BCMG New Season Announced!

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Welcome to Birmingham Contemporary Music Group’s new season.

In keeping with the Birmingham motto, we are always moving forward, and we are pretty excited to share what the rest of 2022 looks like for BCMG. Expect an eclectic array of musical experiences, from a romantic soundscape under the stars, intimate concerts with an electronic fusion, to an actual birthday party!

We have curated events filled with some of our favourite names in contemporary music, plenty of never before heard pieces, and some very special limited-edition merchandise.

Make new musical connections, and experience something out of the ordinary with BCMG. See you there.

 


 

 

Star Sound in Cologne

Schloßpark Brühl, Festival Acht Brücken

27 Aug 2022, 7.30pm

           

Sternklang, described as a "twilight fantasy", is an outdoor performance under the open sky, with a clear view of the stars. Singers and instrumentalists are placed in far apart groups across the sound field and read their notes directly from the cosmos above. Take a step outdoors and appreciate what's above us.

BCMG performed Sternklang (Star Sound in English) by Stockhausen in 1992 at the beautiful Cannon Hill Park in Birmingham, in 2020 we performed in Hannover in Berggarten during one of the most challenging years for live performances. We can’t wait to be in Brühl this year to continue our tour of one of the most hypnotic, and romantic masterpieces from the last century.

Read more about Sternklang

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Music in Dialogue

Sun 4 Sep 2022, 4pm

CBSO Centre

  

Neel Kamrul Voice

Rohan de Saram Kandyan drum

Shigeko Hata Voice

Ondřej Adámek Conductor

 

Rohan de Saram is a British-born Sri Lankan cellist who, until his 30s made his name as a classical artist. He has since become an advocate of contemporary music and we are very excited to hear his new piece commissioned for his second instrument the Sri Lankan Kandyan drum.

Take part in this musical fusing of continents, and celebration of cultures.

  

What will I hear? 

Rohan de Saram, b.1939,

Concerto for Sri Lankan Kandyan drum, six strings, drum set, and organ, World premiere Sound Investment commission

Ondřej Adámek, b.1979

Whence comes the voice? World Premiere Sound Investment commission for Neel Kamrul, Shigeko Hata and BCMG supported by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Neel Kamrul Solo Performance, UK premiere

 

Support Ondřej Adámek new piece Whence comes the voice? World Premiere, or Rohan de Saram’s Kandyan Drum Concerto World Premiere, to get special benefits surrounding this concert.

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Howard Skempton’s Birthday Bash

Friday 23 Sep 2022, 7pm

Malling Festival, St. Mary’s Church, West Malling, Kent

 

Sunday 25 Sep 2022, 5pm

Leamington Spa: Pump Room

 

Thomas Kemp Conductor

 

We are celebrating much loved Composer Howard Skempton’s 75th Birthday! We will be performing his music (of course), including a brand-new commission, along with pieces the birthday boy himself has selected.

Join in the birthday celebrations at these two grand historic venues in Kent and Leamington Spa. Expect some surprises.

 

What will I hear?

Howard Skempton b. 1947

Gemini Dances, for flute, clarinet, violin, cello, percussion, and piano (1994, 12’) 

New Piece (2022) World premiere Sound Investment Commission

Anton Webern, 1883 – 1945,

Concerto Op.24, (1934, 8’)

Rebecca Saunders b.1967, murmurs (2009, 27')

Nigel Osborne b. 1948 Fantasia for chamber ensemble (1983, 12’) 

 

Support Howard Skempton’s new piece to get special benefits surrounding his concert!

Buy Tickets for [email protected] Festival

Buy Tickets for Leamington Spa

 


  

 

Illusions

6 Nov 2022, 4pm

CBSO Centre

   

William Purefoy Counter Tenor

Oli Janes Basset Clarinet

Finnegan Downie Dear Conductor

 

This November, join us for Illusions.

Hear 80’s inspired live electronics attached to compositions surrounding myths, dreams, desire, and the reality that isn’t always as positive as we want it to be. With new work by Edmund Hunt and pieces by Richard Baker, including the culturally significant The Tyranny of Fun.

The Tyranny of Fun encapsulates the perception of something dangerous and menacing within a hedonistic environment, for composer Richard Baker, this idea is realised within the sound of the New York gay disco scene, in its decadent heyday in the late 70s and early 80s, just before the first wave of the AIDS epidemic hit.

In keeping with the bittersweet, Richard Baker’s Hwyl fawr Ffrindiau, meaning goodbye friends in Welsh, injects this incredibly touching afternoon of music with sentimentality, and once again, loss.

Read more about the commissions Hwyl fawr Ffrindiau and The Tyranny of Fun.

 

What will I hear?

Edmund Hunt, b. 1982.

Augmented Vocality, (2022, 15’) for 15-piece ensemble and live electronics by Royal Birmingham Conservatoire.

New work, (2022, 5’) with live electronics.

Richard Baker, b. 1972

The Tyranny of Fun (2012, 23’)

Hwyl fawr Ffrindiau (2016, 8’)

Learning to Fly (1999, 17’)

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The American Dream

Sun 20 Nov 2022, 5pm

The Bradshaw Hall, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire

 

Anna Dennis Soprano

Stephan Meier Conductor

 

On 20 November we present 3 great American Composers, and one of our favourite locals, with music discussing the American dream, the media built around it, and in turn a failed utopia.

The American dream, coined in the 1930’s, was the belief that anyone, regardless of background, can be a limitless success. In reality, this idea fast became a way for companies to sell products to hopefuls who were desperate for the unattainable lifestyle promised to them.

Hear the new piece Breaking by George Lewis where he renders long exposure photography into music, inspired by renowned North American photographer and artist Stan Douglas. Stan Douglas’s work examines our modern world and the obsolete dreams and technologies that surround us.

Art inspires art, and at BCMG we believe in combining our senses for new experiences, expect to see a very special merchandise drop around this wonderful event.

 

What will I hear?

George Lewis, b. 1952, Breaking, New Sound Investment co-commission UK premiere supported by Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Julian Anderson, b. 1967, New Song, Sound Investment commission (2022, 5’)

Elliott Carter, 1908 – 2012, Asko Concerto (2000, 12’)

Katherine Balch, b. 1991, New Geometry (2015, 9’)

 

Support Julian Anderson’s or George Lewis’s new pieces to get special benefits surrounding this concert!

 

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T R E E

12 May 2023, 7pm

Birmingham Town Hall

 

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart

Michael Wendeberg Conductor

 

The long-awaited T R E E Concert is finally here! Join us in exploring the connections between nature and humankind in an enchanting musical programme that includes the world premiere of Christian Mason’s new Sound Investment commission The Singing Tree, with text by Paul Griffiths, and the textural Concertini for ensemble by Helmut Lachenmann.

T R E E has grown from an idea into multiple activities and workshops for young musicians, extensive digital resources, artwork, real-life planted trees, and a lifelong connection with the amazing Birmingham Trees For Life, and there’s so much more we want to do.

We believe this project is as much for us as it is for our planet, join us to celebrate what we often take for granted and spread the importance of preserving our green spaces, and planting new ones.

Read more about the T R E E project.

 

What will I hear?

Helmut Lachenmann b. 1935, Concertini (2005) 33’

Christian Mason b. 1984, The Singing Tree (2020, 30’) World Premiere, Sound Investment Commission.

Support Christian Masons’ new piece to get special benefits surrounding this concert!

 

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Interested in what we’ve got coming up for children and young musicians?

 

All of our concerts and events have corresponding activities and workshops for young people, stay updated by signing up for our newsletter and keeping an eye out on our events page.