Judith Weir will be a Featured Musician at the Aldeburgh Festival from June 7 to 23 2024, with the performance of over a dozen of her works, including the world premieres of two specially-commissioned pieces. The event will take place in Weir’s 70th birthday year and will feature her orchestral, chamber and choral music, as well as opera and solo works, providing one of the most comprehensive overviews of the composer’s output for many years.
On the opening night of the festival, English Touring Opera will present Weir’s Blond Eckbert in a new production directed by Robin Norton-Hale and conducted by Gerry Cornelius. The two-act opera, based on a novella by Ludwig Tieck, is a tense drama set in the remote Harz mountains which centres on a couple whose solitude is shattered by the arrival of an unexpected visitor. The new production comes 30 years after the opera was premiered at English National Opera, since which time it has been heard in productions around the world.
Britten Pears Arts has commissioned two new works from Judith Weir for the festival. The first, Planet, will be premiered on June 11 by the Knussen Chamber Orchestra conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. On June 13, the Leonkoro Quartet will give the world premiere of String Quartet No. 2 ‘The Spaniard’. The piece, an ‘oblique homage’ to Beethoven, is co-commissioned by Wigmore Hall and will be performed in London in Autumn 2024.
Other highlights of the festival include Weir’s Forest with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, blue hills beyond blue hills with the BBC Singers and Castalian Quartet, as well as performances by Tenebrae, the Nash Ensemble, soprano Claire Booth and pianist Steven Osborne.
Aldeburgh Festival, which celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2024, was founded by Benjamin Britten and Peter Pears and takes place in and around Snape Maltings in Suffolk, UK. The 2024 festival also includes the song cycle Harawi by Olivier Messiaen performed by soprano Gweneth Ann Rand and pianist Simon Lepper with artwork by Rachel Jones (June 8), as well as music by Weir’s teacher John Tavener in performances by Tenebrae in Ely Cathedral (June 12) and the Marian Consort at Blythburgh Church (June 15).
Full performance details