Michael Nyman at Royal Festival Hall
Michael Nyman CBE is something of a legend in the world of minimalist music. Best known for his many film scores, including the soundtrack to The Piano and The Draughtsman’s Contract, Nyman is also the brains behind operas The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, Facing Goya and Noises. Undoubtedly one of Britain’s greatest composers, the pianist, musicologist, author, photographer and filmmaker celebrates his 70th birthday this year – and what better way to commemorate the day than conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the magnificent Royal Festival Hall?
In the first half of the concert we were treated to a glorious and triumphant The Draughtsman’s Contract Suite for orchestra and an exclusive UK premiere of Violin Concerto No 1, featuring sensational violinist Alexander Balanescu. Spectators were dazzled and moved, particularly by the spine-tingling violin concerto that Josep Vicent conducted with an animated energy. John Harle was welcomed to the stage by the audience’s applause for the saxophone concerto, the UK premiere of a revised version of Where the Bee Dances, which blew the listeners away. Vicent seemed to dance his way through Symphony No 2 and the crowd gave a well deserved standing ovation for the extraordinary performance.
Spectators flocked to the merchandise stalls after the concert with many asking: “Where can I buy Symphony No 2 – the one I’ve just heard?” indicating which was their favourite work of the night. It was an honour to join one of Britain’s greatest composers for the evening and we wish Michael Nyman a very happy birthday.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information and future events visit Michael Nyman’s website here.
Watch the video for Where the Bee Dances here: