Highlights of the summer 2017 season include:
- Shanghai Grand Theatre Arts Group Residency including the UK premiere of The Wager with singers from the opera house and Guildhall musicians
- The School’s most prestigious award The Gold Medal, this year for singers
- The annual Guildhall Jazz Showcase returns in May with highlights including a gala performance with Liane Carroll
- Cellist Michael Petrov in recital at Wigmore Hall as winner of the Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize
- The opera department presents the first version of Handel’s Radamisto in the Milton Court Theatre
- Guildhall third year actors present Crazy For You as the summer musical
- Opera Makers features three exciting new works written by composers and librettists on theSchool’s MA in Opera Making & Writing programme
- Two Faculty Artist Series concerts including a Liszt premiere given by Nicholas Daniel and Friends and Charles Owen and Katya Apekisheva perform Rachmaninov works for two pianos
- The Technical Theatre Graduate Exhibition returns in June
- Collaborations this summer include:
- The UK premiere of Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon alongside Sir Simon Rattle and LSO
- Guildhall New Music Ensemble performing as part of BBC Symphony Orchestra Total Immersion Day: Edgard Varèse
- Sound Unbound at the Barbican
- Four LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists concerts
- Curious returns to showcase the work by current students and graduates of the Guildhall Masters in Leadership programme
- An electronic music collaboration with The Mixed Up Chorus & 3FF with two world premieres
Guildhall Jazz Showcase: 2 – 4 May
The School’s annual jazz festival takes place over three days this May, with students, alumni and professors of the jazz department presenting a broad and diverse range of performances, ranging from explorations of the roots of jazz to the music of Hermeto Pascoal. Free performances take place during the day with students showcasing their work in combos led by Guildhall professors in the Milton Court Studio Theatre which is transformed in to a jazz club. For the evening performance on 2 May, the School celebrates its ongoing relationship with the Duke Ellington Society UK with the world premiere of Michael Kilpatrick’s transcription of Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite performed by the Guildhall Big Band and conductor Martin Hathaway. On 3 May the music of acclaimed Canadian composer-arranger John Warren is performed by a band of young London-based musicians including Steve Fishwick (trumpet), Sam Rapley (bass clarinet/clarinet),James Allsopp (tenor saxophone), Sam Braysher (alto saxophone), Owen Dawson (trombone), Alcyona Mick piano,Oli Hayhurst (bass), Nick Costley-White (guitar) and Tim Giles (drums). The showcase culminates on 4 May with an evening concert featuring multi award-winning vocalist Liane Carroll and the jazz faculty rhythm section with music from Carroll’s past and forthcoming releases. The concert also features drummer Ralph Salmins, bass player Jules Jackson and postgraduate student and pianist Ed Rice who performs arrangements he has workshopped with the faculty as part of his final project.
The Gold Medal: 5 May
The Gold Medal is the School’s most prestigious prize for musicians. Singers and instrumentalists compete in alternate years for this coveted prize and this year is the turn of the singers. On 5 May, the finalists, mezzo-soprano Bianca Andrew,bass-baritone Samuel Carl, baritones Josep-Ramon Olivé and Daniel Shelvey, each perform a short programme with piano accompaniment followed by a second half of arias with the Guildhall Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Dominic Wheeler. The jury comprises mezzo-soprano Alice Coote, General Director of Glyndebourne Sebastian F. Schwarz and the Guildhall School’s Vice-Principal & Director of Music, Jonathan Vaughan. Previous winners of the Gold Medal include Jacqueline du Pré (1960), Tasmin Little (1986) and Bryn Terfel (1989).
