New London Chamber Choir

New London Chamber Choir
Founded in 1981, the New London Chamber Choir is an acknowledged star of the European contemporary music scene and one of its foremost vocal ensembles. NLCC performs regularly at European contemporary music festivals, has given many world and British premières, and continues to commission, record, and promote new work. James Weeks was appointed Musical Director in December 2007.
NLCC has enjoyed close and fruitful with relationships with many leading composers including Jonathan Harvey, David Sawer, Luca Francesconi, Mauricio Kagel, György Kurtag, György Ligeti, Toru Takemitsu, its founder-conductor James Wood, and Iannis Xenakis. Among its many premières are works written especially for the Choir by Harvey, Sawer, Francesconi, Wood, and Xenakis. NLCC's recordings include acclaimed CDs of Xenakis, Wood, and Scelsi; their CD of Stravinsky's Les Noces was the top recommendation on BBC Radio 3's 'Building a Library'.
The past few years have seen the choir perform extensively and eclectically, from their own programme of music by Xenakis and James Wood at the BBC Proms via premières of Stockhausen's Litanei 97 and James Wood's Hildegard, touring the latter through the UK, Antwerp and Maastricht.
More recently, NLCC sang Scelsi at the Archipel Festival in Geneva, performed with Throbbing Gristle in the Turbine Hall at Tate Modern and participated in a run of staged performances of Stravinsky's Les Noces at the Barbican, London, under Jurjen Hempel.
Image Credit: 
Morag Galloway

Schick, Steven

Steven Schick was born in Iowa and raised in a farming family. For the past thirty years he has championed contemporary percussion music as a performer and teacher. He studied at the University of Iowa and received the Soloists Diploma from the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany. He has commissioned and premiered more than one hundred new works for percussion and has performed these pieces in major concert series such as Lincoln Center's Great Performers and the Los Angeles Philharmonic's Green Umbrella concerts as well as in international festivals including Warsaw Autumn, the BBC Proms, the Jerusalem Festival, the Holland Festival, the Stockholm International Percussion Event and the Budapest Spring Festival among many others. He has recorded many of those works for SONY Classical, Wergo, Point, CRI, Neuma and Cantaloupe Records. He has been regular guest lecturer at the Rotterdam Conservatory, and the Royal College of Music in London.
Schick is Professor of Music at the University of California, San Diego and Lecturer in Percussion at the Manhattan School of Music. Schick was the percussionist of the Bang on a Can All-Stars of New York City from 1992-2002. From 2000 to 2004, he served as Artistic Director of the Centre International de Percussion de Genève in Geneva, Switzerland. Steven Schick is the founder and Artistic Director of the percussion group, "red fish blue fish."

Kato, Kuniko


Kuniko is a soloist who is one of the most promising and innovative percussionists on the contemporary music scene today.  She has performed and collaborated with various world renowned composers, conductors and orchestras and has worked with Franco Donatoni, James Wood, Toru Takemitsu, Seiji Ozawa and Steve Reich.  As well as solo work in Asia, Europe and the USA she has performed as a member of orchestra and ensemble groups such as Saito Kinen Orchestra, Ensemble ICTUS (Belgium) and Ensemble NOMAD (Tokyo).

This multi-faceted musician collaborates in the creative art scene with renowned artists from different genres of performing arts such as dancer Megumi Nakamura, theatre director Satoshi Miyagi  and Za Ondecoza of the Japanese Taiko Troop.  Kaniko is strongly committed to music education through various forms of percussion workshops and also frequently conducts open-rehearsal and master classes in conjunction with her solo concert series.  Since 2004 she has been conducting a series of log drum (slit drum) workshops for children with mental impairment.

Image Credit: 
Masao Ohta

Wood, James

James Wood is known for his wide-ranging activities as composer, conductor,and formerly as viruoso percussionist, and for a close association with an exceptionally broad spectrum of music from the middle ages to the present day. In 1981 he founded the highly acclaimed New London Chamber Choir, of which he was principal conductor for over 25 years until his move to Germany in April 2007. During the last 10 years he has worked regularly with the Netherlands Radio Choir, RundfunkChor Berlin, RIAS Kammerchor, SWR Vokalensemble, Champ d’Action and musikFabrik, and is also in demand as guest conductor from many international ensembles, choirs and orchestras throughout Europe.
James Wood has enjoyed close working relationships with many distinguished composers such as Iannis Xenakis, Mauricio Kagel, Kaija Saariaho, Gyorgy Kurtag, Alejandro Viñ, Steve Reich, Jonathan Harvey and Karlheinz Stockhausen. As a composer his interests have led to a wide range of works for almost every conceivable genre. He has realised commissions from such diverse sources as the Arditti Quartet, IRCAM, the ARD, Percussions de Strasbourg and the BBC Proms.


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Three works that reflect the exotic and sensuous geometry of Wood's output: the energetic and iridescent percussion concerto, Two Men Meet, Each Presuming the Other to be from a Distant Planet; Phainomena, characterised by meditative, swirling choral textures; and the highly charged concerto for quarter-tone marimba, Venancio Mbande Talking with the Trees.


"James Wood is an all-round musical explorer of a philosophical cast of mind yet with an ardent Messiaen-like sensibility... each piece is an ambitious synthesis of music and the world."
The Sunday Times 1997


Recording date: 13 November 1993 (Phainomena), 13 September 1995 (Two Men Meet), 29 April 1997 (Venancio Mbande)

Recording venue: Rosslyn Hil Chapel, Hampstead (Phainomena), St Silas Church, London

Engineer: Mike Skeet , John Whiting
Producer: Paul Webster (Phainomena), Anthony Burton, James Wood 
Editing & mastering: John Taylor

Cover image: Marlena Novak: Song in Memory of the Harvest (1990)

(P) 1997 NMC Recordings Ltd

Catalogue number:
NMC D044
Release Date:
1 September 1997