Soundings is a unique platform for contemporary music presenting and profiling young composers and musicians from the UK and Austria in workshops, discussions and concerts. Initiated in 2004 by the Austrian Cultural Forum London and now into its 9th year, Soundings is a key event in the UK’s music calendar and a must for all those interested in new music and performance.

Soundings offers a rare opportunity to meet some of today’s leading composers from Austria and the UK, watch them at work and hear their latest compositions - many receiving their UK premiere - performed by some of the finest musicians of today.  It allows an in-depth examination into the latest trends in contemporary music and contrasts the current stylistic developments in Austria and the UK.

Most importantly this one-week workshop also provides composers and musicians with a unique opportunity to gather, get to know each other and each other’s work. Every year Soundings has inspired and created many exciting artistic collaborations, projects and commissions many of which are ongoing.

This year’s Soundimgs brings together six new faces: Austrian composers Johannes Berauer, Manuela Kerer and Thomas Wally and UK representatives Charlotte Bray, Gavin Higgins and Luke Styles. Their works will be rehearsed in workshops open to the public and performed in two evening concerts by Austrian and British musicians including the renowned Fidelio Trio (Darragh Morgan, violin; Robin Michael, cello; Mary Dullea, piano and curator), Kira Doherty (horn), Thomas Frey (flute), Rhona McKail (soprano), Cian O Duill (viola) and Sabine Zwick (clarinet and saxophone).

Contemporary music being commonly afflicted with the wrongful prejudice to be inaccessible, squeaky, elitist, irrelevant and old, this year’s Soundings: Open engagement incites composers, musicians and practitioners to explore how to engage with contemporary classical music reaching out equally to the public as well as to young performers.

The Soundings Academy, a new initiative in the framework of Soundings, gives young performers an opportunity to participate in the platform; whereas a panel discussion explores ways of learning, studying, teaching as well as promoting new music with, among others, Judith Serota (former Executive Director of Spitalfields Festival), Guy Dammann (music critic for The Guardian and lecturer at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama) and Alasdair Nicolson (composer and artistic director of St Magnus International Festival 2012).

Austrian Cultural Forum London

The Austrian Cultural Forum in London promotes cultural contacts between the UK and Austria by organising events and supporting artists and projects in the fields of music, performing arts, literature, film and visual arts as well as through academic, symposia and public discussion. We provide a venue in central London for recitals, lectures, conferences and exhibitions.

Events listings are published in a newsletter and on the website

Austrian Cultural Forum London
28 Rutland Gate, London SW7 1PQ
T +44 (0)20 7225 7300

For press inquiries please contact
Vanessa Fewster,

Soundings project team
Manager: Barbara Egger
Curator: Mary Dullea
Public Relations: Vanessa Fewster (
Design: Polimekanos