Things to do tonight

The Philharmonia’s perennially excellent Music of Today season starts up again at 6 this evening with two works by Michael van der Aa.

Thu 9 Oct 2008, 6:00pm
Royal Festival Hall, London

Julian Anderson presenter
Baldur Brönnimann conductor
Claron McFadden soprano

Mask (UK première)
Here [In Circles] (London première)

Aa will always hold a place in my heart for two reasons: his lexicographical novelty, and the fact that his chamber opera One immensely enlivened an otherwise disappointing visit to Warsaw Autumn in 2004. As ever, Music of Today concerts are free.

Update: My review of this concert is here. Colin Holter has some much more insightful things to say about it here.

After that, I’m going to be heading over to my new favourite venue, Café Oto, for a piano comprovisation triple-header:

Thu 9 Oct 2008, 8:00pm
Café Oto
Tickets : £6

Small But Perfectly Formed presents “A Series of Fortunate Events” displaying something of the relationship between improvisation and composition.

Tania Chen may well perform some music scores by Earle Brown. Chris Burn will pick from his extended contemporary music repertoire (Lachenmann, Cowell and Cage have been mentioned) and sprinkle some improvisation on it. Pat Thomas will improvise on some transcriptions of Derek Bailey’s pieces.

Tania Chen

Tania has worked internationally as a performer of contemporary piano music, playing the music of American composers Cage, Earle Brown and Morton Feldman. She has premiered piano works of UK composers such as Michael Parsons and Andrew Poppy and younger composers such as John Lely. Tania Chen is also interested in free improvisation and using improvisation as a way to create notated music.

Chris Burn

As an improvisor, Chris Burn has forged a unique style of piano playing by developing a multitude of alternative techniques, both on the keyboard and inside the instrument. For his work in composition he was shortlisted for a Paul Hamlyn award in 1993. He is also known for his performances of the piano music of Henry Cowell, John Cage and other contemporary composers.

Pat Thomas

Pat Thomas (b. 1960) has been making his mark on the Oxford and London scenes for some twenty years now, both as a pianist and as a performer of electronic keyboards and other electronic gadgetry. He has been heard in numerous groupings, ranging from the London Improvisers Orchestra to duos with Derek Bailey and Lol Coxhill.

See you there?


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