Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Eminent international composer conducts own works for NZSO

Eminent international composer conducts own works for NZSO Hear & Far concert tour

Eminent Scottish composer and conductor James MacMillan will conduct the NZSO in Hear & Far, an annual concert tour that features the best of international contemporary classical music alongside the best of New Zealand contemporary classical music.

Dr MacMillan will conduct two of his own works, his landmark The Confession of Isobel Gowdie and the more recent Woman of the Apocalypse, as well as the world premiere of The Clock Stops, a brand new commission by New Zealand composer Lyell Cresswell. It is the second new work by a Kiwi composer to receive its world premiere in the NZSO 2014 Season.

NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake highlights the significance of this tour:

“When you think about the opportunity to hear a composer conduct their own works, it is unusual and special. I think many musicians will get a real delight in seeing a conductor who is realising their own music. And this is quite rare.”

Famous composers who have previously conducted definitive performances of their works with the NZSO include Igor Stravinsky (1961) and William Walton (1964).

MacMillan is internationally acclaimed, and a foremost composer of his generation. He is also active as a conductor. His compositional style combines a multitude of influences but remains accessible. The Guardian has described him as “a composer so confident of his own musical language that he makes it instantly communicative to his listeners.” MacMillan was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 2004.

The premiere of The Confession of Isobel Gowdie at the 1990 Proms with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra attracted great attention. The work is inspired by the story of Isobel Gowdie, a victim of the witch hunt that gripped Reformation Scotland. In 1662, under extreme torture, she confessed to a number of acts of witchcraft and was subsequently burnt at the stake. MacMillan says: “the work craves absolution and offers Isobel Gowdie the mercy and humanity that was denied her in the last days of her life.”

MacMillan’s 2012 concerto for orchestra, Woman of the Apocalypse, references the mysterious character in the Biblical book of Revelation. MacMillan drew ideas from images of this woman:

“Looking through the different artworks over the centuries I was inspired and given visual stimulus by a whole range of different artists. I’m always interested in how either visual images or even just ideas from literature or scripture… can in fact transform into sound.”

New Zealand music is represented in this concert tour by a new work by Lyell Cresswell, one of our great contemporary composers. The NZSO commissioned Cresswell to write a work to commemorate the Canterbury earthquakes. Although the work began as a response to the Canterbury earthquake events, it then took on a wider perspective.

Entitled The Clock Stops, Cresswell’s work is a song-cycle, incorporating poems by well-known Kiwi author Fiona Farrell written for this purpose. The poems are about the history of cities, ancient and modern. Cresswell and Farrell have collaborated twice before, and this reprise of their successful partnership promises a significant addition to New Zealand contemporary music.

“All the music in this song-cycle springs, in one way or another, from the words – from the poems that Fiona Farrell has written for it,” says Cresswell.

NZSO Chief Executive Christopher Blake says of the commission:

“The Clock Stops is connected to the devastation that Christchurch has suffered. Lyell conveys the emotions that we all feel about Christchurch and Canterbury through these compelling settings of poems about cities and their histories.”

The poems will be performed by New Zealander and prominent international opera singer, bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu. Frequently performing on the world’s most important operatic, orchestral and recital stages, Lemalu is one of the leading singers of his generation.

In Hear & Far the NZSO will again bring audiences the finest compositional voices of today from home and overseas.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 
Howard Davis Review: Dick Frizzell At The Solander Gallery

One of the most influential and celebrated contemporary Pop artists working in New Zealand, Dick Frizzell is mostly known for his appropriation of kitsch Kiwiana icons, which he often incorporates into cartoon-like paintings and lithographs. Not content with adhering to one particular style, he likes to adopt consciously unfashionable styles of painting, in a manner reminiscent of Roy Lichtenstein. More>>

Old Music: Pop Icon Adam Ant Announces NZ Tour

Following his recent sold out North American and UK tours, Adam Ant is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the release of his landmark KINGS OF THE WILD FRONTIER album with a newly-remastered reissue (Sony Legacy) and Australasian tour. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books:
Looking Back

Writing a memoir that appeals to a broad readership is a difficult undertaking. As an experienced communicator, Lloyd Geering keeps the reader’s interest alive through ten chapters (or portholes) giving views of different aspects of his life in 20th-century New Zealand. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Purple (and Violet) Prose

This is the second recent conjoint publication by Reeve and Stapp; all to do with esoteric, arcane and obscure vocabulary – sesquipedalian, anyone – and so much more besides. Before I write further, I must stress that the book is an equal partnership between words and images and that one cannot thrive without the other. More>>

Howard Davis: Get It On, Bang A Gong, Pt I

Several readers have recently inquired about the significance of the image that accompanies my by-line. While the man-bun is long gone, I still incorporate the sound of the gong in my Kundalini Yoga classes. More>>

ALSO:

Breaking The Ice: U.S. Antarctic Icebreaker Visits New Zealand

The United States has sought, and been granted, New Zealand’s permission for a U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker, the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter (USCGC) POLAR STAR (WAGB-10), to make a port call at Lyttelton on its way home from Antarctica sometime later this month. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Trading Places

Greg Clydesdale, a lecturer in business at Lincoln University, has written a comprehensive account of global trade from the seventh century to modern times. More>>

Sheep: Shearing Record Smashed In Hawke’s Bay

Three shearers gathered from around New Zealand have smashed a World record by 264 sheep despite the heat, the pumiced sheep of inland Hawke’s Bay and a year’s wool weighing an average of over 3.5kg a sheep. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news