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Proms & Premieres

img  Tobias

Think what you may of the Proms, but they definitely serve to bring Classical music to a broader audience. Contrary to common opinion, this is not solely the merrit of the good old standard repertoire, but but also of some fresh discoveries. When we speak of "new" here, we don't really mean these guys are in their teens, but that their names will probably not resonate in even some experienced ears. It's a good move, therefore, that Warner Classics has decided to issue works by three composers featured at the Proms on a new CD. Let us tell you a little bit about them:

Zhu Long brings us the world premiere recording of "The Immortal", a hommage to Chinese artist of the 20th Century. This China-born American composer was a child prodigy, whose development was stimied when the Cultural revolution hit the fan in 1966. Later, he went on to study in Bejing and then Columbia University, and to win several prizes. Apart from his work as a composer, he is an organisor of festivals, teacher of masterclasses and has given several lectures at universities. But his most enthralling project is Music from China, an ensemble that is aiming to spread the beauty of Chinese music.

Kaija Saariaho is another name that doesn't immdediately ring a bell but deserves to be mentioned. Since 1952, this Finish Composer has been living and working in Paris, using computers and tapes alongside traditional instrumentation. Her first call to fame came when her violin conerto Graal Theatre was premiered by Gidon Kremer. But her greatest moment was probably the performance of "L'amour de loin", her first opera, which was directed by Peter Sellars, conducted by Kent Nagano and featured Dawn Upshaw among others. Her contribution to this CD is "Orion", which is said to bridge the gap between Skandinavian music and the meditative sounds of Eastern regions.

John Coriglianos Clarinet Concerto, meanwhile, had to wait more than 25 years for its debut. Corigliano has made quite a name for himself on the scene, winning the Pulitzer prize in Music for his Symphony No 2 and the Oscar for his score for "The Red Violin". John Corigliano has also expanded into the most diverse musical territories, composing e.g. an orchestral cycle based on Bob Dylan's work.

Source: Living Composers Project
Homepage: Music from China
Homepage: Kaija Saariaho
Source: Schirmer Music Publishers

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