Juilliard’s Focus!2013: British Music Since World War II

United StatesUnited States FOCUS! 2013 Festival Presents: The British Renaissance: British Music Since World War II

Six free concerts, opening on Friday, January 25 with the New Juilliard Ensemble,directed by Joel Sachs, with chamber and solo concerts from January 28 to January 31, and a closing concert with conductor Mark Wigglesworth and the Juilliard Orchestra on Friday, February 1.

 FOCUS! 2013, Juilliard’s 29th annual mid-winter festival of ‘new’ music, presents The British Renaissance: British Music Since World War II with six free concerts from Friday, January 25 through Friday, February 1, 2013. The festival celebrates the flowering of composition in the United Kingdom since World War II. The opening concert on Friday, January 25 features the New Juilliard Ensemble, conducted by Joel Sachs, in music by Jonathan Harvey, Alexander Goehr, Helen Grime, John Woolrich, and Colin Matthews. From January 28 to January 31, there will be chamber and solo concerts, and the January 29 program will include a pre-concert panel discussion. Conductor Mark Wigglesworth leads the Juilliard Orchestra in works by Michael Tippett, Oliver Knussen, Mark-Anthony Turnage, andBenjamin Britten (celebrating the composer’s centenary) on the closing night on Friday, February 1.

FREE tickets to all concerts will be available beginning January 11 at the Janet and Leonard Kramer Box Office at Juilliard. Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 11 AM to 6 PM. Please note: The Box Office will be closed for winter break from December 23 – January 2 and will re-open on January 3. For further information, call (212) 769-7406.

The festival opens on Friday, January 25 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall with the New Juilliard Ensemble, led by Joel Sachs performing Jonathan Harvey’s Sringāra Chaconne (2008, first performance outside of Europe); Alexander Goehr’s …a musical offering (J.S.B. 1985) (1985); Helen Grime’s Clarinet Concerto (2009, New York premiere) with Juilliard clarinetist Bryan Conger; John Woolrich’s Envoi (1997, first performance outside of Europe) with violist Meredith Treaster; and Colin Matthews’ No Man’s Land for tenor, baritone, chamber orchestra, and recorded sound (with text by Christopher Reid) (2011, first performance outside of Europe). Soloists in Mr. Matthews’ work will be tenor Kyle Bielfield and baritone John Brancy.

The program on Monday, January 28 at 8 PM in Juilliard’s Paul Hall features chamber music and includes Richard Rodney Bennett’s Kandinsky Variations for two pianos (1977)*; Brian Ferneyhough’s Cassandra’s Dream Song for flute (1970); George Benjamin’s Viola Viola for two violas (1997); Deirdre Gribbin’s What the Whaleship Saw for string quartet (2004, first performance outside Europe);Judith Weir’s Piano Trio Two (2003-4); and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Sonata for Cello and Piano, “Sequentia serpentigena” (2007)*.

A pre-concert panel discussion opens the program on Tuesday, January 29 at 7 PM in Paul Hall. Joel Sachs moderates a discussion on British music today with composers Michael Zev Gordon, Deirdre Gribbin, and Errollyn Wallen, and choral conductor and agent for composers, David Wordsworth. The concert program features Harrison Birtwistle’s Crowd for harp (2005)*; Simon Bainbridge’s Clarinet Quintet (1993, first performance outside Europe); John Tavener’s Epistle of Love for voice and piano (2000)*; Cornelius Cardew’s Volo Solo for a virtuoso (1965)*; Michael Zev Gordon’s Fragments from a Diary (2005, U.S. premiere); and Errollyn Wallen’s The Girl in My Alphabet for 2 pianos, 8 hands (1990, New York premiere).

The program on Wednesday, January 30 at 8 PM in Paul Hall includes Thomas Adès’ Mazurkas, for piano (2009); Nicholas Maw’s String Quartet No. 3 (1994)*; Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus for flute and digital delay (1987); Martin Suckling’s Lieder ohne Worte (2010); and James MacMillan’s Le tombeau de Georges Rouault for organ (2003)*.

Chamber music is also featured on Thursday, January 31 at 8 PM in Paul Hall with Juilliard musicians performing Tansy Davies’ Loopholes and Lynchpins for piano (2002-3)*; Richard Causton’s Seven States of Rain for violin and piano (2002); John McCabe’s excerpts from Gladestry Quatrains for soprano and piano with text by Jo Shapcott (2005)*; Julian Anderson’s Prayer for solo viola (2009)*; David Matthews’ Eight Duos for Two Violins (1999)*; three pieces for piano – Romeo & Juliet Are Drowning (1967/73), Sometimes I… (1990), There Never Was Such Hard Times Before (1991) by Michael Finnissy; and Diana Burrell’s Arched Form with Bells for organ (1990).

FOCUS! 2013 concludes on Friday, February 1 at 8 PM in Alice Tully Hall with British conductor Mark Wigglesworth leading the Juilliard Orchestra in Michael Tippett’s Ritual Dances from The Midsummer Marriage (1947/52); Oliver Knussen’s Horn Concerto (1994, New York premiere) with Juilliard hornist Trevor Nuckols; Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Ceres (2005, New York premiere); and a special performance celebrating the composer’s centenary, Benjamin Britten’s Sinfonia da Requiem, Op. 20(1940).

*PLEASE NOTE: These starred works are thought to be having U.S. or American premieres, but the status cannot be confirmed because the scores are sold and publishers have no way to know when performances have taken place. When music is rented – as for the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Juilliard Orchestra – records of performances exist.

Edited by Stan Metzger