Category Archives: Concerts

City University Chamber Choir Concert at St Clement’s Church

On Wednesday 7th December, the City University Chamber Choir presented their annual Christmas Concert at St Clement’s Church, Finsbury. The combination of classical repertoire and some Christmas carol favourites created a varied and truly beautiful programme which was a joy to sing and listen to. Pieces by Gardner, Rutter and Britten’s ‘A Ceremony of Carols’ with traditional carols such as ‘The Holly and the Ivy’, among others, filled the church with festive energy and the audience joined in for the singing of ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ and ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’, which truly brought the Christmas spirit to the occasion. 

Led by Tim Hooper, the choir meets every Wednesday evening during terms one and two, and his leadership and guidance are invaluable to us. He always chooses fantastic pieces to perform, and the next concert will be before the Easter break.

Emilie Parry-Williams, BMus Year 2



Ian Pace concerts in London, Oxford, Leuven, Prague, Basel, Lisbon, Autumn 2016 – and with City graduate Ben Smith

Department of Music Lecturer and Head of Performance Ian Pace has an active concert schedule over the course of Autumn 2016. A key focus of this is his ongoing series of recitals of the complete piano works of Michael Finnissy, to celebrate the composer’s 70th birthday year. He gave the fifth concert in the series at City on September 27th, featuring Finnissy’s complete Gershwin Arrangements and also his two Concertos for Solo Piano, one of which (No. 4 of his Piano Concertos in general) is a work of maniac virtuosity, of which Ian’s 1998 recording has previously won much acclaim. The next concert in the series takes place on Thursday October 27th, at the Picture Gallery, Egham, as part of Royal Holloway’s Finnissy at 70 Series, and will feature a range of highly diverse pieces including Kemp’s Morris, for pianist wearing Morris bells, Finnissy’s three transcriptions of Strauss-Walzer, his Hiroshige-inspired White Rain, the dance/quasi-improvisatory virtuoso work Free Setting. Further concerts in the series will take place at the Holywell Music Room, Oxford, on November 7th, and 21st, at Deptford Town Hall, in association with Goldsmith’s College, on December 1st, featuring the composer’s large cycle of Verdi Transcriptions, then as part of a two-day Finnissy event on January 19th-20th at City University, to include a complete performance of Finnissy’s five-and-a-half-hour piano work The History of Photography in Sound, which Ian premiered and subsequently recorded, and about which he has written a monographFull details of all of this landmark concert series can be read here.

finnissy-section-from-kemps-morrisMichael Finnissy, from Kemp’s Morris (1978)


Ian is also giving a recital at the TRANSIT festival, Leuven, on Saturday October 29th, where he has performed regularly since the inception of the festival in 2000. This concert serves in part as a tribute to the Belgian composer Luc Brewaeys, who died tragically early in 2015, and was close both to Ian and the other composers featured in the concert. The programme features posthumous world premiere of Brewaeys’ The Dale of Tranquillity, as well as new commissions from the British composer Lauren Redhead (her piece called simply For Luc Brewaeys), and Portuguese composer Patrícia de Almeida (Vacuum Corporis, for two pianos and film), as well as a repeat performance of Finnissy’s Beethoven’s Robin Adair, premiered by Ian earlier in 2016 in the York Late Music Series as a co-commission, and Brian Ferneyhough’s Quirl (2013). For the Almeida work, Ian will be joined by Ben Smith, who graduated from City’s BMus programme in 2015, having won several prizes during his study there, and with whom Ian will be recording Ferneyhough’s Sonata for Two Pianos later in the autumn. Ben is currently studying on the Master’s Programme at the Guildhall School.


Luc Brewaeys (1959-2015)


The following week, on November 4th and 5th, Ian will be giving a series of special performances together with the Russian pianist Mikhail Rudy for the Foundation Beyeler in Basel of Alexander Scriabin’s Prometheus in a version for two pianos by Leonid Sabaneev, together with a special light installation entitled White Point, to accompany an exhibition of the work of Der Blaue Reiter

On Tuesday November 15th, Ian will be giving a recital for the Contempuls series in Prague, featuring music of Finnissy, Horatiu Radulescu (with whom Ian worked closely, and whose last work, the Sonata No. 6 (2007) was written for him), and new premieres by Czech composer Luboš Mrkvička. He will also be giving a recital at the Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (Lisbon) on Wednesday November 23rd, with music of Radulescu, Finnissy, Ivan Moody and Patrícia de Almeida, as part of the conference Old is New: The Presence of the Past in the Music of the Presentin which he will also be giving a keynote paper on practice-as-research, drawing upon his own work, on Friday November 25th, and participating in a roundtable. 

