ARTISTS

King, Mary

Mary
King
mezzo-soprano

Mary's career has encompassed a wide range of roles, including that of performer, teacher, coach and most recently broadcaster and writer. A popular and highly experienced mezzo soprano, Mary has worked with leading conductors and numerous orchestras across the world, and has made a particular feature of the contemporary classical repertoire.

Mary's versatility as a performer has allowed her career to encompass a wide range of vocal genres, from opera, oratorio, chamber music and recital through to musical theatre and straight plays.

She has had a long involvement with outreach and teaching, working with all the major companies in the UK as well as running training programmes both at home and abroad. During Mary's long association with English National Opera, she devised and ran a highly successful performance skills course, 'The Knack', for eleven years, and between 2004 and 2006 she was also an Artistic Associate for the company.

In September 2006, Mary became Head of Singing at Millennium Performing Arts Ltd., now based in new premises in Woolwich, South East London. In November of the same year, she was also appointed Director of Voicelab, a new initiative at London's Southbank Centre. From casting for professional projects to creating and training numerous choirs and small ensembles, Mary is at the heart of vocal activity at the Southbank Centre, encouraging vocal talent in all its manifestations.

van de Wiel, Mark

Mark
van de Wiel
clarinet

Mark van de Wiel was born in Northampton, and educated at Merton College, Oxford and the Royal College of Music. He was immediately appointed principal clarinettist with the Welsh National Opera and subsequently with Glyndebourne Touring Opera. Since 2000 he has been Principal Clarinet with the Philharmonia Orchestra and was appointed principal with the London Sinfonietta in 2002.

As a soloist he has performed with the Philharmonia, London Sinfonietta, London Chamber Orchestra (in La Scala, Milan), Thames Chamber Orchestra, Mozart Festival Orchestra (on a major UK tour), Welsh National Opera Orchestra, English Classical Players, Arhus Orchestra, Belgrade Strings, and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. He is particularly well known for his performances of contemporary music, and has given many premières. Solo highlights this season include the UK première of Sir John Taverner's Cantus Mysticus with the London Sinfonietta at the Proms, the London première of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies' Clarinet Quintet with the Brodsky Quartet at Kings Place, Graham Fitkin's Agnostic with the London Chamber Orchestra at St. John's Smith Square, and the Mozart Concerto with the Mozart Festival Orchestra in the UK and Switzerland.

Mark was principal clarinettist with the Composers’ Ensemble from 1992-2000, and has been principal clarinettist with the Endymion Ensemble since its formation. He is also principal with the London Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared for several years as the clarinet and basset horn soloist in the production of Mozart’s La Clemenza di Tito at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich.

Mark's services to music have been recognised with an Honorary Associateship from the Royal Academy of Music, where he is a Professor, and with an Honorary Doctorate from Northampton University.

BCMG

BCMG
BCMG was formed in 1987 from within the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and is established as one of Europe’s leading ensembles.   Sir Simon Rattle is the Group’s Founding Patron and has conducted BCMG in the UK, on tour in Europe and America, and on several EMI recordings. The Group has strong relationships with its two Artists-in-Association Oliver Knussen and John Woolrich, and also with Thomas Adès who conducts the Group during 2006/07 in Birmingham, London, Cologne and Paris, and with whom BCMG is invited to Carnegie Hall, New York in 2008. BCMG was awarded The Arts Ball 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award and has also won prestigious Prudential, Royal Philharmonic Society, Gramophone and PRS Millennial awards. In May 2005, BCMG was awarded the Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Audience Development for its popular Rural Tours programme.
 
The core of BCMG's work is the performance of new music, and the Group has premiered over 100 new works by leading UK and overseas composers. Most have been commissioned with the help of a large number of individuals through BCMG’s ground-breaking Sound Investmentscheme. The Group regularly tours nationally and internationally. Recent UK engagements have included appearances at the Aldeburgh and Cheltenham Festivals, and at the BBC Proms with Birmingham Opera Company for Benjamin Britten’s CurlewRiver.  In April 2006, the Group toured the UK with New York-based jazz trumpeter, Dave Douglas, performing Blue Latitudes, a piece commissioned through BCMG’s Sound Investment scheme. Previous projects have included a European tour with Sir Simon Rattle in 2000, a tour of India in 2002 with Judith Weir and Indian storyteller Vayu Naidu and visits to the Berlin, Radio France Présences and Vienna’s Wien Modern Festivals, Denmark, Sweden and Portugal.   
 
BCMG is committed to engaging the widest possible range of people with its work, and runs extensive learning and audience-building programmes in pursuit of this aim. Projects with young people in and out of school and with adults in a range of community settings are complemented by free performance projects such as the Group’s popular ‘Rural Tours’, Late-Night performances and Meet-the-Composer days. BCMG broadcasts often on BBC Radio, has made TV programmes for BBC and Independent Television, and numerous CD recordings.  The relationship with NMC is particularly strong, with the recent launch of a new CD of Britten’s film music and several more discs planned.

Asbury, Stefan

Stefan
Asbury
Conductor

In demand with leading orchestras worldwide, Stefan Asbury is renowned for his innovative programming. He has particularly strong relationships with  composers including Oliver Knussen, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Unsuk Chin and Mark Anthony Turnage, and collaborates regularly with Ensemble Modern, Klangforum Wien, Musikfabrik and the London Sinfonietta.

Since 1995 Stefan Asbury has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center and currently holds the Sana H. Sabbagh master teacher chair on the Conducting Faculty which he has held since 2005. He was Music Director of the Remix Ensemble Casa da Musica Porto from 2001-2005, working with them to commissioning and programming an innovative mix of jazz, film and music theatre. From 2011 he has been Chief Conductor of the Noord Nederlands Orkest, after holding the position of Artist in Association with the Tapiola Sinfonietta and working regularly with the Basel Sinfonietta and the NDR Sinfonieorchester (Hamburg). His many opera productions have included John Adams’ A Flowering Tree for the 2009 Perth International Arts Festival, Wolfgang Rihm’s Jakob Lenz for the 2008 Wiener Festwoche, Johannes Maria Staud's Berenice at Munich Biennale and Benjamin Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Karlsruhe.

His recordings include works by Unsuk Chin and Jonathan Harvey with Ensemble Intercontemporain, and an award-winning disc of Gerard Grisey's music with WDR Koln.
 

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COMPOSER:

DESCRIPTION

The title work, which sets a sinous alto flute melody against a background of tuned percussion, is joined by the virtuosic Blue Circus, inspired by a Chagall painting, and So Lonely, a moving setting of two poems by Louis MacNiece.
 

REVIEWS

'Clearly one of the most talented and imaginative composers of his generation' Christopher Morley, Birmingham Post

'His music courses with energy, driven along on high-octane rhythmic invention: it’s constantly diverting, constantly surprising' The Guardian

'Enthralling from first note to last' Musicweb

RECORDING CREDITS

Recording date: 15-18 March 1998

Recording venue: Birmingham Royal Ballet Studios, Birmingham Hippodrome

Engineer: Mike Clements
Producer: Stephen Johns, Colin Matthews 
Editing & mastering: Stephen Johns

Publisher:
Sound And Music/ BMIC
Catalogue number:
NMC D061
Release Date:
1 January 2000