Faculty Artist Series: Nicholas Daniel and Friends: 25 May and Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen: 10 July
On 25 May, Guildhall professor Nicholas Daniel brings together fellow leading musicians including pianist Leslie Howard and Guildhall Professors of Piano Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen with School musicians to present an intriguing programme of chamber music including a modern-day premiere of Liszt’s Elegy for Cor Anglais, Piano, Harp and Harmonium. This piece was discovered by Howard who is a leading interpreter of Liszt and has recorded the composer’s complete works. The programme also includes J.S. Bach’s Partita in A Minor for solo oboe BWV 1013, Poulenc’s Oboe Sonata, Pavel Haas’ Suita, Britten’s Six Metamorphoses after Ovid and works for massed oboes including BoismortierConcerto à cinq. Then in a separate concert, one of the most highly-acclaimed piano duos performing today, Katya Apekisheva and Charles Owen return to the Faculty Artist Series on 10 July with a programme of Rachmaninov works for two pianos including Suite No. 1, Suite No. 2 and Symphonic Dances, Op. 45.
Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize: Winner’s Recital: 12 June
The Guildhall Wigmore Recital Prize annually awards an exceptional Guildhall School musician with a Wigmore Hall recital. Rising star cellist, and previous winner of The Gold Medal, Michael Petrov is this year’s recipient and on 12 June he performs a programme of Stravinsky, Dutilleux, Debussy, Carter and Poulenc, accompanied by pianist Erdem Misirlioğlu.
Shanghai Grand Theatre Arts Group Residency: 22, 26 & 27 May
On 26 and 27 May, the Guildhall School and Shanghai Opera House present the UK premiere of The Wager, an original contemporary Chinese opera by Wen Deqing. A Faustian story of luck, temptation and fate, The Wager is based on the novel A Gamble on a Snowy Night by Gao Xiaosheng. An orchestra of Guildhall musicians joins forces with singers from Shanghai Opera House to present this memorable work. The residency also includes a concert of traditional Chinese music given by the Shanghai Chinese Orchestra on 22 May.
Handel’s Radamisto: 4 performances from 5 June The Guildhall School’s award-winning opera department presents the first version of Handel’s dramatic Baroque operaRadamisto in the intimate setting of Milton Court Theatre. Radamisto is an opera seria in three acts with an Italian libretto by Nicola Francesco Haym and is loosely based on incidents from Tacitus's Annals of Imperial Rome. The performances are conducted by Chad Matthias Kelly, directed by John Ramster with set & costume designer Louis Carver and lighting designer Jake Wiltshire.
Opera Makers: 4 performances from 5 July
Performed by singers and repetiteurs from the first year of the Guildhall Opera Course, this term’s Scenes feature three exciting new works written by composers and librettists on the School’s MA in Opera Making & Writing programme: The Hummingbird by composer Brian Hosefros and librettist Leo Doulton; Occō's Eternal Act by composer Daniel Saleeband librettist Oge Nwosu and The Parrot House by composer Francisco Fontes and librettist May Sumbwanyambe.The MA in Opera Making & Writing programme is delivered in association with the Royal Opera House and enables writers and composers to write specifically for the singers, and to develop the pieces with them.
LSO Platforms: Guildhall Artists: 23 April, 7 May, 23 May, Barbican Hall
Senior musicians from the Guildhall School take to the Barbican stage before three LSO concerts this summer with free performances of complementary repertoire. On 23 April, pianist Scott MacIsaac performs Debussy Estampes, ScriabinVers la flamme, Op.72 and Prokofiev Sonata No.4 in C minor, Op. 29. On 7 May, senior musicians perform a selection of Russian Songs. On 23 May violinist Juliette Roos, viola player Ting-ru Lai, cellist Emma Besselaar and pianistJonathan Ferrucci perform Mahler’s Piano Quartet in A minor and then Juliette Roos, violinist Lyrit Milgram, Ting-ru Lai, Emma Besselaar, pianist Antonio Oyarzabal perform Webern’s Piano Quintet Op. Post.
Sound Unbound 2017: 29 & 30 April
The Barbican’s annual classical weekender, Sound Unbound, returns on 29 & 30 April featuring innovative new commissions as well as some of the finest classical scores ever written. Guildhall musicians perform across the weekend with highlights including a performance of Michael Gordon’s Timber by percussionists, Strauss’ Symphony for Wind Instruments ‘The Happy Workshop’ directed by Andrew Marriner, performances from electronic musicians, and Guildhall and LSO players perform works by Tchaikovsky and Arvo Pärt. BBC Total Immersion: Edgard Varèse, 6 May As part of the BBC Symphony Orchestra’s Total Immersion day on 6 May, Guildhall New Music Ensemble, sopranoHarriet Burns and conductor Geoffrey Paterson celebrate the music of Edgard Varèse with an afternoon concert in Milton Court Concert Hall exploring some of the composer’s most extraordinary work.
