Festival Content

'Secret Theatres: The Harrison Birtwistle Retrospective'

12th April 1996: Royal Festival Hall at 7.00pm

'The Mask of Orpheus'

This semi-staged performance of Birtwistle's opera 'The Mask of Orpheus' opens the festival with the combined forces of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Singers, The Cholmondeleys and The Featherstoneshaughs. Electronic music contributions from the studios of IRCAM in Paris complete the forces for this very exciting production.

Friday 12th April 1996: Foyer, Royal Festival Hall RFH1 at 5.15-7.00pm

Behind The Music

BBC Radio 3 broadcasts live from the Royal Festival Hall with a special edition of In Tune. Natalie Wheen interviews various performers appearing over the three week duration of the festival.

Friday 12th April 1996: at 5.45pm Royal Festival Hall, RFH1

Behind The Music

Led by Roger Marsh and Anna Myatt, students from North Westminster Community School give a performance of a new piece of music theatre they have created with members of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, inspired by the music of Harrison BIrtwistle.

Tuesday 16th April 1996: Purcell Room RFH3 at 7.30pm


Pulse Sampler for oboe and claves, is included in Lontano's programme along with the rarely heard La Plage from 1970. The concert also contains a group of works by composers who have studied with Birtwistle or worked with him at King's College London. The Royal College of Art has been commissioned by the Royal Festival Hall to make film settings for Secret Theatres. These will be screened at tonight's concert.

Friday 19th April 1996: Purcell Room at 19.30pm

Endymion Ensemble

An exciting programme of music by Endymion, presented by Harrrison Birtwistle and also featuring the music of Stockhausen, Jane Mielniczek, John Buller and Peter Maxwell Davies.

Friday 26th April: Queen Elizabeth Hall at 19.45pm

London Sinfonietta

This mostly Birtwistle performance by the London Sinfonietta also includes the 'Daedalus Remembers' cello concerto by Simon Holt. The Birtwistle pieces include 'Ritual Fragment', 'New piano & 13 instruments piece' (World premiere 96 - SBC commission), and 'Verses for Ensembles'.

Friday 26th April: Queen Elizabeth Hall at 18.45pm

Behind The Music

Harrison Birtwistle in discussion with Jeremy Isaacs in Birtwistle's major personal platform of the festival.

Monday 29th April: Queen Elizabeth Hall at 19.45pm

Arditti String Quartet and Capricorn

The Arditti Quartet and Capricorn Ensemble perform the world premiere of the complete song cycle 'Pulse Shadows'. 'Pulse Shadows' is the combination of two seperate pieces - the setting of nine poems by Paul Celan with nine string quartet movements. The soloist is Claron McFadden.

Monday 29th April: Queen Elizabeth Hall at 18.30pm

Behind The Music

A pre-concert talk with Sir Harrison Birtwistle, to include a performance of settings of Paul Celan by A level students from Haringey.

Wednesday 1st May: Royal Festival Hall at 18.15pm

Behind The Music

An introduction to the performance of 'Panic' by Birtwistle, with the soloists John Harle (saxophone) and Paul Clarvis (percussion). The session will be chaired by Gillian Moore - The South Bank Centre's Head of Education.

Wednesday 1st May: Royal Festival Hall at 19.30pm

The London Philharmonic

This mixed programme of Mozart and Birtwistle celebrates both the piano and the tuba. 'The Cry of Anubis' by Birtwistle was the first piece that he wrote for The London Philharmonic following his appointment with them as Composer in Residence in 1994.

Thursday 2nd May: Royal Festival Hall at 18.00pm

Behind The Music

A Pre-concert event in which members of the Philharmonia perform new works by music students from Sussex University.

Thursday 2nd May: Royal Festival Hall at 19.30pm

The Philharmonia

A contemporary programme by the Associate Orchestra of the Royal Festival Hall featuring the music of Stravinsky and Bartok as well as 'Antiphonies' by Birtwistle. The piano soloist is Joanne Macgregor.

Saturday 4th May: Chelsfield Room, Royal Festival Hall at 19.45 pm

Behind The Music

An opportunity to look at ongoing education work that the Richard Alston Dance Company and the London Sinfonietta are undertaking together. The work will continue throughout the summer.

Saturday 4th May: Queen Elizabeth Hall at 19.45 pm

Richard Alston Dance Company and the London Sinfonietta

The closing night of the festival combines these two extraordinary companies in a show of new choreography by Richard Alston to Birtwistle's pieces 'Bach Measures', 'Nenia: the Death of Orpheus" and 'Secret Theatre'. The conductor is Diego Masson.