GREAT BRITS 2 | MUSIC PREVIEW
Great Brits 2, Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay
Fri 3 Feb
The BBC National Orchestra Of Wales returns this month with an evening celebrating the finest of British composition. Great Brits Two will feature music from three legendary 20th century composers: Graham Fitkin, Steve Martland, and David Bedford.
Fans of modern pianism will not be left wanting, with the concert featuring composition genres ranging from the post-minimalist to the popular. The previous instalment of Great Brits, in January, was a tribute to British composers of the post-war era, including giant of minimalism Michael Nyman. This February the Orchestra promise to “push against the conventions of 20th century orchestral composition”. American conductor Edwin Outwater aims to excite musical palates with a range of new partnerships that bridge traditional gaps across musical genres.
Hoddinott Hall, located in the Wales Millennium Centre, is a 350-seat auditorium tailored specifically to provide flawless acoustics. Audience members will be treated to the second performance of Intimate Curve, Cornishman Graham Fitkin’s recent orchestral piece. Fitkin masterfully shifts focus from individual sections of the Orchestra before merging them together, resulting in an inspiring sensory journey. Crossing The Border is a rhythmic tour de force composed by the late Steve Martland, a significant figure in the British contemporary classical landscape in the 1980s and 90s. Also featuring is the late David Bedford’s characteristically eccentric Star’s End, an eclectic mix of flowing themes and striking orchestral pieces.
The concert itself will prove technically challenging, but the BBC National Orchestra is fully equipped to rise to the occasion. The orchestra has a rich history; founded in 1928, their musical pedigree is exceptional occupying roles as both a broadcast orchestra and as the national symphony orchestra of Wales. Under current Principal Conductor Thomas Søndergård, the orchestra have an intensive concert diary and constantly look to new challenges, rightly earning themselves a place as one of Britain’s premier ensembles. Great Brits 2 is set to be a night of technical skill and sensory exploration that disciples of contemporary British composition will not want to miss.
Tickets: £12/£10. Info: 029 2063 6464 / www.wmc.org.uk
words JOHN BOOTH