ComposHER: Celebrating women media composers

We talk about it a lot, but it’s not only concert music that has a problem with gender equality. Of the 250 top-grossing films in the US last year, 94% of them were scored by men according to a study by Martha M. Lauzen. A recent New York Times story drew further attention to the problem. Organisations like FreeTheBid and, in the UK, the Female Composers’ Forum, have been working to support and highlight the work of women composers in the media, but there is clearly much work still to be done.

Next month, on 12 June, the London Contemporary Orchestra will present the work of many of these composers at the EartH Theatre in Hackney.  Among the featured composers are Jocelyn Pook, Imogen Heap, Nainita Desai and Kate Simko, and many works will be introduced by the composers themselves. The diversity of the British media landscape will be represented, with music for film, TV, video games and theatre. As well as showcasing some of the underrepresented composers who are working in British media, the concert also hopes to tackle gender inequality and inspire the next generation of composers. It promises to be quite an evening.

For more information about the concert, visit the EartH Theatre website. Tickets are £22 and the show starts at 7.30. To whet your appetite, here’s Desai’s 2015 soundtrack to The Confessions of Thomas Quick:


Enno Poppe: Music Of Today

If you can, get down to the Festival Hall for 6pm for the latest edition of the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series, which tonight focuses on Enno Poppe.


Thu 6 Dec 2007, 6:00pm
Royal Festival Hall, London

Franck Ollu conductor
Rebecca von Lipinski soprano
Mark van de Wiel clarinet
Julian Anderson presenter

Wespe (UK première)
Holz (UK première)
Scherben (Berlin version: UK première)

Portrait of Enno Poppe conducted by Franck Ollu and presented by Julian Anderson, in conversation with the composer.

A composer with strong rhythmic drive, Poppe also has an ear for the strangest instrumental combinations. His music drifts in and out of Western tuning, adding to the generally surrealistic atmosphere. A chance to hear a leading younger talent from central Europe.

Admission FREE.

16th Festival of Experimental Music, London

LMC festival flyer

LMC’s 16th Annual Festival of Experimental Music :: Cochrane Theatre, Southampton Row, London WC1B 4AP :: November 29 thru December 1, 2007 :: Tickets: 02072691606 :: Festival Pass: £35/ LMC Members £20 :: Day Pass: £15 / LMC Members£10 / Students £5.

International in its sweep, uncompromising in its substance – Time Out :: Two dozen performers from around the world are given free reign to redefine music. Over three days they coax incredible sounds from all manner of instruments, in every conceivable way. Performers include: The elder statesman of Japanese sound-art Yasunao Tone; mesmeric minimalist legend Charlemagne Palestine; and Norbert Möslang, enigmatic torturer of household electrical goods. Group improvisations feature: Tony Buck, superlative drummer of Australia’s best export, The Necks; brilliant Belgian string virtuoso Julia Eckhardt; and sensational American trumpeter Peter Evans. And to surprise ourselves, Taku Sugimoto, whose guitar playing is so restrained as to stretch the laws of time; Bob Levene, who uses turntables as audio sculpture; and Helena Gough, who reveals the laptop as a landscape teeming with twittering life.

Thursday 29 November:
Yasunao Tone + Taku Sugimoto + Bob Levene + Angharad Davies & Julia Eckhardt & Michael Duch

Friday 30 November:
Charlemagne Palestine + Norbert Möslang + Robin Hayward & Matt Davis + Billy Roisz & Angélica Castelló

Saturday 1 December:
Peter Evans & Steve Beresford & Mark Sanders + John Butcher & Tony Buck & Burkhard Stangl + Margarida Garcia & Barry Weisblat + Helena Gough

New Music on a Shoestring – October

Better late than never, and there’s still a ton of new music available for £6 or less around the UK this month.

17th October

Royal Academy of Music, 7.30pm, £6/£4 conc.

The Academy’s Manson Ensemble make their first contribution to the Nono-ganza with a concert of mutual modernist back-slapping – Boulez’s Dérive I and Kurtág’s Requiem for the Beloved are accompanied by Nono’s A Pierre and Omaggio à György Kurtág, plus a new work by Academy composer Alexander Campkin. Not including Kurtág’s Omaggio à Luigi Nono seems like an opportunity missed, but should be a great concert. More info.

19th October

Royal Academy of Music, 7.30pm, £6/£4 conc.

The Academy Manson Ensemble again, playing more Nono (Polifonica-monodia-ritmica), with Dallapiccola’s Piccola musica notturna, Maderna’s Serenata per un satellite and Schoenberg’s Serenade, plus a new piece by Patrick Nunn. More info.

