HCMF 2016: looking forward some more

by 5:4

Further information has been made available today about this year’s Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, following the announcement in May that Georg Friedrich Haas will be the featured Composer in Residence. Predictably, there’s a great deal to get excited about. The music of Harry Partch will be making an appearance courtesy of Ensemble Musikfabrik, who’ve done so much to promote Partch over the last few years, reconstructing his vast array of weird and wonderful microtonal instruments (their rendition of his And on the Seventh Day Petals Fell in Petaluma at Bristol New Music 2014 was a dazzling testament both to the ensemble’s meticulous care/preparation as well as to Partch’s discombobulating approach to—well, pretty much everything). To expand upon this, the ensemble has commissioned composers to write for these instruments, and will be premièring several of them at this year’s festival, including an hour long work by Claudia Molitor titled Walking with Partch.

Swiss composer Alfred Zimmerlin will be bringing his Stone Orchestra to Huddersfield, and the festival’s fondness for improvisation will this year be entertained by Peter Brötzmann and Gareth Davis, the latter appearing once again in conjunction with the music of American composer/guitarist Elliott Sharp (of whose solo contrabass clarinet piece Silva Silvarum Davis gave a wonderful first performance a couple of years ago). Having brought the festival to an end in recent years, the Arditti Quartet will this time be getting it up and running with an opening night concert alongside contemporary music’s most radical nightingale, Jennifer Walshe, giving the UK première of Walshe’s Everything is Important (which, coincidentally, received its world première in Darmstadt just last night). The Ardittis will also be joining with Klangforum Wien in a concert presenting two major works by Haas, The Hyena and his brand spanking new String Quartet No. 10. The Diotima Quartet will also be appearing, performing new works by Enno Poppe and Sam Hayden, and HCMF regular Richard Uttley is back with music by Haas, Eric Wubbels and Olga Neuwirth, as well as—best of all—a new piece for Fender Rhodes piano by Michael Cutting, whose This Is Not A Faux Wood Keyboard remains a particularly memorable highlight from last year.

Throw in new and recent works from the likes of Rebecca Saunders, Liza Lim, Eva Reiter, George Lewis and John Zorn and HCMF 2016 is already shaping up to be a typically kaleidoscopic and challenging festival. It runs from Friday 18 to Sunday 27 November; full details and tickets are available from the festival website.

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Sparky P.

So Herr Haas actually has two new quartets to be premiered? Or, is that perhaps a misnumber? (And as I keep harping: BBC3 jolly well better broadcast all (or at least a good most) of this!)

Sparky P.

Actually, to clarify, Haas is up to eight quartets and the promo says that the Ardittis are premiering no.10, wondering what ever became of no.9 (unless that is being shelved for some reason).

Sparky P.

So now I found a scoop to clarify everything. The great JACK Quartet are performing Quartet No.9 in November in Vienna. Hopefully it will found its way to get to the rest of us.

“McFarland substitutes Campbell on select dates, including their European tour in November that includes the world premiere of Georg Friedrich Haas’ String Quartet No. 9 at the Wien Modern on November 12. Like Haas’ String Quartet No. 3, this will be performed in complete darkness with the quartet playing from memory.”


When are you going to upload the 2015 HCMF pieces on YouTube? I’m eagerly anticipating them?

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