BBC Music Magazine



National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain

Warwick Arts, Coventry, 4 January

Tel: +44 (0)24 7652 4524


Science Fiction – a multimedia work for percussion and electronic­s by Rick Dior – meets science fact in the form of John Adams’s Doctor Atomic Symphony for the National Youth Orchestra’s first concert of 2019. At the helm is the Bournemout­h Symphony Orchestra’s music director Kirill Karabits, who wraps things up with Sibelius’s Symphony No. 2. Further performanc­es follow in London and Nottingham.

Big Song Weekend

Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff,

11-13 January

Tel: +44 (0)29 2039 1391


Anchored by pianist Joseph Middleton, BBC Radio 3’s Big Song Weekend pursues Richard Strauss across four recitals starting with baritone James Newby, who includes a carol written by the composer when he was six. Soprano Carolyn Sampson explores the final years in an afternoon crowned by the Four Last Songs. Fellow soprano Katharina Konradi tackles middle-period Strauss before mezzo Sophie Rennert adds Hans Pfitzner to the mix.

In Focus: George Benjamin

Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester, 22-23 January

Tel: +44 (0)161 907 5555


Clark Rundell mastermind­s a mini-festival devoted to the music of George Benjamin (see p34) and conducts the BBC Philharmon­ic in landmarks such as Ringed by the Flat Horizon. Elsewhere solo and chamber works are spliced with new works by Bofan Ma and Julia Han.


Elvet Methodist Church, Durham, 29 January

Tel: +44(0)191 334 3140

Web: www.musicdurha­ musicon

Exaudi’s ‘Italian Madrigal

Book’ extends from the usual suspects such as Monteverdi and Gesualdo to Sciarrino, and, turning its pages for Durham Vocal Festival, they also include the premiere of a specially commission­ed work from

Eric Egan.

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