London Sinfonietta: International Benjamin

Contemporary music fans in London could do worse this week than book tickets for next Monday’s concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. I’ll be there, having used my student discount to book one of the best seats in the hall for a fiver (hurrah!). The concert includes James Wood’s Autumn Voices, George Benjamin’s Three miniatures for solo violin and Hans Abrahamsen’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra. Abrahamsen is giving a pre-concert talk at 7pm to ticket holders (his concerto is receiving its London première), but the really big draw for me is a repeat performance of Grisey’s Quatre chants pour franchir le seuil, which is one of my Music Since 1960 recommendations, and was one of those shattering musical experiences you only get once in a while when I first heard it, in this hall, with the same ensemble, five years ago. I can’t wait for the rematch – a highly recommended chance to see the last great work by a composer who died too early to make the impact he deserved.

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