First London Ear Festival of Contemporary Music


Update: I will be hosting a one-hour show with Gwyn Pritchard and Andrea Cavallari this Wednesday, 13 March, on Resonance FM. We’re going to be talking about some of the music and themes of the London Ear Festival, and playing some great pieces as well. Show starts at 8pm, and you can catch it on 104.4FM if you’re in London, or listen online via the Resonance website if you’re not.

This is really a bit of a late entry to March’s Secret Music listings, but I figured it deserves a post of its own.

The London Ear Festival of Contemporary Music is a new international music festival for London, directed by the composers Gwyn Pritchard and Andrea Cavallari. It is devoted exclusively to new music (particularly music since 1980), and aims to combine high quality music and performance with an informal and welcoming atmosphere.

For its first edition, the festival is highlighting music from six European countries: Austria, Britain, Germany, Italy, Norway and Switzerland, and features music by Fausto Romitelli, Bernhard Lang, Beat Furrer, Cecilie Ore, Hanspeter Kyburz … See for yourself: there are 11 fabulous looking concerts in all.

As well as these, the festival also features informal pre-concert talks and interviews, masterclasses from leading new music performers, educational projects and an international composers’ competition for works for ensemble and for solo piano. Two young performers, Stephen Upshaw (viola) and Tom Bayman (cello) are the festival’s Featured Young Performers, and will be playing a recital on the evening of Thursday 21st that includes Liza Lim’s Invisibility and Berio’s Sequenza VI. I’m giving the pre-concert talk on the Sunday evening, probably on the subject of recent Swiss music; do come along.

Most of the concerts and events are taking place at the Warehouse, Waterloo, and in the Cello Factory art gallery next door. A few fringe events will be at the Austrian Cultural Forum, the Italian Cultural Institute, and St John’s College, Cambridge.

Lots more details at the festival’s website. There is also a YouTube channel of related videos.

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