2016 Summer Festival Season

2016 Summer Festival Season
This year's UK summer music festivals are set to be a great opportunity to encounter and revisit some of the best contemporary music from Music Sales Composers. Both the Cheltenham Music Festival and the Edinburgh International Festival have revealed programmes packed with new music of all styles and older works entering the contemporary canon.

Edinburgh International Festival

Between August 12 and 14 at the Festival Theatre the multi award-winning Russian classical ballerina Natalia Osipova and a select company of dancers will perform brand new dance works created especially for the show, including a work with music and sound design by Scanner and choreography by Russel Maliphant.

The Akram Khan Company’s Chotto Desh with music composed by Jocelyn Pook will receive four performances on August 13 and 14 at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. Chotto Desh is a reworking of the Olivier Award-winning autobiographical Desh and the first ever family show created by Akram Kahn. The contemporary dance-theatre tale follows a young man’s dream and memories from Britain to Bangladesh as he seeks to become a dancer against the wishes of his father. Mesmerising lighting design is provided by Guy Hoare and dancers Dennis Alamanos and Nicholas Ricchini will alternate performances of the one-man show. Audiences can expect dream-like animations of elephants, crocodiles and swirling clouds butterflies as well as a stunning score from Pook.

On August 9 the Berlin-based Amaryllis Quartet will perform String Quartet by Witold Lutosławski in a programme of Haydn and Beethoven. Rolf Wallin has been commissioned by BBC Radio 3 and the Royal Philharmonic Society to write short work for the Danish String Quartet. This new piece will accompany the lyrical Sibelius-inspired miniature, Quartetto Breve, by Per Nørgård in a concert at The Queen’s Hall on August 27.

A specially designed minimalist score by Nico Muhly will feature in John Tiffany’s Tony Award-nominated Broadway production of Tennessee Williams’ play The Glass Menagerie. These European premiere performances will take place between August 7 and 21 at Edinburgh’s King’s Theatre.

To find out more about this year’s Edinburgh International Festival and to book tickets click here.

Cheltenham Music Festival

The 2016 Cheltenham Music Festival, which takes place this year between July 1 and 17, will feature works by several composers published by Music Sales. Included in the two-week programme are pieces by Tailleferre, Stravinsky, Howells, Elgar and several by Satie, whose 150th anniversary of birth the festival have chosen to celebrate with two concerts on July 6.

The Royal College of Music’s concert premiere of Howells’ Cello Concerto, led by cellist Guy Johnson and conducted by Martin André on July 9, bring together the two existing movements by the composer and a newly completed finale realised by Jonathan Clinch from a number his sketches in a performance held in the cathedral where he studied organ and came of age musically, Gloucester. On July 11 the Florin Ensemble will premiere a new string trio by Hugh Wood following on from his successful 2015 Prom commission for chorus and orchestra, An Epithalamion. Two days later, Ex Cathedra will invoke the image of ‘A New Jerusalem’ through music in a late-evening programme that includes Judith Weir’s short anthem Illuminare Jerusalem, which will take place at Tewkesbury Cathedral, 8pm.

Lennox Berkeley’s rarely heard, but very fine, Stabat Mater will receive its third outing in 2016 by the Lennox Berkeley Ensemble and the Marian Consort on July 17, having been featured at the Spitalfields and Aldeburgh Festivals earlier in the year. A premiere recording of this, one of Berkeley’s most well-regarded compositions, will be available in late 2016. At 7:30 that same evening, the National Youth Chamber Choir will sing Owain Park’s setting of Shakespeare’s When Love Speaks in a concert that celebrates the 400th birthday of the bard.

Speaking ahead of the festival this month, director Meurig Bowen said:

In what must be one of the most diverse festival programmes anywhere, a vast range of classical music – symphonic, choral, chamber, contemporary and early music – is joined by jazz, folk, electronica, spoken word, film and family events.

It’s a privilege, in such a festival programme, to be able to focus on cultural and historic events as broad-ranging as the Somme and Yehudi Menuhin centenaries, the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death and Erik Satie’s 150th birthday. Satie is one of music history’s great pioneers and provocateurs, and I am delighted that the Cheltenham audience will be able to explore in some depth this extraordinary figure.

To find out more about this year’s Cheltenham Music Festival and to book tickets click here.

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