New music season brings spring harmony to Aberdeen

New music season brings spring harmony to Aberdeen

North-east audiences will have the chance to hear some of the world’s greatest composers and celebrated soloists over the coming months as the University of Aberdeen launches its Music for the Spring Season programme.

The new series of recitals, which also features a talented line-up of University musicians and a number of free concerts, begins this Sunday (February 5) with a recital from clarinettist Ian Mitchell, who is well-known for his performances with the acclaimed Gemini ensemble. He will perform the world premiere of Solemn Liturgy by Dr Paul Mealor, Senior Lecturer in Music at the University of Aberdeen.

Ian will perform alongside pianist Timothy Jones in a repertoire also featuring works by Brahms, Mozart, Poulenc and Bernstein. The opening concert will be held in Mitchell Hall, Marischal College at 7.45pm, and is open to all. Tickets are priced £7.50 (£5.00 concession) and are available at Aberdeen Box Office, on (01224) 641122.

Dr Roger Williams, Director of University Music, said: “Whether you are new to classic music or a regular concert-goer, there really is something for everyone in our new season of popular and inspiring music from around the world.

“We encourage people – young and old – to join us as we endeavour to bring the thrill of live music to wider audiences.”

The spring season line-up continues on Tuesday, February 7, with an organ recital by James Lancelot, of Durham Cathedral, who will continue the outstanding series of recitals on the new Aubertin organ. The programme of music will include Sweelinck, Buxtehude, J S Bach, F Couperin, Tomkins, Gibbons and Mendelssohn. The recital will be held in King’s College Chapel at 7.45pm and admission is free. The organ recitals will be completed this year with a performance by the University of Aberdeen’s George Chittenden, the present David Gordon Memorial Organ Scholar, on Tuesday, April 25, at 7.45pm in the chapel.

On Sunday, February 12, The Squaire Mile (viols consort) will perform in King’s College Chapel at 3.00pm, with music by Purcell and Jenkins, two of the last and finest composers of the golden age of consort music.

One of the most exciting ventures in this season’s programme is the week-long residency of the Bach Ensemble - the best of the early music groups playing on original instruments – and its charismatic leader Joshua Rifkin. They will bring to Aberdeen some European premieres of recently discovered or completed works by J S Mach. The first concert, sponsored by the Craig Group, will be held on Sunday, February 19, with several of Bach’s keyboard concertos on one, two and three harpsichords. The concert will take place at 7.45pm in the Elphinstone Hall, King’s College.

The Bach Ensemble residency, sponsored by the Craig Group, will continue with a performance on Thursday, February 23, in the Mitchell Hall, Marischal College, at 7.45pm, followed by a performance on Friday, February 24, in the MacRobert Lecture Theatre at 5.15pm, when Joshua Rifkin will revive the ragtime and Scott Joplin in particular.

The University’s own musicians will perform at a special concert on Sunday, March 5. The University Symphony Orchestra and the University Percussion Ensemble will unite for an exciting evening of music by Gershwin, Schubert, Hollinden, Bach, and Ravel, in the Mitchell Hall at 7.45pm.

On Tuesday, March 7, an organist of international repute, Ulrik Spang-Hanssen, will travel from his home in Aarhus in Denmark to give a rare UK performance. The concert, which is free and open to all, will be held in the King’s College Chapel, at 7.45pm.

Another highlight of the spring music season will be a concert on Sunday, March 19, featuring a talented all-Aberdeen cast. Lisa Milne (soprano), Andrew Locke-Nicholson (tenor), and Alan Watt (bass), will unite with the University Choral Society and the University Chamber Orchestra at St Andrew’s Cathedral, King Street, at 7.45pm.

A further key event on the spring agenda is the much-anticipated concert by the Philharmonia Orchestra on Friday, May 5, at 7.30pm, in The Music Hall.

Dr Williams said: “We are particularly proud to present the world-renowned Philharmonia Orchestra with conductor Vladimir Ashkenazy together with pianist Stephen Osborne for their first concert in Aberdeen.

“This outstanding orchestra has a special relationship with Ashkenazy and with the second symphony of Rachmaninoff, which they have made a particular favourite.

“With concerts from our own Symphony Orchestra, Concert Band, Repertoire Orchestra and Choral Society, together with the third of our University competitions – this year to find the Singer of the Year – there is something to gratify many different and varied tastes in music.”

Concert tickets are available now by calling Aberdeen Box Office on (01224) 641122 or log on to: www.abdnboxoffice.com

A copy of Music for the Spring Season is available by contacting University Music on (01224) 272570 or by emailing: music@abdn.ac.uk. Full details of all concerts are available in the brochure or by visiting: www.abdn.ac.uk/music

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