New Music on a Shoestring: Spitalfields Festival

The annual Spitalfields Festival starts in East London today, and provides a wealth of new music concerts with prices starting at 5 pounds for most concerts. Concerts are held at Wilton’s Music Hall (the oldest surviving music hall in the world, dontchaknow), or Christ Church Spitalfields; check the full programme of events further details.

Kicking things off tonight at 6.30 the Continuum Ensemble play music by Martin Butler, Errollyn Wallen, Ariene Sierra, Kenneth Hesketh and former Spitalfields director Judith Weir. At 9.00 Rohan de Saram (cello) and Ananda Sukarian (piano) present a concert that includes a new work for cello by Naresh Sohal.

Tomorrow night Okeanos present a concert of new works with a mostly Japanese bent, including pieces by Dai Fujikura and Toshio Hosokawa. (On Thursday they take the same programme to the York Late Music Festival, and on Tuesday 13th to the Royal Northern College, but non-concession tickets for these are £10 each.)

The new music at Spitalfields continues on Sunday 11th, with SPNM and the BBC Singers performing choral works by Diana Burrell, Elisabeth Lutyens, Judith Bingham, and new pieces by Philip Tebbs, Stephen Chase, Nick Redfern, Fumiko Miyachi, Bernard Hughes and James Batty.

The early evening concert on Monday 12th features another work by Sohal, Three Songs from Gitanjali, as well as some tabla music, and some Janáček. You don’t hear that often. The later concert (9pm start) features Chroma playing works by Golijov and Piazzolla. There are two concerts on Thursday 15th as well; the great Sir Peter Maxwell Davies conducts the RAM Manson Ensemble at 6.30, and the only-slightly-less esteemed Django Bates plays, with Alison Bates and Colin Currie, in the 9pm concert.

On Saturday 17th COMA (Contemporary Music for Amateurs) London premiere new works by John White and Dave Smith, as well as pieces by RAM composers. The following evening at Oxford House, picking up one of the threads running through the Festival, is ‘a showcase of the rising stars of Somali music in London’, and features young Somali musicians in a blend of traditional and electronic instruments.

The final evening of new music concerts is on the 22nd June, with the Joyful Company of Singers performing works by Giles Swayn, Roxanna Panufnik, Geoffrey Bush and Malcolm Williamson in the early evening slot. For the 9pm concert they team up with the Orlando Consort in a concert of eary music that also features a new work, Scattered Rhymes by Tarik O’Regan.

Enjoy that lot, then. The remaining cheap new music listings for June follow in a bit …


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