Entries in bcmg (15)


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group - Spring 2017 concerts

February - June 2017

CBSO Centre, Birmingham; Wigmore Hall, London; St David’s Hall, Cardiff


100 years of composing in America

World premiere of Helen Grime’s Piano Concerto

Thomas Adès Day at Wigmore Hall

World premiere of new work by Colin Matthews


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group continues a season of new works with the world premiere of Helen Grime’s Piano Concerto, conducted by BCMG Artist in Association, Oliver Knussen, with Grime’s husband, Huw Watkins as soloist, and the premiere of a new vocal work by Colin Matthews, featuring soprano Claire Booth. The ensemble also takes part in a Wigmore Hall celebration of the music of former BCMG Music Director, Thomas Adès. A first visit to St David’s Hall, Cardiff sees a BCMG trio celebrating 100 years of American composition, with a programme centred on the music of Charles Ives, and featuring works by Elliott Carter, John Cage and Morton Feldman.



Saturday 4 February at 1pm

St David’s Hall, Cardiff

Widely considered the father-figure of North-American modern music, Charles Ives’ daring, explorative music had a profound effect on a new generation of composers, including Elliott Carter who was encouraged by Ives to study composition. This lunchtime concert by a BCMG trio featuring Lena Zeliszewska (violin), Ulrich Heinen (cello) and John Snijders (piano) opens with Ives’ Piano Trio, a reflection on his time at Yale University and includes Carter’s short Figment II, which recalls fragments of two of Carter’s favourite Ives pieces, and Epigrams, Carter’s final work which was premiered by BCMG in 2013.


Friday 3 March 2017 at 7.30pm, Wigmore Hall, London

Sunday 5 March 2017 at 7.30pm, CBSO Centre, Birmingham B1 2LF World Premiere of Helen Grime’s Piano Concerto

Oliver Knussen conducts Huw Watkins in the world premiere of Grime’s Piano Concerto (a Sound Investment co-commission with Wigmore Hall). The programme also includes Grime’s first BCMG co- commission, A Cold Spring (2009) and works by three influential composers: Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez and Peter Maxwell Davies. Helen Grime is Wigmore Hall Composer-in-Residence.


Saturday 25 March 2017 at 7.30pm

BCMG at Thomas Adès Day Wigmore Hall, London

Few contemporary composers have proved as consistently inventive as Thomas Adès. BCMG and the Calder Quartet, as part of Wigmore Hall’s day-long exploration of his eloquently expressive chamber music, perform Adès’ BCMG Sound Investment commission Concerto Conciso, with Adès as piano soloist and Gerald Barry’s virtuosic, extroverted Octet, with piano soloist Nicolas Hodges. Timothy Redmond conducts.


Saturday 10 June 2017, 7.30pm

Colin Matthews world premiere CBSO Centre, Birmingham

BCMG closes its 16/17 season with a concert celebrating three established masters of British contemporary music: Oliver Knussen (who also conducts) Harrison Birtwistle and Colin Matthews. Soprano Claire Booth joins BCMG to premiere Colin Matthews’ Sound Investment vocal work and perform Oliver Knussen's Four Late Poems for solo soprano. The programme is completed by Knussen’s Songs Without Voices, and one of Harrison Birtwistle’s most performed ensemble works, Secret Theatre.


BCMG concerts and workshops for families and young people

Birmingham Contemporary Music Group presents an outstanding range of concerts and participatory music-making for young people, including free weekend Music Maze workshops for 8-11 year olds, the Zigzag Ensemble for 12-18 year olds who play an instrument and can read a little bit of music notation, and Feel the Buzz workshops for young composers (aged 14-18). Events take place each month, with full details at There are also two Families @ 4 concerts this Spring, focusing on a sparkling collection of short pieces by composers Elliott Carter, Pierre Boulez and Helen Grime (5 March) and Harrison Birtwistle’s Secret Theatre (10 June).


BCMG Audience Exchange

In the spirit of audience involvement that has been central to BCMG from the outset, BCMG Audience Exchange returns for more post-concert conversation, offering an informal platform for concertgoers to meet and exchange views on the works that they have heard. This Spring, Audience Exchange invites reflections on music by Birtwistle, Knussen and Colin Matthews (June 2017).



This season, BCMG is celebrating 25 years of Sound Investment, the ensemble’s pioneering ‘crowd- funding’ scheme that has helped fund 88 new works to date from both distinguished and emerging composers. Three new commissions for future performance, by Oliver Knussen, Richard Baker and a composer new to BCMG, Ondřej Adámek, have now been added to the Sound Investment portfolio. Further details at