ARTISTS

Rostropovich, Mstislav

Mstislav
Rostropovich
cello

Mstislav Rostropovich (1927 – 2007), cellist and conductor, was married to the soprano Galina Vishnevskaya. He is widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. In addition to his outstanding interpretations and technique, he was well known for both inspiring and commissioning new works which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before or since. He gave the premieres of over 100 pieces, forming long-standing friendships and artistic partnerships with composers including Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev and especially Benjamin Britten.

Rostropovich was internationally recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, and was awarded the 1974 Award of the International League of Human Rights.

Michael, Robin

Robin
Michael
cello

 

Born in 1976, Robin Michael studied at the Royal Academy of Music with David Strange and Colin Carr and also with Truls Mork, Pieter Wisplelway, Karine Georgian and Ferenc Rados. Following a critically-acclaimed South Bank recital debut he has devoted much of his time to contemporary music, working with composers such as Ligeti, Kurtag, Ferneyhough, Maxwell Davies, Finnissy and Dillon amongst others.

Robin regularly appears with Lontano, Gemini, Expose, Ixion, BCMG, Almeida Ensemble, Music Projects/London and has taken part in numerous broadcasts and world premieres. He recently premiered Joe Cutler's cello concerto in London and gave the UK premiere of the Reich cello counterpoint. As the cellist in the Fidelio trio he has given recent premieres of works by Dennechy and Hind as well as the UK premiere of Sciarrino's first trio and toured Asia, Europe and South Africa.

Robin has appeared as guest principal cellist with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and on period instruments with the Academy of Ancient Music and English Baroque Soloists and has given performances of the complete cycles of Bach and Britten suites in London and Edinburgh. Recent chamber collaborations include projects with Ronald Brautigham, Lucy van Dael, Evan Zipporyn, Rolf Hind and Dave Holland and recent festival appearances include Spier (Cape Town), Musica Contemporanea (Buenos Aires), Ochrid (Macedonia), Regello (Italy), Klara (Belgium), Kilkenny (Ireland) and Huddersfield contemporary festival.

Forthcoming releases include a disc of the Ginastera cello music on Lorelt, a recording of the Cutler concerto on NMC and Fidelio trio recording of recent commissions. Robin plays on a cello by Vincenzo Panormo c.1791 and keenly follows the exploits of the England cricket team (despite being a Scot).

 

Image Credit: 
Sophie Dennehy

ASKO

ASKO
ensemble

Since 2008, the Asko Ensemble and Schönberg Ensemble have been united as Asko|Schönberg, a flexible group of musicians who can appear in formations of any needed size to perform twentieth- and twenty-first-century music: the music of established composers such as Ligeti, Kurtág, Stockhausen, Kagel and Andriessen, but also that of a younger generation, composers such as Michel van der Aa, Martijn Padding and Julian Anderson.

Image Credit: 
Annaleen Louwes

BBC Concert Orchestra

BBC Concert Orchestra
The BBC Concert Orchestra is the UK’s most versatile orchestra. Their action-packed, eclectic schedule boasts concert programmes with music from Haydn to Tchaikovsky, film scores with Will Gregory (Goldfrapp) and the Pet Shop Boys to gigs alongside the Guillemots, Kasabian, Annie Lennox, KD Lang and Will Young.
 
The 56 players happily switch between recording shimmering scores for TV like Planet Earth, Coast, Walking with Dinosaurs, Kombat Opera and Sports Personality of the Year to building talent and audiences of the future in schools workshops in London and the South East. The Orchestra’s Composer-in-Residence is Jonny Greenwood (otherwise best-known for his work with Radiohead). His score for the film There will be Blood which was recorded with the BBC Concert Orchestra was nominated for two Golden Globes and a BAFTA.

BBC Symphony Orchestra

BBC Symphony Orchestra

The BBC Symphony Orchestra has played a central role at the heart of British musical life since its inception in 1930, and as the flagship orchestra of the BBC provides the backbone of the BBC Proms with at least a dozen concerts each year, including the First and Last Nights. Strongly committed to twentieth-century and contemporary music, it has given the premiere of more than 1,000 works by composers such as Bartók, Britten, Hindemith, Holst, Stravinsky and Shostakovich, and more recently has premiered BBC commissions by Simon Bainbridge, Jonathan Dove, Michael Nyman and Sir John Tavener among others. Its annual season of concerts as Associate Orchestra of the Barbican includes a weekend each January focusing upon a single composer from the twentieth or twenty-first century, most recently James MacMillan, Elliott Carter and Sofia Gubaidulina.

