A celebration of new music from the UK’s most talented composers and musicians, the New Music Biennial— a PRS Foundation initiative presented in partnership with Absolutely Cultured (Hull), London’s Southbank Centre, BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings —presents a unique snapshot of contemporary music in the UK across all genres from classical to world music, jazz, folk, electronic and music for ice cream vans.
New Music Biennial 2019 comprises 20 new works including new commissions from Gazelle Twin and Max de Wardener*, Roderick Williams, Claire M Singer, Khyam Allami, Jessica Curry, Sona Jobarteh, Arun Ghosh, Sarah Tandy, Forest Swords and Immix Ensemble, Klein, 9Bach, Dan Jones, Edmund Finnis, Aidan O’Rourke, Kit Downes and James Robertson, Conor Mitchell and Sam Eastmond alongside works composed within the last 15 years, including Shiva Feshareki’s acclaimed Dialogue for turntables and orchestra, commissioned by the BBC Concert Orchestra last year.
Across both weekends works are performed in a range of venues, inviting audiences to discover new music in an interactive way, both in and outside of traditional concert hall settings. Venues at Southbank Centre include Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room, Royal Festival Hall and Queen Elizabeth Hall foyer spaces and outdoor spaces. In Hull, New Music Biennial happens across a diverse range of the city’s best venues from City Hall to Hull Truck Theatre, Humber Street Gallery to the first event after Fruit’s refurbishment not to mention Nelson Street Pier, The Guildhall, Hull Central Library and more. Each bite-sized piece, lasting 15 minutes, is performed at least twice enabling audiences to see and hear all the winning compositions across the weekend.
This year sees the festival return to Hull as part of the legacy of the New Music Biennial 2017 which was in partnership with Hull UK City of Culture 2017, and follows the successes of its inaugural festival in 2014 and Cultural Olympiad programme, New Music 20×12. All New Music Biennial commissions receive public performances at London’s Southbank Centre on 5 – 7 July 2019 and Hull on 12 – 14 July 2019, broadcast on BBC Radio 3 plus available as a download by NMC Recordings following the festivals.