· Knussen’s O Hototogisu! – fragment of a Japonisme, will be performed at CBSO Centre this November
· This concert was to be conducted by our dearest friend and Artist-in-Association, Oliver Knussen, who sadly passed away on 8 July 2018. Stefan Asbury will now conduct this event.
· BCMG also performs the world premiere of David Sawer’s new work, Caravanserei
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group pay tribute to the late Oliver Knussen with a performance of his work O Hototogisu! – fragment of a Japonisme on 18 November.
Stephan Meier, Artistic Director of BCMG, explains: “Oliver Knussen was a great friend and Artist-in-Association of BCMG until his untimely death on 8 July 2018. Oliver was due to conduct this concert, but now – sadly – it will be a tribute to both his work and his significant contribution to the BCMG family. Stefan Asbury will conduct what we hope to be a fitting afternoon of respect and recognition of this world-class composer.”
Oliver Knussen’s composition, O Hototogisu - fragment of a Japonisme, is a beautiful setting of selected haiku for soprano, solo flute and ensemble. The texts weave an intricate image of the Hototogisu - the Lesser Cuckoo - as it calls out high above a Japanese city in the shadow of a mountain. In haiku, its cry simultaneously signals the coming summer and is believed to be a voice from the land of the dead.
This concert also features the world premiere of another BCMG commission: Caravanserai. This piece sees musical ideas passed from musician to musician along a line - like goods exchanged along the caravans of history. David Sawer will discuss this intriguing work in a pre-concert talk at 3pm.
The programme opens with Claude Debussy’s Chansons de Bilitis as we continue to mark 100 years since the death of this monumental figure in music, and the Birmingham premiere of the complete cycle of Harrison Birtwistle’s Three Songs from ‘The Holy Forest’.
Sunday 18 November 2018
CBSO Centre, Birmingham
3pm Pre-concert talk with David Sawer
Claire Booth Soprano
Marie Christine Zupancic Solo Flute
Stefan Asbury Conductor
Tickets £15 (£5 students), available from www.bcmg.org.uk