spnm in 2002
I have taken this opportunity to hijack new notes, normally
reserved for exploring some burning issue in the new music world, to outline
some of spnm’s activities in the coming months and also to
identify the destination of some of your gratefully received membership
fees. Since the 2001/02 season is already nearly halfway through, it also
seems to me an appropriate point at which to thank Artistic Director Steve
Martland for his inspired input to a full two years’ worth of events.
Here are a few high-lights from the next seven months:
Hearing your orchestral works is one of the most valuable opportunities
for a composer – and often one of the hardest to achieve. We are
delighted to be able to address this through a rekindling of our relationship
with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, who will read through three works from
the current shortlist in a session with conductor Martyn Brabbins on 29
January – big orchestra, very quiet by Andrew Hamilton, The Pure
Good of Theory by Tarik O’Regan and Vortex by Sarah Henderson.
We’re equally pleased that Barrington Pheloung – no stranger
to the spnm and leader of our "Composing for Film" project in
1997 – has programmed Kevin Flanagan’s shortlisted trumpet concerto
Like Miles on 15 March as part of his new "Sonic" festival,
which takes place in venues throughout Surrey. These events greatly enhance
our current portfolio of professional orchestra collaborators – the
Britten Sinfonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales and the City of London
New work in Greenwich
spnm Council member Paul Goodey, Head of Wind Brass and Percussion
at Trinity College of Music, has programmed the work of shortlisted composers
in student concerts throughout the year. Many works will be performed
in Trinity’s magnificent new surroundings at the Old Naval College
in Greenwich – see overleaf for details.
In February we continue our relationship with the Goldberg Ensemble and
their Artistic Director Malcolm Layfield. This year Steve Martland has
selected three shortlisted composers – Naomi Waltham-Smith, Simon
Mawhinney and Owen Bourne – to write new concertos for marimba and
strings. All three pieces will be performed in concerts and explored in
workshops given by the Goldberg Ensemble in their 2002 Contemporary Festival.
As part of spnm’s commitment to forging new relationships
between composers and performers, each composer has been paired with a
different soloist: Julian Warburton, Adrian Spillett and Sam Walton will
perform in Manchester (15 Feb), Leeds (22 Feb) and Wolverhampton (28 Feb)
This year the London Sinfonietta’s State of the Nation festival takes
place on 27 and 28 April at the South Bank Centre. The weekend will feature
works from the spnm shortlist.
Two of the London summer festivals have new Artistic Directors this year,
both keen to offer opportunities to spnm composers. Peter Wiegold
is guest director at the Isleworth Festival in May, presenting new works
by shortlisted composers for the intriguing combination of twelve trombones,
members of Ballet Rambert and the Brentford Steam Museum. Then over the
other side of London in June, Jonathan Dove starts in his new role at
the Spitalfields Festival by programming a strand of second performances
of spnm works from recent years.
At this year’s Bath Festival we’re very happy to be working
with the Elision Ensemble from Australia, who on 1 June, under the artistic
Daryl Buckley, will feature newly written works by members of the shortlist
in a workshop and a lunchtime concert.
There’s also an international flavour to spnm’s collaboration
with the City of London Festival on 27 June. Through a general call to
the shortlist, composers will be invited to write works inspired by medieaval
fragments and the work of Croatian artist Dragan Andgelic, for the Orlando
Consort. The concert will take place in one of Sir Christopher Wren’s
city churches against the backdrop of one of Andgelic’s twelve iconic
Alongside all of these events, we will continue to provide professional
development opportunities to composers:
c4k (composing for kids) – funded
by the Alan Fluck Memorial Fund of the Musicians’ Benevolent Fund
– enters its third year, with a further series of partnerships between
shortlisted composers and primary schools creating new work for young
performers. The first half of 2002 will also see a number of performances
of works generated by the Adopt A Composer scheme, funded by the PRS Foundation
and run by spnm in collaboration with Making Music. A developed
version of the original scheme will come on stream in September 2002 with
six new partnerships between spnm composers and Making Music member
sound inventors – a major new
initiative funded by Youth Music with partnership finds from the PRS Foundation
– will launch its activity, comprising twenty major projects in locations
across England, in March 2002. sound inventors will complement spnm's
core activity described here and will be managed by its own dedicated
team (see the advert on the opposite page if you want to get involved).
The enthusiasm of our collaborators, composers and funders is always heartening
in an environment within which "new music" can sometimes be
considered dirty words. So I will take this opportunity to thank everyone
who has supported our work and to invite you all to celebrate spnm’s
60th birthday through special events in the 2002/03 season - watch this
– Gill Graham, Executive Director, spnm
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