Thursday, May 03, 2007

More to summer than the BBC Proms


The BBC’s privileged position as broadcaster, promoter, orchestra manager and new music commissioner guarantees maximum media coverage for their Promenade Concerts. The Proms may be the biggest music festival in the world, but it is not the only show in town. Some of the other festivals can teach the BBC a thing or two about innovative programme planning – here’s a taster of the events I will be attending, and writing about, in the coming month:

Norfolk & Norwich Festival
May 4 ~ Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir conducted by Paul Hillier, Kedrov, Pärt, Kreek and Rachmaninov (All-night Vigil excerpts), at Norwich Cathedral.
May 6 ~ afternoon, Monteverdi: 1610 Vespers, Eastern Early Music Forum conducted by Philip Thorby (not part of the official festival), evening, Bobo Stenson Trio at Norwich Playhouse
May 13 ~ Matthew Halls harpsichord, Bach Goldberg Variations at King of Hearts

Aldeburgh Festival
June 12 ~ morning, Luigi Nono portrait, a performance of Hay que camino’ soñando for two violins, Vive a Venezia - film about Nono, and a talk by the composer’s widow Nuria Schoenberg Nono, at Jubilee Hall and Aldeburgh Cinema.
June 12 ~ evening, Death in Venice, Benjamin Britten. New staged production of the only Britten opera written for Snape, directed by Yoshi Oida, at Snape Maltings.
June 13 ~ afternoon, Jakob Kullberg cello, Per Nørgård, Bach, Bent Sørensen, and Britten at Jubilee Hall.
June 13 ~ evening, Monteverdi Il Sesto Libro de Madrigali, Concerto italiano directed by Rinaldo Alessandrini at Snape Maltings
June 21 ~ morning, Masaaki Suzuki organ, Guilain, Byrd, Purcell, and Bach, at Framlingham Church
June 21 ~ afternoon, film: Gesulado, Death for Five Voices directed by Werner Herzog, Aldeburgh Cinema.
June 21 ~ evening, Elephant and Castle, a new opera using film, digital sounds, installations and live performance. Music from classical composer Tansy Davies and DJ/electronica artist Mira Calix. It’s at Snape Maltings but our tickets say ‘outdoor promenade, come dressed for the weather’.

Artistic Director Thomas Adès has certainly created an innovative programme for the Sixtieth Aldeburgh Festival. But it’s interesting that the first two events to sell out were Masaaki Suzuki’s Bach B minor Mass, and a showing of Visconti’s film Death in Venice. If you can't be there, be here On An Overgrown Path.

Now read how music rose from the wreckage at Snape
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