Williams and her team were the winners of a 24-hour composition competition organised by the Atlanta Opera in January. Selected composers, lyricists, directors and singers were randomly put into teams and given 24 hours to compose, stage and rehearse a 10-minute opera. Performances were judged by a panel of judges and the audience. Williams's forthcoming performances in Australia include two concerts (7 June and 8 June) by the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, with Williams's Whistleblower overture in the program.
Tasmanian-born composer, singer and radio producer Matthew Dewey is about to relocate from his current Brisbane home to Sydney where he will take on the duties of the Senior Music Producer at ABC Classic FM. Dewey's recent works include a cycle of four Shakespeare songs, premiered in Hobart in February (details).
Chamber Made Opera has announced Tim Stitz as its new creative director - Stitz has been Chamber Made's executive producer since 2012. Outgoing artistic director David Young will hand over his managerial responsibilites later in 2013. Young's music recently featured in a concert by the German ensemble MusikFabrik - the same concert included a premiere of a new work by Liza Lim (details).
Linda Kouvaras's book Loading the Silence: Australian Sound Art in the Post-Digital Age has been released by the UK publisher Ashgate. Loading the Silence puts Australian sound art works in their international context and explores the ways in which selected works demonstrate creatively how sound is embedded within local, national, gendered and historical environments. More details on the publisher's website.
Move has just released a new CD of Eve Duncan's music, entitled Butterfly Modernism - a launch concert with music from the CD took place in Melbourne on 6 April. This is CD is now available throught the AMC.
ABC Classics has published a recording of Andrew Ford's award-winning song cycle, Learning to Howl, sung by soprano Jane Sheldon (CD details). Other works on the CD include the Prix Italia runner-up Elegy in a Country Graveyard, recently featured in Tony Williams and Anna Hewgill's film, A Place Called Robertson. A premiere of Ford's new work Australian Aphorisms for the Song Company will take place in Canberra on 17 May.
Alister Spence Trio (Alister Spence, Lloyd Swanton and Toby Hall) have put out a CD titled Far Flung - for information about this and other recent jazz releases, see Miriam Zolin's recent article on Resonate. Earlier this year, Spence toured England and Scotland, and was involved as a composer (together with Lawrence English), in a theatre project by the Living Room Theatre Company (details). Current events include a gig at the Sound Lounge in Sydney on 19 April.
On her forthcoming album 600 Years in a Moment, pianist-composer Fiona Joy Hawkins combines a contemporary Australian-made piano with ancient instruments from around the world 'to bring the village and its hidden treasures into a modern musical setting'. More details on the composer's website.
The University of Western Australia is celebrating its centenary year with a CD entitled Luminosity, featuring music by Iain Grandage, Jennifer Fowler, James Ledger, Christopher Tonkin, David Tunley, Roger Smalley, Carl Vine, Richard Mills as well as other composers with connections to the UWA. More details.
Ensemble Offspring is headed to the Netherlands and the UK in October, with their program 'Roar', featuring music by James Humberstone, Kate Moore, Damien Ricketson, Michael Smetanin, Jane Stanley and Matthew Shlomowitz, among others. Australian fans can check it all out in Campbelltown on 16 November. See also: other Ensemble Offspring shows in 2013.
ELISION's two concerts in Huddersfield in February featured music for trumpet, trombone, percussion, electric guitar and electronics. Included in the program was Luke Paulding's where dust is in their mouths and clay is their food (2012-2013) for trumpet, alto trombone and percussion. The work was also heard earlier in ELISION's concert in Singapore, as part of IETM - Australia Council for the Arts Collaboration project.
Speak Percussion has been touring far and wide, including giving a concert at MaerzMusik Festival in Berlin, with works by Thomas Meadowcroft and Matthew Shlomowitz, as well as an all-Meadowcroft event in Geneva's Eklekto Percussion Festival. From Europe, Speak headed for the US where they were involved in collaborative projects in New York and San Francisco.
Ironwood are going ahead with a new sound art project, funded by the Australia Council for the Arts grant, with Sydney-based sound artist-designer Jeremy Silver. The ensemble is looking forward to working on the project as well as other new ideas during their Bundanon residency in June.
London's all-Australian chamber orchestra, Ruthless Jabiru, performs works for string orchestra at Australia House, London, on 9 May 2013. Conducted by Kelly Lovelady, the program will include a new commission from Leah Kardos, as well as Brett Dean's Carlo.
Stephen Lalor's Volatinsky Trio played in Adelaide in March as part of the WOMADelaide festival. 'There is not another outfit in Australia quite like the Volatinsky Trio', wrote Tony Hillier about the ensemble in his article for the Rhythms magazine. 'Lalor's evocative compositions, featured on the Trio's debut album Troika, draw on traditional influences. Part of Bukovina Odyssey, for example, adroitly utilises a Moldavian standard, while Poloninu unites an ancient fiddle tune and a traditional Ukrainian song. The composer is also not averse to blending genres in his instrumental pieces.' Read the whole article.
© Australian Music Centre (2013) — Permission must be obtained from the AMC if you wish to reproduce this article either online or in print.
Anni Heino is a Finnish-born journalist and musicologist, web editor and editor of Resonate magazine at the Australian Music Centre.
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