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

 


James MacMillan conducts own works with NZSO this weekend

Eminent international composer James MacMillan conducts own works with NZSO this weekend


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

 

Cyclists Net First NZ Gold

New Zealand won a gold meal and two bronzes on the first day of the Commonwealth Games. There was joy and heartbreak in an incredibly full day of sport. Here's how the New Zealanders fared. More>>

Cap Bocage: Anti-Mining Campaign Doco Debuts At NZ Film Festival

Playing at this year’s New Zealand International Film Festival, Cap Bocage is a close-up exploration of the forces that came into play when environmental issues and indigenous rights became intertwined in New Caledonia ... More>>

Film Fest:

More Film:

Sharon Ellis Review: A View From The Bridge

Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge is Circa’s latest big production, it opened on Saturday 19 July and it is a stunning triumph. More>>

Māori Language Week: He Karanga Kia Kaha Ake Te Tīhau Ki Te Reo Māori

The Māori Language Commission wishes to see social media swamped with Māori language tweets and messages for Te Wiki o te Reo Māori using the hashtag #tekupu. More>>

ALSO:

Book Vote: Kiwis Prefer Young Adult & Classics

To compile their Top 100 List for 2014, Whitcoulls again asked New Zealanders to vote for their favourite books and authors. And while classic novels continue to appeal to Kiwi readers, 2014 marks a significant new trend – the increasing popularity of novels for young adults. More>>

ALSO:

Five NZ Cities: Bill Bailey Back To The Southern Hemisphere

The gap between how we imagine our lives to be and how they really are is the subject of Bill’s new show Limboland. With his trademark intelligence and sharp wit, he tells tales of finding himself in this halfway place. More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Book Television Is Coming

Carole Beu of The Women’s Bookshop in Auckland, Graham Beattie of The Book Blog and producer Deb Faith of FaceTV have raised enough money via crowd funding at Boosted – just under $7,000 so far – for 12 episodes, which begin production in September, and will be on screen later that month. More>>

Electric Sheep: Light Nelson Exceeds All Expectations

Light Nelson exceeded all expectations drawing over 40,000 people over two nights to the Queens Gardens and surrounds. The event, with over 40 installations from local and national artists, is in its second year, and organisers were hoping they’d top last year’s crowd of 16,000. More>>

MacGyver: Richard Dean Anderson To Attend Armageddon This October

New Zealand’s biggest pulp-culture event, the Armageddon Expo is proud to announce the world’s most recognised DIY action hero will be attending the Auckland event at the ASB Showgrounds from October 24th to 27th. More>>

ALSO:

Barbershop Gold: Māori Party Singing Praises Of The Musical Island Boys

The Maori Party has congratulated four young men on a mission, who in 2002 took up barbershop singing at Tawa College, and tonight took out the Gold Medal in the 2014 International Barbershop Harmony Society competitions in Las Vegas. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news