He has also recently given a paper on ‘Between Academia and Audiences: Some Critical Reflections from a Performer-Scholar’, at the RMA Conference in London in September, and a paper on ‘Ideological Constructions of ‘Experimental Music’ and Anglo-American Nationalism in the Historiography of post-1945 Music’ at City University in October, a revised version of a paper given previously in Coventry and Glasgow.

‘The world according to Bob’ features on BBC Radio 3


Bob Gilmore

A selection of music recorded by the BBC in the Music Department’s Performance Space will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’ programme on Saturday, 3rd September 2016, at 22.00 (GMT).

The recordings were made during The world according to Bob, a two-day sequence of concerts and talks, hosted by the Music Department, celebrating the life, work, and ideas of the influential musicologist Bob Gilmore.

The programme includes a performance by Ian Pace of Horațiu Rădulescu’s Piano Sonata No. 2.

Full details of the programme can be found at the ‘Hear and Now’ website:


City Summer Sounds DMA Celebration Concert

On Monday 6th June, as part of the City Summer Sounds Festival, we were treated to a concert celebrating the joint City-Guildhall Doctor of Musical Arts degree, presented by 4 completed and completing DMA students, all pianists.

First established in 1992, the City University DMA was the first degree of its kind in the UK. It was re-launched in 2002 as a joint degree with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, the first such collaboration between a top-rated University Music Department and an internationally-renowned Conservatoire. The programme combines performance at a professional level with research on an aspect of performance through scholarly work.

With the final students on the programme graduating in 2016, the concert was a celebration of the past 14 years. All of the music performed related to the research undertaken by the students, starting with Annie Yim who performed the first movement of Robert Schumann’s Fantasie in C major, Op. 17, which is strongly connected to her research on Brahms’ Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8a (original version). This was followed by Jennifer Lee who played pieces by Claude Debussy and Korean composer Unsuk Chin, about whose music Jennifer wrote her DMA thesis. Next, Sasha Karpeyev also performed music by Russian composer Nikolai Medtner who spent the last 15 years of his life in London and whose archive of works at the British Library Sasha studied for his DMA. The first half ended with Ben Schoeman playing works by South African composer Stefans Grové, again the focus of his doctoral research.

In the second half of the concert, the pianists came together for some duets (4 hands, 2 pianos) – Schumann’s Andante and Variations in B flat major for two pianos, Op. 46, played by Annie and Ben and the original piano duet version of Ravel’s La Valse played by Sasha and Jennifer.  The grand finale of the concert saw all 4 pianists join forces for an energetic performance of Albert Lavignac’s Galop-Marche with 8 hands, 2 pianos – a rousing end to a wonderful concert.



6 June. Jennifer. Ben. Annie and Sasha

The list of DMA students/alumni since 2002 includes several well-known musical personalities who are active in the United Kingdom and abroad (here are their names in alphabetic order alongside their thesis titles):

Andrew Brownell (USA) – The English Piano in the Classical Period: Its Music, Performers and Influences

Amy Beth Guitry (USA) – The Baroque Flute as a Modern Voice: Extended Techniques and their Practical Integration through Performance and Improvisation

Clare Hammond (UK) – To Conceal or Reveal: Left-Hand Pianism with Particular Reference to Ravel’s ‘Concerto pour la main gauche’ and Britten’s ‘Diversions’

Kostis Hassiotis (Greece) – A Critical Edition of the 48 Studies for Oboe, Op. 31 by Franz Wilhelm Ferling (1796-1874)

Ja Yeon Kang (South Korea) – Robert Schumann’s Notion of the Cycle in ‘Lieder und Gesänge aus Goethes Wilhelm Meister’, Op. 98a and ‘Waldszenen’, Op. 82

Alexander Karpeyev (Russia) – New Light on Nikolay Medtner as Pianist and Teacher: The Edna Iles Medtner Collection (EIMC) at the British Library

Jennifer Lee (New Zealand) – A Study of the Korean Woman Composer, Unsuk Chin, and her Piano Études

