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This is Rattle: Knussen

Programme curated by the composer

Portrait of Oliver Knussen

Simon Rattle’s passion for the music of Oliver Knussen dates from the earliest days of his career. Knussen has curated this concert himself: a very personal salute to Rattle as he arrives in London. 

Knussen’s exquisite craftsmanship makes every premiere a major occasion, and this concert features the first London performance of his latest work O Hotogisu! – a ravishing miniature masterpiece, inspired by the song of the Japanese cuckoo.

It’ll throw luminous reflections on the music with which Knussen has surrounded it: witty, jewel-like chamber works by Stravinsky, Harrison Birtwistle’s 1977 classic Silbury Air and the delightful Polly Roe by Patrick Brennan, one of the countless young composers discovered and encouraged by Knussen. With Knussen conducting Birmingham Contemporary Music Group – which Rattle himself founded in 1987 – this should be a fascinating homage to a unique musical friendship.


Photo of man playing drum

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Milton Court Concert Hall