ARTISTS

Serkin, Peter

Peter
Serkin
Piano
Recognized as an artist of passion and integrity, the distinguished American pianist Peter Serkin is one of the most thoughtful and individualistic musicians appearing before the public today. Throughout his career he has successfully conveyed the essence of five centuries of repertoire and his performances with symphony orchestras, recital appearances, chamber music collaborations and recordings are respected worldwide.
 
He has performed with the world’s major symphony orchestras with such eminent conductors as Seiji Ozawa, Pierre Boulez, Daniel Barenboim, Claudio Abbado, Simon Rattle, James Levine, Herbert Blomstedt and Christoph Eschenbach. Also a dedicated chamber musician, Mr. Serkin has collaborated with Alexander Schneider, Pamela Frank, Yo-Yo Ma, and the Budapest, Guarneri and Orion string quartets and TASHI, of which he was a founding member.
 
An avid proponent of the music of many of the 20th and 21st century’s most important composers, Mr. Serkin has been instrumental in bringing the music of Schoenberg, Webern, Berg, Stravinsky, Wolpe, Messiaen, Takemitsu, Henze, Berio, Wuorinen, Goehr, Knussen and Lieberson, among others, to audiences around the world. He has performed many important world premieres, in particular, works by Toru Takemitsu, Peter Lieberson, Oliver Knussen and Alexander Goehr, all of which were written for him, and more recently pieces by Charles Wuorinen and Elliot Carter.
 
Image Credit: 
Kathy Chapman

London Sinfonietta

London Sinfonietta

The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.

The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.

The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.

Knussen, Oliver

Oliver
Knussen
Conductor

Born in Glasgow in 1952, Knussen grew up near London, where his father was principal double bass of the London Symphony Orchestra. It was with the LSO that he made his debut in April 1968, conducting his First Symphony in London and in Carnegie Hall, New York.  In 1970 he was awarded the first of three fellowships to Tanglewood, where he studied with Gunther Schuller. During this time he completed several works which were subsequently widely performed on both sides of the Atlantic and established his early reputation. In 1975 Knussen returned permanently to the UK.

From 1983 till 1998, Knussen was an Artistic Director of the Aldeburgh Festival, and also held posts at the Tanglewood Music Center and with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. In 1992, with Colin Matthews, he established the Contemporary Composition and Performance courses at the Britten-Pears School in Snape.

After many years of close collaboration with the London Sinfonietta, Oliver Knussen became Music Director in 1998, and in 2002 was made Conductor Laureate. In 2006 he was appointed Artist in Association with the BCMG. Among his many awards are Honorary Memberships of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Royal Philharmonic Society, an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and the 2004 Association of British Orchestras Award. In 2006 he was named the second recipient of the Michael Ludwig Nemmers Prize from Northwestern University, USA.

He has guest-conducted in many parts of the world, including in the USA, Canada, Europe and Japan. As a conductor he has recorded more than thirty CDs of contemporary music, several of which have won international awards - these include Robin Holloway's Concerto for Orchestra No.2, which won NMC's first Gramophone Award, and Maxwell Davies' opera Taverner.

He became a CBE in the 1994 Birthday Honours.

Image Credit: 
Clive Barda

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra

BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra
Founded in 1935 by Scottish composer and conductor Ian Whyte, the BBC SSO’s repertoire ranges from highly complex modern scores to the classics, from music by Scottish composers to film and TV scores. Its concert performances and recordings are broadcast exclusively on BBC Radio and television. Its innovative programmes and acclaimed recordings have made it the recipient of numerous awards, including two Gramophone Awards (including NMC D141) and a Grammy nomination. The Royal Philharmonic Society presented the BBC SSO with its award for Best Orchestra in 2002, and its Chief Conductor, Ilan Volkov with the prize for Best Young Artist in 2004.
 
The BBC SSO is especially active in commissioning and promoting new music, having worked with many leading composers over the years from Britten and Shostakovich to Kurtág and Tan Dun: it is especially proud of its support for Scottish composers – including Stuart MacRae, whose music the orchestra has recorded to great acclaim for NMC (on NMC D115).
 
The BBC SSO regularly tours Europe, and in recent years has visited China, the USA and South America. It appears annually at the BBC Proms and Edinburgh International Festival, and is in demand at festivals including Cheltenham, Huddersfield and St. Magnus in Orkney. The orchestra takes live music to towns and cities across Scotland every season, and is increasingly involved in the community, with its learning programme, dedicated to bringing the inspiration of great music to people of all ages and backgrounds.
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COMPOSER:

DESCRIPTION

Two vital orchestral works by this key figure of the celebrated 'Manchester School' of post-war British composers and one of the most influential teachers of composition.

REVIEWS

'So well performed and recorded. This is one of the most substantial and rewarding of NMC's recent releases.'  Hi Fi News & Record Review

FUNDING

Produced in association with BBC Radio 3

RECORDING CREDITS

Recording date: 18 June 1993 (Piano Concerto), 26 September 1992 (Symphony)

Recording venue: Snape Maltings, Suffolk (Piano Concerto), BBC Studio 1, Broadcasting House, Glasgow (Symphony)

Engineers: Steve Portnoi / Tony Kime
Producers: Chris Marshall, Oliver Knussen / Hugh Macdonald / Richard Bernas
Editing & mastering: Marian Freeman

Cover image: Gravestone from Jewish Cemetery, Prague

(P) 1995 NMC Recordings Ltd

Publisher:
Schott Music
Catalogue number:
NMC D023
Release Date:
1 January 1995