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The spring season provides an extensive collection of repertoire by Boosey & Hawkes composers. Highlights include recent concertos by Unsuk Chin and Brett Dean, new orchestral works by Olga Neuwirth and Franghiz Ali-Zadeh and celebrations for John Adams’s 75th birthday.

Here are highlights selected by Boosey & Hawkes in London taking place in Spring 2022 in the UK, Europe and beyond. Many have been postponed and rescheduled due to the COVID crisis, with organisations demonstrating their strong commitment to new music.

6 January, London
Unsuk Chin  Violin Concerto No.2 (world premiere)

Simon Rattle conducts the world premiere of Unsuk Chin’s second violin concerto, subtitled ‘Shards of Silence’, with the London Symphony Orchestra at the Barbican. Future performances with soloist Leonidas Kavakos are planned for Boston (3-5 March), New York (14 March) and Leipzig (31 March/1 April). It is 20 years since Chin’s Grawemeyer Award-winning first concerto and the composer was prompted to return to the genre by Kavakos’s “artistic personality and unique musicianship which is burningly intense, and at the same time, impeccable and completely focused”. Highlights of the spring season include first performances of Chin’s recent Beethoven-inspired concert-opener subito con forza in Luxembourg, Germany, Austria and South Korea, the French premiere of the Clarinet Concerto in Strasbourg and the Swiss premiere of Xi in Basel.
> Concert info

13 January – 25 March, Zürich
John Adams  75th birthday

John Adams is 75 on 15 February 2022 and the birthday year is launched with a major focus in Zürich with the Tonhalle Orchestra running through to March. Repertoire includes City Noir, Violin Concerto, Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes?, Naïve and Sentimental Music, My Father Knew Charles Ives and Slonimsky’s Earbox. Also in the New Year Adams conducts performances of City Noir and Must the Devil Have All the Good Tunes? with pianist Jeremy Denk in Seattle (6-8 Jan). Susanna Mälkki conducts the Saxophone Concerto with Branford Marsalis and the New York Philharmonic (6 Jan) as well as the Violin Concerto with Leila Josefowicz and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (20/21 Jan).
> Concert info

15 January – 22 May, European tour
Mark Simpson  Nachtstück (territorial premieres)

Mark’s Simpson’s new work for horn and piano continues its ECHO international tour with Ben Goldscheider, including concerts with first performances in Lisbon, Berlin, Newcastle, Hamburg, Stockholm, Barcelona, Luxembourg and Baden-Baden. Simpson’s recent Violin Concerto receives its US premiere on 14 January with Nicola Benedetti and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra under Louis Langrée. Its Scottish soloist then heads home for performances with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra under Fabien Gabel (26-28 May), and further international premieres promised for 2023.
> Concert info

16 January, Basel
Roberto Gerhard  Symphony No.1 (Swiss premiere)

Events to honour the 50th anniversary of Roberto Gerhard’s death in 1970 were significantly disrupted by COVID in 2020, but many concerts were thankfully rescheduled in Barcelona, the city where he lived and worked for the first half of his creative life, including performances of the complete Don Quixote ballet, the Violin Concerto and Symphony No.4. The Basel Sinfonietta under Baldur Brönnimann presents the Swiss premiere of Gerhard’s Symphony No.1 on 16 January, his first major work to embrace the new abstract modernist style the composer was to refine over his last two decades. Gerhard’s popular suite Dances from Don Quixote is performed by Juanjo Mena at the helm of the Barcelona Symphony (9-10 April) and by Simon Rattle with the Berlin Philharmonic (12-14 May).
> Concert info

28 January, London
Brett Dean  Piano Concerto (UK premiere)

London enjoys a focus on Brett Dean’s music in the spring including major performances of three of his concertos. Jonathan Biss is at the keyboard for the Beethoven-inspired Piano Concerto receiving its belated UK premiere with the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sakari Oramo at the Barbican. The soloist travels onwards for the concerto’s German premiere with the Dresden Philharmonie (5 February) and Polish premiere with the NFM Wroclaw Philharmonic (3 June). Dean’s London Philharmonic Orchestra residency features the Viola Concerto with Lawrence Power (9 Feb) and the UK premiere of his Cello Concerto with Alban Gerhardt (27 April).
> Concert info

