Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Brian Ferneyhough Full Focus

Brian Ferneyhough is one of the most innovative of living British composers. But because he's spent most of his life in continental Europe and the US he doesn't get the recognition he deserves in the UK.  Coming  up are several different major events which could redress the balance.  Ferneyhough's been labelled "New Complexity" but labels like that shouldn't put anyone off.  In 2005 I took my son to Shadowtime. The kid could not believe his ears. Then I noticed my Fernyhough CDs had been "borrowed", which proves open minds, open ears.

First, Ferneyhough's String Quartet no 6 with the Arditti Quartet from Huddersfield on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 12th repeated online for a week. Read about the Wigmore Hall performance  last week.  This programme will also include Rebecca Saunders's Murmurs and Wounds 1, 2 and 3 from Richard Barrett. .

On 23 February, Brian Ferneyhough- a Symposium at the Institute of Musical Research. Click link for more details. Heavy duty but should be stimulating . Look at the speakers, who include Ferneyhough himself. A film of the Arditti Quartet playing String Quartet No 6 at Donaueschingen, and a concert in the evening.

Then Ferneyhough Total immersion  at the Barbican on 26th February, Saturday. It won't be as deep as the IMR symposium, but worth attending. It starts with Colin Still's film about Time and Motion Study !!, which is very well made and sensitive. Quatuor Diotoma do the lunchtime concert, but the evening concert is extremely important. Larger works for orchestra (conductor Martyn Brabbins) Book now if you haven't already - follow this link.

Up north, at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, there'll be a Brian Ferneyhough Day on 28th February. Two concerts, open forum and Ferneyhough in attendance.

Then another concert on 7th March at Kings Place - the Elison Ensemble do Time and Motion Study I and II.. Circle this, too! A few years ago someone asked me who should feature in a Total Immersion. "Ferneyhough" says me. "Too difficult" says they. But it's come around at last, and we'll all celebrate.

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