London premieres. Anna Meredith’s Five Telegrams, based
on telegrams sent by young soldiers from the trenches in
1918, was performed outside the Royal Albert Hall, with
specially commissioned digital images projected onto the
walls of the building.
George Benjamin conducted the London Sinfonietta at
a Prom at the Roundhouse, a former locomotive shed, in the
premieres of works by Luca Francesconi, Georg Friedrich
Haas, Hannah Kendall, and Isabel Mundry, all related to
the First World War.
Welsh National Opera celebrated the centennial of
women’s suffrage in the U.K. with a wacky new work from
Elena Langer and librettist Emma Jenkins, Rhondda Rips it
Up!—Artistic Director David Pountney having decided that
“we would rather throw a party than preach a sermon.”
In February a North Korean orchestra paved the way for
Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un by taking a ferry to South
Korea to take part in the Winter Olympics.
The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields capped a U.S.
tour with a $1 million gift from the American Friends of
the Academy president Maria Cardamone, leading up to
the 2019 celebration of the 60th anniversary of its founding
by Neville Marriner.
George Benjamin’s dark new opera Lessons in Love and
Mariss Jansons extended his contract as chief conductor
Violence proved a challenge for some at the Royal Opera
he will step down as chief conductor of the Melbourne
Symphony Orchestra at the end of his contract in December
2019, becoming conductor laureate. Also heading for the
exit in 2019 was Daniel Harding, leaving his post as music
director of the Orchestre de Paris, the resident symphonic
ensemble at the new Philharmonie, after only three seasons
in the job. The orchestra also announced that it would
merge with the Philharmonie.
of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir
through the 2023-24 season, and the Berlin Philharmonic
designated him an honorary member of the orchestra,
the players wishing to “express their gratitude for a long
association,” adding his name to a distinguished list: Daniel
Barenboim, Bernard Haitink, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and
Garsington Opera, held at the Getty family home
in rural southeast England, clocked up its first full-scale
commission, David Sawer’s The Skating Rink, based on the
novel of the same title by Chilean author Roberto Bolaño.
Krzysztof Penderecki, 85, announced that he would not
be able to deliver Phaedra, planned for world premiere in
the 2018-19 season of the Wiener Staatsoper.
The BBC Proms packed in 41 premieres across the
summer, including 27 world premieres and 14 U.K. or
(left to right) Catherine Wood (Lottie), Rosie Hay (Sybil), Madeleine Shaw (Lady Rhondda), and Paula Greenwood (Prid) in the Welsh National
Opera’s production of composer Elena Langer and librettist Emma Jenkins’s wacky nod to the centennial of women’s suffrage in the U.K.,
Rhondda Rips It Up! Photo: © Jane Hobson/WNO.
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