Michael is Director of the Cheltenham Festival Composer Academy for a third successive year. 12 composers are selected to take part, with a packed series of events and workshops, culminating in two showcase concerts. Vocal group Juice works with Michael, while fellow University of Birmingham composer Scott Wilson works this year with composers specialising in music for instrumentalists and electronics.
The festival also sees The Ligeti Quartet premiere Michael’s String Quartet no.2 at 9pm, Wednesday 11 July, Chapel Arts, Cheltenham.
A Short Book of Harmonies for flute, clarinet, piano, vibraphone, violin and cello. The work will be broadcast alongside two other premieres – by Richard Ayres and Ryan Latimer – part of the launch concert for Loki, a brand new contemporary music ensemble conducted by Daniele Rosina.
As part of Birmingham’s 2nd CrossCurrents Festival – of which he is Artistic Director – Michael is writing two new works.
The first is Quietness, a work for solo violin, written for the brilliant German violinist Carolin Widmann, who also premiered Michael’s BBC commissioned Violin Concerto with the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sakari Oramo at the Barbican in February 2017. Quietness will be performed at the Barber Institute of Arts on Friday 16th February at 1.10pm.
The second new work is A Short Book of Harmonies for flute, clarinet, piano, vibraphone/percussion, violin and cello. It will be performed alongside two other premieres – from Richard Ayres and Ryan Latimer – as part of the launch concert for Loki, a new contemporary music ensemble conducted by Daniele Rosina. The concert is at the Elgar Concert Hall, Bramall Music Building on Friday 23rd February at 7.30pm. It is also being recorded for BBC Radio 3 Hear and Now and will be broadcast on Saturday 7 April.
Michael will be completing his third and final year as Cheltenham Festival Composer Academy Director in July 2018. As part of this, the Festival has commissioned a new String Quartet for the Ligeti Quartet, to be performed alongside a commission from one of the emerging composers who took part in the Academy in 2017.
Watch this space for further details.
Later in 2018, Resonus Classics will be issuing a new chamber music portrait CD of Michael’s music, involving the Fidelio Trio and clarinetist Julian Bliss.
Watch this space for further details nearer to the launch.