The BBC Symphony Orchestra celebrates the work of Missy Mazzoli with a full day of concerts and conversations with the composer herself on Sunday February 25 at the Barbican. Renowned as one of the most consistently innovative composers of the moment, Mazzoli's music has been performed all across the world, earning her serveral Grammy nominations and a reputation as 'the 21st century’s gatecrasher of new classical music.'
The day begins with the first of two conversation sessions (11.00am and 3.30pm), during which Mazzoli will explore her life and music world.
Between these sessions at 1.30pm Dalia Staveska will conduct the BBC Symphony Orchestra in 'Worlds in Us' featuring four of the composer's most powerful and personal orchestral pieces.
Sinfonia (for Orbiting Spheres)
Violin Concerto, Procession
These Worlds in Us
Orpheus Undone (UK premiere - suite based on her 2019 Ballet Orpheus Alive)
At 5.00pm Mazzoli will present 'New Worlds' - a concert of her chamber music performed by the superb young artists of Guildhall School of Music and Drama. For Mazzoli, small ensembles unlock infinite possibilities, and her music for ensemble and electronics finds her exploring the wildest reaches of a boundless musical imagination.
This programme will feature:
Vespers for Violin
Harp and Altar
His Name is Jan
A Thousand Tongues
'Goodness, What Powers You Possess'
O Frondens Virga
The final concert of the day is the UK premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s Song from the Uproar: The Lives and Deaths of Isabelle Eberhardt – the story of a woman who redefined the possible, performed by mezzo-soprano Kitty Whately, the BBC Singers and musicians from the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sofi Jeannin. This chamber opera evokes the short, untrammelled life of Isabelle Eberhardt (1877-1904 - an explorer, nomad, journalist, novelist, passionate romantic, Sufi, and one of the most unique and unusual women of her era)
To find out more about Missy Mazzoli ahead of the day, listen to her episode on the Wise Music Podcast, Composing Myself.
More highlights of the 2023-24 season include a new immersive dance work choreographed by Robert Binet which premiered in the Linbury Theatre starting February 10. Performed by The Royal Ballet for the Festival of New Choreography, the ballet is set to Mazzoli's concerto Dark with Excessive Bright, in both the Bass and Violin versions, and features the premiere of a new electronic work All I Want is All of It, commissioned specifically for this ballet. The audience enters an environment already alive with music, light and movement, staying for a period of 45 minutes and then moving on to make way for another wave of people who enter as they exit. With the floor clear of seats, each individual can define their own experience of the work by moving between three performance areas or standing back to take in the full picture. Moments of extraordinary intimacy – watching a person dance just a meter away – can be contrasted with a bird's-eye view of the entire performance from the balcony.
Mazzoli was also a featured composer at the Winnipeg New Music Festival, which kicked off with a launchpad for composers and artists on January 25, and ran until February 2.