NMC Release Highlights 2018
'Massive and mesmerising ... one of the most remarkable orchestral achievements of the last half-century' The Guardian ★★★★★
'Ferneyhough's 75th birthday could not have been more fittingly marked' Gramophone
MUSICWEB RECORDING OF THE MONTH
‘Lucid, intricately detailed and rewarding’ MusicWeb International
'He takes rapidly moving strands of sound and weaves them into inventive textures, producing quirky, sparkly effects' BBC Music Magazine
‘A smelling-salts wake-up to the dangers of cultural complacency’ BBC Music Magazine ★★★★★
'If you only buy one classical disc advocating LSD and sodomy, make it this one' Gramophone
‘see if it doesn’t make you drop everything & listen to it all the way through’ AllMusic
‘One has the impression that Hamilton composes with a barely suppressed grin.
It is infectious' Composition Today
‘Onyx Noir is a brave and often brilliant collection of works.’ All About Jazz
‘an interesting and innovative recording’ The Jazz Mann
'The composers move between jazz and classical music - terrific sound and playing' Gramophone
'[A] superb performance from the Hallé Children's Choir who sing as if this was the most natural piece in the world, despite the complex concepts, tricky textures and large scale' Planet Hugill
‘A splashy, technicolour portrayal of ‘the birth of Earth’’ BBC Music Magazine ★★★★
‘The performances throughout are excellent and involving’ Gramophone
'Celebrating women composers in the centenary year of female suffrage in the UK ... a haunting processional [Rogers] ... edgy and often violent [Bowler] ... shakuhachi-flavoured melodic shapes [Tann]' BBC Music Magazine
‘Music of quirky dancing energy and humour mingled with mystery … delightfully unpredictable’ The Telegraph ★★★★
‘Cutler’s music is profoundly characterful … a varied and wonderfully entertaining disc’ Planet Hugill
ALLMUSIC EDITOR'S CHOICE 2018
SEQUENZA21 BEST CHAMBER MUSIC CD 2018
INTERNATIONAL CLASSICAL MUSIC AWARDS NOMINATION 2019
NMC Recordings, the leading charity record label devoted to the promotion of British contemporary classical music, seeks to appoint two Trustees to help us develop and deliver our strategic plans for securing our financial future, acting as an occasional advisor to our small team.
We are looking for two people who are passionate about the arts and who are interested in taking this award-winning organisation to a new phase in its 30-year history. As a trustee you will get to put your existing skills into practice and learn new ones supported by other trustees.
We have two vacancies and are looking for:
- One Trustee with specialist fundraising knowledge
- One Trustee with campaigning and charity legislation knowledge
Come along to ISM's event, The Empowered Musician, a day of discussion and discovery, with innovative musicians and leading music industry experts sharing their experiences, crucial insider knowledge and essential tips for success. It will take place on Thursday 4 October 2018 at Milton Court in London.
Speakers lined up for the event include NMC's General Manager Eleanor Wilson, Darren Henley (Arts Council England), Becky Farrell (IMG Artists UK) and Chris Carey (previously EMI and Universal Music) among others...
Deborah Annetts, Chief Executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians said:
‘Today’s music industry and the advancements in technology, the growth of the digital space and the complexities of contracts, copyright and royalties amongst other vital components brings unique opportunities and challenges for the music profession like never before.
We invite all performers and composers working in every genre to join us on 4 October for inspiring, empowering and dynamic discussions about what it means to be a musician in 2018 and beyond: digital futures and streaming platforms, essential legal and business skills, how to make your music projects a reality, and how to stay well throughout your career.’
This event will bring together hundreds of musicians and leading practitioners from across the industry and will include live music from Fitkinwall, Beatbox Collective and Riot Jazz. You will have the opportunity to network over refreshments, lunch and post-event cocktails, all of which are included in the ticket price.
We introduce you to the best recent releases from the contemporary classical world in our new playlist, NMC Curates. We will feature new music from the NMC Recordings catalogue and beyond, with new tracks added bi-weekly. Follow to stay updated.
We’re partnering with National Youth Choirs of Great Britain on their Young Composers Scheme, a new initiative which aims to annually identify and develop four talented composers aged 18-25 who are passionate about creating new music for vocal ensembles.
The scheme will run over one year and will offer residential courses, mentoring, workshops and performance showcases. Professional mentoring will be led by NYCGB Artistic Director Ben Parry and NMC composer Anna Meredith.
The deadline for applications is Monday 17 September 2018, for guidelines and application forms, visit the NYCGB page.
Oliver Knussen "irreplaceable mentor to his fellow composers"
We are deeply saddened by the news of the death of composer/conductor Oliver Knussen at the age of 66. Here is an extract from the obituary Colin Matthews (NMC's Executive Producer, and good friend of Olly's) has written for the Guardian.
Oliver Knussen, who has died aged 66, was a towering figure in contemporary music, as composer and conductor, teacher and artistic director. The relatively small size of his compositional output conceals music of exceptional refinement and subtlety – a few bars of Knussen may have more impact than whole movements by lesser composers.
Besides definitive interpretations of his own music, he must surely have given more first performances than any other conductor, alongside an outstanding body of recordings. He was the central focus of so many activities, and an irreplaceable mentor to his fellow composers, who constantly sought and relied on his advice and encouragement ...
But any sense of Olly (as everyone knew him) belonging to the establishment would have been an illusion. He was too big a figure to fit into any easily defined category. He had a voracious appetite for knowledge, with a special love for films – he was a Hitchcock obsessive and became friends with Jim Jarmusch – and painting: he had a fascination for obscure artists such as Joachim Patinir and Ivan Bilibin. But above all his consuming passion was for music. I can think of no composer into whom he could not offer insights, although his taste was very much for the 19th and 20th centuries. It was a love that could and did get in the way of composing: it was as if every bar that he wrote was measured against all the music that he knew, and this explains the almost painfully slow process by which his music was written, and the number of fragments left behind.
He had close friendships with most of the major 20th-century composers – Takemitsu, Hans Werner Henze, Elliott Carter (whose late works he championed), Mauricio Kagel, Harrison Birtwistle and Alexander Goehr, among many others. He even established a relationship with Karlheinz Stockhausen, and loved to tell the story of how, when he said to him “You can call me Olly”, the reply came back “You can call me Stockhausen.”
Although he leaves a wonderful legacy of performance, it is primarily as a composer that he would want to be remembered. It makes it all the more regrettable that, although he gave less time to conducting, due to the ill health which dogged his last years, this did not mean – as he said to me in hope only a couple of months ago – that he would have time to write the music that was in his head, and which would undoubtedly have taken him in new and rewarding directions.
Full obituary on the Guardian website here
photo by David Sillitoe