Music of Terezín (April 2014)
Aldeburgh Young Musicians explored the music of Terezín, a Nazi concentration camp in today’s Czech Republic, in which some of Europe’s most talented musicians were held during the Second World War. The musicians were also introduced to the concept of Entartete Musik. Guided by ‘cellist, singer and conductor, Simon Wallfisch, AYM were joined by holocaust survivor, ‘cellist Anita Lasker-Wallfisch, a gifted young musician born in Germany in 1929 who survived, Auschwitz because of her cello playing. Anita shared her experiences and memories of her childhood as a jew in Nazi Germany desperate to study the cello, as well as memories of those early days of the Aldeburgh Festival with Benjamin Britten.
One of the most memorable moments of the week, amongst many, was a special master class, during which Anita worked with two young AYM cellists, Olivia da Costa and Jonah Spindel. AYM composers also had the opportunity to create and develop new repertoire inspired by the musicians of Terezín, this historical period and the conditions in which they wrote. Alex Cook an AYM alumus was invited back to work through his ballet which was inspired by this period in time. As a follow up to their week, in January 2015, Aldeburgh Young Musicians will sing at the National UK Commemorative Event for Holocaust Memorial Day in London in front of the BBC, the Prime Minister and members of the Royal Family.
Britten Sinfonia Academy
In July 2014 AYM joined forces with members of Britten Sinfonia Academy to collaborate on a chamber orchestra course working to the theme, ‘Britten Inspired’. The musicians explored existing repertoire by Adams, Onslow, Britten and Beethoven, together with new works developed by our AYM composers and led by Dobrinka Tabakova. This was also an opportunity for the composers to conduct a large ensemble and for our instrumental ‘wildcards’ to play in a more conventional setting.
New AYM video (July/August 2014)
Spanning over two courses at AYM, Roy Jones from Lightly Frozen Productions came to make us a new promotional video featuring some stunning shots of our beautiful surroundings, interviews with artists and AYM’s and many hours of people playing, composing, rehearsing and having fun. A new soundtrack will be composed and recorded for this film in Spring 2015 when AYM’s come together for a course working with film composer Anthony Weedon.
Aldeburgh Young Musicians were very proud of pianist, Julian Trevelyan – who reached the Category (Keyboard) finals of BBC Young Musician 2014. As the youngest member of his category, he gave a stunning performance in the Dora Stoutzker Concert Hall at Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama, filmed by the BBC and shown on BBC Four. Other successes included composer Dominic Wills, who won the 12-14 year age group of Cambridge Young Composer of the Year 2014/15.
Kishon Khan & Lokkhi Terra Snape Prom – August 2014
Following a vibrant World Music course in 2013, Kishon Khan & the Lokkhi Terra Crew returned to Snape Maltings Concert Hall in the form of a Snape Prom with Aldeburgh Young Musicians. From the melas of Bangladesh to the streets of Havana and the beaches of Brazil, the all‐star jazz fusion collective presented a seamless collage of the some of the most vibrant musical styles on the planet, sliding goodnaturedly from feisty Afro‐Latin dance rhythms to subtle and sinuous Bengali vocals, jazz‐funk brass to ska, rumba and India ragas. This highly successful collaboration with AYM resulted in a stunning performance in the Maltings.
Britten Weekend – New Nocturnes. October 2014.
Continuing the success of the Britten Centenary Weekend collaboration with the Britten‐Pears Young ArtistProgramme (BPYAP) in 2013, two new song cycles were commissioned for BPYAP composer Samantha Fernando and AYM composer Jay Richardson. Inspired by Britten’s Nocturne, both composers used the themes of sleep and dreams as their key inspiration. Jay relished the opportunity to be working with professional artists and to collaborate with Britten–Pears. Joined also by young Middle Eastern musicians, the resulting collaboration produced a wonderful performance for the Britten Weekend.
“I wanted to thank all of you for the Nocturne project. It was the best experience I’ve ever had as a composer, both in the standard and commitment of the musicians and in the extraordinary level of care and administrative support from the team at Snape. I am mindful that such opportunities occur very rarely, particularly for composers of my age, and that when they do they very often occur at Aldeburgh Music. The experience is certainly one that I will carry in all of my future endeavours, as no doubt will all of the composers whose work has and will be improved through opportunities at Snape. The future of contemporary music is undoubtedly in safe hands!” Jay Richardson (AYM Composer)
AYM / Faster Than Sound – The Chimes Hour. October 2014
According to Suffolk chronicler George Ewart Evans, it was once believed that babies born between the Chimes Hours, the ringing of the churchbells “could discern happenings hidden from the sight of lesser mortals”. Drawing on the ambiguous spaces between nature and architecture, fact and myth that fill the Suffolk landscape, composers Jennifer Walshe and Lee Patterson, in collaboration with Aldeburgh Young Musicians, created an immersive modular composition for the Hoffmann Building, drawing out hidden sounds and stories, and placing the audience in the centre of it all.
Experimental Early Music Weekend – December 2014
Aldeburgh Young Musicians explored improvisation and creativity using early musical
sources as a starting point to create new pieces. Working with Laura Cannell, André Bosman and Ralph Cumbers, the musicians developed group improvisation, composition and solo playing to create medieval sound worlds using contemporary and early techniques and styles. The group will be work mainly by ear, creating graphic scores and using elements of historically informed performance as well as developing musical freedom. Using fragments and melodies from the 11th ‐ 14th centuries, the sessions will be used to explore ideas of authenticity, musical instinct and individual musical identity.