Six new works, jointly commissioned by the RPS and the Britten-Pears Foundation, were performed at the 2013 Aldeburgh Festival.
The new works were especially comissioned for 2013 to jointly mark the RPS’s Bicentenary and the Centenary of Benjamin Britten’s birth. For the project, which was initiated by RPS Trustee Colin Matthews, who is also BPF’s Music Director, the composers wrote for different ensembles to reflect the range of Britten’s composition output, including symphony orchestra, children’s choir and tenor with piano.
Saturday 8 June 8pm | Britten Sinfonia | Ryan Wigglesworth conductor
Judith Weir: I give you the end of a golden string (world premiere)
Judith Weir, citing Tippett’s Fantasia Concertante as a model, sets a small group of soloists against a larger body of strings in the style of a baroque concerto grosso.
Sunday 9 June 3pm | New London Children’s Choir | Ronald Corp conductor
Sally Beamish, Charlotte Bray, Anna Meredith, Thea Musgrave: Innocence and Experience (world premiere)
Britten’s effervescent children’s song book Friday Afternoons is accompanied by a major new twenty-first century song book with settings from Blake’s famous illustrated poetry collection.
Monday 10 June 3pm | Vertavo Quartet
Poul Ruders: String Quartet No 4
First performed earlier in 2013 the Guardian wrote of this work "Particularly remarkable was the way the accumulated energy of each movement found release in the character of the next, leaving one with a irrepressible sense of lightness of being."
Thursday 13 June 7.30pm | Mark Padmore tenor | Andrew West piano
Harrison Birtwistle: Songs from the Same Earth (world premiere)
Birtwistle’s major new cycle reunites composer, writer David Harsent and lead role from his 2009 Aldeburgh-commissioned opera, The Corridor.
Saturday 22 June 7.30pm | Birmingham Contemporary Music Group | Oliver Knussen conductor
Magnus Lindberg: Red House (world premiere)
Red House is the final part of a trilogy of pieces by Lindberg which includes Counterphrases and Bubo Bubo.
Sunday 23 June 3pm | Halle Orchestra | Mark Elder conductor
Wolfgang Rihm: A Tribute (Über die Linie VIII)
Wolfgang Rihm's new work is paired with pieces by Britten in a fitting celebratory finale to this year's 2013 Aldeburgh Festival.
Paul Hughes, General Manager, BBC Symphony Orchestra: Since 1979 when I won the RPS composition prize this amazing organisation has been part of my life, placing music at the heart of modern life.
DID YOU KNOW?
In early Philharmonic Society concerts, players often rotated within their orchestral section, reflecting the orchestra's wealth of performing talent as well as its democratic ethos: no ‘distinction of rank’.