Jiří Bĕlohlávek took up the post of Chief Conductor in July 2006 and David Robertson was appointed Principal Guest Conductor in 2005. The BBC SO works frequently with Conductor Laureate Sir Andrew Davis and Artist-in-Association John Adams. All concerts are broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and a number are televised, giving the BBC Symphony Orchestra the highest broadcast profile of any orchestra in the UK. The BBC SO is committed to innovative education work, with ongoing projects including the BBC SO Family Orchestra and Music Intro, introducing families to concert-going.

The BBC SO has appeared on 34 of NMC’s CDs, including the best-selling recording of Elgar’s Third Symphony.

City of London Sinfonia

City of London Sinfonia
Orchestra

Firmly established as one of the UK's leading chamber orchestras, City of London Sinfonia (CLS) was founded in 1971 by the late Richard Hickox and celebrates its 40th anniversary this year. Led by Stephen Layton (Artistic Director & Principal Conductor) and Michael Collins (Principal Conductor), the Orchestra has earned a reputation for strong, distinctive programming, outstanding performances and recordings, and a passion for music featuring the voice.


Performing throughout the UK and abroad, CLS makes regular appearances at all the major London concert halls and venues, as well as St Paul's Cathedral and other venues in the City of London. It has been resident orchestra at the capital's popular Opera Holland Park since 2004 and holds a long-standing residency in High Wycombe, as well as being a regular guest at major UK festivals. In addition the Orchestra performs lively Crash, Bang, Wallop! family concerts offering young listeners an exciting and interactive introduction to classical music.

CLS has made over one hundred recordings including a series of operas by Benjamin Britten on the Chandos label and won a Grammy Award for Best Opera for its recording of Peter Grimes.

Extending their innovative reach and approach, CLS musicians deliver professional skills training for corporate businesses, offering a creative approach to supporting achievement and performance. Founded in 2000, Development through Music is a pioneering programme and one of the first of its kind in the country.

The Halle

The Halle

Founded in Manchester by the pianist and conductor Charles Hallé in 1858, The Hallé is Britain's longest established permanent professional symphony orchestra; its conductors include such distinguished figures as Hans Richter, Sir Hamilton Harty and Sir John Barbirolli.

The Hallé's family of ensembles includes the Hallé Choir - founded alongside the orchestra in 1858 - the Hallé Youth Choir, Children's Choir and Youth Orchestra; its pioneering education programme generates over 60 projects a year.

In 1996, the Hallé moved to its new home, The Bridgewater Hall, where it presents over 70 concerts a year. Making over 40 appearances annually throughout the rest of Britain, the Hallé attracts large and enthusiastic audiences both in Manchester and beyond

Sir Mark Elder became Music Director in 2000. In 2011, the Hallé and the BBC Philharmonic were awarded the South Bank Sky Arts Award for their performance of Mahler's Eighth Symphony; the Hallé have previously won the South Bank Show Classical Music Award for collaborations with the BBC Philharmonic, the RNCM and the CBSO.

In 2003 the Hallé launched its own CD label: its recordings of Wagner's Götterdämmerung, and Elgar's Violin Concerto with Thomas Zehetmair have both won Gramophone Awards.

London Symphony Orchestra

London Symphony Orchestra

The London Symphony Orchestra is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading orchestras. Its many activities include an energetic and ground-breaking education and community programme LSO Discovery, a record company LSO Live, a music education centre LSO St Luke's and pioneering work in the field of digital music.

Since its formation in 1904 it has always attracted excellent players from all over the world, many of whom have flourishing solo, chamber music and teaching careers alongside their orchestral work. The LSO draws on an enviable roster of soloists and conductors, including Principal Conductor Valery Gergiev, LSO President Sir Colin Davis, and Principal Guest Conductors Daniel Harding and Michael Tilson Thomas.

Continuing the Orchestra’s long association with film music, the LSO has recently recorded soundtracks for Twilight: New Moon, Tamara Drewe and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Parts 1 & 2). The orchestra also features on radio, TV, computer games and in-flight music programmes, and has launched the YouTube Symphony Orchestra, the world’s first-ever online orchestra.

Brabbins, Martyn

Martyn
Brabbins
Conductor
Artistic Director of the Cheltenham International Festival of Music 2005-2007, he was Associate Principal Conductor of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra 1994-2005. He is Principal Guest Conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic, a position which started in September 2009. After studying composition in London and then conducting with Ilya Musin in Leningrad, his career was launched when he won first prize at the 1988 Leeds Conductors' Competition. Since then Brabbins has regularly conducted all the major UK orchestras and is much sought-after in Europe, notably in Germany, Holland, Belgium and Scandinavia.   
 
