Anna Clyne. Photo by Christina Kernohan.
Plus world premieres for the Bravo Vail! Festival and Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, and new concertos for Pekka Kuusisto and Jeremy Denk
Renowned composer Anna Clyne is set to captivate audiences across the globe with five world premieres in the coming months – collaborating with some of the greatest artists and orchestras of this generation and creatively expanding her sound-world through the use of technology.
This summer will mark the first use of the Augmented Orchestra (AO), new technology created, developed and implemented by Clyne and sound designer Jody Elff. As a technological extension of the orchestra, AO augments across multiple modalities, including tone, amplitude, dynamics, location and environment – all through the use of computer-controlled processes. By developing AO, Clyne and Elff have expanded on the long-standing orchestral configuration to introduce audiences to new sounds and auditory experiences. AO will receive its world premiere at Cabrillo Festival this August and will feature in some of Clyne’s upcoming compositions. The next implementation of AO following its premiere will be a large-scale concerto for orchestra.
One of the most in-demand composers today, Clyne works with orchestras, choreographers, filmmakers, and visual artists around the world. She was named the 8th most performed contemporary composer in the world and the most performed living female British composer in 2022.
Composer Anna Clyne says:
“I am thrilled to have an opportunity to revisit and reimagine my love of electroacoustic music through the development of the Augmented Orchestra (AO) in collaboration with sound designer, Jody Elff. We are excited to bring the AO to audiences for the first time and we look forward to further developing the technology with future iterations of AO. It has also been amazing to collaborate with some incredible soloists and festivals for a series of upcoming premieres. In addition to being inspired by these world-class artists, these works also represent my wide-ranging interests and find inspiration in poetry, folk music and visual artists. I am grateful to have these opportunities as I further develop my writing of concerti and exploring the orchestral sound-world, which seems limitless.”
- This Moment – Bravo Vail! Festival, Friday 14 July
Anna Clyne returns to Bravo Vail! Festival for the world premiere of This Moment, an orchestral work inspired by the calligraphy of Vientnamese Buddhist monk, Zen master, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh. The work acts as a reflection of his words, “this moment is full of wonders” and will open the closing night of the festival, conducted by Yannick Nézet-Séguin and performed by The Philadelphia Orchestra. Clyne’s This Moment draws on collective grief and loss, developing two brief moments from Mozart’s Requiem, which will also be performed that evening (Bravo Vail! Festival – Friday 14 April).
Later this summer, Clyne will premiere new technology developed sound designer Jody Elff, the Augmented Orchestra (AO). AO will feature in Clyne’s Wild Geese, which receives its world premiere at the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Cristian Măcelaru conducts the festival-commissioned work, which serves as a tribute to long-time Executive Director Ellen Primack, who steps down from her role after 33 seasons. Wild Geese takes its inspiration from a poem by Mary Oliver of the same title (Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music – Sunday 13 August).
- Time and Tides – Pekka Kuusisto/ Helsinki Philharmonic, Friday 8 September
Violinist Pekka Kuusisto will give the world premiere of Clyne’s Time and Tides with the Helsinki Philharmonic as part of her residency with the orchestra in their 23/24 season (Musikkitako Concert Hall, Helsinki – Friday 8 September). Jointly commissioned by the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the work draws on folk tunes from Finland and Scotland, exploring themes of water and boating. As part of the development of the work, Clyne took up violin lessons to explore the extended techniques that would be used to evoke sounds of nature. Time and Tides will have its UK premiere with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra on 13 March in St Andrews, followed by performances in Edinburgh (14 March) and Glasgow (15 March).
- Quarter Days – South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Sunday 22 October
Quarter Days, a work for string quartet and orchestra, is a reflection on the passing of time – both within a minute, a day, through the seasons and within a lifetime. The Elucid Quartet and Fischoff Chamber Music Association join the South Bend Symphony Orchestra conducted by music director Alastair Willis. By composing for both quartet and orchestra, Clyne wished to create a hyper-quartet, with the forces at times creating an echo chamber of sound. (DeBartolo Performing Arts Center – Sunday 22 October)
A new piano concerto ATLAS will receive its world premiere with Jeremy Denk and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra (Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center – Thursday 28 March 2024). The work is inspired by a four-volume publication mapping the ideas and processes of German artist Gerhard Richter; the concerto will have further performances, including the UK premiere with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra with conductor Kazuki Yamada on 1 May, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra with conductor Chen Yi on 17-19 May.
This 23/24 season, Anna Clyne joins the Artistic Team at the Helsinki Philharmonic as Composer-in-Residence, alongside Chief Conductor and Artistic Director Jukka-Pekka Saraste and Principal Guest and Artistic Co-Director Pekka Kuusisto. Plans for her residency include two new concerti, as well as a week of collaborative orchestral concerts.
Clyne will also serve as Artist-in-Residence with the Symphony Orchestra of Castilla y León. Performances as part of this residency include the Spanish premieres of Glasslands with Jess Gillam and conductor Elena Schwarz, This Midnight Hour with conductor Elim Chan, and Weathered with Martin Fröst and conductor Ryan Bancroft.
This year will also see key UK premieres of Clyne’s work. Mandolinist Avi Avital will perform Three Sisters with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields on 11 July, in a programme dedicated to demonstrating the virtuosity of the instrument.
Following the success of its premiere, clarinettist Martin Fröst will give the Swiss, Belgian, Finnish and German premieres of Weathered this season. The work will be performed with Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra on 18 July, Antwerp Symphony Orchestra on 15 December, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra on 6 March and NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester on 13 June.
Later this year, saxophonist Jess Gillam will give the UK Premiere of Clyne’s concerto Glasslands with the BBC Philharmonic at Nottingham Royal Concert Hall on 5 October. The work will also receive its Candian premiere in June 2024 with the National Arts Centre Orchestra. Glasslands is set in three movements and conjures an imaginary world of three realms governed by the banshee – a female spirit who, in Irish folklore, heralds the death of a family member (usually by wailing, shrieking, or keening in the silence of the night). Gillam premiered the work in February this year with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Han-Na Chang.
This season will also see the Italian premiere of Colour Field with Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della Rai on 8 September and German premieres of Restless Oceans with Philharmonisches Orchester Erfurt on 9 November and PIVOT with Neue Philharmonie Westfalen on 11 December.