hcmf 40th edition
  • World Premiere of new work by James Dillon, UK Premiere of Ferneyhough cycle 
  • Spotlight on two remarkable composers – Linda Catlin Smith & Pauline Oliveros 
  • Artistic Director Graham McKenzie’s forward-looking Festival sets the agenda for the future

A brand new work by Scottish composer James Dillon, the UK premiere of a major cycle of work by Brian Ferneyhough and a focus on key works by two remarkable figures – the late Pauline Oliveros and American/Canadian composer Linda Catlin Smith – are amongst the highlights of the 40th edition of Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival Britain’s most important annual celebration of contemporary and new music.

The 40th edition, while welcoming a core of familiar artists who have a continuing and valued association with the Festival – London Sinfonietta and the Arditti Quartet from the UK and Germany’s Ensemble Modern – will also be confidently forward-facing, introducing a younger generation of composers – including utterly original voices such as Alexander Schubert from Germany and Laura Jayne Bowler from the UK – interested in stretching the boundaries of recent technology including live electronics, video projection and processed voice.

The full Festival programme will be announced in mid-July.

Selected highlights of hcmf// 2017

Opening performance: Friday 17 November – St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield

James Dillon: New Work (2017) c.30 -40’ for ensemble

Red Note Ensemble

For the opening performance at hcmf// 2017, Scotland’s foremost new music ensemble Red Note gives the World Premiere of a substantial new work by long time Huddersfield collaborator James Dillon. This follows the successful presentation of Dillon’s New York Trilogy by the ensemble in 2013.  Dillon’s new work is a 30-40 minute piece co-commissioned by hcmf//, Transit (Belgium), November Music (Netherlands), SOUND (Scotland) and Red Note Ensemble.

James Dillon

Saturday 18 November – St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield

Brian Ferneyhough: Umbrations (2016) 45’ for string quartet and ensemble (UK Premiere)

Ensemble Modern & Arditti Quartet

hcmf// has co-commissioned leading British composer Brian Ferneyhough to write five movements for various instrumental combinations to be performed alongside three existing works – In Nomine, O lux and Dum Transisset 1-1V – in an 11-movement cycle of works entitled Umbrations. The string quartet movements (Dum Transisset) will be dispersed throughout the cycle. The cycle will be performed by Ensemble Modern and the Arditti Quartet. The performance will mark Ferneyhough’s first visit to the Festival since 2013.

Co-commissioned by hcmf//, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, Ensemble Modern, Festival d’Automne à Paris with support from Ernst von Siemens Foundation for Music and Wien Modern.

Ensemble Modern

Focus on Linda Catlin Smith (USA, 1957)

Saturday 18 November (Eve Egoyan (solo piano)) &

Sunday 19 November (Philip Thomas (solo piano) & Bozzini Quartet)

Beautiful, poised, thoughtful chamber music from Toronto-based US composer Linda Catlin Smith, whose music tests how sounds can be longer or shorter, thicker or thinner, higher or lower, more distant or more intimate.

Quatuor Bozzini

Focus on Pauline Oliveros (USA, 1932-2016)

Saturday 25 November (two concerts)

ICE Ensemble / Distractfold / Fritz Hauser; The Riot Ensemble

The American composer and accordionist Pauline Oliveros was a central figure in the development of experimental and post-war electronic music in the US who, through her compositions, performances and writings, investigated new ways for both audience and performer to focus attention on music including her concepts of “deep listening” and “sonic awareness”

In these two concerts, given by a ‘supergroup’ of ICE Ensemble and Distractfold with Swiss percussionist & composer Fritz Hauser as soloist, followed by a late night performance given by The Riot Ensemble, show the power of Oliveros’ unique approach.

Riot Ensemble