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Stop Press: Music News

Kenneth Loveland Gift Winner Announced

The 2016 Kenneth Loveland Gift of £2,500 was awarded to violinist Alexandra Lomeiko, who will use the Gift to help with her continuing studies on the Artist Diploma Course at the Royal College of Music. Born in New Zealand in 1991, Alexandra began studying the violin at the age of five, and at 15 she arrived in London to study at the Purcell School of Music before progressing to the Royal College where she is studying with Radu Blidar and Yuri Zhislin.


Stravinsky’s Funeral Song heard again after more than 100 years

Igor Stravinsky

Igor Stravinsky’s Funeral Song for orchestra received its first performance in 107 years, conducted by Valery Gergiev at the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg on December 2nd. Funeral Song (Pogrebal’naya Pesnya) was composed by the 26-year-old composer as a memorial tribute to his teacher Rimsky-Korsakov and, as his op.5, is the missing link between his early Fireworks and Scherzo Fantastique and The Firebird, written for Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, which launched Stravinsky’s international career.

The historic performance at the Concert Hall of the Mariinsky Theatre in St Petersburg featured Valery Gergiev conducting the Mariinsky Orchestra in a programme opening a year-long celebration of the music of Igor Stravinsky. Funeral Song had not been heard since its first and only performance in January 1909 at a Russian Symphony Concert in memory of Rimsky-Korsakov at the Great Hall of the Conservatory with Count Sheremetev’s orchestra conducted by Felix Blumenfeld, replacing an indisposed Glazunov. The twelve-minute work for symphony orchestra was soon forgotten because, as Stravinsky noted in The Chronicle of My Life, "the score of this work unfortunately disappeared in Russia during the Revolution, along with many other things which I had left there".

The rediscovery of the orchestral parts was by musicologist Natalia Braginskaya whilst sifting through of performance materials by the St Petersburg Rimsky-Korsakov State Conservatory’s librarian Irina Sidorenko during Music Department’s relocation in the spring of 2015, where manuscripts had been made inaccessible for decades by the sheer volume of scores in front of them.


I Musicanti-Leon Bosch Concerts

I Musicantri and virtuoso double bassist Leon Bosch perform a trio of concerts at St John's Smith Square featuring world premieres from South Africa and chamber works by Mozart and Schubert on January 8, March 5 and May 28.

South Africa is at the heart of the trio of concerts, part of the 2016-17 Sundays at St John’s series at St John’s Smith Square. The project is connected to what Leon describes as his ‘ongoing exile’ from his native South Africa, which he left in the early 1980s as a former political prisoner to pursue his musical studies in Manchester. Nowadays, Bosch reconnects with the South African land in a literal sense – by running ultra marathons – but metaphorically too, including commissioning new works, from current South African composers. The first concert includes a new quintet by Peter Klatzow, emeritus professor of composition at the University of Cape Town. In the second concert, on March 5, guitar virtuoso Craig Ogden joins I Musicanti to play a terzetto by Paganini and Schubert’s arrangement for flute, viola, cello and guitar of a trio by the Bohemian guitarist Wenzel Matiegka. Mozart is represented by his D major flute quartet, while the new work comes from Werner Bosch (no relation). 

David Earl came to London from Cape Town in the 1970s as a pianist, but has since established himself as a highly respected His duo for viola and double bass is the second piece that Leon has commissioned for that unusual pairing following To the Silver Bow, the concerto for viola, double bass and string orchestra by John Woolrich premiered last year. Earl’s new Sonatina for Viola and Double Bass, gets its first performance on May 28, with Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet and Schubert’s Octet.


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