NMC is sad to learn of the passing of Roger Smalley last week.
The Manchester born, Australia based composer has featured on NMC Recordings on various occasions, including his piece 'Pulses for 5x4 players'.
There will be a celebration of Roger's life at 3.30pm on Tuesday 1st September at the Fellows' Room, Girton College, Cambridge, which will include a formal event including music and reminiscences from family and friends. This will be followed by afternoon tea. The memorial will feature a showing of photos and memorabilia from over the years such as concert and poster flyers and anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to bring along anything to share on the day.
Philip Headlam, the co-artistic director and conductor of The Continuum Ensemble, commented "He was a great musician and a fine composer and it was a privilege to know him and work with him."
Further information regarding Roger's life and successful career can be found at Faber Music here.
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Objects at an Exhibition is a landmark commissioning project for NMC's 25th anniversary, in partnership with Aurora Orchestra and the Science Museum. The album, featuring six world premiere recordings by Gerald Barry, Barry Guy, Christopher Mayo, Claudia Molitor, Thea Musgrave and David Sawer,
will be released on NMC 18 September 2015.
Pre-Order CD (£12.99+ p&p)
The Science Museum awakens after dark with a unique walk-through concert featuring six world-premiere performances. Each is performed by the Aurora Orchestra in the presence of the object or space which inspired its composition, including the London-York mail coach, Charles Babbage's Difference Engine, 2LO, and the Flight Gallery.
The concert will take place at 7:45pm at the Science Museum on Saturday 3 October 2015.
Duration: c2h45 with interval | Tickets: £25 (discounts available for students and early-bird bookers)
Get your tickets at the Science Museum Box Office here
Box office: 0870 870 4868
The concert directed by Tim Hopkins with Aurora Orchestra conducted by Nicholas Collon
includes world premiere performances of:
Gerald Barry - The One-Armed Pianist
Barry Guy - Mr Babbage is Coming to Dinner
Christopher Mayo - Supermarine
Claudia Molitor - 2TwoLO
Thea Musgrave - Power Play
David Sawer - Coachman Chronos
For more information about each work visit our Project page.
NMC Recordings has been awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society’s prestigious Leslie Boosey Award for “its outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain”.
The NMC team - including trustees, patrons and supporters - were in attendance at the presentation, held at London’s Wigmore Hall on Saturday 6 June. It is the first time that the award has been made to an organisation, rather than an individual and we are all hugely honoured by the recognition. We look forward to spending two years with the stunning Elisabeth Frink bronze eagle, which now sits, pride-of-place, on our Awards mantelpiece in our office.
"On behalf of our founder Colin Matthews and everyone at NMC of course our enormous thanks go to the Royal Philharmonic Society, John and Judith for bestowing this huge honour upon us. It’s especially fitting that we receive this here tonight, reflecting the artistic partnerships we have with both Wigmore Hall and Aurora Orchestra, and on the occasion of a premiere by a composer whose work NMC has long proudly championed. And it also reflects the very origins of NMC – when the idea first emerged at a premiere in Aldeburgh, that recordings could provide a more permanent route for audiences to discover and connect with new work which could challenge and inspire them. And that’s what NMC has been doing for over 25 years.
The fact that we are the first organisation to receive the Leslie Boosey Award only adds to our sense of pride. And of course as Judith has said we are an organisation of INDIVIDUALS. So this Award is for my completely brilliant colleagues, patrons and trustees, present and past; it’s for the members of the wider NMC family who work behind the scenes, and from across the industry, and help us achieve - sometimes against the odds - and it’s for all the composers and artists who entrust us with their work. It’s for our supporters and funders, from the Arts Council to our loyal and discerning Friends. And above all it’s for the members of our growing audience who continue to amaze us with their appetite for the new and adventurous. Thank you very much."
NMC Recordings awarded RPS Leslie Boosey Award
NMC Recordings has been awarded the prestigious RPS Leslie Boosey Award for its outstanding contribution to the furthering of contemporary music in Britain. It is the first time that the award has been made to an organisation, rather than an individual.
The award, a magnificent bronze eagle by sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink, was presented to Anne Rushton, Executive Director of NMC, by Master of the Queen’s Music, Judith Weir, on stage at a Wigmore Hall concert on 6 June 2015. The concert reflected the artistic partnership NMC has with both Wigmore Hall and Aurora Orchestra and featured the premiere of a new work by Judith Weir, whose work NMC has long championed.
The Leslie Boosey Award was set up by the Royal Philharmonic Society and the Performing Rights Society in memory of music publisher Leslie Boosey (1887-1979). It is awarded every two years. The award is primarily given to those who work ‘back stage’. Programmers, publishers, broadcasters, administrators, educationalists and representatives from the recording industry have all received the award since it inception in 1980, with recipients including Amelia Freedman, Bill Colleran, Gillian Moore, Stephen and Jackie Newbould of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and most recently, Sally Groves, former Creative Director of Schott Music Limited.
In its citation, the RPS says:
“We are delighted to present this year’s RPS Leslie Boosey Award to NMC Recordings. NMC is a true champion of British Contemporary Music, and over a quarter of a century has built an extraordinary recording catalogue embracing composers at all stages of their careers, often working with them well before any commercial company might consider them a commercial proposition: 3000+ tracks released, 300 different British Composers represented and over 1.5 million downloads and streams – with no title ever deleted from the NMC catalogue.
