Catch up on the best of classical music this monthby Alexandra Coghlan / July 14, 2016 / Leave a comment
Published in August 2016 issue of Prospect Magazine
CBSO: Welcoming Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla
Symphony Hall, Birmingham, 26th August
The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra have good form when it comes to picking music directors, talent-spotting Andris Nelsons, Sakari Oramo and a certain Simon Rattle while still at the start of their careers. So when they announced earlier this year that 29-year-old Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla would be taking over, people took notice.
Since becoming a Dudamel Fellow in 2012, Gražinyte-Tyla has worked principally with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and has just been appointed the orchestra’s associate conductor. Setting her music-making apart is a rare combination of intellect and expressive artistry, and in 2014 she featured in critic Alex Ross’s top 10 performances of the year with a “vital and sinewy” Mahler Symphony No 1.
She makes her official debut as the CBSO’s music director on 26th August, with a programme inspired by her life. Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony speaks passionately of the composer’s inner conflicts, while Hans Abrahamsen’s Let Me Tell You is a disturbingly beautiful contemporary song-cycle giving Ophelia (soprano Barbara Hannigan) the chance to tell her tragic story in her own words.
BBC Proms at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse: Arcangelo
Wanamaker Playhouse, 13th August
The Globe’s Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is a magical space—a meticulous recreation of a 17th-century theatre. Now this evocative venue will echo with the sounds its original might once have heard—music by Henry Purcell, Matthew Locke and Giovanni Battista Draghi. Exciting young early music
ensemble Arcangelo celebrate the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with a programme of music inspired by his plays, including songs, dances and incidental music from the Tempest. The ensemble will be joined by soloists Katherine Watson, Samuel Boden and Callum Thorpe.
Edinburgh International Festival: Australian Chamber Orchestra
Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, 6th, 8th and 9th August
One of the finest ensembles of their kind, the Australian Chamber Orchestra are a killer combination of concert-hall precision and off-duty exuberance. At this year’s Edinburgh International Festival they showcase the two contrasting sides of their musical personality with a classic programme of Romantic music, including Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll and Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (with soloists Alice Coote and Stuart Skelton), and an evening of Weimar Cabaret that pairs them with cabaret artist Meow Meow and Australian legend Barry Humphries.