The Guildhall School of Music & Drama announces its spring 2017 season
Highlights include: the world premiere of The Tale of Januarie, John Harle london premiere of new works, British premiere of Tigran Mansurian’s Second Violin Concerto, The Same Deep Water As Me by Nick Payne and Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead, plus Octet Cellophony and Guildhall Symphony Orchestra.
Highlights of the spring 2017 season include:
- The world premiere of The Tale of Januarie, a new opera composed by the School’s Head of Composition Julian Philips with libretto by Writer in Residence Stephen Plaice
- Newly-appointed professor John Harle gives the London premieres of new works written to mark his 60th birthday
- British premiere of Tigran Mansurian’s Second Violin Concerto performed by the violinist it was composed for, Guildhall professor Levon Chilingirian and the Guildhall String Ensemble
- Guildhall Symphony Orchestra performs Maazel arrangement of Wagner’s Ring Cycle under conductor Pietari Inkinen
- The drama department presents The Same Deep Water As Me by Nick Payne and Lanford Wilson’s Balm in Gilead
- Octet Cellophony perform a vibrant programme of established repertoire with specially-commissioned new works as part of the Alumni Recital Series
- Research Works presents The New Librettist: The role of the writer in opera, an event examining the craft of the librettist in association with the Royal Opera
- Collaborations this spring include School musicians performing alongside the Australian Chamber Orchestra and Richard Tognetti, a lunchtime concert as part of BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion Day: Philip Glass at 80, Dialogue 2017 in conjunction with East London communities, a masterclass given by Jonas Kaufmann as part of his Barbican Residency, four LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists concerts, two LSO Friday Lunchtime Concerts at LSO St Luke’s and a LSO Discovery Family Concert.
World premiere of Julian Philips’ The Tale of Januarie: 4 performances from 27 February, Silk Street Theatre
The Guildhall School presents the world premiere of The Tale of Januarie, composed by the School’s Head of Composition Julian Philips with libretto by Writer in Residence Stephen Plaice. Opening on 27 February for four performances, this is the first time an opera has been commissioned from within the School. A comedy of love and age, the piece is based on Chaucer’s The Merchant’s Tale and is the first opera to be written in Middle English. The performances are conducted by the School’s Head of Opera Dominic Wheeler with director Martin Lloyd-Evans, designer Dick Bird and singers drawn from the School’s Opera Course who have followed the opera’s development from page to stage. Philips and Plaice give a pre-performance talk on 6 March as part of the School’s Research Works programme. This project has been partially supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council through the 'Cross-Language Dynamics' OWRI Project led by the University of Manchester.
On 26 January, the Guildhall School gives the British premiere of Tigran Mansurian’s Second Violin Concerto, a meditation on death which is both haunting and beautiful. The work is performed by the violinist it was composed for, Guildhall professor Levon Chilingirian who is accompanied by the Guildhall String Ensemble. The programme also features Janáček Suite for String Orchestra and Beethoven String Quartet No. 14 Op. 131.
As part of the School’s Alumni Recital Series, celebrated octet Cellophony present a vibrant programme mixing established repertoire with specially-commissioned new works and arrangements for eight cellos on 13 February. The cellists, who are all alumni of the School are joined by Guildhall soprano Verity Wingate to perform a programme including Mendelssohn’s Ave Maria, Liszt’s La Lugubre Gondola and Rachmaninov’s Vocalise. Other works include Berio’s Korot, Barralet World Folk-Songs, Richard Birchall’s Mirrors, Pärt’s L'Abbe Agathon and The Burial of the Stars by alumnus Edward Nesbit.
Conductor Pietari Inkinen returns to the School following his adjudication of the Gold Medal last year, to conduct the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra on 15 March. The orchestra and Inkinen perform an extraordinary arrangement of Wagner’s famous Ring Cycle, which contains all of the drama but none of the words. Arranged by Maazel, every note in this orchestral arrangement is written by the composer himself, and takes in all the highlights, from Das Rheingold through to The Ride of the Valkyries and Götterdämmerung. The programme also includes Wagner’s Overture from The Mastersingers of Nuremberg and Prelude and Liebestod from Tristan and Isolde.
On 17 March, Ivor Novello Award-winning saxophonist, composer and record producer John Harle gives a concert marking his recent appointment as Visiting Professor of Saxophone. The evening brings together new works for saxophone that have been written by Harle’s friends and colleagues to mark his 60th birthday. The programme features the London premiere of Sally Beamish’s Jonny's Burlesque, Gavin Bryars’ For John Harle at 60, Gary Carpenter’s Berliner Jonny and a new work by Carl Davis. Other works include Graham Fitkin’s Wiring, Christopher Gunning’s Nightwatch, Oliver Christophe Leith’s Little Boy Fat Man, Dario Marianelli’s Prelude for John Harle and Mike Westbrook’s Nighthawk. Pianist Steve Lodder joins Harle for this concert.
A host of prestigious artists visit the Guildhall School this spring to give masterclasses to senior students including soprano Edith Wiens (10 January), pianists Richard Goode (18 January), Svetozar Ivanov (20 February), Martin Katz (21 March), and Jonathan Biss (28 March), bass baritone Jonathan Lemalu (25 January), lutenist Jacob Heringman (27 January), violinist Mark Gothoni (27 February, 2 & 3 March), the Takács Quartet (2 February), and Barbican International Associates the New York Philharmonic (1 April). Additionally, throughout the term distinguished professors from the School’s Vocal Studies department deliver public masterclasses, including Susan McCulloch (18 January), Amanda Roocroft (2 March) and Rudolf Piernay (23 March).