2 February, London
Robin Holloway  Romanza & Scherzo (world premiere)

Michael Collins and Michael McHale give the premiere in London of Robin Holloway’s new work for clarinet and piano, Romanza & Scherzo. Collins has participated in many Holloway performances and recordings over the years, with the London Sinfonietta and Nash Ensemble, and the new work was commissioned by the Wigmore Hall for Collins’s 60th birthday. On the West coast of the USA Johannes Moser is soloist for Holloway’s new Cello Concerto, unveiled by the Oregon Symphony under Eun Sun Kim (28-31 January). The coming month sees the release of a new Sheva Contemporary recording of Holloway’s recent Horn Quintet featuring Ondrej Vrabec and the Pavel Borkovec Quartet (Sheva SH281).
> Concert info

4 February, Cologne
Sean Shepherd  Downtime (world premiere)

The WDR Symphony Orchestra gives the first performance of Sean Shepherd’s new concert-opener Downtime at the Philharmonie in Cologne conducted by Cristian Macelaru. The conductor introduced Cologne audiences to Shepherd in 2019 with his environmentalist-inspired work Melt, and Macelaru gives a further outing for that work with the NDR Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg on 3 March. Macelaru presented an imaginative streamed performance of Melt with film at the 2021 Cabrillo Festival coupled with Shepherd’s Sprout describing nature’s ability to regrow after environmental damage.
> Concert info

18 February, Tokyo
Mark-Anthony Turnage  Time Flies (Japanese premiere)

Time Flies, the orchestral triptych by Mark-Anthony Turnage, has been bouncing around the three cities of its commissioners in Tokyo, Hamburg and London through a chain of COVID cancellations. The work returns full circle for its rescheduled Japanese premiere by the Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra under Kazushi Ono, back in the city where it was originally to be unveiled as part of the Olympiad celebrations in 2020. Turnage’s cycle of Thomas Hardy songs, Without Ceremony, is also travelling widely following is premiere in November at the Vienna Konzerthaus performed by Gerald Finley and Julius Drake. They give the UK premiere at the Wigmore Hall in London on 9 January, followed by the Czech premiere at the Rudolfinum in Prague on 16 January.
> Concert info

5 March, Amsterdam
Manfred Trojahn  Eurydice- Die Liebenden, blind (world premiere)

Dutch National Opera stages the world premiere of Manfred Trojahn’s new opera based on the classic tale of Orpheus and Eurydice. The composer’s own libretto blends a French response to the Greek myth with Rilke’s Sonnets to Orpheus, focusing on Eurydice at the moment when their eyes meet, blinded by their developing love and inevitably leading both of them to the Underworld. The premiere production is staged by Pierre Audi with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Erik Nielsen, with a cast including Andrè Schuen and Julia Kleiter. Trojahn’s opera Orest, composed ten years ago and also premiered in Amsterdam, remains one of the most successful of contemporary operas based on mythology.
> Opera info

7 March, Paris
Leonard Bernstein  A Quiet Place (French premiere)

Paris Opéra presents the French premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s A Quiet Place in a new orchestral version of the 2013 adaptation by Garth Edwin Sunderland. Composed in 1983, Bernstein’s last opera explores the breaking of social structures and taboos of its era, as a family gathers for the funeral of its matriarch. The Paris staging is directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski and conducted by Kent Nagano, who first performed Sunderland’s adaptation in a reduced scoring with Ensemble Modern in 2013 in Berlin, followed by performances in Montreal, Dortmund and Dresden.
> Opera info

