Contemporary Music Festival - May 20th 2011 to May 29th 2011

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Sir John Tavener at Sounds New

Posted on: 4th Apr 2012

With exactly one month until Sounds New bursts into life in Canterbury, we’ll be marking the countdown to the beginning of the festival with a series profiling performers, composers and pieces appearing throughout the season, beginning with Sir John Tavener. John Tavener regards The Veil of the Temple ‘as the supreme achievement of my life and the most important work that I have ever composed.’ Huge in concept, and in its original form lasting for seven hours, the piece is in eight sections, or ‘circles,’ ...

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Sounds New shortlisted for 2012 Canterbury Culture awards

Posted on: 2nd Apr 2012

We’re delighted to reveal that Sounds New has been shortlisted in two categories for the 2012 Canterbury Culture Awards. Set up in 2011, the awards are a way of celebrating the vast spectrum of cultural activities, talent, organisations and individuals working in the east Kent area, and recognising the array of events that makes Kent an exciting cultural centre. The awards ceremony last year brought together artists, local businesses, philanthropists and arts supporters, in celebrating the cultural diversity at the heart of the area. This ...

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Train of Thought: Graham Fitkin and the Javelin

Posted on: 28th Mar 2012

Coming to Sounds New this season on Wednesday 9 May in the Powerplant concert, Graham Fitkin is also one of the composers associated with this year’s London Olympic Games and the New Music 20x12 project.  His piece Track to Track: the Athlon premièred at the Cadogan Hall last Thursday, performed by the Fitkin Band and the London Chamber Orchestra, setting words by the poet Glyn Maxwell. The piece was written to be broadcast on the 'Javelin' train, as it travels between King's Cross and the Olympic arena. The New Music ...

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From Muhly to Matthews: contemporary music at the Barbican

Posted on: 26th Mar 2012

The Barbican’s 2012-13 season, announced several weeks ago, has an exciting crop of premières, contemporary works and ‘Total Immersion’ series on the horizon. There’s an intriguing mixed bag this October in an eclectic-looking individual concert that includes American wunderkind Nico Muhly, wide-ranging pianist Joanna Macgregor, British saxophonist Andy Sheppard, and a première from Scotland’s James Macmillan. Also appearing at Sounds New this May, Mark-Anthony Turnage will be taking up a residency ...

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Crossing the Border: contemporary music at the Edinburgh Festival

Posted on: 24th Mar 2012

There's an exciting programme of modern works and premières at this year's Edinburgh International Festival, for which tickets have gone on sale today. An intriguing series of programmes from the London Symphony Orchestra and Gergiev sees pairings of Szymanowski and Brahms; the Cleveland Orchestra under Wesler-Möst in Lutoslawksi's Concerto for Orchestra; and there's a première from James Macmillan; the European Youth Orchestra perform Debussy's evocative Nocturnes alongside a new work by Richard Causton; and the CBSO ...

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  • contemporary music
  • Edinburgh Festival

Only Connect: festival launch and dancing with Death

Posted on: 22nd Mar 2012

There was an expectant audience and an eager buzz at last night’s gathering to launch this year’s Sounds New Festival. The majestic atrium of Augustine House was abuzz with visitors and distinguished guests leafing through this year’s new brochure, hunting for favourite composers, major works or big-name performers coming to Canterbury this May. The welcome address from Ian Odgers, Chairman of the Board of Directors, reflected on the importance of Sounds New as a means of enhancing the status of Canterbury and east Kent ...

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  • contemporary music
  • Death's Cabaret
  • Festival launch
  • SN 2012

Away from a definition of classical music

Posted on: 21st Mar 2012

Many people are put off of classical music because of the apparent anachronism in the very label used to define it, believing it to refer largely to that body of late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century music of Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven. In this light, classical music can appear to have no contemporary relevance; it has no meaning to today's cultural consumers, and is interesting only as a museum piece, or something that advertisers and marketing companies can employ as shorthand to imply a product or service has value or a sense ...

