Barbican to Present "Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records" Marathon Weekend, May 17 & 18, 2014
The Barbican's 2014 marathon weekend, May 17 and 18, will celebrate Nonesuch Records in the label's 50th anniversary year. Entitled Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records, this curated weekend of events includes five concerts taking place in LSO St Luke's, Guildhall School's new Milton Court Concert Hall, and the Barbican Hall, with performances from Jonny Greenwood, Kronos Quartet, Brad Mehldau, Timo Andres, Sam Amidon, Natalie Merchant, Rhiannon Giddens, Olivia Chaney, and others performing works by Greenwood, Mehldau, Andres, Steve Reich, John Adams, Philip Glass, Frederic Rzewski, Henryk Górecki, Donnacha Dennehy, and more. Satellite events will include Kronos at 40 (May 13) and Jeremy Denk (May 24) with further events to be announced.
Following previous May weekends dedicated to the influence of Steve Reich (2011) and curated by Nico Muhly (2013), the Barbican's marathon weekend in 2014 celebrates Nonesuch Records in the label's 50th anniversary year, May 17 and 18, 2014. Entitled Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records, this curated weekend of events includes five London concerts taking place in LSO St Luke's, Guildhall School's new Milton Court Concert Hall (daytime sessions), and the Barbican Hall (evening sessions). Featured among the weekend's events are performances by artists including Jonny Greenwood, Kronos Quartet, Brad Mehldau, Timo Andres, Sam Amidon, Natalie Merchant, Rhiannon Giddens, Olivia Chaney, and others performing works by Greenwood, Mehldau, Andres, Steve Reich, John Adams, Philip Glass, Frederic Rzewski, Henryk Górecki, Donnacha Dennehy, and more.
The marathon weekend is part of a wider Nonesuch celebration at the Barbican that will include further one-off concerts and collaborations throughout May 2014, featuring a breadth of artists associated with the label and in the spirit of it. Satellite events will include Kronos at 40 (Barbican Hall, May 13) and Jeremy Denk (LSO St Luke’s, May 24) with further events to be announced.
There will also be a Creative Learning program including performances in primary schools to introduce students to music released on Nonesuch as well as work with emerging young musicians and Nonesuch artists to inspire a future generation of music makers.
Saturday 17 May 2014 / 13:00, LSO St Luke’s
Session one sees three pioneering ensembles presenting minimalist classics and new chamber music, including the Kronos Quartet performing Steve Reich’s piece for string quartet and tape Different Trains (1988); Ireland's Crash Ensemble presenting Philip Glass’s Beckett-inspired Company (1984), John Adams’s Shaker Loops (1978) and Frederic Rzewski’s Coming Together—featuring Gavin Friday, former frontman of seminal post-punk band Virgin Prunes; and chamber group NOW Ensemble introducing music by young, post-minimalist American composers.
Saturday 17 May / 19:00, Barbican Hall
Session two explores areas where contemporary music, jazz and leftfield rock meet and includes two European premieres: Weaving together treatments of five songs from Brian Eno's classic '70s recordings, Timo Andres’s Paraphrase (European premiere) is performed by Britten Sinfonia (with the composer playing the piano part himself) conducted by Clark Rundell, alongside Steve Reich’s recent instrumental Radio Rewrite—a reimagining of two of Radiohead’s songs: "Jigsaw Falling Into Place" and "Everything in Its Right Place." Brad Mehldau performs his Variations on a Melancholy Theme (European premiere)—which he says sounds "as if Brahms woke up one day and had the blues"—while Kronos Quartet pays tribute to one of minimalism’s founding fathers, Terry Riley.
Sunday 18 May / 11:00, Milton Court Concert Hall
Session three features contemporary piano music performed by some of the most virtuosic young players around: Steve Reich’s Piano Phase and John Adams’s Hallelujah Junction—both pieces are works for two pianos—are performed by New York–based pianist and composer Timo Andres—who enchanted critics and audiences with his inspired performance of Philip Glass’s Piano Etudes in his London debut at the Barbican last year—and David Kaplan. Piano pieces from Andres’s 2010 Nonesuch debut, Shy and Mighty, also get a spin, while Brad Mehldau introduces an exclusive solo improvisation from the stage.
