New Music on a Shoestring: July

As ever, plenty of new music concerts in London and around the country this month for £5 or less.

Not least of which are the BBC Proms, which start on the 14th and continue right through to 9th September; a full programme is available through the BBC, or you can buy one. There are plenty of concerts that I’m not going to mention here that include new music of some sort or another; what follows are my highlights for this month. All Proms concerts at the Albert Hall include prommers tickets available on the night for just a fiver.

Prom 5: 17th July, 10pm. Late-night chamber music played by London Winds. Includes Jonathan Dove, Figures in the Garden and Colin Matthews, To Compose Without the Least Knowledge of Music.

Prom 7: 19th July, 7pm. Concert for the Queen’s 80th birthday notable for her Master of Music, Peter Maxwell Davies’ contribution of an opening fanfare, A Little Birthday Music.

Prom 18: 27 July, 7.30pm. Jonathon Nott and the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra. Includes the UK premiere of Rihm’s Verwandlung.

Elsewhere, this week sees the start of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s New Music Festival. Satie and Sciarrino are the two main focuses – Satie’s Vexations gets one of its now-frequent outings as the opening event, starting at 1pm on Wednesday 5th. There are also three concerts – on the 6th, 10th and 12th – featuring works by Satie and Sciarrino alongside music by GSMD student composers, as well as two concerts of electronic music, and more. All concerts are free and are at the Guildhall, in the Lecture Recital Room [directions].

On the 31st July, at the Spitz – like Cargo, one of London’s more interesting venues – Music Orbit (a spin-off of the iF Festival) present a combination of gamelan, improvisation, electronica and lyrical chamber music from the comined forces of NEM, Makeshift, and the North Sea Radio Orchestra. Tickets are £5, it starts at 8pm, and the Spitz bistro does excellent food…

Outside London, two concerts by the the Royal Northern College’s New Ensemble present Ligeti’s Melodien, Eötvös’s Chinese Opera (6th July, 9pm start) and Reich’s City Life (7th July, 10.30pm start; you may need to scroll down a little). Both concerts are £3 admission, more details from the RNCM.


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