21st October

St Margaret’s Church, Victoria Avenue, Finchley, 2.30pm, free

Chamber group Sounds Positive (who were once kind enough to play a piece of mine, back when I did that kind of thing) play a programme that includes works by John Stanley, Avril Anderson and a new piece by David Sutton-Anderson. More details from 020 83492317.

22nd October

Royal Academy of Music, 6.00pm, free

More Nono at the RAM; this time Academy soloists get in on the act with Maderna’s Dialodia, Varèse’s Density 21.5, Nono’s ‘Hay que caminar’ soñando and a new work by Paul Evernden. More info.

22nd-23rd October

UCE Birmingham Conservatoire

Independently of all the Nono going on in London, the UCE Birmingham Conservatoire are holding a mini-festival of new Italian music. The two-day event features four concert:

22nd October: Recital Hall, 3pm, £3

Video presentation featuring electro-acoustic works by composers from the Edison Studio – Mauro Cardi, Alessandro Cipriani, Luigi Ceccarelli and Fabio Cifariello Ciardi. More info.

Recital Hall, 7pm, £5/£3

Electro-acoustic concert featuring works by Giacomo Manzoni, Agostino Di Scipio, Azio Corghi, Giorgio Tedde, Luca Francesconi and Aldo Clementi. More info.

23rd October: Recital Hall, 3pm, £3

A second pre-concert video presentation, focussing on MM&T composers, Walter Prati, Matteo Pennese and Nicola Sani.

Recital Hall, 7pm, £5/£3

The second concert features works by Luciano Berio, Mauro Cardi, Gabriele Manca, Walter Prati, Fausto Sebastiani and Michele Tadini.

26th October

St Anne and St Agnes, Gresham Street, London, 1.10pm, free

Rarescale Flute Academy play selections from Birtwistle’s Duets for Storab, alongside pieces by Victoria and Mozart. More info.

29th October

Recital Hall, UCE Birmingham Conservatoire, 7pm, £5/£3

The Fitzwilliam String Quartet and Suzanna Purkis, voice, present works by Joanna Lee, Liz Johnson, Philip Cashian, Simon Hall, Lamberto Coccioli and Michael Wolters. More info.

30th October

Institute of Medical Sciences, Foresterhill, Aberdeen, 5.30pm, free

Rohan de Saram, cello, plays Bach’s Suite no.3, Isang Yun’s Glisees and Ligeti’s Sonata. More info. (Part of the wider sound festival.)

31st October

Doncaster Museum Art Gallery, Chequer Road, Doncaster, 1pm, £3/£2/£1

Pianist Stephen Beville gives a lunchtime recital that includes Beethoven’s E flat sonata, Berio’s Four Elemental Preludes, Liszt’s Sonata après une lecture de Dante and Beville’s own Scenes from Dreams.
More info.

Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, 10pm, £5

Naturally the Pollini recital earlier in the evening (featuring … sofferte one serene …) is the big event, but don’t sleep on this one. The dream team pairing of Irvine Arditti (vn) and André Richard (elecs) are brought together for a late night performance of Nono’s hair-raising, epic and absolutely extraordinary La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura. More info. Read more about La lontananza here.

Music Of Today: Peter Eötvös

Now that things are back up and running, concert-wise, I’ll put together a list of new music on shoestring for this month, but in the meantime I’ll just draw attention to this, tomorrow evening, 6pm at the RFH:

Music Of Today: Peter Eötvös

Yes, the return (and back in the revamped Festival Hall), of the Philharmonia’s Music of Today series. I say this every year, but this remains one of my favourite regular events on the London music scene: an hour of great contemporary music, introduced by the composer, and just the right size to squeeze between finishing work and starting the rest of your evening. And it’s FREE. This year begins with Péter Eötvös’s Chinese Opera, which is not an opera at all.

New Music on a Shoestring – June

For those visitors who are new to the site on the back of the last Blogariddims thing, this ‘new music on a shoestring’ is something I do most months. I’ve been a bit slack about it recently, but the amount of great new music coming round in June is too much to ignore. What follows are just the highlights:

3 June

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge, noon, £6/£4 conc.

Melvyn Poore (tuba) and Anton Lukaszevieze (cello) play works by Poore, Lucier, Stockhausen, Duchamp and John White. This sounds great – if you’re in Cambridge you should go. More info.

4 June

Great Hall, Goldsmiths College, New Cross, 7pm, free

The Goldsmiths Contemporary Music Ensemble play Nono’s La lontananza nostalgica utopica futura and Barry Guy’s WGG. Mark your diaries, because you have no good reason not to see this. More info.