Singing Our Lives: music from around the globe celebrating immigration & diversity: 2 July
On 2 July the Guildhall School’s Electronic Music department join forces with The Mixed Up Chorus, 3FF and other guests for an evening of music featuring two world premieres that explore the theme of refugees and migration, following on from an Arts Council England grant to commission composer Mike Roberts (Guildhall’s Head of Electronic Music) and librettist Sarah Grange (Improbable). Roberts and Grange’s brand new song cycle takes inspiration from material from workshops with refugee and migrant groups and choirs across London. Project partners included The Migration Museum Project, Voluntary Action Camden, and Camden and Birmingham Music Services. The concert, conducted by Jeremy Haneman, also features the acclaimed Royal Opera House Thurrock Community Chorus, who premiere a new Royal Opera House commission by composer John Barber and librettist Hazel Gould.
Curious: 3 – 6 July
Curious is an annual celebration of the experimental, multi-artform work by current students and graduates of the Guildhall Masters in Leadership programme and design students from Central Saint Martins, working alongside professional guest artists. Curated by Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, performances take place at the Barbican Exhibition Halls 3-6 July and include live music and visuals from a variety of artists, as well as panel discussions and open workshops. Full details will be published from June.
A Trip to the Moon: 9 July
Sir Simon Rattle presents the UK premiere performance of a new children’s opera with the LSO and Guildhall School musicians on 9 July. Andrew Norman’s A Trip to the Moon takes inspiration from Georges Méliès’ seminal 1902 silent film of the same name and follows a band of bumbling astronomers as they explore the moon, attempt to fix their broken rocket, and meet a community of Selenites, mysterious moon people who are facing a perilous threat of their own. This is the third collaboration of its kind between LSO, Rattle and Guildhall School musicians performing children’s opera following on from the world premiere of Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ children’s opera The Hogboon last summer and a performance of Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze in 2015. The second half of this concert features a side-by-side performance of Sibelius’ resplendent Second Symphony, in which the LSO is joined by musicians from the Guildhall School’s ground-breaking Orchestral Artistry programme run in association with the LSO. Rattle takes on the role of Artist-in-Association with the Guildhall School and the Barbican Centre from the 2017/18 season.
Crazy For You: 8 performances from 4 July
This year’s summer musical is Crazy For You with music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, book by Ken Ludwig, co conception by Ludwig and Mike Ockrent and inspired by material by Guy Bolton and John McGowan. Set in 1930s New York, the musical follows banker Bobby Child who is desperate to leave behind his inherited career for life on the stage with the Zangler’s Follies. Sent to foreclose a rundown theatre in Nevada, he enters a whirlwind of romance, heartbreak and last chances which draws song and dance back to the forgotten town. Winner of the 1992 Tony Award for Best Musical, this romantic musical comedy includes much-loved songs from the Gershwin songbook including I Got Rhythm and They Can’t Take That Away From Me. The School’s production, which opens on 4 July for eight performances, is directed by Martin Connor with musical director Michael Haslam, choreographer Ewan Jones,designer Adam Wiltshire, lighting designer Tim Deiling, sound designer Ben Harrison, associate sound designer Tom Cox and associate musical director Chris Ma.
Technical Theatre Arts Graduate Exhibition: 7 & 8 June
Now in its fifth year, this end-of-year showcase presents some of the outstanding work of final year students on the Guildhall School’s Technical Theatre Arts programme, including a range of props, scenery, costumes, light and projection displays created for the School’s public operas, dramas and musicals, as well as for students’ own personal projects. Many of the students will be present to talk about their work throughout the exhibition which takes place on 7 & 8 June.