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Anna Clyne: Hindemith Prize and latest premieres

(June 2016)

ClyneHindemithJavierOddo.jpg Anna Clyne, recent winner of the Hindemith Prize worth 20,000 Euros, travelled to Baltimore and Los Angeles for premieres of Abstractions and Threads & Traces.

Anna Clyne, the British-born and New York-resident composer, has won the 2016 Hindemith Prize, worth 20,000 Euros, with a unanimous decision from the prize jury. The award will be made at a concert in the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival on 12 July including a performance of Clyne’s Rest these hands performed by violinist Baiba Skride. Established in 1990, the prize’s previous recipients include Olga Neuwirth, Matthias Pintscher and Thomas Adès.

Clyne is currently composer-in-residence with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre National d’Ile de France and her previous residencies have included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (2010-15), the Cabrillo Festival in California and the Festival Internacional de Inverno de Campos do Jordão in Brazil. Music from her orchestral work Night Ferry was selected as one of the Ten Pieces in the BBC’s classical music initiative for UK secondary schools.

Last month brought two world premieres of music by Anna Clyne. The 20-minute orchestral work Abstractions, a suite of movements inspired by five contrasting contemporary artworks housed at the Baltimore Museum of Art, was given its first performance under the baton of Marin Alsop with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

"Knowing the images helps bring the music into focus, but the five-movement work easily stands on its own, thanks to the clarity and expressive nuance of Clyne's writing. Each movement is rich in ideas and instrumental shades... Clyne's most poetic ideas have particular impact – in the opening Marble Moon, a beguiling theme emerges between high-and low-pitched layers; the placid Seascape includes elegant woodwind lines riding delicate waves from the harp. The strings get terrific material in Auguries – wild whirls that produce an effect almost akin to a wind machine. The BSO players tore into that movement with great panache. All sections of the orchestra pitched in firmly throughout Abstractions, producing plenty of vibrancy in River, with its pop-music-like energy, and reveling in the counterpoint of Three. The audience responded enthusiastically."
Baltimore Sun

Anna Clyne’s Threads & Traces was commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the Piatigorsky International Cello Festival, with the premiere at Walt Disney Concert Hall featuring an ensemble of over 100 cellos.

"106 cellists crammed onto the Disney stage, a mighty finale for a long evening of passionately played music from three centuries… Seated up front in a semi-circle and within the mass of cellists were cello stars like Mischa Maisky, Truls Mørk, Sol Gabetta, Thomas Demenga, Matt Haimovitz, Raphael Wallfisch… The sound of this aggregation of cellos came at first in murmuring pianissimo chaos in Anna Clyne’s Threads and Traces. Gradually, a minor-key theme emerges from the chaos, then comes a sombre, beautiful, passacaglia-like passage before the music slips back into quiet chaos. The effect is not unlike that of Górecki’s mournful Symphony No. 3, although Clyne’s inspiration is a more positive one of interconnections between everyone and everything in this world."
Classical Voice America


>  Further information on Work: Abstractions

Photo: Javier Oddo

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