Chenyin Li (People’s Republic of China) – Piano Performance: Strategies for Score Memorisation

Edward Pick (UK) – Tonality in Schoenberg’s Music, with Particular Reference to the Piano Concerto

Vasileios Rakitzis (Greece) – Alfred Cortot’s Response to the Music for Solo Piano of Franz Schubert: A Study in Performance Practice

Ben Schoeman (South Africa) – The Piano Works of Stefans Grové (1922-2014): A Study of Stylistic Influences, Technical Elements and Canon Formation within the South African Art Music Tradition

Antonios Sousamoglou (Greece) – An Interpretational Approach to the Violin Concerto of Nikos Skalkottas

Christopher Suckling (UK) – The Realisation of Recitative by the Cello in Handelian Opera: Current and Historical Practices

Annie Yim (Hong Kong/Canada) – A Comparative and Contextual Study of Schumann’s Piano Trio in D minor, Op. 63 and Brahms’s Piano Trio in B major, Op. 8 (1854 version): From Musical Aesthetics to Modern Performances



City Middle Eastern Music Ensemble at the Youth Proms

On Monday 23rd November, City’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble performed at the Royal Albert Hall as part of the Music for Youth Proms, joining the Cornwall Youth Orchestra, 47 junior violinists from Cornwall and Northamptonshire and four narrators. They performed ‘Prince Zal and the Simorgh’, a piece for orchestra and Iranian instruments composed by David Bruce in 2012 and commissioned by City University London and the London Philharmonic Orchestra as part a larger outreach project introducing young people to Iranian music and culture. The project grew out of Laudan Nooshin‘s ethnomusicological research into Iranian music, which has facilitated access to and understanding of the country’s art and culture in Britain and around the world.

Laudan explained that the piece is based on a story from the Iranian epic poem The Shahnameh (‘Book of Kings’) written about 1,000 years ago by Abolqasem Ferdowsi (940-1020). The story tells of Prince Zal: born albino and abandoned as a baby, Zal is found and raised by the magical and wise Simorgh bird; many years later he is reconciled with his family and returns triumphantly as the new king. She said: “With its many topical themes of tolerance and forgiveness, this story proved a wonderfully rich source for use with British youth. In particular, the piece offers a more positive image and understanding of Iran – its people, culture and history – to the young people performing and hearing it than they might normally experience through the media and other kinds of representation.”

A chance discussion led to Prince Zal being chosen by Cornwall Youth Orchestra for a performance at the National Festival of Music for Youth in Birmingham in July 2015, following which the piece was selected for the Youth Proms at the Royal Albert Hall. The orchestra was joined by members of City University’s Middle Eastern Music Ensemble who played various Iranian percussion instruments and with first year BMus student Antonios Rousounelos as soloist. The concert was a great experience for the City students.

Music for Youth is a national music education charity providing free access to performance and audience opportunities for young musicians across the UK. The charity’s proms saw 3,000 of the country’s brightest young musicians take to the stage over three nights at the Royal Albert Hall, between 23rd and 25th November, 2015.







City Hosts Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum

On Friday 22nd May 2015, the Music Department hosted the Middle East and Central Asia Music Forum. This forum has been running twice a year since 2007 under the auspices of the Institute of Musical Research, but has recently moved its base to City. The Forum provides a meeting point for students, researchers and others interested in the musics and culture of the Middle East and Central Asia.

The day was a great success with about 70 people in attendance and a lively atmosphere with plenty of positive feedback and stimulating discussion after papers and in between in lunch and coffee breaks. There were 10 speakers altogether, including both research students and academics from across the UK and abroad. Highlights of the day included presentations by two City PhD students, Steve Wilford and Sam Mackay, whose papers were entitled: ‘Between Thames and Sahara: Representations of Algerian Music in Contemporary London’ and ‘A Shared History? North African Musical Heritage and the Public Sphere in Contemporary Marseille’. Other papers covered such diverse topics as female musicians in Afghanistan and Kuwaiti ṣaut music.

The main conference was followed by a book launch for Laudan Nooshin’s recently published Iranian Classical Music: The Discourses and Practice of Creativity (2015, Ashgate Press) and an evening concert which opened the City Summer Sounds Music Festival: ‘Sounds of the Bosphorous Today’ with sisters Neva and Yelda Özgen from Istanbul playing traditional and contemporary pieces on kemençe (bowed fiddle) and ‘cello.

