2015/16 SEASON PICKS

Tomorrow marks the beginning of London Sinfonietta’s 2015/16 season. We asked players, composers, supporters, staff and friends to tell us which event they’re most looking to and why. To browse all our of upcoming concerts, visit londonsinfonietta.org.uk/events.

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London Sinfonietta board member Régis Cochefert:
Feldman: For Samuel Beckett, Saturday 10 October 2015, St John’s Smith Square

This concert interests me because of the opportunity of hearing new works. There is something really addictive about listening to new music, both when I am trying to let it carry me and be analytical about what I like or dislike about it. When the magic works, the discovery and the enjoyment add up to more than the sum of their parts.

The other reason I am drawn to this concert is the opportunity to hear a piece by Morton Feldman I don’t know. Thomas Adès introduced me to him when he was Artistic Director at Aldeburgh Festival and I have not looked back since!

Stockhausen & Boulez

Sean Watson, Administration and Recordings Officer:
Stockhausen & Boulez, Saturday 5 December 2015, Royal Festival Hall

I’m really looking forward to the Stockhausen & Boulez concert. The music explores the tense relationship between musical themes as well as political or narrative ones.

At a time when union within the UK and Europe is increasingly fragile Stockhausen’s seminal Hymnen explores fractious, fluid and contradictory ideas which are never more relevant to us than today. Powerfully alienating concrete sounds spliced with songs of togetherness and otherness; Hymnen can make us feel and reflect on the complexity and subtlety of our own nationalistic inclinations. I think it does a far better job than the thousands of column inches newspapers dedicate to these topics every day.

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Composer Deborah Pritchard:
The Journey Between Us, Thursday 11 & Friday 12 February 2016, Southwark Playhouse

The Journey Between Us at Southwark Playhouse engages with the resonance between words and music in a captivating and original way. Curated and conceived by composer Samantha Fernando, five short stories about the human condition are illuminated by four movements of her music. Her unique voice is deeply expressive, displaying a beautiful palette of colours and timbres with a powerful sense of shape. I can’t wait for this event.

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Marketing Assistant Siân Bateman:
Van der Aa: The Book of Disquiet, Wednesday 24 & Thursday 25 February 2016, The Coronet Theatre

My recommendation definitely has to be our UK premiere of Michel Van der Aa’s The Book of Disquiet. Not only does the piece focus around the intriguing figure of Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa, but his words will be performed by the brilliant Samuel West. There will also be an ensemble of musicians, live electronics from our Principal Players Sound Intermedia, and video projected across three circular screens at the back of the stage. As a graduate in drama, this is the concert of the season for me.

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Enno Senft, London Sinfonietta’s Principal Bassist:
Poppe: Speicher, Thursday 10 March 2016, The Coronet Theatre

Performing Enno Poppe’s piece Speicher at The Coronet Theatre will be a special challenge in my musical calendar. Rarely do pieces of such complexity and drama stretch over 80 minutes, involving this level of virtuosity and concentration. It’s extremely engaging music that puts high demands on players as well as the audience. Staging it at the old Coronet Theatre off Elephant and Castle roundabout in South London, away from the ‘comfort zone’ of the traditional concert hall, is risky. But I am excited to find out what this might bring to the music and its meaning.

Personally I have the vain hope of gaining spiritual support for this marathon performance by the coincidence that Enno Poppe comes from my region of North-Rhine Westphalia, and is the only namesake I’ve met.

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Amy Forshaw, Marketing Manager: 
Mix: London Sinfonietta & Ilan Volkov, Sunday 3 April 2016, The Coronet Theatre

Looking ahead to the 2015/16 season, I’m most excited by our Mix event. Under the guidance of pioneering curator Ilan Volkov we’ll be setting up composers and musicians from different genres, then witnessing the results of their encounter. Collaborating with artists from other disciplines is one way the London Sinfonietta can place contemporary music at the heart of today’s culture, and I hope it inspires new people to give it a try. It’s also endlessly inspiring for us to work on.

That we get to do all this in The Coronet Theatre is even more exciting, and we’re planning to make the most of its maze-like spaces with DJ sets and sound installations.

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Andrew Burke, Chief Executive:
Art on the Underground, Spring 2016

I’m very pleased that we have forged a collaboration with Art on the Underground, who are fascinated (as we are) by putting exciting and thought provoking contemporary art forms in front of an ‘audience’ of commuters in order to shift the experience and perception they have of their daily route of travel. It’s a huge opportunity for us to reach new people and encourage them to engage in listening and be changed and moved by music. Matt Rogers is the commissioned composer who is making new installations and works to be performed at various points along the Victoria Line. It should be quite a journey.

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Ed Marsh, Participation & Learning Manager:
Contemporary Music for All, Friday 4 March 2016, Kings Place
Connect, Spring 2016

The public will be at the heart of our 2015/16 season, as we embark on two projects that will involve amateurs in the conception, composition and performance of new works. We celebrate CoMA (Contemporary Music for All) as part of a UK-wide weekend, and lead a project with three international ensembles to commission and perform public participation works across Europe.

The participatory nature of both the CoMA and Connect projects excites me the most out of everything happening over the next year. I think it’s important to show that anyone really can be creative and take part in artistically excellent performances, and that great artists and musicians all start somewhere!

When you see a group of people, who may not have even been on stage before, giving their all and performing like professionals, I think that’s a really inspiring experience.

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London Sinfonietta Entrepreneur Robert McFarland:
Duets in a Frame, Wednesday 1 June 2016, St John’s Smith Square

This concert is a must for new music lovers. Harrison Birtwistle’s new work, Five Lessons in a Frame, is partly bringing together the duets he’s written for the London Sinfonietta over the past decade, but the title promises more theatrics and references the links he sees between music and art. Art also comes into Tansy Davies’ Fallen Angel; written ten years ago now, it was inspired by a painting by Anselm Kiefer. And finally I wonder and hope that Francisco Coll’s work, receiving it’s UK premiere, will trump the stunning debut pieces that the London Sinfonietta commissioned.

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