Birtwistle at 80: Study Afternoon

Lectures ending with a talk with Birtwistle

25 May 2014 / 15:00
Fountain Room

Admission free for anyone with a ticket to any of the following Birtwistle at 80 events:

16 May 2014 Gawain
20 May 2014 LSO / Harding
25 May 2014 BCMG / Knussen
29 May 2014 Yan Tan Tethera
30 May 2014 Fields of Sorrow

Please note capacity is limited for the symposium and study afternoon, so please arrive early to avoid disappointment. Attendance at the morning session does not guarantee admission to the afternoon session.

An afternoon exploring Birtwistle’s music with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Chair: Professor Jonathan Cross (University of Oxford)

15:00 Welcome and introduction

15:05 ‘Why Birtwistle’s music matters’, Professor Jonathan Cross (University of Oxford)
By way of introduction to the ‘Birtwistle at 80’ series at the Barbican, this talk will survey the themes of the composer’s creative work over the past fifty years, and will suggest some reasons as to why it continues to speak so powerfully to audiences, even in the 21st century.

15:45 ‘Birtwistle among the poets', Professor Fiona Sampson (poet, University of Roehampton)
Harrison Birtwistle’s many collaborations with poets have produced some of his best-known work, in opera, chamber music, song and music theatre. We look at ways in which poetry seems peculiarly well suited to his music.

16:25 Break

16:45 ‘Birtwistle's time and ours', Paul Griffiths OBE (writer and broadcaster)
Essential Birtwistlian concepts and components – broken continuity, defective scales, dislocated pulses, remote references – speak of and to our period of uncertain restabilizing. It is not surprising, then, that his music, while in many ways so distinctive, has these qualities in common with the work of other composers writing now.

17:20 Sir Harrison Birtwistle in conversation with Fiona Maddocks (The Observer)

18:00 End

The Study Afternoon will be preceded by a Morning Symposium in the Fountain Room at 10:30am:
Birtwistle at 80: Institute of Musical Research Morning Symposium

Both morning and afternoon sessions will be followed by the showing of a new short film about Harrison Birtwistle made by the young film-maker Tom Mustill, commissioned by Sinfini Music.(approx. 1.20pm and 5.20pm)

This event is part of:
Birtwistle at 80 2014
Barbican Presents 2013–2014
BBC Symphony Orchestra 2013–2014
All classical music events - 2013–2014 season

Produced by the Barbican


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