12 March, Luxembourg
Elena Kats-Chernin  Der herzlose Riese (world premiere)

Elena Kats-Chernin’s new music theatre work for children aged six years or older receives its premiere at the Luxembourg Philharmonie. Der herzlose Riese (The Heartless Giant) is staged by Wolfgang Nägele with the Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg conducted by David Niemann. Kats-Chernin’s music sets a folktale libretto by Susanne Felictas Wolf, and follows on their successful earlier collaborations on children’s operas, including Snow White and the 77 Dwarfs and Jim Knopf and Luke the Engine Driver, both staged at the Komische Oper in Berlin, with a revival of the latter scheduled this March.
> Opera info

6 April, Poole
Franghiz Ali-Zadeh  NIZAMI Cosmology (world premiere)

The Azerbaijani-born composer Franghiz Ali-Zadeh, who celebrates her 75th birthday in 2022, has written a new orchestral work inspired by the iconic poet Nizami to be premiered by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by Kirill Karabits. Writing in the late 12th century, Nizami Ganjavi was the leading Persian poet and philosopher of the age, living in modern-day Azerbaijan, who observed the movements of celestial bodies and tried to explain their appearance and disappearance and relate this to world events and the destinies of people. It is this fascination with cosmology that Ali-Zadeh captures in her new work, richly coloured with sounds from her Caucasian heritage.
> Concert info

9 April, Vienna
Tod Machover  Schoenberg in Hollywood (European premiere)

Schoenberg returns from Hollywood to Vienna with the European premiere of Tod Machover’s chamber opera Schoenberg in Hollywood. The Vienna Volksoper stages the work at the Kasino am Schwarzenbergplatz, directed by Helen Malkowsky and conducted by Gerrit Prießnitz. Premiered by Boston Lyric Opera in 2018, Machover’s opera jumps from the point where Schoenberg was offered work to write a film score. The significant moments in the exiled composer’s life are told in flashbacks through the filter of various classic Hollywood film styles, from silent movies to film noir and westerns.
> Opera info

10-17 April, Kaohsiung
Bernd Richard Deutsch  Feature at Weiwuying Festival
Recent years have witnessed a growing international trajectory to the career of Viennese composer Bernd Richard Deutsch. In April his music is in the spotlight in Taiwan with a feature at the Weiwuying Festival in Kaohsiung including the Asian premieres of his ensemble work Mad Dog and the new Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra, written for the Rascher Saxophone Quartet. His composer fellowship with the Cleveland Orchestra continues on 13 January with the world premiere of his new commission Intensity, dedicated to conductor Franz Welser-Möst. Deutsch’s spectacular concerto for organ and orchestra, Okeanos, released on disc by the Cleveland Orchestra, receives its Swedish premiere from organist Iveta Apkalna and the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra on 27 April, with Welser-Möst again on the rostrum.
> Concert info

12 April, Leipzig
James MacMillan  Stabat Mater (German premiere)

Stabat Mater, the powerful Passiontide meditation for choir and strings by James MacMillan, receives its German premiere at the Gewandhaus in Leipzig with the MDR Radio Choir and Symphony Orchestra. Recent years have seen the work travel to Rome for the first livestreamed concert from the Sistine Chapel, together with performances in Ireland, Sweden, Latvia, and in Lincoln Center’s White Light Festival in New York.
> Concert info

18 April, Cologne
Michel van der Aa  Upload (German premiere)

Following successful performances at the Bregenz Festival and in Amsterdam, Michel van der Aa’s acclaimed film opera Upload receives its German premiere at Cologne Opera. Roderick Williams and Julia Bullock return to their roles of father ‘uploaded’ to digital life and daughter trying to understand their new relationship. The four performances at the StaatenHaus in Cologne are presented with the staging and film by Van der Aa accompanied by Ensemble Musikfabrik conducted by Otto Tausk. The spring season also brings the US premiere of Upload at the Park Avenue Armory in New York (22 March) and the Japanese premiere of the composer’s Violin Concerto with soloist Simone Lamsma at Suntory Hall in Tokyo (8 March).
> Opera info