NMC is unique for its vision: to provide a permanent legacy of our time to delight, inform and challenge future generations, with composers at its centre. It’s unique for its people: for the determination of founder Colin Matthews and his conviction that a contemporary recording label could inspire – and indeed flourish – in the 21st century, and for the generosity and hard work of all the trustees, dedicated team, volunteer advisors, partner organisations, supporters, engineers and musicians who make it all happen. And it is indispensable to curious listeners who share in this incredible creative wealth. NMC has opened our ears and changed how and what we listen to. NMC we salute you. Here’s to the next 25 years.”
Further press information from RPS: Sophie Cohen on 020 7428 9850
(L-R) Judith Weir, Andrew Ward (NMC Chair), Colin Matthews,
John Gilhooly & Anne Rushton
The NMC Team (L-R) Gwen, Anne, Ellie & Lucile
NMC Trustees/Patron (L-R) Raj Arumugam, Stephen Johns, Richard Fries
Lady Camilla Panufnik, Andrew Ward, Graham Elliot, Elizabeth Anderton
David Smith, Ed McKeon, Colin Matthews
Follow our tweets @nmcrecordings
#RPSAward #Eaglehaslanded #LeslieBooseyAward
Discover NMC and download 8 FREE tracks from our catalogue.
Includes a reconstruction of Dowland, electric bassoon and hypnotic minimalism: 8 tracks from UK composers Harrison Birtwistle, Judith Weir, Richard Barrett, Anna Meredith and others. (Full track details below)
BBC SO/Martyn Brabbins
Taken from NMC D137 The Welcome Arrival of Rain
The first ever disc of Judith Weir's major orchestral works, performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins, includes title work The Welcome Arrival of Rain, inspired by the annual Indian monsoon.
'The music here displays an undiminished, sharp musical intelligence with an enviable flair for orchestration, dramatic momentum and melodic invention.' The Wire
Taken from NMC D114 A Glimpse of Sion's Glory
Exciting new vocal ensemble EXAUDI's second recording for NMC features choral works by Christopher Fox with the common theme of Puritanism, Liberty and dissent. Open the Gate, with its basis of plainsong, complete the disc.
Taken from NMC D009 Melencolia I - Ritual Fragment
The works display Birtwistle's distinctive and forceful voice and range in mood from austere introspective journeying to moments of unbearable intensity.
Roderick Williams/Iain Burnside
Taken from NMC D155 Songs Before Sleep
Bennett's most accessible and lyrical piece.
'Roderick Williams infuses Songs Before Sleep with just the right dark warmth' BBC Music Magazine
John Orford bassoon/Sound Intermedia electronics (London Sinfonietta)
Taken from NMC DL3012 Axeman
Anna Meredith says: 'We decided the way forward was to unleash the bassoon from its rock closet and try and write a piece that made the bassoon sound as much like an 1980s guitar-god as possible.'
Taken from NMC D176 Spine
Filled with sounds of cracking, slapping, whipping and scraping, it is music that is utterly contemporary, inhabiting the same urban landscape as industrial techno and electronica. make black white is a reconstruction of Dowland’s Flow, My Tears performed by viol consort Concordia.
'Tansy Davies’ music, held together in an awkward, gritty tension that allows for both emotional depth & unrestrained exuberance.' 5:4
BBC SO/Mark Wigglesworth
Taken from NMC D005 Lento
Lento is music of extraordinary directness and simplicity. It is an enigmatic and hypnotic work within which shifting modal chords progress through the orchestra to create a chorale-like, almost architectural form beneath a calm melodic surface.
'Lento, by the British miniaturist Howard Skempton, must surely be heading for cult status… it is captivating in its simple wistfulness.' BBC Music Magazine
Taken from NMC D183 Dark Matter
‘This is one of the most dazzling displays of contemporary music ever recorded…It practically defies belief to hear Barrett’s music-or indeed, any music-played with such unshakeable conviction and commitment. A masterpiece’ 5:4 blog
1) Name five things you cannot live without?
1. My family
2/3. Too many composers to list. So at a pinch I'll have to say Richard Strauss and Benjamin Britten!
4. Good food and wine
5. Test Match Special (Cricket)
2) What is the proudest moment of your career so far?
A recent performance of Britten War Requiem in November 2014 featuring my children. Alexei was playing solo horn in RAM Chamber Orchestra and Louis was singing in National Youth Choir.
3) What was the first album you bought?
My first classical album was Brahms 3 Berlin Philharmonic/Karajan on cassette; the other was The Stranger by Billy Joel.
4) Who are your musical influences?
My father used to get me to dance to The Rite of Spring. He also loved Wagner but couldn't get on with Mahler. Even though he never played an instrument he had a huge passion for music.
5) One thing your audience wouldn’t know about you?
I have made my singing debut at Wigmore Hall. Ok, so I need to qualify this: it was the final item in Julius Drake's 50th Birthday Concert – it was ‘Zum Schluss’ from Brahms’ Neue Liebeslieder Op 65. The rest of line-up was: Birgid Steinberger, Alice Coote, Ian Bostridge, Mark Padmore, Gerald Finley and … me. Decided to quit while I was ahead!
6) Do you have any rituals you do before you perform/record?
Not really, apart from making sure I've drunk enough …. water!
Richard Watkins performs Sea Eagle (Music for Horn) Sea Eagle (Music for Horn) out now on NMC