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  • Friday, May 16, 2014
    Barbican Presents "Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records" Marathon Weekend

    This weekend, the Barbican in London presents its 2014 marathon weekend celebrating Nonesuch Records in the label's 50th anniversary year. 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, and the Barbican Hall. 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, Louis AndriessenHenryk Górecki, Donnacha Dennehy, and more.

    Tune in to BBC Radio 3's Music Matters Saturday at 12:15 PM BST and BBC 6 Music's Freak Zone on Sunday at 8 PM for more on the events and the label and interviews with Nonesuch President Bob Hurwitz.

    The marathon weekend is part of a wider Nonesuch celebration at the Barbican that includes further one-off concerts and collaborations throughout the month of May, featuring a breadth of artists associated with the label and in the spirit of it. The satellite events kicked off in a double bill with Rokia Traoré and Devendra Banhart on May 2, which musicOMH says "demonstrated the many-faceted nature of the label and ensured the series began in fine style." Natalie Merchant continued the festivities with two sold-out concerts at Milton Court Concert Hall last weekend, to which musicOMH gives a perfect five stars, and Kronos Quartet celebrated its own 40th anniversary season at Barbican Hall earlier this week, to which the Financial Times gives four stars, citing the quartet's having "done so much to expand the art form's boundaries." The concerts continue later in the month with Jeremy Denk performing Bach's Goldberg Variations and Ligeti's Etudes at LSO St Luke’s on May 24; Emmylou Harris performing from her groundbreaking album Wrecking Ball in two sold-out shows at Barbican Hall May 25 and 26; an evening with Caetano Veloso on May 27; and a kora duo set from Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté on May 30.

    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.

    EXPLORATIONS WEEKEND

    SESSION ONE
    Saturday 17 May 2014 / 13:00, LSO St Luke’s
    This sold-out session sees two 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) and Donnacha Dennehy's One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán); 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. The program also includes Louis Andriessen's Workers Union and Sam Amidon and Nico Muhly's The Only Tune, for which Amidon will join in on vocals.

    SESSION TWO
    Saturday 17 May / 19:30, 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.

    SESSION THREE
    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.

    SESSION FOUR
    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.

    SESSION FIVE
    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.

    Journal Articles:Artist News

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Barbican Presents "Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records" Marathon Weekend

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on May 14, 2014 - 1:42pm
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Friday, May 16, 2014 - 12:00
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This weekend, the Barbican presents its 2014 marathon weekend celebrating Nonesuch Records at 50. Entitled Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records, this curated weekend of events includes five London concerts taking place in LSO St Luke's, Milton Court Concert Hall, and the Barbican Hall. Featured among the weekend's events are 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, Louis Andriessen, Henryk Górecki, Donnacha Dennehy, and more. Satellite events continue later in the month from Jeremy Denk, Emmylou Harris, Caetano Veloso, and Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté.

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This weekend, the Barbican in London presents its 2014 marathon weekend celebrating Nonesuch Records in the label's 50th anniversary year. 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, and the Barbican Hall. 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, Louis AndriessenHenryk Górecki, Donnacha Dennehy, and more.

Tune in to BBC Radio 3's Music Matters Saturday at 12:15 PM BST and BBC 6 Music's Freak Zone on Sunday at 8 PM for more on the events and the label and interviews with Nonesuch President Bob Hurwitz.

The marathon weekend is part of a wider Nonesuch celebration at the Barbican that includes further one-off concerts and collaborations throughout the month of May, featuring a breadth of artists associated with the label and in the spirit of it. The satellite events kicked off in a double bill with Rokia Traoré and Devendra Banhart on May 2, which musicOMH says "demonstrated the many-faceted nature of the label and ensured the series began in fine style." Natalie Merchant continued the festivities with two sold-out concerts at Milton Court Concert Hall last weekend, to which musicOMH gives a perfect five stars, and Kronos Quartet celebrated its own 40th anniversary season at Barbican Hall earlier this week, to which the Financial Times gives four stars, citing the quartet's having "done so much to expand the art form's boundaries." The concerts continue later in the month with Jeremy Denk performing Bach's Goldberg Variations and Ligeti's Etudes at LSO St Luke’s on May 24; Emmylou Harris performing from her groundbreaking album Wrecking Ball in two sold-out shows at Barbican Hall May 25 and 26; an evening with Caetano Veloso on May 27; and a kora duo set from Toumani & Sidiki Diabaté on May 30.

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.

EXPLORATIONS WEEKEND

SESSION ONE
Saturday 17 May 2014 / 13:00, LSO St Luke’s
This sold-out session sees two 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) and Donnacha Dennehy's One Hundred Goodbyes (Céad Slán); 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. The program also includes Louis Andriessen's Workers Union and Sam Amidon and Nico Muhly's The Only Tune, for which Amidon will join in on vocals.

SESSION TWO
Saturday 17 May / 19:30, 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.

SESSION THREE
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.

SESSION FOUR
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.

SESSION FIVE
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.

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Barbican: Explorations: The Sound of Nonesuch Records, May 2014c

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