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  • contemporary music
  • John Adams
  • SN 2012

Digital brochure now on-line

Posted on: 19th Mar 2012

Our brochure for this year's festival is now available to view on-line in digital format, and also to download (PDF). Everything that's happening this year, from curtain-raisers to cutting-edge contemporary commisions (is that too alliterative ?!) is yours to browse. Click here to explore this year's rich plethora of exciting events, or here to dowload your copy. Prepare to get excited! Posted by Daniel Harding.

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Spectre at the Feast: Mistress Death comes to Canterbury this Wednesday

Posted on: 19th Mar 2012

Death comes to Canterbury this Wednesday, as Death’s Cabaret marks the official launch of this year’s Sounds New Festival. Written by Belfast-born Stephen Deazley, with text by Martin Riley, and performed by cellist Matthew Sharp, the pieces explores the  cultural collision between folklore, cabaret and the concerto; it promises to be an alluring event. Deazley’s interests are wide-ranging, and include working in classical, music theatre, opera, dance and film; he has also been the Creative Director of the Scottish ...

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A Mad King on Radio 3 tomorrow night

Posted on: 16th Mar 2012

For those of us who can’t wait until Friday 4 May to hear Sir Peter Maxwell Davies ‘In Conversation’ at this year’s Sounds News, tune in to ‘Hear and Now’ on BBC Radio 3 tomorrow night to hear his Eight Songs for a Mad King. Also in the programme will be Anthony Payne’s A Day in the Life of a Mayfly and the première of Sally Beamish’s The Sins, all performed by Psappha. Sir Peter Maxwell Davies will be at this year’s Sounds New Festival on Friday 4 May at 6.30pm, as he appears ...

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What the flock: audiences for contemporary music

Posted on: 13th Mar 2012

I was heartened  by an article in The Guardian a few weeks ago, which proclaimed that 'difficult' concert programmes are attracting audiences in their droves, and that contemporary music audiences are actually in robust health (Audiences flock to ‘difficult’ contemporary classical music, 30 January; click here to read). Alex Needham`s article paints a portrait of people turning out in their droves to a plethora of modern works being programmed over the coming months, from a festival of Minimalism in Scotland to political ...

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  • Arvo Part
  • Jonathan Harvey
  • Mark-Anthony Turnage
  • Total Immersion

The many-headed Hydra: Prog Rock weekend

Posted on: 9th Mar 2012

Lovers of Prog Rock had the chance to see Caravan at work (and play) in the Sounds New 'Prog Rock Weekend' last week. A weekend of workshops and open rehearsals also hosted a 'Battle of the Bands' competition, in which the winners 'The Boot Lagoon' were able to team up with Canterbury's own Caravan on-stage at the latter's headlining gig at Agustine House. Since the early intimations of prog rock’s immortality in Sergeant Pepper and Procul Harem’s Bach-indebted Whiter Shade of Pale, progressive rock has occupied a love-it-or-hate-it ...

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  • Prog Rock

Launching the Sounds New blog!

Posted on: 9th Mar 2012

We're delighted to be launching the Sounds New blog, which this year will both accompany the festival as well as lead up to it, with news, features, event reviews, profiles and more. Spread over two weeks in May, 'Theme GB' is a celebration of everything British in music, including works by Oliver Knussen, George Benjamin, Peter Maxwell Davies (who will also be appearing In Conversation), Brian Ferneyhough, James Dillon, Thomas Ades, James Macmillan, Graham Fitkin, and Mark-Anthony Turnage to name a few; there'll also be a chance to hear ...

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Sounds New 2012

Posted on: 14th Feb 2012

The countdown to 2012's Sounds New Festival, featuring all things British, is well and truly underway now, with the exciting announcement of this year's programme in full. Audiences this year can look forward to some of the best performers that the Isles have to offer, including London Sinfonietta, Grimethorpe Colliery Band, Canterbury Cathedral Choir, BBC Big Band, the dynamic Joby Burgess, Tenebrae, Worker's Union and the sublime King's Singers. Having said that, it wouldn't be the international festival of previous years if it wasn't ...

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