Abstracts and biographies of speakers can be downloaded here:,-Friday-22nd-May-2015,-City-University-London.pdf

More details on the concert:

More details on Laudan’s book:

More details on the day:


Ahmad AlSalhi (Royal Holloway University of London) talking about the history of ṣaut music in Kuwait


Veronica Doubleday (Visiting Fellow, Goldsmiths University of London) talking about female musicians in Afghanistan

Current and former City students enjoying the tea break


Book launch for Laudan Nooshin's new book

Book launch for Laudan Nooshin’s new book

Tim Parkinson: Eight Questions for Edges

The University of Huddersfield’s Edges Ensemble, directed by Philip Thomas, will perform composer Tim Parkinson’s opera time with people at this year’s City Summer Sounds festival. Tim interviewed five members from Edges in the lead-up to the performance.



How would you define yourself?

A mature student who is constantly surprised by what he is achieving and as a person who tries to define himself on a daily basis. It is sometimes hard.

I’m primarily a composer… of acoustic and electronic music. Normally it involves dots and lines, at least at some point. I don’t think I’m good enough to write text scores, for example. Even the most abstract text scores have a real precision to them… you can hide a lot of ambiguity of meaning behind a wall of notes.

An emotional music composition student, who always likes to try new things.

As a fun-loving kinda guy who likes to listen to jazz music and take long walks in the countryside on bank holiday weekends.

I am a performer & new music instigator, and more recently a researcher as well. I play new and experimental music on the violin and think a lot about tuning systems. 


How does being a member of Edges relate to your life?

It started by opening my eyes to a new world of so many possibilities and hasn’t stopped. The wonderful, generous, Philip Thomas being a conduit to this new world that constantly informs they way in which I think about my work as a composer, musician, artist… I now cannot imagine a world without it!

I haven’t been a consistent member for a long time, but I’m always coming back for this or that thing. When I rehearsed with Edges often, it was a bit of a relaxing thing to do on a Friday. I wasn’t there for anyone else but me, so I left when experimental music started to take over all my headspace. I had been writing some music and essays for a module on Experimental music that year, and I just kind of overdosed on it.

I always found performing in general a bit of a chore and quite a lonely experience regardless of how many people were on stage; Edges doesn’t feel like that. It feels like a community of freely associated individuals who just happen to have found their way onto a stage and are going to do these very considered actions for the next hour or so.

How does it relate to my life? I realise I haven’t really answered the question. 

Finally I have a chance to perform, which I really enjoy playing experimental pieces!

Edges is the T’ai Chi of my life. It’s a mental, emotional and occasionally physical workout I do roughly once a week. It requires deep concentration and effort, even though at times it can look pretty easy to an outsider. Just swap chi energy for wandelweiser vibes and you’re about there.

It’s one of the bands I’m in. 


Where are you now as you write this? Describe what is in front of you. And what time is it?

I am in the Coffee Kabin, Huddersfield with the woman I love. This place has been the venue for so many wonderful musical performances this year it will forever be connected to really wonderful coffee and The Bacon Jam Collective of which I am a member. There is a brown leatherette sofa, some tables and a blackboard with a list of ‘AMAZING BURGERS’ on it. There is a big table right in front of me with some film studies papers on it which my partner is marking and a mobile phone a glass of lemonade and a pot of sugar. It is 16.20 on Friday afternoon and I should be in the studio. Ha! I am reminded of the author Nicholson Baker as I describe the room…

I’m at home, it’s 20 to 2 in the afternoon. Directly in front of me is a painting my dad made in the 1970s. It has a 60s feel to it. Very bright colours, and psychedelic patterns. He didn’t like it, so he gave it to me. I’m short sighted, so I can’t see it properly unless I get up close. If I get really close, I can see whole other worlds in a few inches. Maybe he doesn’t like it because he can see it all at once. It’s mysterious to me because I can’t connect the dots. I would try looking again with my glasses on, but that might spoil it. 

At home on the sofa, flatmate is playing FIFA just next to me at 21:45.

I’m at home in Huddersfield, opposite the beautiful surroundings of Greenhead Park, but my room faces the other way so I can’t see it. Instead I’m looking on to a slightly unorganised desk and through a window that overlooks our neighbours garden. Occasionally I see them doing weird exercise videos or having a barbecue or hanging out their underwear. It’s Thursday 21st May at 10:27.

