The King's Singers perform James MacMillan 'Quickening' at Edinburgh International Festival
The King’s Singers head to the Edinburgh International Festival on 10 August to perform Quickening as part of the 60th birthday celebrations for Sir James MacMillan. MacMillan's epic cantata examines the drama and joy of birth and new life, blending expectant wonder with awe-struck mystery, mystical spirituality with volatile energy. The group will be joined by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Edinburgh Festival Chorus and the RSNO Junior Chorus under the baton of Edward Gardner.
The King’s Singers perform at a number of festivals this August: on 5 August they travel to Guernsey Literary Festival for a concert and Q&A session, followed by performances at one of Germany’s largest classical music festivals, Mecklenburg Vorpommern Festspiele on 7 and 8 August. Here they will sing in an open air concert in the Dargun monastery ruins which culminates in a firework display and the following day, the group are joined by Rostock motet choir and conductor Markus J. Langer to perform Chilcott A Thanksgiving. Their summer festival season rounds off in Switzerland with a performance on 11 August at Flims Festival.
Intermusica artists to appear at 2019 Edinburgh International Festival
The Edinburgh International Festival has announced its line-up for 2019 and Intermusica artists feature predominantly throughout the month-long event.
> Click here to see the full calendar and scroll down to watch the Festival trailer
Among the Festival’s highlights this year is ‘Sir James MacMillan at 60’ – a special series of concerts to mark the composer and conductor’s 60th birthday. The series features five concerts displaying MacMillan’s vocal and orchestral works beginning with The King’s Singers performing the premiere of a new version of MacMillan’s Quickening on 10 August with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and Edward Gardner. MacMillan’s poignant oratorio All the Hills & Vales Along will be performed by the National Youth Choir of Scotland and Whitburn Brass Band and conducted by Christopher Bell on 16 August. MacMillan’s works feature across three concerts on 17 August: The Nash Ensemble perform Fourteen Little Pictures; the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joana Carneiro perform A Scotch Bestiary and his concerto for orchestra, Woman of the Apocalypse; and the series culminates that evening with the world premiere performance of MacMillan's Fifth Symphony ‘Le grand Inconnu’, performed by The Sixteen, Genesis Sixteen, Scottish Chamber Orchestra and conductor Harry Christophers alongside MacMillan’s Symphony No.2, conducted by the composer.
On 4 August Yuja Wang will give the European premiere of John Adams’ new piano concerto Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, a work written especially for her. She is joined by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and Gustavo Dudamel, with whom she has already performed the work to huge acclaim in the US and Asia. The day before, Wang launches The Queen’s Hall Series with clarinettist Andreas Ottensamer in a programme to include works by Weber, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Debussy, Chopin and Horowitz. Check out Wang and Ottensamer's recent duo disc on Deutsche Grammophon, Blue Hour, here.
Sir John Eliot Gardiner brings his trademark energy to Bernstein’s West Side Story with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 5 and 6 August. The score is an augmented Broadway theatre version, as Bernstein originally intended.
Richard Egarr performs twice. In the St Cecilia’s Hall Series on 20 August, he will play and conduct musicians from the Dunedin Consort in Bach Keyboard Concertos in E major BWV 1053 and D minor with fellow harpsichordist Diego Ares. On 22 August, he performs more works by Bach with the Dunedin Consort, this time alongside three other renowned harpsichordists. The repertoire includes Concertos for three and four harpsichords as well as Brandenburg Concerto No.5.
Wallis Giunta makes her debut at the Festival on 21 August as Dodo McNeill in the European premiere of Missy Mazzoli’s opera Breaking the Waves, a wrenching moral drama based on Lars von Trier’s controversial film. The opera won the 2017 Best New Opera Award at the Music Critics Association of North America and was shortlisted the same year for an International Opera Award.
Colin Currie Group perform the UK premiere of Sofia Gubaidulina's concerto for percussion quintet and orchestra, Glorious Percussion, on 8 August with BBC Scottish Symphony and Thomas Dausgaard.