Brabbins’ symphonic engagements have included appearances at London's  South Bank in subscription with the London Philharmonic and Philharmonia orchestras, his Tokyo debut, with the Tokyo Metropolitan (where he returns in 2011); and visits to the Netherlands Radio Chamber in the prestigious Matinee series, the Residentie Orkest, Salzburg Mozarteumorchester and Lahti Symphony.  He is a regular guest with the City of Birmingham Symphony, Halle and BBC Philharmonic orchestras, and appears several times each season with the BBC Symphony and BBC Scottish Symphony orchestras in subscription and at the BBC Proms.

Collon, Nicholas

Nicholas
Collon
Conductor

Nicholas Collon is establishing an enviable reputation as a commanding and inspirational interpreter in an exceptionally wide range of music.  As founder and Principal Conductor of Aurora Orchestra he has promoted imaginative programming that integrates challenging repertoire from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries with masterworks of the Classical and Romantic eras.  Nicholas and Aurora were winners of Best Ensemble at the 2011 Royal Philharmonic Society Awards and Nicholas is the recipient of the 2012 Critics’ Circle Award for Exceptional Young Talent.

Having made a very successful debut at the BBC Proms in 2010, Nicholas has been re-invited each successive year with Aurora Orchestra, the London Sinfonietta and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group.  With Aurora Nicholas leads the New Moves series, a unique three-year cross-arts residency at LSO St Luke’s which has included critically acclaimed collaborations with capoeira, film, theatre, tango, and literature.

In addition to his work with Aurora, he is increasingly in demand as a guest conductor with other ensembles in the UK and abroad. In recent seasons Nicholas has worked with ensembles including the Philhamonia, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, the BBC and Royal Philharmonics, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Northern Sinfonia, Academy of Ancient Music and Ensemble Intercontemporain.

Nicholas has recently appeared with ENO with The Magic Flute, WNO for Jonathan Harvey’s Wagner Dream, and Glyndebourne on Tour with Britten’s Rape of Lucretia.  Other operatic highlights have included  special projects at Glyndebourne conducting new works, The Knight Crew by Julian Phillips and Imago  by Orlando Gough. With the Opera Group he has conducted the first performances of Elena Langer’s The Lion’s Face and Luke Bedford’s Seven Angels, the latter with BCMG.

Image Credit: 
Maximilian Baillie

Davis, Sir Andrew

Sir Andrew
Davis
Conductor
Born in 1944 in Hertfordshire, England, Andrew Davis studied at King’s College, Cambridge, where he was an organ scholar before taking up the baton. His diverse repertoire ranges from baroque to contemporary, and his vast conducting credits span the symphonic and operatic and choral worlds. Sir Andrew is a great proponent of twentieth-century works including those by Janáček, Messiaen, Boulez, Elgar, Tippett, and Britten, in addition to the core symphonic and operatic composers.
With the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Davis has led concerts at the London Proms and on tour to Hong Kong, Japan, the US, and Europe. He has conducted all of the major orchestras of the world from the Chicago Symphony to the Berlin Philarmonic to the Royal Concertgebouw, and at opera houses and festivals throughout the world including the Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and the Bayreuth Festival.
 
Since 2000, Sir Andrew Davis has served as Music Director & Principal Conductor of Lyric Opera of Chicago. He is the Conductor Laureate of the Toronto Symphony (having previously served as the Principal Conductor), the Conductor Laureate of the BBC Symphony Orchestra (having served as the 2nd longest running Chief Conductor since its founder, Sir Adrian Boult) and the former Music Director of the Glyndebourne Festival Opera.
 
Image Credit: 
Dan Rest

Hazlewood, Charles

Charles
Hazlewood
Conductor
Charles Hazlewood is one of the most dynamic British musicians of his generation. Currently principal guest conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra, he also guest conducts many leading UK and world orchestras. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2003, and BBC Proms debut in 2006.
 
As music director of contemporary ensemble Excellent Device (formed in 1991), Hazlewood has blazed a trail in new ways of approaching music; its sister orchestra, Harmonieband, fearures leading UK period instrumentalists. Hazlewood is music director and co-founder of the Cape Town-based lyric theatre company Dimpho Di Kopane; as a composer, he has conceived the music for Yiimimngaliso (The Mysteries), Ibali Loo Tsotsi (The Beggar's Opera), and The Snow Queen, premiered in New York in 2004.
 
As part of his drive to engage the maximum number of people with music, Hazlewood is known to millions as "the face of classical music" (The Daily Telegraph) for BBC TV, in addition to presenting Discovering Music on BBC Radio 3 and the Sony Award-winning Charles Hazlewood Show on BBC Radio 2 broadcast from his farm in rural Somerset.
 
