Sunday, January 13, 2008

New music - but Weir is BBC's chief conductor?


"While I thought Boulez, Stockhausen, Berio were all great composers - especially Berio, who had melodic poetry and eloquence that stood out for me - there was a sense that the postwar serial tradition was starting to fray at the edges. It was ripe for change, and for people to cock a snook a bit" - says 53 year old Judith Weir in a Guardian interview previewing the forthcoming BBC Symphony Orchestra composer weekend featuring her music. My header photo shows Judith Weir on the set of her 'A Night at the Chinese Opera'.

It's great to see some much needed adventurous programming from the BBC in the Judith Weir festival from January 17th to 20th. As well as talks and films there are seven concerts featuring many of her works, and all are to be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3. Full concert details here, broadcast details here, and a Judith Weir feature On An Overgrown Path here.

With the BBC Proms handed over to reality show winners these annual composers weekends are now the showpiece contemporary music event for the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and they are playing in three of the concerts. Two are conducted by Martyn Brabbins, and one by André de Ridder. None are being conducted by the orchestra's chief conductor Jiří Bělohlávek. So where is the BBC's peripatetic maestro? Recording an unadventurous CD of Brahms with the BBCSO, and last seen on the podium in Amsterdam with the Concergebouw Orchestra conducting Dvorak.

Another contemporary opera composer from Scotland here.
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1 comment:

Pliable said...

BBC Radio 3 has seen interesting support programming for the Judith Weir weekend.

Today (14/1) in the afternoon there is Roslavets' Symphony for Chamber Orchestra -

http://www.overgrownpath.com/2007/10/serial-music-exploring-labyrinth.html

http://www.overgrownpath.com/2007/10/serial-music-exploring-labyrinth.html