Content by Victoria Bevan at Premier

Internationally regarded as one of the finest composers of our time, Sir George Benjamin is the focus of landmark concerts on 5 and 6 March 2019, the first at Wigmore Hall and the second at the Roundhouse, promoted by Wigmore Hall.

On 5 March, Benjamin conducts his highly successful first opera, Into the Little Hill, at Wigmore Hall, retelling the ancient tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin in a novel way, alongside a new work by the Australian composer Cathy Milliken and a recent one by the English composer Christian Mason.

On 6 March, Wigmore Hall promotes its first concert at the Roundhouse in a red-letter day for contemporary music fans, harking back to the days of Boulez’s famous avant-garde concerts at the iconic Camden venue. This performance includesComposition No. 2 ‘Dies irae’ for 8 double basses, percussion and piano by the Russian Galina Ustvolskaya (1919-2006), andSir George Benjamin conducts his own Palimpsests (2002), inspired by ‘the concept of a piece of parchment, or slate, used over and over again for different pieces of music’.

John Gilhooly, Executive and Artistic Director of Wigmore Hall, said: ‘It is a great joy to place Sir George’s extraordinary music at the heart of our contemporary series this season. I am thrilled to welcome Ensemble Modern back to the Hall, and to take Wigmore Hall’s artistic programme to the Roundhouse to fully explore Sir George’s remarkable sound world.’

Sir George Benjamin said: ‘It is both a delight and a privilege for me to collaborate on this project, especially as it involves my great friends from the Ensemble Modern. I look forward tremendously to returning to the Wigmore Hall and the Roundhouse – both absolutely magnificent venues, in their different ways –  and send my warmest thanks to John Gilhooly and everyone involved.’ 

5 March 2019, 7.30pm – Wigmore Hall

Ensemble Modern; Sir George Benjamin (conductor); Anu Komsi (soprano); Helena Rasker (contralto)
Christian Mason (b.1984) Layers of Love
Cathy Milliken (b.1956) New work (Commissioned by Ensemble Modern)
Luigi Dallapiccola Piccola Musica Notturna
Sir George Benjamin (b.1960) Into the Little Hill
Tickets £18-£40 (£5 tickets for Under 35s available). Further information here

6 March 2019, 7.30pm – Wigmore at the Roundhouse

Ensemble Modern Orchestra; Sir George Benjamin (conductor); Ueli Wiget (piano)
Pierre Boulez Initiale
Olivier Messiaen 7 haïkaï for piano and orchestra
Galina Ustvolskaya Composition No. 2 ‘Dies irae’ for 8 double basses, percussion and piano
György Ligeti Ramifications for 12 solo strings
Sir George Benjamin (b.1960) Palimpsests for orchestra
Tickets £10-£40 (£5 tickets for Under 35s available). Further information here

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