Composers

Joe Cutler »
David Horne »
Nick Shardlow »
Reinhard Fuchs »
Gabriele Proy »
Lukas Haselboeck »

Artists

Isabel Ettenauer »
Richard Harwood »
Lore Lixenberg »
The Aurora Ensemble »
The RNCM New Ensemble »
Clark Rundell »

 

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Joe Cutler (b.1968) One of England’s leading composers, Joe Cutler teaches composition at the Birmingham Conservatoire and is a founder member of the new music collect ive, Noszferatu. His music is performed and broadcast all over the world and has won many international prizes. Among his recent works are a piece for the Schubert Ensemble, Jack the Diamond’s Jamming Station (a BBC commission, in collaboration with Dutch video artist Jaap Drupsteen) the incidental music to the award-winning National Theatre production Humble Boy (a play by Charlotte Jones) and La Hora Cero.

“ My music often explores a world of extremes, contrasting pounding rhythmic energy with exquisite delicacy and draws upon extra-musical influences such as the writings of Jack Kerouac, or visual artists like Willem de Kooning and Mark Rothko…. I have an attraction to unconventional performance groups ...”

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David Horne (b. 1970) Widely regarded as one of the most talented Scottish composers of his generation, Horne established himself first as a pianist while still in his teens, making his BBC Proms debut in 1990. His compositions include ensemble scores such as Out of the Air and the Concerto for Six Players, the Double Violin Concerto, the music theatre work Beyond the Blue Horizon and the opera Friend of the People. He is Composer in Association with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and his new Concerto for Orchestra will receive its premiere by them, conducted by Clark Rundell on May 25.

“ I’m interested in the natural qualities of instruments, and how they can be combined, creating musical hybrids. Harmonic language is also very important and frequently I’ll use the nature of the instruments I’m writing for to dictate this. In the case of Zip the resonance of the open strings of the cello (the work begins on a low C) is the genesis for most of the musical material and in Shiver the work’s open G, and the aural punning the different pizzicato harmonics create, similarly opens up a new world of musical ideas for me. Both the works contain a degree of virtuosic energy - another trait found in all of my music.” www.davidhorne.co.uk

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Nick Shardlow (b.1987) The youngest of our featured composers, 17 year old Nick Shardlow began composing at an early age after beginning to study violin at age 5 and was BBC Proms/Guardian Young Composer of the Year in 2003; he is currently in his final year at Chetham’s. His first String Quartet was performed at the recent Quartetfest and among his latest works are a Wind and String Octet, a Piano Sonata, Walzer for String Trio and Tribute for Large Orchestra. Nick hopes to study music at Kings College, Cambridge.

“ What I write obtains much of its influence from early 20th century composers, especially Stravinsky, Bartók, Schoenberg, Ravel and Prokofiev. I am influenced to a degree by American minimalism and a lot of my works are therefore scored for small groups… but I take inspiration from the texturing and vividness of the French Impressionists. I am not a serialist and I attempt to reconcile these different worlds in my music”

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Reinhard Fuchs (b.1974) The Austrian composer Reinhard Fuchs is renowned for his complex ensemble works and his work has been awarded numerous international prizes. His works are characterised by a tightly woven musical structure and many of them have strong literary influences. His major compositions include Blue Poles for Large Ensemble, Quake for Flute, Viola and Trombone and Wo Angst auf Umhülle prallt for Large Orchestra. Fuchs is currently working on commissions for the Arditti Quartet and for Klangforum Wien.

“ My music is very influenced by painting and literature. I am interested in very dense, energetic textures with focus on timbre. In Und… the text is often disjointed …and the music examines the words’ sound peculiarities. This is also transferred to the piano where the palette of sound is expanded by actions of the body”

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Gabriele Proy (b.1965) The Austrian composer and leading electro-acoustic sound-artist teaches Soundscape composition at the University of Vienna, at the Danube University in Krems and the School for Radiotechnology in Nurnberg. She is President of the Soundscape Forum FKL and lectures internationally. Her most important works include Schlachthof I (1993), Voices (1994), Binary Voices I (1995), Radiohorizonte (1995), Binary Voices II (1996), Wien West Bahnhof (1997), Water-Lily (1997), Sasari (1997) Klingende Werkstatt (1998), Lagom (1999), Damenspiel (2001), Habana (2002/2003).

“ In my works, I focus on the sensitisation of listening, production and reproduction of any kind of sound. I regard the acoustic environment not in terms of noise but as a vibrant orchestra, an abundance of interesting tone colours that have to be interpreted by means of music. I create poetic images of this environment - compositional sound portraitswhich evoke sound memories and develop sound.”

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Lukas Haselboeck (b.1972) The Austrian composer Lukas Haselboeck was born into a family of musicians and as well as being a composer, he is an accomplished singer and musicologist, lectures and writes on music and his works have won many international awards. Among his major compositions are Metamorphosen for Violin and Orchestra, a Violin Sonate, mobile for Wind Quintet, a Klavierstück for Joseph Horovitz’s 75th birthday and many songs. His treatise Twelve-tone music and Tonality will be published later this year.

