SoundState: who are the composers? A second look

Friday, October 26, 2018 - 16:40

SoundState is a new Southbank Centre festival which lets you see live performances of some of best contemporary classical music, including world premieres, intriguing collaborations and incredible musicians.

In the second in a series of two blog posts, we’re giving you a chance to get to know more about some of the composers whose work is featured – read this short series of biographies, which could help you decide which of the SoundState concerts is is most relevant to your interests. The festival takes place in January 2019.

Helen Grime

Colour photo portrait of composer Helen Grime

Helen Grime was born in York in 1981 and studied oboe and composition at the Royal Academy of Music. The list of organisations to have commissioned her is like a who’s who of classical music – the Proms, Tanglewood Music Centre, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Wigmore Hall and countless others.

She also composed a piece to celebrate the 60th birthday of the much-missed conductor and composer Oliver Knussen.

Helen is familiar to Southbank Centre audiences from her involvement in the Philharmonia Orchestra’s Music of Today series and we’re thrilled that she’s giving the world premiere of her percussion orchestra at SoundState – with Colin Currie performing and Marin Alsop conducting.

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Erkki-Sven Tüür

Colour photo portrait of composer Erkki-Sven Tüür by Ave Maria Mõistlik

Estonian composer Erkki-Sven Tüür has had a long and varied career in music, and is one of the most original contemporary composers. In 1979 he founded the rock group ‘In spe’, functioning as composer, flautist, keyboard player and singer until 1983.

He has studied at the Tallinn Music School and the Estonian Academy of Music and has composed nine symphonies, a number of works for symphony and string orchestra, nine instrumental concertos, a wide variety of chamber music and an opera.

Erkki-Sven says he hopes his music raises existential questions and reaches the creative energy of every listener. At SoundState you can find out if he achieves this with the UK premiere of Erkki-Sven’s Piccolo Concerto (Solastalgia), performed by Stewart McIlwham and the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Southbank Centre’s SoundState took place Wednesday 16 – Sunday 20 January, 2019.

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Southbank Centre’s 2018/19 series includes 200 incredible classical concerts that look to the future of what music can be and who it is for. Discover some of the most exciting artists, conductors, orchestras and ensembles the world over with us.

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