Mark’s new saxophone concerto Sapiens received its world premiere in December. It was performed by Simon Haram and the London Sinfonietta, conducted by Jessica Cottis. Inspired by Yuval Noah Harari’s extraordinary history of humankind, Sapiens formed part of a fascinating evening exploring links between musical composition and literature, presented by journalist and writer Bidisha.
The concert also featured a world premiere from Colin Matthews and Oliver Knussen's Songs Without Voices. Writing for Bachtrack, Timmy Fisher described the work as being ‘human at its very core, expertly conveying the enigma of our turbulent emotional lives’.
Read the full review here.
Mark returned to Aldeburgh Young Musicians in October to teach on the Contemporary Music and Composition course alongside Zoë Martlew, Stuart King and Mark Simpson. The young musicians explored current ideas in composition and created their own work, which was presented to a very enthusiastic audience at the end of the week.
AYM is a Centre for Advanced Training based at Snape Maltings Concert Hall and part of the national network. Through intensive residential courses, individual lessons, professional advice, mentoring and performance opportunities AYM nurtures the creative, innovative and distinctive musicians of tomorrow.
The two-week residency brings together choreographers and composers to explore the art of collaboration. This year, the collaborating artists were mentored by choreographer Kim Brandstrup and composer Kenneth Hesketh, with founding directors Robert Cohan and composer Eleanor Alberga leading the residency.
Mark was invited to talk about his own work and experiences as a composer working in dance.
Mark is thrilled to announce that the Berkeley Ensemble have been awarded a Beyond Borders touring grant from the PRS Foundation in partnership with Creative Scotland, Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Arts Council of Ireland / An Chomhairle Ealaíon. The grant will enable the world premiere tour next spring of The Mare’s Tale, a ghostly music theatre work written by Mark & Damian Walford Davies and inspired by the artwork of Clive Hicks-Jenkins. Watch this space for tour details, further info here.
The future of contemporary classical music is in good hands! The 10th London Sinfonietta Academy, which gives the next generation of extraordinary musicians the opportunity to train alongside world class players and conductors, perform a showcase concert at the Platform Theatre on Thursday 12th July with music from George Benjamin, Harrison Birtwistle, Deborah Pritchard and featuring Mark’s Channel Rose. Info and tickets here.
Mark’s Five Memos will be performed on Saturday 28th April as part of London Music Masters & London Contemporary Orchestra’s Classical Secret project. Hyeyoon Park and Roderick Chadwick will perform the work as part of an immersive musical experience. The performance will be split across two spaces in the intimate 1901 Arts Club using live programme notes and surprise performances in the bar. Info and tickets here.
Mark’s choral work Far to the Northward Lying will be performed by Cardiff University Contemporary Music Group at CoMA’s Festival of Contemporary Music for All on Friday 2nd March 2018. The Festival is taking place in Belgium, Ireland, Germany and the UK and celebrates participation in new music for musicians of all ages and abilities.
Further details and tickets here.
The BBC National Orchestra of Wales celebrates its 90th birthday in April 2018.
As part of the 90th anniversary celebrations at BBC Hoddinott Hall, the orchestra looks back at works that have been commissioned for BBC NOW over the years. The two concerts (21 February and 28 March) each feature music by former Composers-in-Residence.
Mark is currently writing a new set of short orchestral pieces, which will be premiered in the February concert. Watch this space for further info!
Five Memos for violin and piano will be performed at the Tenri Cultural Institute in New York on Friday 12th January by Esther Noh and Jacob Rhodebeck of Lost Dog New Music Ensemble.
The concert kicks off a festival celebrating the contemporary music scene in the UK with music from Anna Meredith, Harrison Birtwistle, Helen Grime and Julian Anderson, amongst many other.
Garth Edwin Sunderland, artistic director of the festival, told Composers Edition ‘it was actually encountering Mark Bowden’s music on his NMC disc that got me thinking more about music from the UK. It’s actually quite rare to encounter UK composers on US new music programmes. That struck me as a strange blind spot, given how much cultural exchange there is otherwise between our two countries.’ Having discovered so much great music that’s either unknown or under-represented in the US, Lost Dog Ensemble wanted to do something that would bring these composers greater attention, which led to this festival. ’It’s our hope that the UK Commotion!’ will make some noise to help to raise the profiles of these incredibly diverse, talented, and creative UK composers.’
For further information and tickets visit www.lostdognewmusic.org