Sounds Original? RNCM launches Autumn ’18 season

We’ve launched our Autumn season, with Sounds Original? at its heart.

A first for us, the season explores originality in music, asking audiences and performers what makes something original, if originality in music exists, and if originality in music matters.

The project includes Original Voices, a new series welcoming international artists harnessing a forward-thinking approach to classical music, and the launch of the RNCM Orchestra Lab, which investigates what it means to be an orchestra in the 21st century.

Kick-starting Original Voices is pianist Francesco Tristano, who presents the UK première of The Goldberg City Variations (02 Oct). This impressive concert takes the audience on a journey of discovery, as the artist builds a digital cityscape in real-time using piano and computer. Following this, the Will Gregory Moog Ensemble stretches the possibilities of the Moog synthesizer through newly-composed music, transcriptions of classical works, and their own versions of music from popular culture and film (06 Nov). And Sō Percussion (below) presents a concert full of innovation and re-invention with music by Steve Reich and The National’s Bryce Dessner. The American quartet will also introduce the audience to the chord stick, a new instrument that’s a cross between a dulcimer and electric guitar (20 Nov).

Choreographer Struan Leslie is the first guest to join the RNCM Orchestra Lab, directing a new presentation of Mozart’s Symphony No 39 (15 Nov). And Sounds Original? also includes performances by Manchester Collective, who present a world première production of Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire (16 Nov), and a special night dedicated to Frank Zappa, where RNCM classical and popular music students combine to perform works by the genre-defying artist (30 Nov).

Through concerts, talks, Q&As and debates, Sounds Original? invites artists and audiences to join the conversation as we explore the idea of originality in music.

View all Sounds Original? events here

What else is coming up this Autumn…

Our In Focus series continues with the music of Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho (25 – 26 Oct). The two-day festival includes concerts by the BBC Philharmonic and RNCM New Ensemble where a selection of Kaija’s work will be performed alongside new pieces by student composers. The annual RNCM Saxophone Day, with special guest Eric Marienthal, welcomes players of all ages and abilities for a jam-packed day of music (04 Nov). And we once again joins forces with Manchester Science Festival to explore the relationship between maths and music as mathematician Marcus du Sautoy and composer Emily Howard present The Music of The Primes, a new collaboration from PRiSM (the RNCM’s centre for Practice and Research in Science and Music) (23 Oct).

RNCM Opera returns to the stage in December for a Puccini double-bill of Suor Angelica and Gianni Schicchi (07 – 15 Dec), with alumni Linda Richardson and Quentin Hayes performing lead roles alongside rising stars from our vocal department. The RNCM Symphony Orchestra is also back in action with a concert of Wagner, Prokofiev and Mussorgsky (02 Nov), as is the RNCM Session Orchestra (below) which includes new music by the College’s popular music students (27 Oct). Our Big Band presents two concerts this season – first with saxophonist Eric Marienthal (03 Nov) and the second, a tribute to Benny Goodman, with clarinetist Pete Long (14 Dec), while the RNCM String Ensemble shares the stage with violinist Henning Kraggerud (18 Oct).

Added to this is a special fundraising concert in memory of Sir John Manduell, the RNCM’s founding Principal who died in October 2017 (19 Nov), a screening of Harold Lloyd’s 1923 comedy Safety Last! with live piano accompaniment (26 Oct), Hocus Pocus, the next instalment in the RNCM’s Young Explorers family-friendly concert series (14 Oct), and the RNCM Christmas Family Day (16 Dec).

Finally, we’re also home to an array of guest artists this season, including Mark Lanegan and Duke Garwood (08 Oct), Maya Youssef (11 Oct), Mark Kozelek of Sun Kil Moon (12 Oct), Terry Riley and Gyan Riley (12 Oct), Curtis Stigers (28 Oct), Barry Adamson (29 Oct), Hazel O’Connor (14 Nov), and Madeleine Peyroux (22 Nov). And there are four stellar events for this year’s Manchester Literature Festival to look forward to, with Jenni Murray (06 Oct), Graham Norton (07 Oct), Susan Calman (13 Oct) and Jo Brand (above, 24 Oct) all making special appearances to chat about their latest books.

25 September 2018