Jan - June 2022 Season Announced!

Christmas is just around the corner and Santa has brought you a very special early present, a season announcement from your favourite (Birmingham) contemporary music group! What could be better? Tickets will be on sale in the New Year for all events and we cannot wait to see you all there. Have a read and make sure to sign up to our Newsletter (at the bottom of the page) to be first in the know.

Tickets

 


  

 

Black Mirrors | BCMG NEXT 

25 Feb 2022, 1pm

Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, Symphony Hall

 

Black Mirrors | BCMG NEXT

25 Feb 2022, 8.30pm

Recital Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

 

BCMG NEXT

Ensemble L’instant donnè

Frédéric Pattar (b. 1969)

 

Composer Frédéric Pattar and acclaimed French ensemble L’instant donnè will be visiting Birmingham this February to work with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s early career NEXT musicians for some exciting workshops.

These workshops will culminate in a special performance by our talented NEXT musicians of the unnervingly beautiful works of Frédéric Pattar.

  


  

 

Do we need a new compass?

12, 17 March 2022

Hannover, Birmingham

 

Addressing the need for new directions in contemporary music, bringing our concert culture up to the tempo of global developments, and updating our international musical co-ordinates, seven young composers are answering the question, Do we need a new compass?

During a time when global connectivity is both revolutionised by technology, and held back by politics and pandemic, we are determined to move into a better future together. Do we need a new compass sees 3 concerts in 3 countries, by 3 ensembles; FontanaMIX Ensemble, Das Neue Ensemble, and of course Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. Featuring brand new commissions, these events will be touching and powerful for both the ensembles, and our audiences. Each ensemble has chosen two composers to write a new piece for one of the other ensembles – creating a beautiful and equal exchange between groups.

During our time in Birmingham, we will also see a performance of Pierrot Lunaire by our early career NEXT musicians.

Join us in a celebration of unity within the arts, and togetherness in the world. 45 artists and 15 composers from 5 countries, building tomorrow’s music together.

 

Hannover

12 March 2022, 4pm

Sprengel Museum

 

Gabriella Teychenné Conductor

Anna Dennis Soprano

Kaspar Querfurth (b.1990)  World Premiere
Celeste Oram (b. 1992)  Pierrot Laborieux  9’ (2018)
Robert Reid Allan (b.1991)  Terry Helenson's Revolutionary Dreams 20’ (2018)
Carmel Smickersgill (b.1996)  World Premiere
Daniele Ghisi (b.1984)  World Premiere

  

Birmingham

17 March 2022

 

1pm

Symphony Hall Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space

BCMG NEXT

Lunch time concert with chamber works by composers Kaspar Querfurth, Daniele Ghisi and others.

 

7.30pm

CBSO Centre

BCMG NEXT & Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

 

Gabriella Teychenné Conductor

Anna Dennis Soprano

   

BCMG NEXT        

Arnold Schoenberg (b. 1874)  Pierrot Lunaire (1974-1951) 40’

 

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

Daniele Ghisi (b.1984)  UK World Premiere
Kaspar Querfurth (b.1990)  UK World Premiere

  


   

  

 

Cherry Blossom Concert

20 March 2022, 3pm

Brindleyplace, Birmingham

 

After numerous postponements, we cannot wait to finally host our Cherry Blossom Concert in collaboration with IKON Gallery! This will be a beautiful, free, and sensory event for all ages. Join us in our ambient sound garden and hear flute, electronic sound projections and relaxing percussion inspired by the beautiful Japanese garden, Ryanoji.

BCMG will also be accompanied by our talented BCMG NEXT early career musicians for this special performance.

John Cage (b. 1912­) Ryoanji (1984) 30’

 


   

  

 

Raising Icarus

28, 29, 30 April 2022

The REP, Birmingham

  

Directed and designed by an internationally renowned team, and conducted by Natalie Beale Murray, this April Birmingham Contemporary Music Group are performing as part of the new Barber Opera RAISING ICARUS.

This raw and powerful new chamber opera by Michael Zev Gordon breaks open an ancient myth to reveal its contemporary, psychological heart - how parental expectation and aspiration risk doing harm to our children.

The Icarus myth foreshadows modern parental preoccupations, and yet, until now, focus on the myth has remained rather simplistically on the image of ‘flying too close to the sun’. This much-anticipated opera from Michael Zev Gordon and Stephen Plaice explores the more profound psychology of the Icarus myth that has been overlooked in other tellings.

Enter a mesmeric world of curious mechanical devices, dark labyrinths, and ingenious workshops where increasingly dysfunctional relationships eventually bring tragedy.

 

 


 

  

   

Eccentric Melodies

4 May 2022, 4pm

Symphony Hall Jennifer Blackwell Performance Space, Birmingham

  

8 May 2022, 2pm

Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol New Music Festival

 

BCMG are incredibly proud to bring together composers of all generations from all over the world.

