The Philharmonia Composers’ Academy, presented in partnership with the Royal Philharmonic Society and allied to the Orchestra’s prestigious Music of Today contemporary music series, annually offers the opportunity for three talented emerging composers to write an original chamber work for a Philharmonia Ensemble.
Their new works are premiered by an ensemble of Philharmonia musicians at a Music of Today concert at the Royal Festival Hall prior to a full Philharmonia Orchestra concert.
In addition to this high-profile performance, the composers are guided through the writing process by Music of Today Artistic Director Unsuk Chin, as well as benefitting from specially curated seminars, masterclasses, instrument exploration sessions and a ‘works in progress’ workshop. From 2017 a recording and release on the NMC Recordings label has been included, enabling the works to have an international platform via online stores and streaming platforms.
Chia-Ying Lin Intermezzo to the Minotaur was inspired by Picasso's artwork Le Minotaure (1928), the piece influenced by the human ambiguity of the minotaur - the divine and bestial. Alex Woolf's Octet draws on threetypes of musical energy: outlandish and explosive, muscular and powerful, and pulsing and propulsive, and Benjamin Ashby's I've been planning for an impromptu explores improvisation inspired by the composer's free-jazz heroes Evan Parker and Barry Guy.
Geoffrey Paterson conductor
'[On Intermezzo to a Minotaur ] assemblage of instruments conceals a violence just underneath the surface that erupts in whiplike percussive energy and some thoroughly explosive solos' BBC Radio 3 New Music Show
'Layers of energy exploding in different directions … an exhilarating introduction to these young composers' BBC Radio 3 Record Review
'Lin has been particularly successful by creating a visual and exciting sound world and the piece gets the performance it deserves.' Nieuwe Noten
The Philharmonia Orchestra gratefully acknowledges support for Music of Today from Esa-Pekka Salonen.
The RPS is grateful for the support of these commisions from ABRSM, Britten-Pears Foundation, Delius Trust, The Radcliffe Trust and Harold Hyam Wingate Foundation.
The Philharmonia Orchestra's Composers' Academy is supported by:
All works were recorded live at Southbank Centre's Royal Festival Hall, London on 2 June 2019
Recording Producer/Engineer: JON STOKES (CLASSIC SOUND LTD)
(P) 2020 NMC Recordings Ltd
© 2020 NMC Recordings Ltd
Catalogue number: NMC DL3041
Release Date: 24 April 2020