FOR THE RECORD
The ‘Making the Modern World’ exhibit at the Science Museum in London
NMC Recordings and the Science Museum announce musical collaboration
NMC Recordings, the organisation dedicated to championing British contemporary music, has invited six leading composers to write works inspired by exhibits at London’s Science Museum in a project to mark the label’s 25th anniversary.
Gerald Barry, Barry Guy, Christopher Mayo, Claudia Molitor, Thea Musgrave and David Sawer will each write a short piece inspired by an object or gallery at the museum, while music by Colin Matthews will link them together in the spirit of Mussorgsky’s promenade music from Pictures at an Exhibition.
The works will be performed by the Aurora Orchestra at the Science Museum in autumn 2015 and recorded by NMC. An education element will involve local schoolchildren in the project while the museum itself will use the project to research ways in which music affects visitor experiences. NMC describes it as possibly its ‘most ambitious adventure to date’. So far, 60 per cent of the money needed has been secured, though a further £90,000 is still to be raised.
out of copyright, the organisation is shortly to be wound up.
NMC was confirmed this spring as a continued recipient of money from the Arts Council England’s National Portfolio – worth £40,000 a year. The label has also sought to broaden the partners it collaborates with – including the Hallé, with which it is recording music by Ryan Wigglesworth and Helen Grime, among others – as well as its base of supporters. In the past three years it has increased tenfold the number of trusts who provide funding. This month it also announced the appointment of a new chairman, Andrew Ward, Director of Corporate Relations at Brunel University, who has links to other arts organisations including Dartington Summer School. Crucially, though, NMC aims to increase the audience for the label and therefore for contemporary music in general. The Science Museum project is an imaginative step on that worthwhile mission.
The project is the most headlinegrabbing of a series of recent announcements by NMC, which faces a future without funding of £120,000 a year from the Holst Foundation. The Foundation’s income had mainly come from royalties and rights payments earned by Holst’s compositions but, 10 years after the composer’s music fell
Cecilia Bartoli’s new album, ‘St Petersburg’, is revealed C
ecilia Bartoli has won six Gramophone Awards and sold over 10 million albums, making her Universal’s best-selling ‘core’ classical artist, so every new Bartoli release is keenly anticipated. This year Decca has announced that Bartoli’s new album, ‘St Petersburg’, is to be released on October 13.
Research in the Mariinsky Archives in St Petersburg by Bartoli has resulted in a collection that includes no fewer than 11 world-premiere recordings. The anthology focuses on a golden age for opera during the 18th century as three successive empresses (or tsaritsas) looked to Italy to bring the all-but-unknown form of opera to their courts at St Petersburg. As well as Cimarosa, who spent four years
Tod Machover named Lucerne Festival’s Composer-in-Residence Tod Machover will serve as the Lucerne Festival’s Composer-in-Residence in 2015, creating A Symphony for Lucerne, which will feature sounds recorded in Lucerne by Machover and ‘musical ideas submitted by the residents of Lucerne that define the city’s unique qualities and traditions’. Machover is an MIT Media Lab Professor and will use special technologies developed at MIT to make the commission interactive for the citizens of Lucerne. One such novelty is an app called Constellation (symphonyforlucerne.ch/Constellation) which allows people to hear the latest sounds captured by Machover and mix them how they wish. The symphony will be premiered on September 5, 2015, conducted by Matthias Pintscher. SAM conducts survey on composers’ commission fees Sound and Music – the UK’s national agency for new music – conducted a survey of composers in June and July which sought to illuminate the topic of what composers are paid in commission fees for their music. Of the 466 composers who took part, 74 per cent were UK-based.
8 GRAMOPHONE AWARDS 2014