Further details of all masterclasses can be found on the website.
LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists: 19 January, 15 February, 12 March and 6 April, Barbican Hall
Senior musicians from the Guildhall School take to the Barbican stage before four LSO concerts this spring with free performances of complementary repertoire. On 19 January, soprano saxophone players Tom Gimson and Max Ellenberger, pianist Daniel King-Smith and other Guildhall musicians are conducted by Martin Robertson for a selection of Mark-Anthony Turnage pieces including Two Memorials, Two Elegies Framing a Shout and Release. Pianist Sophia Dee performs J. S. Bach (arr. Petri) Sheep May Safely Graze, Ravel Valses Nobles et Sentimentales and Rachmaninov Variations on a Theme of Corelli Op. 42 on 15 February. Violinist Ionel Manciu, viola player Alexander McFarlane, cellist Leander Kippenberg and pianist Krzysztof Moskalewicz perform Brahms’ Piano Quartet in C minor Op. 60 on 12 March. Sopranos Lauren Lodge-Campbell and Corinne Cowling join baritone Seán Og Boylan and pianists Maya Irgalina, Joanne Tan and Patrick Milne for a selection of songs by Wolf and Mahler on 6 April.
LSO Friday Lunchtime Concerts: 10 and 24 February, LSO St Luke’s
On 10 February, as part of the LSO Friday Lunchtime Concert series, Guildhall singers and pianists perform a short selection of songs by Felix Mendelssohn, curated by Eugene Asti, with readings from the composer's letters. On 24 February, sopranos Lauren Lodge-Campbell and Corinne Cowling join baritone Seán Og Boylan and pianists Maya Irgalina, Joanne Tan and Patrick Milne for a selection of songs by Wolf and Mahler. Both concerts are presented by Rachel Leach.
Guildhall musicians join forces with the London Symphony Orchestra on 26 March for a fun and informative family concert which offers the chance for the audience to play and sing along. The concert is suitable for 7 to 12 year olds.
BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion Day: Philip Glass at 80: 28 January, Milton Court Concert Hall
As part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day on 28 January, Guildhall musicians celebrate the music of Philip Glass with a lunchtime concert at Milton Court Concert Hall including some of his most mesmerising music. The Guildhall New Music Ensemble perform Glassworks under the direction of Richard Benjafield, the School’s Head of Wind, Brass & Percussion, and pianists Ben Smith and Robert Allan perform Piano Études Nos 6 and 15 and Piano Études Nos 8 and 13 respectively.
As part of Jonas Kaufmann’s Barbican Residency, Guildhall singers work with the renowned tenor on 10 February in masterclass discussing the practicalities and fundamentals of his craft.
On 14 March, musicians from the Guildhall School join creative forces with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra for a concert as part of Tognetti’s Milton Court Artist in Residence with the Barbican. The programme includes two works by Beethoven: String Quartet No 13 in B-flat major Op. 130 arranged by Tognetti and Grosse Fuge Op. 133. The concert also features a performance for full string orchestra of Brahms’s Sextet No. 2 in G major, Op. 36 for which Guildhall musicians play alongside Tognetti and the orchestra.
Dialogue, an annual event which celebrates the diversity and creative talent of Guildhall students in collaboration with Londoners of all ages, returns on 22 & 23 February. Working with a wide range of East London communities, Guildhall students and staff bring together musicians, poets and visual artists to work with different community groups to produce and create new work, this year, inspired by Bedwyr Williams’ exhibition in The Curve, Barbican, 'The Gulch'. The project culminates in performances, workshops and installations at Broadway Theatre, Barking and Dagenham.
The drama department presents The Same Deep Water As Me by award-winning playwright Nick Payne. The play, which premiered in 2013 at the Donmar Warehouse, is a sharply-observed social comedy about compensation culture set in the Luton office of Scorpion Claims. The performances are directed by Jo McInnes with designer Amelia Jane Hankin and lighting designer Jess Bernberg and sound designer Sean Mortimer who are both students on the BA (Hons) Technical Theatre Arts programme.
Guildhall actors present Lanford Wilson’s first full-length play, Balm in Gilead, opening on 24 March for 7 performances. Written in 1965, the play centres on a cafe frequented by heroin addicts, prostitutes (both male and female) and thieves in the seedy Broadway of 1960s New York, and features many unconventional theatrical devices, such as overlapping dialogue, simultaneous scenes and largely unsympathetic lead characters. The production is directed by Joseph Blatchley with designer Dora Schweitzer and lighting designer Jess Bernberg and sound designer Tom Bosworth who are both students on the BA (Hons) Technical Theatre Arts programme.
In association with the Royal Opera, the Guildhall School presents an event examining the craft of the librettist on 6 February. Staff from the School’s MA in Opera Making & Writing programme come together with creative writers from around the literary scene to discuss what it means to write the words of an opera in the 21st century.
Available from the Barbican Box Office 020 7638 8891 (www.barbican.org.uk)