The Metropolis New Music Festival, presented by the Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, is the only national festival dedicated to presenting contemporary new music, and this year has local and international artists performing, including an amazing 11 world premieres. Running from May 9 to 21, the program is made up of ticketed events in both the Elisabeth Murdoch Hall and the Salon, as well as a series of free concerts in the main foyer of the Centre.
Matthew Lorenzon of RealTime said of last year’s festival: “ Metropolis New Music Festival brought together large and small music organisations to reflect upon the great questions of our age.”
What does 2016 have in store? The organisers say that Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra’s fifth collaboration brings new and exhilarating works to the Centre that pulse to the beat of city life. The Festival showcases the best interpreters of new music in Australia in a dazzling overview of state of the art contemporary music.
Melbourne Recital Centre Director of Artistic Planning, Marshall McGuire says, “Melbourne Recital Centre and the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra (MSO) are at the geographical and spiritual heart of music-making in this city, so it’s a delight to explore the energy and excitement of the metropolis in this year’s Festival. The borders between ‘classical’ and ‘pop’ music have never been more blurred, and this year we travel from the club to street to the concert hall, with artists like Nicole Lizée, Jess Ribeiro, The Song Company, Cam Butler, and a host of brilliant musicians.”
Dynamic American conductor and pianist Robert Spano, music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has programmed three concerts, in which he will conduct the MSO. The series of three MSO concerts opens with a celebration of two great American cities in City Life. Composer Michael Daugherty depicts Los Angeles’ famous Sunset Strip in his work of the same name and Steve Reich conveys the urgent restlessness of his home, New York City, in City Life. Completing the program is music from Unsuk Chin and a new work from the Cybec 21st Century Australian Composers program.
Cityscapes takes listeners on a musical journey through city streets across the ages, from 17th century composer Orlando Gibbons’ Cries of London to Berio’s work of the same name. Closing the MSO’s series of concerts is a program devoted to cities of the imagination with works including Messiaen’s Couleurs de la cité céleste. The highlight of this concert is the world premiere of Australian Barry Conyngham’s Diasporas.
And there’s much more during the Festival this month, for example as PLEXUS curates a concert of five world premiere works by five different composers, and Australian virtuoso pianist/composer Michael Kieran Harvey performs his original multi-keyboard works inspired by a dystopian vision of the city.
Ronald Vermeulen, Director of Artistic Planning at the MSO said: “The concerts that we have programmed reflect the diversity of new music that has been created in, and inspired by, the cities that we live in across the world.”
For event details and booking call 03 9699 3333 or go to Metropolis New Music Festival
Visiting conductor Robert Spano is pictured against the metropolis of Atlanta where he is music director of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
The information for this story was supplied by the Melbourne Recital Centre.