30 April, Berlin
Elena Firsova  Viola Concerto (world concert premiere)

Elena Firsova’s residency with the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra includes first concert performances of her Viola Concerto composed in 2014. Nils Mönkemeyer is soloist, alone in the first movement, then joined by orchestra in the second movement, with Vladimir Jurowski on the rostrum at the Konzerthaus (30 April) and Philharmonie (1 May) in Berlin. Other repertoire in the RSB residency has included the world premiere in November of Night in Appen, recalling a week spent staying with fellow Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, and Firsova’s homage to Shostakovich The Garden of Dreams (15/16 January) to be conducted by Vladimir Jurowski.
> Concert info

1 May, Schwetzingen
Johannes Kalitzke  Kapitän Nemos Bibliothek (world premiere)

The Schwetzingen SWR Festival plays host to Johannes Kalitzke’s new opera for five singers and chamber ensemble, staged by Christoph Werner and featuring Ensemble Modern conducted by the composer. This musical setting of the admired novel by Per Olov Enquist, Captain Nemo’s Library, explores themes of identity, doubles and alienation. Two boys from the same village are switched at birth, triggering a chain of loss, tragedy and self-discovery. The production, combining puppet drama, live theatre and contemporary music, travels to the Bregenz Festival for its Austrian premiere in July.
> Opera info

5 May, Edinburgh
Anna Clyne  The Years (world premiere)

The next premiere resulting from Anna Clyne’s Associate Composer role with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra is a 20-minute work for chorus and orchestra, with performances conducted by Andrew Manze in Edinburgh (5 May) and Glasgow (6 May). The Years sets a specially written text by American poet Stephanie Fleischmann, particularly acclaimed for her libretti for music theatre and opera. Other Clyne highlights in the spring include the Swiss and Finnish premieres of Stride for string orchestra in Lausanne (12 January) and Lahti (12 May), This Midnight Hour in London (9 February) and Vienna (20 May), and her cello concerto DANCE with soloist Inbal Segev in Bamberg (8 May).
> Concert info

8 May, Liverpool
Grace-Evangeline Mason  Mahler’s Letters (world premiere)

The ongoing relationship between Grace-Evangeline Mason and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra yields a new large-scale choral work to be premiered by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Choir on 8 May. Mahler’s Letters sets texts by Mason exploring the ideas, thoughts and language in Mahler’s prolific correspondence with his wife Alma, his friends, colleagues and critics. The four fictitious letters, titled Nature, Love, Music and Death, combine with music to create a reflective 18-minute work. After its BBC Proms premiere, The RLPO gives a second performance of Mason’s The Imagined Forest in Liverpool (24 Feb) and a new score for the orchestra’s youth and children’s choirs, In Her Own Valley, is scheduled for premiere in July.
> Concert info

20 May, Lyon
Olga Neuwirth  Dreydl (world premiere)

Olga Neuwirth’s first orchestral score after signing her new publishing contract with Boosey & Hawkes, Dreydl, is named after the four-sided spinning top. The new work is premiered by the Orchestre national de Lyon under Nikolaj Szeps-Znaider within Neuwirth’s season as the orchestra’s Associate Composer. Other repertoire in Lyon includes two concertos: _ …miramondo multiplo…_ featuring trumpeter Hakan Hardenberger (11 March) and Locus … doublure … solus with pianist Vanessa Benelli-Mosell (26 March).
> Concert info

18 June, Cologne
York Höller  Double Concerto (world premiere)

The Cologne Chamber Orchestra gives the first performance of York Höller’s new Double Concerto for cello and piano, commissioned by the Klavierfestival Ruhr. Christoph Poppen is on the rostrum at the Philharmonie in Cologne with soloists Marie-Elisabeth Hecker and Martin Helmchen. The composer’s home city also hosts a new production of his Bulagkov opera The Master of Margarita, staged by Valentin Schwarz and conducted by André de Ridder (3 April) as well as the first concert performance of his Entrée featuring brass players from the Gürzenich Orchestra (4 July).
> Concert info

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