7 June

Council Chamber, Deptford Town Hall, New Cross, 1.05pm, free

Another Goldsmiths thing, for which I make no apology – this concert features string quartets by Michael Parsons, John Lely, Tim Parkinson, Jerry Wigens and John White. More info.

9 June

The Space, 269 West Ferry Road, London, 2-5pm, £5/£2 conc.

The Wild Dog Summer Party, a lengthened summer programme with lots of new music; film; dance and live art, featuring Matt Wright (turntables), Christopher Redgate and Paul Archibold (oboes), William Raajiman (sax), Kat Vipers (piano/voice), Stephen Altoft, trumpet, Jerry Wigens, clarinet, Stefano Tedesco, electronics/percussion and Oli Mayne, vibraphone. More info.

13-15, 20-22 June

Shunt Vaults, Joiner Street, London Bridge, 6pm

Six nights of mprovised music and sound installations, variously featuring Evan Parker, Icarus, Slub and Goldsmiths EMS musicians. Shunt is a member’s bar, so day membership is required for non-members (£5). More info.
13 and 14 June

Royal Northern College of Music, and BBC Studio 7, Manchester

Three concerts as a part of the RNCM’s focus on Australian composer Brett Dean. Two of the concerts (at 1.15pm and 7.30pm on the 14th) are free, the concert on the 13th is just a fiver. Looks good – more details here.

14 June

Spitalfields Festival: Shoreditch Church, Shoreditch, 9pm, £5-£18

Loré Lixenberg (mezzo-soprano/violin), David Alberman (violin)

There are lots of concerts in the Spitalfields Festival, for which tickets start at £5. Many of them feature new music, but this is one of the stand-outs for me. Includes music by Aperghis, Cage, Kurtág (the not-often-performed S.K. Remembrance Noise), Nørgard, Sørensen, Holt and Burrell. Earlier in the same evening at the same venue, you can also see:

Royal Academy of Music Soloists, 6.30pm, £5-£18

Works by Schnittke (Concerto Grosso no.1), Osborne (Taw-Raw) and Xenakis (Aroura). More info.

16 June

Spitalfields Festival: Shoreditch Church, Shoreditch, 6pm, £5-£18

Another great-looking concert at Spitalfields (I think this is the best programme I remember for the festival in some years). Philip Mead (piano/electronics) plays music by Harvey, Knussen, Mann and Dench. More info.

20 June

Spitalfields Festival: Christ Church Spitalfields, 9pm, £5-£22

And it doesn’t stop there at Spitalfields, as Bengali ensemble Surtaal, along with Kutub Uddin (flute/bahshi) and Chris Brannick (percussion), play Stockhausen (Zyklus), Burnell (Pascal’s Carriage) and Rzewski (To the Earth), as well as traditional Bengali music and collaborative pieces. More info.

24 June

Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, 6pm, free

The Philharmonia’s regular Music of Today series turns to George Benjamin. More info.

Inverlieth House, Royal Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, all day, free

If you’re in Edinburgh this might be worth a look – the morning features percussion workshops for children, the afternoon includes several Cage pieces, including 4’33”, and a musicircus. More info.

25 June

Recital Hall, UCE Birmingham Conservatoire, 7pm, £5/£3 conc.

Alonso Mendoza (percussion) plays works by Xenakis, Alvarez, ter Veldhuis, Druckman and Liz Johnson. More info.

27 June

Adrian Boult Hall, UCE Birmingham Conservatoire, 7.30pm, £3

Billed as ‘Hootenanny with Moondog’, conservatoire students play music for brass by the hobo iconoclast, alongside Hootenanny by Martin Butler. More info.

New Music on a Shoestring: March

Usual rules apply – UK concerts only, got to be non-concession tickets available for a fiver or less. (Although I’m thinking of expanding this to £6 since that seems to be the price of a lot of things these days.) If you think your concert should be in this list, tell me about it!

1st March

Royal Academy of Music

Royal Academy Soloists, Clio Gould (dir.), Jonathan Deakin (cello), free entry, 6pm

Includes Tippett, Light Music, Paul Patterson’s Cello Concerto and a new work by Mi Hyun Woo, C-dega.

2nd March

Royal Academy of Music

Academy Manson Ensemble, Dominic Grier (cond.), free, 5.05pm

More Patterson – Intersections and Westerly Winds, Bruno Gabirro’s Entre murmúrios e silêncios and James Williamson, Music for Six.

Great Hall, Goldsmiths College

New electroacoustic works by composition students at Goldsmiths. Free, 7.30pm

4th March

Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge

Cambridge Gamelan Society, Anton Lukoszevieze (cello), free, 12pm

Music for cello and small gamelan ensemble.

