Harrison Birtwistle's new 'Duet for Eight Strings' premiered at Wigmore Hall

9 April 2019

Harrison Birtwistle's latest work, commissioned by the Nash Ensemble, received its world premiere at Wigmore Hall on 12 April 2019.

The piece, entitled Duet for Eight Strings for viola and cello, was written for Adrian Brendel and Lawrence Power. The piece marks a continuation of Birtwistle's close relationship with the Nash Ensemble, and on the night was part of a programme of Birtwistle's previous Nash Ensemble commissions, The Woman and the Hare and Fantasia upon all the notes.

More information about the concert can be found here.

In April, Harrison Birtwistle also attended the Deutsches Sinfonie-Orchester's performances of Night's Black Bird at the Berlin Philharmonie, conducted by Robin Ticciati. The piece for orchestra received its world premiere in 2004 at the Lucerne Festival by the Cleveland Orchestra and Franz Welser-Möst, and its German premiere in Freiburg in 2015. A recording of Night's Black Bird and The Shadow of Nightwas released on NMC by Ryan Wigglesworth and the Hallé Orchestra in 2011 to critical acclaim.

To find out more about Night's Black Bird, click here.

On 1 May, Sir Simon Rattle will conduct Birtwistle's The Shadow of Night with the London Symphony Orchestra at Barbican Hall. Described by the composer himself as "a slow and reflective nocturne, exploring the world of melancholy as understood by Elizabethan poets and composers". The Shadow of Night was premiered in 2002 by the Cleveland Orchestra, and was praised by the Financial Times as "Birtwistle's most impressive orchestral canvas to date...an unsurpassed balance of form and content... Birtwistle comes across as an old master". The piece will also be performed in Munich.

Find out more about the LSO's concert at the link here.



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