Dear Readers! No sooner does season 12/13 end (as it did this month beautifully with Max de Wardener's terrific premiere in Bordeaux) than activities begin to launch and prepare for 13/14. The numbers keep going up and the premieres continue with great excitement, as does the context of my touring, educational work and special projects. Exciting times!
This season commences with a very honourable debut for me, in Brazil (my first time visiting this country and fulfilling a long-standing dream to go there). Four concerts with The Sao Paolo Symphony and regular collaborator and great friend Marin Alsop. The remainder of the autumn is taken up largely with a lot of study for the premieres later in the season, and two very important events for London's Southbank Centre where I continue as Artist-in-Residence. For my contribution to their year-long festival of 20th Century Music "The Rest is Noise", I will play Karlheinz Stockhausen's extraordinary "Kontakte" in October, and a concert with my own ensemble (The Colin Currie Group) and Steve Reich in November where we will debut with our version of his classic "Music for 18 Musicians". Booking is already strongly advised for both evenings!
In the new year, the premieres will start with Rolf Wallin's new work for Solo Marimba which is framed in the context of a brand new Solo Recital which debuts at London's glorious Wigmore Hall. Works include those by Bruno Mantovani, Elliott Carter, Toshio Hosokawa, Per Norgaard with further premieres by Dave Maric and Joseph Pereira. This recital will then tour widely in future seasons, often presented in the context of wider residencies at concert halls and universities.
April will introduce American composer Andrew Norman's new work for Solo Percussion and Symphony Orchestra with the fantastic (and long-standing colleagues at the) Utah Symphony Orchestra and Thierry Fischer. Andrew is an enormous talent, and this work promises great exuberance, explosive, colourful writing and dramatic use of the percussion family.
May 24th will see the Premiere of Louis Andriessen's "Tapdance" for Solo Percussion and Large Ensemble at Het Concertgebouw with The Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble and Reinbert de Leuw. This project realises one of my deepest wishes, to collaborate with this incredible and unmistakable figure in new music, one whose music I have adored and respected since being a teenager.
Further exciting debuts include that with The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world's most redoubtable ensembles, and local premieres for recent works such as the Canadian Premiere of the Aho concerto in Toronto, the UK Premiere of Elliott Carter's completed "Two Controversies and a Conversation", the German Premiere of "Incantations" by Rautavaara and a homecoming to Iceland of Askell Masson's Percussion Concerto.
With revisits to Bergen, Leipzig, Cincinnati and Houston there's continued coverage for works by James MacMillan and Christopher Rouse, whilst I also rekindle my collaboration with the wonderful Pavel Haas String Quartet, giving a Premiere with them by Czech composer Jeri Gemrot.
Lastly, 2013 saw the loss of a great friend and source of inspiration to me in my life, Mr Steve Martand, who died suddenly aged only 58. His encouragement when I was a student gave me so much energy and drive, and playing in his ensemble gave me amazing performance opportunities and the occasion to meet countless composers who are still writing for me today. His loss is devastating; he is an irreplaceable figure in music and in my life. If I may, I would like to dedicate this season to him, as my thoughts will be with him in every concert.
Best wishes, Colin