The world premiere of Harrison Birtwistle’s ‘In Broken Images’ took place in Milan and Turin on September 5 and 6 2011 commissioned by the MiTo festival to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. The London Sinfonietta was conducted by David Atherton. The performances were followed by the UK premiere of his ‘Concerto for Violin and Orchestra’ at the BBC Proms performed by Christian Tetzlaff with the BBCSO conducted by David Robertson, commissioned by the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
“A work of true originality… a continuous 25-minute span that evokes traditional form while always keeping at a subtle remove from it. It is as though Birtwistle has to rediscover the concerto paradigm from scratch… Ideas flow forth, are ‘discussed’ by the soloists, the concertino-chorus, the tutti, but are not ‘argued’ over… Clear to begin with — Birtwistle really has ensured that the soloist’s every note is audible — the concerto seemed increasingly inevitable and substantial.” - Sunday Times
This work was preceded at the Proms by the UK premiere of ‘Angel Fighter’ – inspired by the biblical story of Jacob wrestling with the angel, and commissioned in 2010 by the Leipzig Bachfest. This autumn Birtwistle’s works are featured at Wien Modern.