Saturday 16 May 2009

Paul Lewis plays Mozart

Our concert in Cambridge with Paul Lewis next Thursday is sold out (although you might be lucky and get a return: check with the box-office on 01223 357851). There are still a few tickets left though for the London performance on Monday at the Queen Elizabeth Hall: book here. It's a great programme, contrasting Richard Strauss and Mozart, with two piano concertos, nos. 12 and 27.

Wednesday 13 May 2009

RPS Awards double

We are delighted to win a second RPS Award, this time in the Chamber Music category: 'This award goes to a flexible ensemble drawn from an orchestra which further enhanced its reputation for innovative programming with a lunchtime chamber music series. Touring in the east of England, London, Birmingham and Krakow, this remarkably fresh project included a range of commissions from established and emerging composers, a collaborative programming process, and the opportunity to highlight the Britten Sinfonia's extraordinary artistry as chamber musicians and soloists.' This follows on from our RPS Ensemble Award in 2007, awarded when we were touring Brazil.

Wednesday 6 May 2009

John Woolrich

John Woolrich's Whitel's Ey receives its premiere in a few hours (I look forward to hearing it myself tomorrow in Cambridge). John has written: 'There is no tabula rasa in music: every piece of music is connected to something else, certainly other music, but also perhaps a poem, a picture or a person. Or even a landscape. Some composers have used landscape as a metaphor for the structure of a piece, others have attempted to evoke the atmosphere of landscapes real (In the Fen Country) or imaginary (Egdon Heath).

Whitel’s Ey started with a walk in the Great Fen and conversations there. Later I looked at John Clare’s poetry and journals and Iain Sinclair’s book, Edge of the Orison, which traces John Clare’s ‘journey out of Essex’. The piece grew out of the memory of the landscape and the texts, and also thoughts about the two resonant spaces where the piece will have its first performances. Iain Sinclair’s book gave me the title, Whitel’s Ey, one step away from Whittlesey.'

Tuesday 5 May 2009

Great Fen Project

One of Britain’s most exciting conservation efforts, the Great Fen Project is creating a 9,000 acre fenland habitat in Cambridgeshire. It will create a haven for wildlife and open new opportunities for business, education and recreation. Imagine walking for hours without retracing your steps in a vast mosaic of meadows, woods, streams and marshes.....

Britten Sinfonia is giving two concerts this week to raise awareness (and some money) for this project: in Peterborough Cathedral on 6 May and in King's College Chapel, Cambridge on 7 May. John Woolrich has composed a new work Whitel's Eye for the occasion, and there is music by Vaughan Williams, Sibelius, Britten and Mahler. Paul Gambaccini introduces the Peterborough performance, Stephen Fry the Cambridge one, and Alina Ibragimova is the violin soloist.