Wednesday 27 November 2024, 7.30pm

CBSO Centre, Birmingham

Ticket price: General £15, Student £7.50, under 12s FREE with paying adult

Pre-concert talk from 6.30pm

Intimate communication is the essence of this programme, a theme often touched on by music. Through the concert you may be gently touched by Saunders’ sounds at the brink of silence, caught by Julian Anderson’s sudden urge of self-awareness or disconcertedly observe Sir Harrison Birtwistle's setting of two monologues in parallel in his final ensemble work.

This performance features the world première of the English language version of one of Peter Eötvös’ final ensemble works, Secret Kiss. Following on from Senza sangue, Peter Eötvös has once again taken his inspiration from the Italian author Alessandro Baricco, whose acclaimed 1997 novel Silk provides the plot for this seventeen-minute chamber music scene. We are transported back to the 19th century, where a young Frenchman travels to Japan to learn about the secrets of silk production. While visiting a rich man, he observes a young girl with her eyes closed. She suddenly opens her eyes, looks at the Frenchman and points silently to a tea cup in front of her. This is the beginning of a moving, sensitive and wonderful story – out of a single glance, a tender yet binding connection between the two young individuals emerges.

Alice Rossi Soprano

Meg Kubota Reciter

Geoffrey Paterson Conductor

Rebecca Saunders Stirrings (20011, 16')

Julian Anderson Mitternachtslied (2020, 2023, 6')

Peter Eötvös Secret Kiss (2018/9 , 15') - BCMG SI Commission


Lisa Illean Cantor (2017, 9')

Harrison Birtwistle The Woman and the Hare (1999, 15')

Harrison Birtwistle ...when falling asleep (2022, 7')

Secret Kiss is co-commissioned by Gageego Ensemble Gothenburg, Casa da Música – Porto, Plural Ensemble Madrid, Okamura & Company, Inc., Musikfabrik Cologne, MÜPA Budapest, Wigmore Hall and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group as part of BCMG’s Sound Investment Scheme

Peter Eötvös (02/01/1944 - 24/03/2024) 

Peter Eötvös is a highly influential figure of the Hungarian and international contemporary music scene. He started composing music as early as the age of 5. He grew up in Budapest and learned composition in the School of Exceptional Young Talents at the Liszt Ferenc Academy of Music, after he continued his studies in Cologne, Germany, where he studied composition under the tutelage of B. A. Zimmermann and had the opportunity to work with Karlheinz Stockhausen. His international career has taken him to many countries of the world, from Japan to Germany, France, the Netherlands and to New York. As the musical director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain for over a decade, he had the chance to personally collaborate with the most significant living composers of the time. His fourteen operas, instrumental solo concertos, larger- and smaller scale symphonic compositions and chamber music pieces are regularly staged in the world’s greatest concert halls, festivals and opera houses. He also often uses contemporary source texts as librettos.

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Our wonderful supporters mean we can commission more pieces like Secret Kiss. We say thank you by naming them in the score, inviting them to rehearsals, and the world première, where they can meet the composer. For more info visit


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