The King's Singers announce two new members
The King’s Singers are delighted to announce two new members; bass-baritone Nicholas Ashby and countertenor Edward Button will be joining the group in January 2019, replacing Christopher Gabbitas (second baritone) and Timothy Wayne-Wright (second countertenor) respectively.
Nick Ashby has been a professional singer since graduating from the University of York nearly a decade ago and has sung with many of the UK’s leading choirs, including the Tallis Scholars and Stile Antico. Edward Button was a choral scholar at Girton College, Cambridge and also an Alto Lay Clerk at King’s College Cambridge as well as a member of ‘Collegium Regale’ (now the ‘King’s Men’).
Commenting on their new posts, Ashby said:
“My first memory of The King’s Singers is when we listened to tapes in the car with my parents. Even as a young kid they captivated me and registered in the back of my psyche. It’s a surreal dream to be able to join them.”
Button, who first heard The King’s Singers when he was at the Collegiate Church of St Mary Warwick, said:
“Our director of music suggested we go and listen to them rehearsing when they came to give a concert in St Mary’s Church, Warwick. They were amazing. I couldn’t possibly ever have imagined that I would be singing with them as part of the group one day. It’s flabbergasting really.”
The King’s Singers were officially formed on 1 May 1968. Their vocal line-up was (by chance) two countertenors, a tenor, two baritones and a bass and the group has never wavered from this formation since. To celebrate their 50th anniversary, the group presented GOLD, an anniversary season featuring the release of a triple-album CD and a worldwide concert tour. Christopher Gabbitas, who joined in 2004, and Timothy Wayne-Wright, who joined in 2009, have chosen to leave the group on a high, at the end of this extraordinary year, to spend more time with their families.
Programme and performers announced for Intermusica Charity Concert!
There’s now less than a week to go before Intermusica’s Charity Concert in aid of Pelican Cancer Foundation, and we’re delighted to announce our full programme and performers.
From the Renaissance strains of Monteverdi to the luscious sonorities of Elgar, this programme will showcase the unique talents of the Intermusica staff team, along with guest appearances from our esteemed artists.
Highlights include a piece composed by Intermusica’s Head of International Touring, Peter Ansell, as well as a performance of the late Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ unforgettable Farewell to Stromness by Intermusica Managing Director, Stephen Lumsden. The evening will culminate in Brahms’ stunning Geistliches Lied, originally written for choir and organ, and heard here in a special arrangement for string orchestra and choir by Sir John Eliot Gardiner.
Tuesday 26 September 2017
7 – 8.15pm, followed by post-concert drinks
St James’ Church, Islington
Stanford Beati Quorum Via
Crystal Wharf Singers* (Intermusica choir)
de Visée & Monteverdi Selected songs
Julian Gregory (The King's Singers**), tenor / Peter Martin*, theorbo
Maxwell Davies Farewell to Stromness
Stephen Lumsden*, piano
Elgar Chanson de Matin, Op.15 (arr. Shaw)
Rachel Walters*, piano / Katherine Walters, piano
Piano Duet – TBA
Martin James Bartlett**, piano / Roger Vignoles**, piano
Peter Ansell* Summer Night
Susanna Hurrell**, soprano / Roger Vignoles**, piano
Elgar Serenade for Strings, Op.20
Crystal Wharf Sinfonietta * (Intermusica string orchestra)
Brahms Geistliches Lied, Op.30 (arr. John Eliot Gardiner**)
Crystal Wharf Singers / Crystal Wharf Sinfonietta
* Intermusica staff / ** Intermusica artists
We are thrilled to be joined by a number of representatives from Pelican Cancer Foundation, including CEO Sarah Crane and Head of Community Fundraising, Tim Lockwood, who will tell us more about Pelican and the positive impact of fundraising initiatives such as these.
This concert has been reported in the Islington Gazette and Classical Music magazine, and has received support from the Association of British Orchestras.
Tickets can be purchased online here for a suggested donation of £10 or minimum donation of £5, or on the door (cash only). For those who cannot attend but would still like to make a donation, please visit Pelican's website here and type 'Intermusica' in the text box within the form; this will ensure that your donation is credited to our campaign.
We very much hope you will support Intermusica and Pelican by coming along on the 26th – we look forward to seeing you for a drink afterwards!