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Music

News

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


Rave reviews in Dutch national newspapers for Richard RIJNVOS' new work

On 18 October, during the 2014 edition of the Cello Biennale Amsterdam, Richard RIJNVOS' new work for voice, cello and orchestra was premièred in front of a sold-out audience at the Amsterdam Muziekgebouw. Below a selection of reviews as they appeared in the major national newspapers of the Netherlands:

The music in barbara baccante - ritratto di una cantatrice barocca, the new masterly composition by Richard Rijnvos, appears as a natural phenomenon. Barbara is Barbara Strozzi (1619-1677), one of the first great female composers. She wrote songs full of unfulfilled desire. Rijnvos cut the lyrics of those songs into pieces and rearranged them again. Salome Kammer speaks and sings with an increasingly agitated voice. Nicolas Altstaedt is situated on the other site, playing the male, virtuoso cello part. The orchestra unleashes itself more and more, with bold bass notes in the tuba. Barbara's love proves to be a ghost, disappearing in the orchestra - volatile, intense and brief, as the composition by Rijnvos itself.

Biëllla Luttmer, De Volkskrant, 20 October 2014 - rating: ***** (5 out of 5 stars)

The latest work by Richard Rijnvos was of a significantly substantial weight. In barbara baccante, for voice (the magnificent Salome Kammer), cello (Nicolas Altstaedt) and orchestra, he tells the story of a woman who is after the cellist's love, but she is being spurned, even when she literally exposes herself (the audience perceives two f-holes on her back, as in May Ray's Le Violin d'Ingres). For better understanding the music requires repeated listening, but one thing is for sure: Rijnvos remains one of the most fascinating composers from the Netherlands.

Erik Voermans, Het Parool, 20 October 2014

When the singing and cello playing German actress Salome Kammer turned around last Saturday evening, one could see the two f-holes of a cello on her back. She personified the famous photograph Le Violin d'Ingres (1924) by Man Ray: the woman as cello. The famous [Salome] Kammer, portraying the 17th-century composer and singer Barbara Strozzi, insistently sought contact with the cellist Nicolas Altsteadt. She intends to sing a love duet with him, but fails. He leaves, having very little to contribute to a music theatre in which she fulfils all the roles. The world première of barbara baccante by Richard Rijnvos is the strongest interpretation of the theme 'cello and voice' during the first weekend of the fifth Cello Biennale.

Kasper Jansen, NRC Handelsblad, 20 October 2014

(7 Nov 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


John Snijders to perform with the Nieuw Ensemble

John Snijders will perform with the Nieuw Ensemble as follows:

25 March 2015 at the De Vereeniging, Nijmegen, Netherlands, performing works by Pierre Boulez.

26 March 2015 at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands, performing works by Pierre Boulez.

(16 Sep 2014)


Performance by John Snijders and the Ives Ensemble

John Snijders will perform with the Ives Ensemble as follows:

12 October 2014 at the Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands, performing works by Alvin Lucier

18 and 19 October 2014 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands, performing works by Alvin Lucier.

13 and 14 December 2014 at the Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, Netherlands, part of the New Ears Salon with artist Steven Aalders.

15 December 2014 at the Aula University of Wageningen, Netherlands, performing works by Charles Ives.

18 December 2014 at the Stadsgehoorzaal, Leiden, Netherlands, performing works by Charles Ives.

20 December 2014 at the Muziekcentrum Vredenburg, Utrecht, Netherlands, performing works by Charles Ives.

29 January 2015 at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands, performing works by Louis Andriessen, Iannis Xenakis and Morton Feldman.

28 February and 1 March 2015 at the Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, Netherlands, as part of the New Ears Salon with artist Sarah van Sonsbeeck.

29 March 2015 at the Zeeuwse Muziekzaal, Middleburg, Netherlands, performing works by Charles Ives.

12 April 2015 at the Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands, part of the International Minimal Music Festival.

18 and 19 April 2015 at the Castrum Peregrini, Amsterdam, Netherlands, part of the New Ears Salon with artist Pierre Bismuth.

(16 Sep 2014)


New Article by Professor Julian Horton

Professor Horton has published a new article "Stasis and Continuity in Schubert's String Quintet", Music Analysis vol. 33/2 (2014), pp. 194-213, part of a Special Issue on Schubert's String Quintet in C major, D. 956.

(5 Sep 2014)


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)


Trevor Wishart invited to International Festival for Innovations in Music Production & Composition

Trevor Wishart has been invited to be Keynote Speaker and Artist at the International Festival for Innovations in Music Production & Composition at Leeds College of Music on 12/13 March 2015

(17 Jun 2014)