Sunday 18 May / 14:00, Milton Court Concert Hall
Session four includes new arrangements of traditional folk song and new collaborations: The first half of the concert features Crash Ensemble who are joined by singer Iarla Ó Lionáird performing Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy’s Grá agus Bás, which is featured on the 2011 album of the same name and which was inspired by a number of traditional sean-nós songs. In the second half of the concert Kronos Quartet joins forces with four of the most celebrated roots artists within the Nonesuch family for a world premiere collaboration: Sam Amidon, Natalie Merchant, Rhiannon Giddens, and Olivia Chaney. Delving deep into the American folk songbook, each soloist will sing all new arrangements of old folk songs, commissioned and performed by Kronos Quartet.
Sunday 18 May / 19:30, Barbican Hall
Session five sees Radiohead guitarist and former BBC Concert Orchestra Composer in Residence Jonny Greenwood perform Steve Reich’s legendary piece for electric guitar and tape, Electric Counterpoint. He will also play ondes martenot with the BBC Concert Orchestra under conductor André de Ridder for his own score from the Oscar-winning film There Will Be Blood. The program also features Henryk Górecki’s Symphony No. 3 (with soprano Jessica Rivera), also known as Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, which is recognized as one of the most affecting and spellbinding works of the late 20th century. Inspired by stories of children separated from their families during World War II, the piece premiered in 1977, and—since its release by Nonesuch in 1992—it has become one of the biggest classical music sellers of all time.
EXPLORATIONS: THE SOUND OF NONESUCH RECORDS – SATELLITE EVENTS
KRONOS AT 40
A one-of-a-kind 40th-anniversary celebration featuring new music by Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner and more
Tuesday 13 May 2014 / 20:00, Barbican Hall
Kronos Quartet continues its tradition of storied Barbican appearances in this one-of-a-kind 40th-anniversary celebration. The evening features commissioned works by favorite composers and collaborators from throughout Kronos's history, including a UK premiere by Philip Glass and a world premiere by Bryce Dessner (guitarist of The National), plus works to be announced. Kronos is joined onstage by Dessner.
Bach Goldberg Variations and Ligeti Études
Saturday 24 May 2014 / 19:30, LSO St Luke's
Jeremy Denk is one of today's most insightful pianists and in addition to being a compelling performer, his writing on music has been praised by Alex Ross for its "arresting sensitivity and wit." In 2012, Denk was awarded a MacArthur Foundation award, popularly known as the MacArthur "genius grant." In a typically thought-provoking program, Denk precedes Bach’s Goldberg Variations with a selection of études by Ligeti. Denk writes: "Both Ligeti's Études and Bach's Goldbergs are about finding infinite possibility from a simple, single premise—following an idea to its utmost consequences. Ligeti's trips to infinity tend to end in disintegration, so that the first half of the program is about the thrill and allure of chaos, the dangerous ride, the impossibility of control. In the second half, Bach rebuilds the world that Ligeti has torn apart."
Before the concert, at 5:30 PM, Denk introduces a screening of the DVD video liner notes that accompany his recent release of the work on Nonesuch.
Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records tickets will go on sale to Barbican members today, January 23, and will be on general sale starting tomorrow, January 24. For tickets, visit barbican.org.uk.
Friday, February 17, 2017Friday, February 17, 2017
This President’s Day weekend, The Staves tour West Coast … San Francisco Symphony performs John Adams … Devendra Banhart heads south … Jeremy Denk joins Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra … Emmylou Harris is aboard Cayamo cruise … Kronos Quartet is in Geneva … Lake Street Dive tours Northeast … Brad Mehldau Trio tours Europe … Chris Thile hosts A Prairie Home Companion in St. Paul, holds artist talk in Atlanta … and more …
Friday, February 17, 2017Friday, February 17, 2017
Shye Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express will perform music from their album Junun as the opening act for Radiohead in select cities on the band's sold-out European tour: at the Spektrum in Oslo on June 6 and 7, Ericsson Globe in Stockholm on June 9, 3 Arena in Dublin on June 20, and Manchester Arena on July 4 and 5. Ben Tzur and the Rajasthan Express will also perform at the Primavera Sound festival in Barcelona on June 3 and Best Kept Secret in the Netherlands on June 18. The Times of London calls Junun "intriguing, sinuous, and essential listening."