Sir Harrison Birtwistle is one of the most famous composers of contemporary music in England today. He has composed works for numerous international institutions and his compositions are regularly performed at major music festivals, such as Salzburg Festspiele and the BBC Proms. In 2014 the composer celebrated his 80th birthday. To mark the occasion, the festival “Sir Harry’s Song” honoured the composer in Hannover with a special focus on his vocal works. The festival weekend in Herrenhausen had its kick off with a public interview and discussion with the composer himself. The concerts offered a broad range of his past work, from compositions for soprano and ensemble to works for children’s choirs and even puppet theatre. The project’s musical director was the English conductor Stefan Asbury, one of the world’s leading conductors of contemporary music. The orchestral accompaniment has been performed by the Hannover-based Neues Ensemble, which has been presenting audiences with extraordinary performances of New Music for 20 years. The University of Music, Drama and Media in Hannover was the joint partner of the festival and offered students a special semester module devoted to Birtwistle’s music.
Artistic director: Stephan Meier
Composer: Sir Harrison Birtwistle (GB)
Musical director: Stefan Asbury (GB)
Singers, musicians: Charlotte Riedijk, Alice Rossi, Kuss Quartett, Das Neue Ensemble, Chamber Music and Song degree programmes, Institute Incontri at the University of Music, Drama and Media, Hannover (MTMH), Jan-Philipp Schulze.
Introductions, workshops: University of Music, Drama and Media, Hannover: 15 Mar. – 24 Oct. 2014;