24 Jan 2019

PRS FOUNDATION’S NEW MUSIC BIENNIAL 2019 ANNOUNCED

A unique snapshot of UK contemporary music across two major festivals, on air and online.

PRS Foundation today announces the 19 new works selected for the New Music Biennial 2019, a PRS Foundation initiative presented in partnership with Absolutely Cultured (Hull), London’s Southbank Centre, BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings.

Following its success at Hull City of Culture and London’s Southbank Centre in 2017, this critically acclaimed free festival of new music returns to present a unique snapshot of UK contemporary music, featuring brand new and recently written music by an exciting range of music creators.

The New Music Biennial 2019 programme includes new music from all genres: classical to chamber music, jazz, folk and electronic to music for kora, gamelan, oud and organ. Presenting and commissioning works of no longer than 15 minutes, the New Music Biennial provides a unique pop-up, accessible way for audiences to discover new music and hear the pieces more than once.

Highlights include two BBC Concert Orchestra collaborations with artists having a major impact on UK music right now: playwright, poet, novelist and spoken word artist Kate Tempest plus composer and turntablist Shiva Feshareki.

Many of the new commissions explore the complexity of modern identities; what it means to be Jewish and British in Brit-ish by Sam Eastmond, youth identities in modern cities by rising jazz star Sarah Tandy and works that play with the musical traditions of east and west by Sona Jobarteh, Arun Ghosh, Rolf Hind and Khyam Allami.

All of the New Music Biennial commissions share an inspiring sense of experiment – from Klein’s ballet for teenage boys, Clare M Singer’s acoustic electronica to Forest Swords & Immix Ensemble’s sonic city landscape.

The winning compositions were selected by a panel of judges, Chaired by BBC Radio 3 Controller Alan Davey and including Vanessa Reed (CEO, PRS Foundation), Gillian Moore CBE (Director of Music, Southbank Centre), Katy Fuller (Director, Absolutely Cultured) and radio presenters Kevin Le Gendre and Elizabeth Alker. The programme features an impressive array of performance groups and arts organisations with a strong track record in supporting UK composers. This includes Chineke!, London Contemporary Orchestra, Opera North, Metal Liverpool, QuJunktions and many more.

The New Music Biennial pieces will be performed across two weekends on 5 – 7 July 2019 at London’s Southbank Centre and 12 – 14 July 2019 in Hull, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 plus available as a download by NMC Recordings following the festivals.

New Biennial is supported by: Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Arts Council of Wales, Hull University, The John S Cohen Foundation, The Richard Thomas Foundation, The Radcliffe Trust, RVW Trust, The Finzi Trust, The Bliss Trust and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

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