London Symphony Orchestra presents James MacMillan: Artist Portrait 2009/10

including world premiere of his Violin Concerto performed by Vadim Repin

Kristjan Järvi teams up with young London Symphony Orchestra On Track musicians from East London plus soloists from the London Symphony Orchestra to perform James MacMillan’s Into the Ferment. In the first half the LSO St Luke’s Fusion Orchestra premieres a new work written in collaboration with composer/producer Nitin Sawhney.

James MacMillan will be the LSO’s Artist Portrait throughout the LSO’s 2009/10 season, a series which begins in the 50th birthday year of the composer. There will be a performance of the St John Passion, a piece that received its world premiere in April 2008 and was commissioned by the LSO to celebrate LSO President Sir Colin Davis’ 80th birthday and recorded on the LSO’s own label, LSO Live.

"The LSO Artist Portrait is a great way for the LSO to focus on those artists with whom it has a special relationship. We are delighted that James MacMillan is our focus for the 2009-10 season. He shares the LSO's commitment to education and as James has a close bond with LSO musicians, this is an ideal opportunity to develop and explore that further.” - Kathryn McDowell, LSO Managing Director

The LSO has enjoyed a long and fruitful relationship with James over many years and has been involved in the commissioning of six works; The World's Ransoming commissioned for Principal Cor Anglais Christine Pendrill and the LSO (1995-96), Cello Concerto commissioned for Mstislav Rostropovich (1996), Symphony 'Vigil' (1997), A deep but dazzling darkness commissioned to celebrate the opening of LSO St Luke's in 2003, St John Passion commissioned to celebrate LSO President Sir Colin Davis' 80th birthday (April 2008) and the Violin Concerto which will be premiered on 12 May 2010 performed by Vadim Repin and conducted by Valery Gergiev. In addition to the three main season concerts, MacMillan’s Into the Ferment will be performed as part of the LSO Discovery concert in the Barbican on 30 October 2009 and the composer will be working with the young musicians in the lead up to the performance.

"It’s a great honour to have this focus on my music, for my 50th birthday, too. Over the years the LSO has played and commissioned quite a few of my most important pieces, and it is marvellous that it is making a survey of my work. The LSO is marking the season with the premiere of my Violin Concerto, to be performed by Vadim Repin and conducted by Valery Gergiev. I wanted to make this a concerto that both sings and dances. I love the human voice and I always want to draw that out when writing especially for string instruments. And of course as a Scot I’ve grown up with fiddle music. It’s music that can soar, and be expressive and lyrical, and it has also provided music for dance through the centuries. I used to play in folk bands when I was younger and fiddles were always the core part of the music. If I can plug into that reservoir of experience and memory in all forms of folk music, I hope to unleash something that can affect the concerto, that can give it a soul which both sings and dances. There’s another chance to hear Epiclesis, a trumpet concerto I wrote in 1993. It’s a more complex piece that anything I had done up to that point; I was trying to make sense of some of the extra musical and even theological ideas that have always been important to me. It’s wonderful that the Orchestra is doing my St John Passion again, which has become such an important piece for me. I was asked to write a piece to mark the 80th birthday of Sir Colin Davis, a man who has been such an important figure both for this Orchestra and this country over the decades. The premiere was one of the most memorable occasions of my life." - James MacMillan

James MacMillan: Artist Portrait 2009/10
30 October 2009, 7.30pm Barbican Hall
MACMILLAN Into the Ferment*
LSO On Track Youth Orchestra
LSO St Luke’s Fusion Orchestra
Members of the LSO
Kristjan Järvi conductor*
Paul Griffiths conductor

Tickets £7 (£4 concessions)


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