Thursday, 25 June 2015

Guest Blog: Frances Wilson on The Power of the Programme

In a guest article for the Music Haven Blog, our friend Frances Wilson from the Cross Eyed Pianist Blog writes on how a sensitive concert programme can make or break the premiere of a contemporary piece of music.

Recently I attended two concerts, one in London at St John’s Smith Square and the other in Brighton as part of the Fringe Festival, which included world premieres of new works for piano. The new works were interspersed with more familiar repertoire which made interesting and witty connections between old and new, as well as offering a varied and contrasting listening experience. It struck me that this was an intelligent, accessible and enjoyable way of programming new music by giving audiences an opportunity to experience it without hitting them over the head with it, as is sometimes the effect if one attends a concert comprised entirely from brand new music. It was refreshing to come across these programmes in which familiar works were placed alongside the new and not-so-familiar, for such juxtapositions can shine a new light on the old and highlight previously undiscovered connections between works and composers.