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Durham KLANG15

KLANG is Durham’s own Contemporary Art Music Festival, run by staff and students at Durham University Music Department. Our aim is to present some of the world’s most exciting new art music from composers and musicians based in the North-East and beyond.

All concerts in KLANG are free of charge. 

All concerts take place in the Durham University Music Department, on Palace Green 


Wednesday 3rd June

13:00: Modern Classics | NAME (new art music ensemble) Chamber Players
NAME and guest performers present a programme packed with some of the most interesting, diverse, and radical pieces of the 20th and 21st centuries, inlcuding works by Stockhausen, Berio, Clementi, and Worsaae.

19:30: Deep Resonance | E7B SoundLab - Seth Woods (cello) and Richard Craig (flute) Durham University's ensemble in residence premiere a selection of riveting new works for cello and contrabass flute by staff and student composers from the Music Department.

E7B SoundLab is Durham University's professional ensemble in residence. It is a melting pot of new ideas and impulses - a vehicle for exploring cutting edge concepts and techniques in contemporary music with some of the best performers in the country.

Thursday 4th June

13:00: Borrowed Music | E7B SoundLab - Diego Castro Magas (guitar)
One of the world’s most virtuosic and musically sensitive guitarists premieres four new works from Durham University composers, all based on materal borrowed from the annals of time, alongside a selection of ground-breaking 20th century repertoire.

16:00 (NEW TIME): A Dip in the Musical Tide | NAME Collective
The NAME Collective presents a programme of exciting recent works by established, as well as the up-and-coming generation of composers.

Friday 5th June

13:00: Michael Finnissy | Philip Thomas (piano)
Ground-breaking pianist Philip Thomas presents a lunchtime recital wth a brand new piece from seminal British composer Michael Finnissy.

19:30: Ephemeral Music | FLO and NAME
NAME and FLO present an evening of sounds that will never be heard the same way again; including guided improvisations and interpretations of graphic scores.

Female Laptop Orchestra (FLO) is a music research project bringing together an eclectic group of female musicians, engineers, composers, sound artists and computer scientists to explore collaborative music making.

Saturday 6th June

13:00: Straight off the Press | NAME Collective and Guests
NAME and guest performers present an exciting programme of new, especially commissioned works and a few welcome musical surprises from the recent past.

19:30: Manning Ex Machina | Electroacoustic Concert - Surprise Programme
Inspiring new and historic electroacoustic works in honour of the retirement of Prof. Peter Manning. The programme is being kept secret to maximise Prof. Manning's surprise

(29 May 2015)

World première 'fuoco e fumo' by Richard RIJNVOS (25 May 2015)

On 12 June 2015 the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra will give the world première of Richard RIJNVOS’ orchestral work fuoco e fumo.The composer is currently involved in a long-term residency with Amsterdam’s world-famous symphony orchestra. The newly commissioned piece is part of an ongoing cycle dedicated to the city of Venice and its lesser-known, often dark sides. Perhaps this time the qualification ‘sinister’ is even more appropriate, as the central theme of the new work is the horrific disaster that happened on the evening of 29 January 1996.

(27 May 2015) » More about World première 'fuoco e fumo' by Richard RIJNVOS (25 May 2015)

PhD Student, Lara Pearson, wins best student paper award

The Department is delighted to announce that Lara Pearson has been awarded the 2014 Martin Hatch Prize given by the Society for Asian Music for most distinguished student paper on Asian music presented at the Society for Ethnomusicology annual meeting. The Society for Ethnomusicology is the largest ethnomusicological organisation in the world, and its 2014 meeting, held in Pittsburgh USA, saw approximately 400 papers presented by scholars from over 180 universities in 18 countries. 

(5 May 2015)

Durham Music Department Ranked 3rd in Complete University Guide 2016

The Department is pleased to announce that it has been ranked 3rd out of the UK's 74 music departments in the Complete University Guide 2016. The league table measures research excellence, employability, student satisfaction and entry standards. Full details can be viewed at:

(1 May 2015)

PhD Composition Student, Marc Estibeiro, Wins Composition Prize

The Department is delighted to announce that Marc Estibeiro, part-time PhD by composition student, has won first prize in the William Mathias Composition Prize at the Bangor Music Festival at Bangor University on Sunday. The prize includes a £1000 commission for next year's festival. 