I’m on the train from Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston, returning home from Huddersfield. It’s a gross Virgin train, very loud in the quiet coach. My laptop is in front of me, and behind that (on the seat opposite) a heavy (and unwieldy) winter duck down duvet, which I’ve had to cart back from Huddersfield on foot, stuffed in a giant lime green M&S bag. It’s 8:15pm.


What were you doing exactly one year ago?

Almost to the day I was putting the finishing touches to my Masters Thesis… coming to the end of a frenetic but rewarding year.

Last year I was an assistant tutor at a sixth form college in Manchester, teaching A-level music and music technology. It ended up being a bit of a drag. I hardly wrote anything and I didn’t perform much.

I did get to see some of the most important people in my life much more frequently, though, as they live in Manchester. I lived in a semi in Withington, a town I’ve always had a strong connection with. It was nice to find myself in the place where the most vivid memories of my childhood are set. It hasn’t changed a lot.

I had to prepare my performance exam but I was planning my trip to Italy. 

I’m going to cheat here but almost exactly one year ago – Eurovision night 2014 – I was in a cramped house in London waiting so long for my housemates to get ready for a night out that I managed to watch the entirety of Eurovision on TV. We then went out, and I was lucky enough to meet a beautiful woman that night I would continue to see for a few months afterwards until I left back for Huddersfield. So obviously it sticks in the mind.

I was in Oslo, performing a recital of solo violin music for nyMusikks Komponistgruppe (the composers’ society of nyMusikk Norway).


What is Time With People all about? What is your view from the inside out?

It is about the person within, the person with whom we rarely engage. It is about happiness and melancholy. It is about being a social animal and about being alone in the world. This is probably a common state for us all. It is a statement on the modern malaise that effects us all. It is about connections, both to our inner selves and to our past incarnations. It talks of a big picture in terms of the microcosmic – or as my dictionary puts it humankind regarded as the epitome of the universe. 

As an insider it is about spending time with people who have become friends and friends who I have got to know a little better. It is also about chaos and melancholy, about searching and finding, it talks to the child within; this child is still very apparent and it sometimes gets me into trouble. Something about this work sticks to your insides and will not let go!

If you made a series of short film clips, filming normal people going about their lives… and then you took an eraser to it until all that was left were these bits of debris, fragments, dents, and impressions. These small details or traces of details, completely detached from their context – the things we don’t normally even notice.

Well I think it’s the real world – natural human movement in time and space, everyday life. No extra musical concern. Especially in movement 4 & 5 I really enjoy and I can feel myself in the reality, staying alone in this chaotic world. Also, I can just being myself, unlike other conventional performance. 

I think it’s funny for a starter. But the kind of funny where it’s because it reminds you of something or someone or sometime that you don’t want to remember, and it’s a bit awkward so you start to laugh. I think Time With People is also about reclaiming music (especially classical music, and opera, and contemporary music) for everyone. You don’t particularly have to know or understand what you are doing or watching to enjoy it, and you could possibly even ruin it by trying to read too much into it. Some bits are very hard, but there aren’t really any barriers that would stop someone with no musical background participating or enjoying the piece. I don’t know, that’s just what I think. I’ve heard people say things like ‘Time With People is what music will be like after the near-extinction of the human race’ and I kind of agree, but at the same time I don’t really care. It’s just fun to be a part of.

Dancers practice an exercise called ‘witnessing’  — one dancer holds a posture while another ‘witnesses’ their form by fitting his or her own body into the negative space left by the posture. The first dancer then departs, leaving only the new posture created by the act of ‘witnessing’. Through viewing this new posture, both dancers gain better understanding of their forms.

From inside, Time With People is something like this. We witness the objects (sounds, people & circumstances) of performance. The audience witnesses us. And we also witness them.


Are you just making it up as you go along?

Yes, of course. Being a teenager, being a partner, being a parent, being an older person – who told us anything about how to contend with all of this. I have always done this until I made the decision to leave work and come to university. Probably the first thing I have ever done, consciously. It was a good thing indeed! It seems to me it goes like this, you make some stuff up then you find out that it was a good thing or a bad thing, if it is bad then you make something else up and just keep going.  

