Britten Sinfonia and Nico Muhly

Britten Sinfonia and Nico Muhly

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The young American composer, Nico Muhly, took up residence with Britten Sinfonia this January, in a series of events, including the premieres of two new works and a special concert as part of the new
’Reverb Roundhouse Concerts’ series.

Nico Muhly has built a reputation as one of New York’s most exciting and diverse composing talents. At 28 years of age, Muhly is in demand as a classical composer, with a body of work including commissions for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Carnegie Hall, where he also featured as part of John Adams’ “In Your Ear” festival. He is also an admired performer, conductor and arranger for artists such as Björk, Sigur Ròs, Antony Heggarty and the cult American band Grizzly Bear, and a composer of film scores including the Oscar-winning The Reader.

Britten Sinfonia has commissioned Muhly to write two new works: Muhly’s settings of Daniel Mendelssohn’s new translations of poems by the Greek writer Constantine Cafavy (1863-1933),is scored for tenor, violin and chamber orchestra. Mark Padmore returns to Britten Sinfonia after an acclaimed association last season, paired with the exuberant, charismatic young Finnish violinist Pekka Kuusisto (also making a welcome return to the orchestra). The work, a co-commission between the Eindhoven Muziekcentrum, Tapiola Sinfonietta and Britten Sinfonia, receives its world premiere in Eindhoven on January 27 as part of a programme of music drawn from both sides of the Atlantic, including works by Purcell, Tippett, Britten, John Adams and Steve Reich. A subsequent thirteen-date tour of Holland, Austria and the UK, includes a performance at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday February 8. Nico Muhly, Pekka Kuusisto and Mark Padmore are in conversation in pre-concert events in Cambridge, Norwich and London, and head to the foyers of the QEH post-concert on February 8 for an informal and intimate late night event (10-11pm).

David Butcher, Chief Executive of Britten Sinfonia comments:
‘We are greatly looking forward to our association with Nico Muhly, who is one of a number of exciting young composers with whom we are working in 2010. It has provided us with a rare opportunity to develop a relationship with a young composer over a slightly longer period of time, in a number of different contexts – an approach very much in keeping with Britten Sinfonia’s spirit of musical exploration.’

‘A curious ear, a restless listener, and a maker of works. He’s doing his own thing.’

Philip Glass

‘eclectic, non denominational in the world of contemporary classical music… his music is
very much like him: it is open, it is attractive and it is pleasing.’

John Adams

For full details of concerts see the Britten Sinfonia website

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