Glasgow to present New Music Biennial

A series of new commissions featuring skateboarding, choral singing, Greek mythology and a virtual piano will be showcased at Glasgow’s New Music Biennial concerts.

Run by the PRS for Music Foundation, the new music showcase will be presented at Glasgow’s Royal Concert Hall on 1-2 August. The Biennial also takes place at London’s Southbank Centre this month.

The programme is part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme organised alongside this year’s Commonwealth Games (which will begin in the Scottish city this month).

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Contemporary, classical, jazz, folk, world, urban and electronic music will be on offer at a series of free concerts.

Samuel Bordoli © Bill Bankes-Jones
Samuel Bordoli © Bill Bankes-Jones

Matthew Herbert’s work 20 Pianos, which includes samples of 20 historically significant pianos from around the world, is on the Biennial line-up. The piece is played on a table turned virtual piano, built with bespoke software and hardware by the New Radiophonic Workshop.

Other highlights include Jez Colbourne’s Gift, inspired by the story of the Trojan Horse; a choral meets skateboarding video installation by Tête à Tête Opera and Samuel Bordoli; and an Africa-inspired piece by David Okumu and Shingai Shoniwa (lead singer of the Noisettes).

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Five Scottish composers also feature on the programme: Piers Hellawell, Mary Ann Kennedy, Stephen Montague, Yann Seznec and Matheu Watson.

Juice Vocal Ensemble will perform a new work by Luke Styles © Dannie Price
Juice Vocal Ensemble will perform a new work by Luke Styles © Dannie Price

The works were selected for the Biennial by an expert panel, which included percussionist Evelyn Glennie, musican and broadcaster Cerys Matthews, and composer Max Richter.

All of the works from the New Music Biennial will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3 across several programmes in July and August.

Main image: Lau will perform The Bell That Never Rang at the New Music Biennial © David Angel