5th March

Coombehurst Studio, Kingston University

Peter Hill (piano), Paul Archibold (electronics), free, 1.10pm

Messiaen, Le traquet stapezin, La chouette hulotte, L’alouette lulu, Archibold, Recoil

Recital Hall, UCE Birmingham Conservatoire

Stefan Östersjö (guitar), £5/£3, 7pm

Pieces by Natasha Barrett, Viking Eggeling, Michele Tadini, Henrik Frisk, Kent Olofsson, Richard Karpen and Paul Dolden.

7th March

Royal Academy of Music

Mainly New, Christopher Austin (cond.)

Diana Burrel, Gulls and Angels, Double Image, Piece Number 80, Schubert, Quartettsatz

9th March

Royal College of Music

Madestrange Opera: from the Soundhouse, free, 7pm

Kaija Saariaho, Lonh, Daniel Rugman, Two Shakespeare Sonnets, Michael Oliva/Deepak Kalha, The Girl Who Liked to be Thrown Around

15th March

Southbank Centre

Philharmonia Orchestra: Martin Musical Scholarship FundRecital, free, 6pm

Naoko Miyamoto (violin), Simon Lane (piano)

Works by Prokofiev, Bartók, Wieniawski and Aaron Holloway-Nahu, Breathless

Royal Academy of Music

Academy Brass Soloists, James Watson (dir.), free 6pm

Patterson, Deception Pass, Timothy Bowers, Sonata for Bass Trombone and Piano, Robert Szymanek, May it fill your soul, John Gardner, Quartet for Brass, Jeffrey Agrell, Jive Concerto

16 March

The Spitz

Gobsmack: Thinking Outside the Voicebox, £5, 7.30pm

JUICE, Curious Voice Duo, Jamie Woon, Jenni Roditi, Wan Dan

I’m definitely gonna be at this one, cos I’m reviewing it. Looks good – see you there!

17 March

Queen’s College, Cambridge

Vigani’s Cabinet, free, 2pm and 5pm (plus composer’s round table at 4)

New works by Sadie Harrison, Laurence Crane, Andrew Hamilton, Naomi Pinnock.

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.

New Music on a Shoestring: June

As well as all the goings-on at the Spitalfields Festival, there are plenty of other cheap new music gigs to be had this month.

Tomorrow evening, Thomas Adès’ Powder Her Face is at the Barbican; tickets start at £5, so it just sneaks a mention.

As part of the Aldeburgh Festival, there is a Brian Ferneyhough portrait concert this Saturday afternoon at Orford Church, Aldeburgh. Motets by Ockeghem and Obrecht are included amidst Ferneyhough’s Missa Brevis, Intermedio alla Ciaconna and Unsichtbare Farben. Tickets start at £5 and, generously, anyone under 27 gets in half price.

Howard Skempton will be playing a number of his accordion miniatures at UCE Birmingham Conservatoire on Monday 12th, along with Conservatiore students in a performance of Cardew’s Autumn ’60 (tickets £4/£2). In an apparently unrelated event, COMA North West also perform Autumn ’60 at Prescot Parish Church, Prescot, Merseyside (admission free).

Thursday 15th sees the last concert in the Philharmonia‘s current Music of Today series of free new music concerts. This one features three young composers, including RPS Composition Prize-winner Emily Hall, in settings of Emily Dickinson.

UCE Birmingham Conservatoire is the place to be in the middle of the month. There’s more top value new music on Friday 16th as Kieran O’Riordan conducts the West Midlands branch of COMA in new works by Conservatoire students and COMA members. Tickets are a princely £1. Then on Monday 19th David Purser (trombone) and Ronald Woodley (clarinets) play works by Joe Cutler, Lamberto Coccioli, Michael Smetanin, Christopher Fox and Liz Johnson. Tickets are £4/£2 concs. Stick around because on the 20th Ensemble Interakt play works by Jonathan Green, Stephen Mark Barchan and Phillip Neil Martin (tickets: £2/£1). And finally on the 21st Conservatoire performers play music for brass and saxophones by Michael Daugherty, Andriessen and Stockhausen. Nice.

Finally, two concerts by the Camberwell Composers’ Collective are worth mentioning, playing works by collective members Mark Bowden, Anna Meredith, Emily Hall (see Music of Today on the 15th) and Chris Mayo. They’re at the Pumphouse, Aldeburgh on the 23rd and the Blue Elephant Theatre, Camberwell on the 26th. Tickets for each are a fiver. Update: It appears the 26th gig (that’s tonight) is no more; I can’t find details on the Blue Elephant site or the C3 site. However, C3 are going to be at the Blue Elephant on 2nd July, and this time for free. Bargain.

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 …