“ This piece for organ is my only excursion into minimalism. The minimalist fluctuations of the music is the essential aspect and the steady movement highlights the harmonic targets which form stations of the development…. In my music I always try to write on exact harmonic structures and although complex, the music I write is related to musical tradition”

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Isabel Ettenauer (Toy Piano) is an outstanding young performer and frequently develops unusual projects. She has performed in many European countries, in the UK and the USA and is a regular guest at international festivals. In January 2001 she received much critical attention for her performances of John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano at the Festival Hall, London and in St. Pölten, Austria. In February 2001 Isabel started her newest project The Joy of Toy in which she plays new music written for Toy Piano. On Isabel’s schedule for Spring 2004 there are concerts in France (Evan Johnson’s music theatre work Se Relire contre le Piano-Jouet for Toy Piano and two actors under the direction of Richard Brunel at the opera of Lille) and in the Netherlands (The Joy of Toy at Het Muziekcentrums Hertogenbosch).

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Richard Harwood (Cello) Since his critically acclaimed concerto debut at the age of ten, Richard Harwood has performed concerti and recitals in most of the major British concert halls. Concerto tours and recital performan-ces have taken him abroad to New Zealand, Austria, and the Russian Federation. He made his BBC Radio 3 debut at the age of thirteen with the Elgar Concerto and he has since recorded Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme. Richard has a passion for chamber music and collaborates with Christoph Berner, Connie Shih, Gretel Dowdeswell, and the Gramophone Award-winning artist Julius Drake. Contemporary music plays an important role for Richard. In January 2002, he took part in the PLG Young Artists’ Series on the South Bank and premiered solo works written for him by Dominic Muldowney and Martin Butler. He has also worked with Philip Grange and given the London premiere of his Nocturnal Image. Richard has won countless awards, most recently the prestigious 2004 Pierre Fournier Award for cellists. Richard plays a cello by Francesco Rugeri, dated 1682. www.richardharwood.com

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Lore Lixenberg (Soprano) The mezzo soprano Lore Lixenberg is a performer of spectacular intensity and expressiveness. She has performed throughout Europe at numerous prestigious festivals including the Salzburger Festspiele, Wien Modern, Oslo’s Ultima and the festivals in Lucerne, Edinburgh, Witten, Donaueschingen and Aldeburgh. Lore Lixenberg’s rich experience in the area of music theatre includes a performance of Weill’s The Firebrand of Florence alongside Thomas Hampson at the Konzerthaus in Vienna. At the Salzburg Festival she sang in Guy Vivier’s Marco Polo with Klangforum Wien. She has also sung Miss Donnithorne in Peter Maxwell Davies’ Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot at the Almeida Theatre and Mrs Green in Birtwistle’s Down by the Greenwood Side. Most recently Lore Lixenberg has performed the role of Baby Jane in the highly acclaimed Jerry Springer - The Opera at London’s National Theatre, a production now in the West End. She also regularly performs as part of a trio with Rolf Hind and David Alberman. Together with Joanna MacGregor she featured in the BBC2 television series Strings, Bows and Bellows, and with performance artist Simon Munnery in the avant-garde comedy series Attention Scum, also on BBC2.

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The Aurora Ensemble This prize-winning ensemble is one of the busiest contemporary music chamber groups in the UK and directs its own chamber music course at Harkwood College. A leading member of Manahan’s Live Music Now!, it takes music into the wider community and undertakes many education projects for children. The Auroras are commissioning a new work from Ronan Guilfoyle this year.

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The New Ensemble of the Royal Northern College of Music is the contemporary music group of the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, and is directed by Clark Rundell. With the enviable resources of “one of the finest music colleges in Europe” (Daily Telegraph), the New Ensemble is able to programme concerts of tremendous variety and musical integrity by drawing on the exceptional talents of senior RNCM students. The New Ensemble also provides unique laboratory sessions for RNCM composers, allowing them to experiment musically with performers on a regular basis. They have made several broadcasts on BBC Radio Three and in 2000 they released their first commercial recording of the music of Anthony Gilbert on the prestigious NMC label. Recent highlights include sharing the platform with the BBC Philharmonic for the MacMillan in Manchester concerts in which the composer conducted the second performances of his major works Raising Sparks and Parthenogenesis, and participation in the RNCM’s major composer festivals exploring the works of Henze, Birtwistle, Gruber and others. www.rncm.ac.uk

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Clark Rundell is Director of Contemporary Music at the Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester and Music Director for the Manchester University Symphony Orchestra. He is deeply committed to the performance of new music and regularly conducts the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Ensemble 10:10. Recent highlights include the Philharmonia Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, a recording of new works by Stephen McNeff with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the world première of a work by Australian composer Gerard Brophy with the BBC Philharmonic, plus concerts with the Hallé Orchestra and the Northern Sinfonia. Future engagements include further concerts and broadcasts with the BBC Philharmonic and BBC Concert Orchestra plus concerts and recordings with the Philharmonia Orchestra and the RLPO amongst others.