2012 has been an eventful year for the OUP music teams. We’re in reflective mood as the year draws to a close, so we thought we’d share our highlights of 2012.
By Anwen Greenaway
Hearing is clearly the most important sense for a musician, particularly a composer, so the trauma of experiencing difficulties with this sense is hard to imagine. Beethoven famously suffered deteriorating hearing for much of his adult life; an affliction which brought him to despair at times. The cause of his deafness is still unknown, although much speculated upon, but the composer’s feelings about his situation are well-documented.
Composer Howard Skempton is one of the mainstays of British contemporary classical music. He is an experimental composer who writes in a style completely his own, un-deflected by trends in composition or performance. Having developed, under the tutelage of Cornelius Cardew, a musical style characterised by its elegance and simplicity, Skempton’s catalogue of compositions is now extensive and diverse.
It’s September, which means back-to-school in the world of education, but for classical music it’s a different start, that of the 2012-13 opera season. In the old days opera was a grand affair; the first night of a production meant black tie and opera cloaks. These days its far more relaxed, and you won’t be frowned upon if you’re wearing jeans at the Royal Opera House.
Composer Richard Causton worked with the European Union Youth Orchestra on Twenty-Seven Heavens, premiering in the UK tonight at Usher Hall in Edinburgh as part of the Edinburgh International Festival. Causton composed the work, which he describes as a Concerto for Orchestra, for the 2012 Cultural Olympiad festivities celebrating the UK, London, and the Olympics.