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Dates for Your Diary

Berlioz Study Weekend

Berlioz

'Berlioz in Italy' is the subject of the Berlioz Society's 15th Annual Study Weekend to be held at the Art Workers' Guild, 6 Queen Square, London WC1 on the weekend of December 2nd & 3rd.

Italy played a major role in Berlioz's life and music. The composer was brought to Italy in 1831 by winning France's Académie des Beaux-Art's prestigious Prix de Rome music prize in 1830, an achievement which was awarded with him spending two years at the Villa Medici - the French Academy - in Rome.

Berlioz was much stimulated by the folk music and countryside of Italy, meeting Mendelssohn and Glinka during his time in Rome, before leaving in 1832. The overtures King Lear and Rob Roy and the song La Captive are the main works dating from his Italian stay, during which he also worked on changes to the Symphonie fantastique. Italy left a permanent mark on Berlioz's music in such works as the symphony Harold en Italie and the operas Benvenuto Cellini and Béatrice et Bénédict.

Speakers at the weekend include author and society president David Cairns on the influence of Italy on Berlioz; author Paul Banks will expound on Berlioz and Byron in the context of Harold en Italie, while music professor David Charlton will talk about Berlioz and Early Italian Music and conductor Adrian Brown will analyse the Harold en Italie symphony; also on the programme leading Berlioz scholar and author Peter Bloom will focus on the Prix de Rome and there will be an interview with conductor Sir Mark Elder - a long-standing interpreter of Berlioz's music.

Further information/bookings: helenpetchey.berlioz@gmail.com: tel 020 850 40295.

 

 

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International ‘festival JSFest 2017’ in Finland

The International Culture Association in Turku in collaboration with the Finnish company SEM has announced the competition 2017 ”JSFest” of choral, vocal and instrumental music, which is dedicated to the great Finnish composer Jean Sibelius and is held every year in November. This year the festival will be held for the fifth time between November 2-20. Choirs, singers and musicians from all over the world will be participating in the competition and visitors wishing to find out more are invited to contact via email: info@semconsulting.fi

 

 

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Exceptionally Rare UK Performance of Henselt’s Piano Concerto: first time in over 100 years

There will be a performance of the Henselt Piano Concerto in Dorchester on November 25th. Walter Brewster will be conducting the Doreset Chamber Orchestra with Duncan Honeybourne as soloist at St Mary’s Church, Dorchester. It is believed that this may well be the first performance in the UK in over 100 years.

 

 

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Oxford Lieder Festival - The Last of the Romantics: Mahler and fin-de-siècle Vienna: 13th - 28th October

Vienna at the turn of the twentieth century is the theme of this year’s Oxford Lieder Festival. At the time, the city was a vibrant melting pot for music and the arts. Whirling waltzes sat alongside gargantuan symphonies. The height of romanticism had been reached but was nearly exhausted and on the brink of a whole new musical language. Tradition - with Brahms a holder of the torch - was face to face, sometimes uncomfortably, with the daring and modern.

Gustav Mahler was a dominant musical personality: composer and preeminent conductor, steeped in tradition but a champion of the new. During this edition of the Oxford Lieder Festival, Mahler's complete songs with piano will be heard, inviting a fresh look at this 'symphonic' composer and the enduring place of song in the musical landscape. His choices of texts, wider artistic influences from literature to art to nature and folk music, his Jewish background in a conservative Catholic city, his encounter with Sigmund Freud, his encouragement of fellow composers and more will all be explored in this packed fortnight.

Mahler's Vienna will also be placed in a wider context, with tradition represented in the songs of Schubert and Beethoven, an exploration of Brahms' glorious melodic gifts and intricate text setting, and music by Hugo Wolf (who excoriated Brahms!), Alexander Zemlinsky, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Joseph Marx and others. Richard Strauss may not have resided in Vienna until 1919, but his musical language was evolving within the Viennese traditions and many of his songs will also be heard. A late-night salon will look ahead to the Second Viennese School, including several of Schoenberg's seminal works. Study days, readings, screenings, workshops and more once again make for an exhilarating Festival that will illuminate the era and inspire audiences afresh. Details may be accessed at www.oxfordlieder.co.uk

 

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