If anyone got that impression, it would be a bad performance or they weren’t paying attention. Even a decision not to overthink is still a decision, and to come to that decision it has to be have been discussed or thought through. Even if I thought I could get away with it, I wouldn’t; It would be unfaithful to Tim’s intentions… and I don’t think that’s a very ethical approach to the performance of any music somebody has composed.

Yes most of it.

Time With People? No! It’s all composed! We’re just following the composer’s strict instructions! Philip Thomas told me that if we deviate even the slightest bit from the score we would be struck off from the ensemble! I’m kidding of course, there are freedoms in the piece and there are choices we have to determine ourselves. But a lot of the chorus parts have to be exactly right to fit in with the rest of the group and sound good. I wouldn’t say I was making it up as I went along. A lot of the choices we make we have to make in rehearsals and then stick to, mainly for practical reasons (what weird sounds am I going to bring with me? what clutter do I have lying around the house?) and then the piece becomes quite set by the time of the performance.

No. I like to be deliberate when performing. 


What is your next performance after this?

I hope to perform at Soni[K]ab next year. Distant plans to perform with my noise duo, Tout Croche, in Montreal. But nothing fixed.

I haven’t decided yet. James Wood and I have designs on collaborating for a new record. I’ve seen him do free improvisation a number of times now, and I found it very inspiring. 

I don’t have any plans after this. 

A string quartet concert with the London Contemporary Orchestra Soloists at Union Chapel, 31 May, 3pm. 


Is there anything else you’d like to say? 

I would like the question I have proposed for my PhD to be a little more rigorous! On the 1st of June I have to hand something in that will define what I will be doing for the next few years. By saying it out loud hopefully it may help in some way! But I doubt it! 

I just want to thank Tim for creating such a wonderful piece of music and Philip for inviting me to help realise it. It’s nice to have something to be doing now that all my degree work is in. I don’t like to sit still for too long. I have a tendency toward hedonism when I’m bored, and that’s fine, but not for too long.

Thanks for the opportunity 🙂 

‘The performer behaves in a situation partly determined by the composer, partly by himself, partly by ambient conditions. There is an elegant consistency which allows each of these elements to manifest its own nature, without imbalance, without imposition. Ambient sound penetrates the intended, is “included” in the music. It is relevant to the situation in which the music arises/relevant to the music, which is ever situational.’ — George Brecht, cited in Word Events: Perspectives on Verbal Notation (John Lely & James Saunders, 2011)



Stephen Harvey

John Aulich

Dorothy Lee


Mira Benjamin



City Hosts School Outreach Day, featuring an iPad Orchestra Premiere


The iPad orchestra, featuring three primary schools from across the UK, performed to a large audience in the Performance Space

On the 19th of May City hosted an outreach event involving children from three different primary schools from across the country. As well as participating in workshops on film music and gamelan, they performed an original piece of music on iPads and watched a performance by members of the City University Experimental Ensemble.

The Two Rivers project was originally developed by Ben Sellers of Transformance Music, an iPad music education organisation based in London, and Matthew Hogg of Chiltern Primary School in Hull, to bring three schools together to collaborate to create new music with contemporary technology. The children wrote Garageband compositions based on their experiences of the place in which they live and on their respective rivers, the Humber and the Thames. They also learned to perform songs by other artists, from Madness to Beethoven, using various apps. Throughout this development process the three schools updated each other, communicating using their instruments to send video postcards and rehearsal footage. This allowed them to get to know both their partner schools, and the specificity and multiplicity of behaviour that these technologies afford.

The final piece performed in City University’s concert space is composed of sections and fragments of these children’s own compositions and the pieces they had learned to perform during their instrumental development—a postmodern collage of their recent education in music. With focus which one would not expect at such a young age (age 10-13), and the charms and quirks which one does, the amount of effort put into this piece by both children and adults shone through. Moreover, the idiosyncrasies present in the children’s original compositions had not been ironed out by the project leaders—only weaved into a cohesive structure and modified for the ensemble—still exhibiting the excitement and innocence of a child at play. The range of compositional styles and approaches which could be heard within the melting pot of the work too, showed the range of musics and techniques which these children have been exposed to by the project leaders. Not only does this dialog between theory and practice aid the children’s understanding of music, but it introduces them to the critical perspective one must take toward music in later study.

