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Debra Boraston
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Press release date: February 2023


London  9-11 June 2023
Bold Tendencies & Wigmore Hall

*119 Awards • 199 Musicians • 52 Commissions
100 Recordings • 120 Films • 20 Communities*

Founded, and entirely funded, by Ilaria Borletti Buitoni and her late husband Franco Buitoni, BBT has for two decades been supporting highly talented young musicians from around the world, many of whom are now internationally renowned and at the top of their game.  For these celebrations the Trust has invited a selection of its award-winners from across the years to take part in a programme of five concerts at two distinctly contrasting London venues – Bold Tendencies Car Park in Peckham and Wigmore Hall which dedicates a whole weekend to BBT20 and where Mitsuko Uchida, a founding trustee at the inception of BBT and a key member of the Artistic Committee, joins the young artists in two evening concerts.

There are many reasons to celebrate BBT’s achievements of recognising and rewarding exceptional young talent; 119 awards have been made to almost 200 individual and ensemble musicians from 32 different countries. By supporting the many projects BBT Artists have chosen to pursue, the Trust has also created a valuable musical legacy by helping to commission 52 new works and record 100 albums.

A programme of four concerts and two films begins on Saturday afternoon with three works commissioned with the support of BBT.  Mark Simpson performs his own highly virtuosic solo for clarinet, Darkness Moves, inspired by the sinister and eerie poetry of Henri Michaux, while Alexi Kenney hotfoots it from the US to give UK premieres of two brand new contrasting pieces for solo violin – the rhapsodic Hikari by New Zealand-born Salina Fisher and a quirky work with electronics, The Violinist, by Puerto Rican-born Angélica Negrón. Two 20th-century works complete the programme: Adam Walker, Timothy Ridout and Sivan Magen perform Debussy’s Sonata for flute, viola and harp, and Kenney and Simpson are joined by pianist Filippo Gorini for Stravinsky’s Suite from his L’histoire du soldat.

Schubert and Mahler fill the evening concert:  Mitsuko Uchida is the distinguished trio partner for ‘BBT veteran’ Christian Poltéra and one of BBT’s most recent award winners, Geneva Lewis, playing  Schubert’s Notturno D897 Op 148.  She also appears in the programme with James Newby singing Mahler’s Rückert Lieder.  The concert closes with Schubert’s Death and the Maiden played by acclaimed Polish string quartet Apollon Musagète.

Sunday lunchtime brings solo Bach – for the instruments originally intended and also transcribed for other instruments. Filippo Gorini gives a glimpse of his ambitious ongoing exploration of The Art of Fugue with Contrapunctus I and XI and Geneva Lewis plays the Chaconne from Partita No 2 in D minor, while Sivan Magen plays Chromatic Fantasy and Fugue in D minor transcribed for harp and  Simone Rubino gives us Allemande, Sarabande, and Bourrée I and II from Cello Suite No 3 in C major on marimba.

The evening repertoire ranges from music of the Renaissance to contemporary and showcases BBT award winners from 2007 to 2022 including Itamar Zorman playing Schubert’s Rondeau in B minor with Uchida, and Sean Shibe and Ema Nikolovska performing songs from Dowland to Thomas Adès. Bartók’s String Quartet No 6 played by world-renowned Quatuor Ébène provides the finale to the weekend.

BBT Artists Ruby Hughes, Hyeyoon Park and Simone Rubino join the Multi-Story Orchestra for a large-scale work, specially created for BBT20 by the orchestra’s Young Creatives and musicians with their co-founder composer Kate Whitley, herself a BBT award winner in 2014.  Entitled Verified, the piece will explore the complexities of social media through music in The Multi-Story Orchestra’s incomparable style at this unique venue, the rooftop space of Pekham’s former multi-storey car park. It is also part of the summer season at Bold Tendencies, which celebrates the free enjoyment of public space in the city, welcoming wide participation in its rich, experimental programme of commissioning visual arts projects and live performances and preserving open access to its special spaces. There is a bigger story behind this BBT20 event connected to BBT Communities, details of which will be announced in March.

Commissioning new works is one of BBT’s most important, creative and rewarding ways to help young musicians, as well as emerging young composers.  Concertos, quartets, trios, duets, solos, songs and encores make up the current portfolio of 52 special commissions BBT has supported. A short film by BBT filmmaker Graham Johnston explores the journey from finding a composer to the thrill of premiering a new work and features composers Kalevi Aho, Gavin Bryars, Francisco Coll and Sebastian Fagerlund among others.

A second film features the complete chamber work Il Ritmo della Terra (Rhythm of the Earth) commissioned by BBT from Italian cellist and composer Lamberto Curtoni for percussionist and countertenor Simone Rubino with an ensemble of percussion and string players.  Inherent in the work is a call to humanity to listen to the healing rhythms of nature, while the film embraces the visual beauty and power of nature, as well as the joy and mesmerising intensity of the performances.  BBT has also supported the release of the film via streaming, both film and audio, which will be available on the First Hand Records label.

Both films will be screened at Wigmore Hall on Sunday 11 June at 1pm following the morning concert . Admission is free to ticket holders of either of the Sunday concerts.

*119 Awards, excludes the four Franco Buitoni Awards; 199 Musicians includes individual players in ensembles; 20 Communities includes 2023 BBT Communities grants to be announced on 24 March,

Full programme details here

Wigmore Hall: general booking opens 14 February

Multi-Story Orchestra at Bold Tendencies: booking opens in March