Future projects include a new album and film combining Excellent Device with Welsh rock band Super Furry Animals, and creating a brand new fully-staged version of Handel's Messiah, and a landmark series for the BBC on the history of British music.

Tilson Thomas, Michael

Michael
Tilson Thomas
Conductor

Michael Tilson Thomas is Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony and Principal Guest Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra. Born in Los Angeles, he began his formal studies at the University of Southern California, thereafter working with Stravinsky, Boulez, Stockhausen and Copland on premieres of their compositions at Los Angeles' Monday Evening Concerts. During this same period he was the pianist and conductor for Gregor Piatigorsky and Jascha Heifetz.

In 1969, after winning the Koussevitzky Prize at Tanglewood, he was appointed Assistant Conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He was Music Director of the Buffalo Philharmonic from 1971-79 and a Principal Guest Conductor of the Los Angeles Philharmonic from 1981 to 1985. His guest conducting includes appearances with the major orchestras of Europe and the United States.

His recorded repertoire of more than 120 discs includes works by composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Mahler, Prokofiev and Stravinsky as well as his pioneering work with the music of Charles Ives, Carl Ruggles, Steve Reich, John Cage, Ingolf Dahl, Morton Feldman, George Gershwin, John McLaughlin and Elvis Costello. He recently finished recording the complete orchestral works of Gustav Mahler with the San Francisco Symphony.

As Principal Conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra from 1988 to 1995, Mr. Tilson Thomas led the orchestra on regular tours in Europe, the United States and Japan as well as at the Salzburg Festival. In London he and the orchestra have mounted major festivals focusing on the music of Steve Reich, George Gershwin, Johannes Brahms, Toru Takemitsu, Nicolai Rimsky-Korsakov and the School of St. Petersburg, Claude Debussy and Gustav Mahler. As Principal Guest Conductor of the LSO, he continues to lead the orchestra in concerts in London and on tour.

His fifteen-year tenure as Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony has been broadly covered by the international press with feature stories in Time, Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, The Times of London and The Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung among many others. With the San Francisco Symphony he has presented eight summer festivals including ones devoted to the music of Mahler, Stravinsky, Wagner and American Mavericks. With the San Francisco Symphony he has made numerous tours of Europe, United States and the Far East.

 

van Steen, Jac

Jac
van Steen
Conductor

Jac van Steen (born 1956 in Eindhoven)  studied music theory, as well as orchestral and choral conducting, at the Brabants Conservatory of Music.

In the Netherlands, van Steen was conductor and music director of the Nijmegen Bach Choir from 1986 to 1990. From 1989 to 1994, he was the Music Director of Het Nationale Ballet in Amsterdam. Since 1992, he has been on the faculty at the Royal Conservatory of music and dance in The Hague.

From 1997 to 2002, van Steen was Chief Conductor of the Nürnberger Symphoniker. He has also served as Music Director of the Neues Berliner Kammerorchester. From 2002 to 2005, he was Music Director of Deutsches Nationaltheater Weimar and Chief Conductor of the Staatskapelle Weimar. van Steen was chief conductor of the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur from 2002 to 2008. Since 2005, he has been Principal Guest Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

In 2008, van Steen became Generalmusikdirektor of the Dortmunder Philharmoniker (Dortmund Philharmonic Orchestra).

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DESCRIPTION

NMC explores the rich offerings of its back catalogue in a new mid-price series called New Music Collections: each album introduces different areas of contemporary classical music, with the first four volumes focusing on music written for choir, orchestra, piano and electronics.

REVIEWS

'Outstanding. This is a very superior sampler ... a survey as representative as it is kaleidoscopic' The Sunday Times
 

‘There was something revelatory about the experience of listening to the 207+ minutes of music contained in these albums. Taken as a whole, they testify to the remarkable breadth of NMC’s output in its 25-year existence, and individually, they illustrate something of the impressive variety to be found in music by British composers. […] Any label whose catalogue includes such diverse figures as Giles Swayne, Michael Finnissy, Christopher Fox, Harrison Birtwistle, Donnacha Dennehy, Roger Smalley, Claudia Molitor, Richard Causton, Hugh Watkins, Richard Rodney Bennett, Simon Holt, Tansy Davies and James Dillon surely has a great deal to boast about. […] What these four albums do best is act as portals, points of departure from which one can take a huge number of entirely different trajectories.’ 5:4

RECORDING CREDITS

Catalogue number:
NMC D206
Release Date:
31 March 2014