• Find us on Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • Follow us on Instagram
  • View Our YouTube Channel
  • Listen on Spotify
  • View our scores on nkoda

Following its Dallas premiere in March, Anna Clyne’s new piano concerto ATLAS receives its European premiere on 1 May with soloist Jeremy Denk and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kazuki Yamada.

Anna Clyne’s newest concerto, for pianist Jeremy Denk, gains its first European performance on 1 May at Symphony Hall in Birmingham. The substantial 30-minute work, titled ATLAS, by the British-born, New York resident composer, is presented by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra under its Chief Conductor Kazuki Yamada. This follows the concerto’s premiere by the Dallas Symphony in March and further performances are scheduled by the New Jersey Symphony in Princeton on 17-19 May and by the Dallas Symphony at the Bravo! Vail festival on 29 June, all with Jeremy Denk as soloist.

Set in four movements, Clyne’s first piano concerto is inspired by (and titled after) the four-volume publication ATLAS, which maps the ideas, processes, and inspirations of the German painter Gerhard Richter by surveying over 5,000 photographs, drawings, and sketches that were compiled or created since 1962. Clyne frequently creates music that ties back to visual art (and occasionally incorporates painting into the composition process), including works such as the Rothko-inspired Color Field, Abstractions, and Night Ferry.

“A complex yet exciting new work… the inspiration comes from an unexpected source: ATLAS, the great German artist Gerhard Richter’s four volume compendium of photographs, newspaper clippings, sketches and other ephemera published some eight years ago cataloging material that has interested him throughout his long life. Though the composer specifically cites many of those images in the preface to her score… her concern lies in the impetus behind the volumes, and their intent.

“If anything, this work is an homage to Mr. Denk’s fixations. Thus, Bach, whose music Mr. Denk is celebrated for playing, is recalled in the concerto’s third and fourth volumes. Likewise, the ghost of Charles Ives – whom Mr. Denk has long championed – gleefully hovers over the colliding orchestral harmonies we hear… [Clyne’s] voice is wholly original; she is merely acknowledging the giants who preceded her, not mimicking them. No less impressive, maybe more so, is the manner in which she holds an audience’s attention.”
The Wall Street Journal

“According to Clyne, the concerto’s four movements, called Volumes, are meant “to create a musical montage and a lucid narrative.” Whatever Clyne’s personal associations, however lucid the narrative, what struck me… was the frequent shifting of tempos, textures and colors, as if leafing through a book of images. Much is developed, quite imaginatively, from one- and two-measure motifs. At times, busy washes of complex textures suggest Richter’s big canvases of smeared oils.”
The Dallas Morning News

In recent seasons, Clyne – recently named one of the top 10 most performed living composers in the world – has composed numerous major concertos for prominent soloists: Three Sisters for mandolin and string orchestra (2017, for Avi Avital); DANCE for cello and orchestra (2019, for Inbal Segev); Shorthand for cello and string orchestra (2020, for Yo-Yo Ma); Glasslands for soprano saxophone and orchestra (2021, for Jess Gillam); Quarter Days for string quartet and orchestra (2021, premiered by the Euclid Quartet); Weathered for clarinet and orchestra (2022, for Martin Fröst); and Time and Tides for violin and orchestra (2023, for Pekka Kuusisto).

>  Further information on Work: ATLAS

Photo: Christina Kernohan

>  News Search

Stay updated on the latest composer news and publications