Oliver Knussen who sadly passed away in 2018 was Artist in Association at BCMG for over a decade, he was incredibly concise in his compositions and discussed what it really means to write new music. It is thanks to him we have a close relationship with composer Elliot Carter, whose works with Oliver Knussen and BCMG have been critically acclaimed. Before our world changed last year, we had the extraordinary pleasure of premiering Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s latest work, ...when falling asleep and are thrilled to be continuing this special relationship. We make these connections through the melodies we make.

Join us for an immersive experience with very special audience participation, in the two creative cities of Birmingham and Bristol.

On 4 May Eccentric Melodies will follow the CBSO matinee Kazuki Yamada: Mendelssohn's Scottish Symphony. Read more about this here: https://cbso.co.uk/event/kazuki-yamada-mendelssohns-scottish-symphony

  

Stephan Meier Conductor    

Elliott Carter (b.1908)  Canon for Four (1984) 6' 
Con leggerezza pensosa - Ommaggio a Italo Calvino (1990) 7’
Oliver Knussen (b.1952)  Secret Psalm (1990) 5’
Eccentric Melody (1998) 3’   
Charlotte Bray (b.1982)  Trail of light (2008) 2’
Guillaume de Machaut​​ (b.1300)  Ma fin est mon commencement (< 1377) 4’
Sir Harrison Birtwistle (b.1934)  Hoquetus David (1969) 4’
  Arrangement of Machaut’s motet (1300)
  Duet 4 (2000) 2’
  Roddy ′ s Reel (2009) 7′

 

     


  

 

>music & maths<

Iannis Xenakis 100

29 May 2022

 

In celebration of revolutionary composer Iannis Xenakis’s centenary, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group have created a festival for all senses, with partners from Sound and Music, University of Birmingham, and PRiSM (Royal Northern College of Music).

We are proud to celebrate the communal and creative beliefs of Xenakis, by sharing music from young participants in Birmingham and showing the beauty of maths through sensory visuals and sounds.

Join us in the afternoon for a family drop-in session; Drawing Scoring, talks from our partners at University of Birmingham and PRiSM, and for an invigorating performance from our musicians.

This will be a wonderful day of activity culminating in an evening performance of electro acoustic music by BCMG and BEAST.

 

3pm

/performing /drawing /scoring

CBSO Centre

   

Join us for the afternoon celebrations of composer Iannis Xenakis’s centenary!

We will be performing exciting pieces of his work alongside visuals by animator Simon Russell and mathematician Marcus de Sautoy.

Come see, and hear, the selected digital compositions created by young participants in Birmingham during our Drawing Scoring Workshop. At this workshop people of all ages were invited to use the free software Synethesia to draw and create their own scores using brush strokes and shapes, inspired by Xenakis’s work, these pieces were then re-instrumented for BCMG performers.

We will also hear BCMG NEXT, our early career musicians perform some of Xenakis’s well known work with celloist Deirdre Cooper.

 

Deirdre Cooper Cello

BCMG NEXT

Iannis Xenakis (b.1922)  Nomos Alpha (1966) 12’
Anaktoria (1969) 11’
Phlegra (1975) 14’

 

5pm

∞ (infinity)

CBSO Centre

 

In the 1950’s Iannis Xenakis was employed in the LeCorbusier’s offices for architecture and was viewed as an outsider by many of his peers for his orchestral, vocal and electronic music. He applied maths, random probability, and graphic software to sound, creating worlds previously unheard of. Ironically, these musical pieces revealed both the most inner simplicity, and complexities of music despite him coming to composition as a “musical outsider”.

On 29th May 2022, we are celebrating Xenakis’s legacy by presenting some of his classics, pieces less frequently heard, and dramatic new works linking maths and music.

  

Anna Dennis, Soprano

Gabriella Teychenné, Conductor

Iannis Xenakis  Jalons (1986) 15’
Ittidra (1996) 9’
Akanthos (1977) 11’
Emily Howard  SI commission (2022, world premiere)
Samantha Fernando  Breathing Forest* (2020/21) 15‘ 

 

*Commissioned with Sound and Music

 

7pm

Acousmatic Concert w/ BEAST

The Exchange, Birmingham

 

Join the finale of our Iannis Xenakis 100 celebration with an immersive electroacoustic performance with BEAST. BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) is a complex sound system of the University of Birmingham’s Electroacoustic Music Studios and are recognised as one of the leading groups for presenting electronic music and soundscapes.

During this ambient evening we will also hear from Christopher Haworth, Senior Lecturer in Music at University of Birmingham for an insight on the work of Xenakis and his influence on music.

What better way to experience the works of Iannis Xenakis than by filling the newly opened Exchange building with his work using revolutionary sound technology. This is a poignant celebration of cross genre music, science, and the arts as a whole.

Iannis Xenakis  La Legende d’Eer (1978) 45’
Sergio Luque  World Premiere

 


 Tickets

Thank you to our Partners and Supporters

Partners: Association Iannix, Integra Lab, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, PRiSM, Royal Northern College of Music Manchester, CBSO Centre, University of Birmingham, BEAST, Buzzing Light

Support by: Arts Council England, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne (NEXT)