Last night the line up for this year’s 21C Music festival was announced. The featured composer is Kaija Saariaho and there are plenty of new works on show. I’m just going to run through some of the highlights.
May 20th features Off the Score; a collaboration between rock drummer Stewart Copeland and pianist Jon Kimura Parker. They will be joined by Met Opera violinist Yoon Kwon, bassist Marion Martinez and EVI virtuoso Judd Miller in an “exploration” of works by Copeland and parker plus pieces by Prokofiev, Stravinsky, Bach and others.
The 21st kicks off and closes out with the Bicycle Opera Project. There will be an early evening outdoor performance of Chris Thornborrow’s new piece Ride of the Bicycle Bells then after the main stage concert they will be back in Mazzoleni Hall for an after hours concert that will include the premiere of the Dreaming Duet from Dean Burry’s The Bells of Baddeck. In between, at Koerner Hall, the main concert will feature chamber works by Saariaho and Fitelberg plus Omar Daniel’s You are where you are for piano quintet and bass (Robert Pomakov).
The 22nd’s main event is a multimedia work called Illusions. It’s comprised of pieces by Nicole Lizée, Gabriel Dharmoo and Simon Martin interspersed with Ives’ Piano Trio. It will be performed by the Gryphon Trio, the Ensemble contemporain de Montréal and baritone Vincent Ranallo. This concert will also feature a new work by jazz guitarist Michael Occhipinti and three pieces by clarinettist Don Byron. There will also be an “after hours” with works from a workshop that Kaija Saariaho will have been running with six young composers.
On the 23rd there’s an early (Cinq à Sept) concert in the Conservatory Theatre. Carla Huhtanen and Marion Newman will perform Saariaho’s Grammaire des rêves. This concert will also feature solo cello and vocal works by Raphael Weinroth-Browne and Jordan Nobles. The main event that night is in Mazzoleni Hall. The concert will feature the Afiara Quartet playing premieres of works by Dinuk Wijeratne, Laura Silberberg, Rob Teehan and Kevin Lau. Then we will get Spin Cycle where the works of the four composers are remixed by DJ Skratch Bastid and then responded to by the four composers to create something entirely new. The Afiaras and Skratch Bastid will perform the resulting work.
Finally, on the 24th there’s Encuentros, a concert of short new works with roots in a variety of traditions including tango, flamenco and jazz.
Full details and ticketing information here.