The collaboration between Transformance Music and City University not only gave this project a platform and an opportunity for a performance, but contributed to the continuing development of these children’s education. Dr. Diana Salazar (Lecturer in Music) is a regular contributor to Widening Participation and Outreach events at City, and was keen to provide the children with knowledge about the opportunities for further study that an education in music affords. Performing in an acoustically-treated concert hall, eating in the student canteen, and rehearsing in an ensemble room amongst a variety of Western and non-Western instruments—these all help to give an insight into what university music departments are, and what university students do—an insight which many students have to wait until the first open day they attend at the end of their A-Levels to receive.


During the day Gamelan expert Andy Channing delivered Javanese Gamelan workshops to two classes of pupils from Sandringham Primary School


A performance by both myself and Phd researcher in informatics, Daniel Wölffe, on handmade electronic instruments built in a workshop conducted by the composer John Richards, showed these children the potential and diversity of music technology. The reception for these interactive, skin-conductive instruments and our performance on them was astounding, when the aesthetic of the sounds they produce could easily be seen as noise, and noise-music is often associated with very niche musical communities and styles. The workings of the core circuitry in this piece is extended twice over—into an arrangement of nails on the instrument itself, and then to connections between mine and Daniel’s hands—making the abstracted and seemingly complex working of electronics tangible and gestural. Showing these students that the technologies used to create music are not restricted to the use of the newest and most expensive hardware and software, reinforces the idea of the artist and musician as a creator, rather than a consumer.

Collaborations such as this, between community-based projects and academic institutions, are significant in that they nurture the relationship between the academy and the society which surrounds it, and break down ideas about ivory-tower academics which are still rife outside of scholarly circles. Moreover, this partnership showed both primary school children and their teachers the various trajectories which one can progress down for a future in both music and music technology, and that these are many and not limited to their previous conceptions of what the academic study of music concerns. Events such as these are important for reaching out to the next generation of students, and showing them that a future in music is worth pursuing and that higher education is a valid and valuable avenue down which to pursue it.

Sam Kendall, current MA (Music) student


Ian Pace – recitals in Canterbury, Graz, Austria and in York Late Music Festival

City University Music Lecturer and Head of Performance Ian Pace gave several recitals in Graz, Austria in February 2015, as part of the impuls festival there. These included performances of Richard Barrett’s lost (2004), commissioned by and written for Ian Pace, Chaya Czernowin’s fardanceCLOSE (2012), and also performances with German bass Andreas Fischer of Czernowin’s algae (2009), which Fischer and Pace commissioned and of which they gave the world premiere in the TRANSIT Festival in Leuven, Belgium, in 2009. During impuls, Ian Pace also gave a range of piano masterclasses and took part in a round table with Austrian composer Klaus Lang on the subject of whether nineteenth-century conceptions of artists and artistry had an adverse effect upon musical life today.

Prior to this, Ian gave a recital at Canterbury Christ Church University on February 9th, featuring works of Lauren Redhead (both written for and premiered by Pace), Czernowin, Barrett, Stockhausen, Finnissy and Gershwin/Earl Wild. He also gave extended composition workshops and piano masterclasses there.

On Saturday, March 7th, Ian returns to the York Late Music Festival, to which he has been a regular visitor since 2002, for a concert exploring miniatures for piano, including works of Schumann, Schoenberg, Ligeti, Kurtág, Judith Weir and James Dillon, as well as premieres of new works written for the occasion by Edd Caine and Steve Crowther.

Byzantine Music at Trinity Wall Street

CR at Trinity Wall Street

CR at Trinity Wall Street

On Saturday, 3 January 2015 Reader in Music Alexander Lingas took his vocal ensemble Cappella Romana to Trinity Church on Wall Street in New York for a programme of early and contemporary music from the Greek Orthodox tradition entitled ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas in the Christian East’. This concert was presented by Trinity Wall Street as part of its annual Twelfth Night Festival, a series directed by Julian Wachner which also featured performances by ensembles including the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, The Bishop’s Band, Clarion Music Society, Ensemble Viscera, Gotham Early Music Scene, Grand Harmonie, and a Roomful of Teeth. On this occasion the members of Cappella Romana included recent City Ph.D. graduate Spyridon Antonopoulos, who was a featured soloist in two Byzantine chants. A video of the entire performance is available: