We are delighted to share the latest news from our LSO Discovery composer schemes, including details of new music performances available to watch online, two commissions and the composers progressing on the LSO Soundhub Scheme.
Earlier this month, we broadcast the premiere of four piece for chamber-sized ensemble, developed with the support of LSO musicians and mentors by composers on the LSO Soundhub Scheme. Based at LSO St Luke’s, the scheme provides a flexible environment where composers can explore, collaborate and experiment, with access to vital resources, support from industry professionals and LSO members and staff.
The four composers who participated in LSO Soundhub in 2019/20 – Ryan Latimer, Clare Elton, Ruaidhrí Mannion and Anselm McDonnell – conceived these new pieces in October 2019. Initially imagined for a first performance in July 2020, they were recorded behind closed doors in February. A full concert of these works was broadcast on the LSO YouTube channel on Saturday 10 April, and is available to watch on demand now.
Following the final recording of their pieces, all composers were invited to apply for further months of support through Phase II of the scheme. We are pleased to announce that the two composers continuing on to Phase II are Clare Elton and Ruaidhrí Mannion, who in their extra time on the scheme will develop new works for a public performance on Saturday 17 July 2021.
LSO Soundhub is generously supported by Susie Thomson and The Garrick Charitable Trust.
LSO Panufnik Composers
There is more new music to come next month. In May we will broadcast original work by six composers who received support through the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme in 2019/20: Louise Drewett, Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, Jonathan Woolgar, Caroline Bordignon, James Chan and Joe Bates.
With guidance from Colin Matthews and Christian Mason, each composer developed a three-minute orchestral piece to be workshopped by the LSO in March 2020. Having been postponed due to Covid, the workshop of these pieces took place behind closed doors in March 2021. In a first for the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, which has been running since 2005, the end-of-workshop performances will be broadcast on the LSO YouTube channel on Sunday 16 May, complete with introductions and explanations about the scheme from the composers themselves.
Following the workshop, two composers were commissioned to progress their ideas further and write a completed concert piece, to be performed in the LSO’s 2022/23 Barbican season. We are pleased to announce that Louise Drewett and Jonathan Woolgar have been commissioned to write a ten- and five-minute work respectively.
The LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme is generously supported by Lady Hamlyn and The Helen Hamlyn Trust.
About the Composers
Clare’s music has been heard on BBC Radio 3, performed by ensembles including musicians from the London Symphony Orchestra, EXAUDI vocal ensemble, Plus-Minus Ensemble and Psappha, and performed at venues including Wigmore Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall, Union Chapel and at the Cheltenham Festival.
Her first piece for LSO Soundhub – Around, scored for violin, cello and percussion – explores relationships and gatherings. ‘With the bass drum forming the centre around which the performance takes place, there is a sense of coming together throughout the piece, and musical ideas revolve around conversing, remembering, mimicking and learning.’
Ruaidhrí specialises in combining electronic sounds with classical instruments and multimedia to create immersive and evocative live concert experiences. Previous commissions include Mise en Abyme, a concert-length immersive multimedia creation co-authored with Swiss composer Benoit Moreau for the Nouvel Ensemble Contemporain in Switzerland; and Occupy the Pianos for two pianos and electronics, funded by the Association du Concours Nicati and premiered at the Bern Biennale by the Francoise-Green Piano Duo.
His first piece for LSO Soundhub, I mBéal na toinne, is written for three cellos and three sine waves. ‘It is a piece both whispered and in slow motion. The strings and electronics constantly mirror each other in a deconstructed musical narrative that mimics the rhythm of breathing while sleeping, and the undulating movement of the sea.’
Her three-minute piece for the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, The Daymark, takes a seven-note descending scale as the starting material. As the piece progresses, the different layers draw together even as they peel apart, pulling the music through a series of luminous climaxes and changes of texture. The effect is something like the refraction of light as it hits a prism and is split into different speeds and colours.
His three-minute piece for the LSO Panufnik Composers Scheme, PROTO-SYMPHONY, plays with the idea of fitting the beginnings of several movements of a symphony into just three minutes. Each ‘movement’ starts confidently enough, but within just a page or so they each quickly fizzle out, leaving hanging the beginning of an idea that the next section attempts to build upon: it’s a symphonic logic, but without the symphony itself.