(10 Mar 2015)

Music Department to launch new MA programme

(3 Feb 2015) » More about Music Department to launch new MA programme

Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014

(19 Dec 2014) » More about Durham ranked in top three departments in REF 2014

Sir Thomas Allen Birthday Celebration Review

It is undisputed that Sir Thomas Allen is one of the finest lyric baritones of our time and so it seemed only fitting that his surprise birthday celebrations, held at Durham Castle last night, featured some of the university's top singers and instrumentalists.

A string quartet, featuring Chris Hirschman, Tim Seegar and Clare Durgan, greeted the Chancellor and his guests upon arrival, with guests in the Great Hall arriving to the sounds of the Big Band, before an introduction from another of the string quartet’s members, Experience Durham's Head of Music Development, Jessica Lawrence. In her speech, she mentioned the awed reaction of one of the students at having been invited to sing at this event, saying that he was his "hero", something that was echoed by many people throughout the evening.

The first performance was given by the Opera Ensemble and displayed the talent of both the excellent soloists and the company altogether. President Marnie Blair gave a brilliant and sultry rendition of Carmen's Habanera aria (L'amour est un oiseau rebelle), before Hattie Ekbery and Lewis Whyte entertained with the Papageno/Papagena duet from The Magic Flute. Also included were the Sola, sola in buio loco sextet from Don Giovanni and the return of a brilliant arrangement of Summertime from Porgy and Bess by Roderick Williams.

During the breaks for the guests to mingle and enjoy the atmosphere of the impressive building, the Big Band brought further excitement to the evening with their upbeat music. The band, featuring two fantastic solo singers, impressed Sir Thomas, who was seen dancing along at points during the evening.

The Sovereign Singers gave the second concert-style performance of the evening and visited a wide range of styles, from pop (Never Gonna Give You Up) and traditional (Loch Lomond) to jazz classics (A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square and Cole Porter’s brilliant Miss Otis Regrets). Their programme gave soloists Tom Rowarth and Meg Griffiths a chance to shine, as well as using the entire ensemble to fullest effect through complex harmonies, and this was well received by the guests in the hall.

After another opportunity to talk and move about, it was time for the Light Opera Group (DULOG) to take to the stage, aptly choosing to begin with Willkommen from Cabaret. This high-energy set took guests through varying styles of musical theatre, from Tim Minchin’s When I Grow Up from Matilda to Broadway legend Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music, via songs in a more popular styles, Jersey Boy’s Walk Like A Man (with impressive falsetto from Mike Vasmer), Footlooses, Lets Hear It For The Boy and The Bodyguards I want to Dance With Somebody.

The evening closed with Sir Thomas thanking the musicians and organisers for the effort they put into the evening and his guests for coming, emphasising the importance of music in our time and reminding everyone that music is definitely “of use”, before treating everyone to a spontaneous rendition of a song. Finally, everyone joined in a rousing chorus of ‘Happy Birthday’, a treat with so many musicians harmonising! 

Happy birthday again, Sir Thomas!

(23 Oct 2014)

Workshop on Indian music for school teachers


(30 Sep 2014) » More about Workshop on Indian music for school teachers

New Publications from Professor Horton

Professor Julian Horton has recently published the following:

1) Irish Musical Studies Vol. 11: Irish Musical Analysis (Dublin: Four Courts Press, 2014), ed. Gareth Cox and Julian Horton. Includes a chapter by Professor Horton entitled 'Bruckner, Brahms and the Concept of Thematic Process', pp. 79-106.

2) 'Dialectics and Musical Analysis', in Steven Downes, ed., Aesthetics of Music: Musicological Perspectives (New York: Routledge, 2014), pp. 111-143

(4 Jul 2014)