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News and novelties: Contradance, Raga, Three Front Doors and a Paddock

In this enews: two new pieces, a new recording and a new radio series - Three Front Doors and a Paddock.

Background information and further news are available at www.andrewford.net.au. You can also follow me on Twitter for semi-regular updates.


First performance of Contradance

The Omega Ensemble will give the first performance of my Contradance at the City Recital Hall, Angel Place in Sydney on Wednesday 20 April. Commissioned by Steven Alward in celebration of the 60th birthday of Mark Wakely, the piece is scored for 11 instruments (wind quintet, piano and string quintet) with contrabassoon and contrabass (double bass) prominent among them. It will be broadcast by ABC Classic FM on the evening of Monday 25 April.

> Concert details and tickets.

After the Visitors for Katie Noonan
and the Brodsky Quartet

My song After the Visitors to words by Judith Wright was commissioned by Katie Noonan for With Love and Fury, her project with my friends the Brodsky Quartet. The other composers are Paul Dean, Paul Grabowsky, Iain Grandage, David Hirschfelder, Elena Kats-Chernin, John Rodgers, Richard Tognetti, Carl Vine and Katie herself. The entire cycle will have its first performance at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane with performances to follow in Melbourne, Canberra (the Canberra International Music Festival), Adelaide, Sydney, Albany and Perth (all tour details on Katie's website). Meanwhile, the CD is deservedly riding high in the classical charts.

Speaking of such things . . . There was a Man Lived in the Moon, my album of children's songs and nursery rhymes, spent 16 weeks in the ARIA classical charts where it sat at No 2 for much of the time, unable to bump André Rieu from the top spot. It will be released in the UK on 29 April.

> Watch and listen: Teddy Tahu Rhodes sings The Jumblies and Jane Sheldon sings Little Star (YouTube videos).


Missa brevis

My Missa brevis ('for all who seek asylum') was heard again at St John's Cathedral, Brisbane in February. It will next be sung by the Choir of St George's Cathedral, Perth, under their music director Joseph Nolan, on Sunday 19 June. The other commissioners were St Stephen's Cathedral, Brisbane and St Patrick's Cathedral, Melbourne (all in partnership with Ars Musica Australis) and they will sing the mass later in 2016. The episode of RN's The Rhythm Divine devoted to the mass can still be heard online

Raga on 13 August

Advance notice of the first performance of Raga for electric guitar and orchestra at the final Gala concert of the 2016 Adelaide Guitar Festival on 13 August. Commissioned by Kim Williams in partnership with the festival and the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the work will be played by soloist Zane Banks, with the ASO under Benjamin Northey.

> 13 August 2016 event details.

Three Front Doors and a Paddock
- Ben and Andy on ABC RN

This is a a new four-part radio series of conversations between me and my neighbour, the painter Ben Quilty. Three front doors and a paddock separate us physically, but in these conversations (recorded in his studio and my work room) we explore the differences between making paintings and making music. The series can be heard on Earshot from Monday 25 to Thursday 28 April (11 am, ABC RN).


New on YouTube

Some performances of my works recently uploaded to Youtube: Rauha (2009), performed by ANAM Orchestra, conducted by Brett Dean; The Tears of Geertje Dircx (2007), performed by clarinetists Ashley William Smith and Samuel Curkpatrick; and a more recent work A Pitch Dark Night (2014) from a Canberra International Music Festival performance in 2015, sung by David Greco.

Recent articles

Most recently on Inside Story, I wrote about my favourite subject: what makes a good jazz standard. Read 'Raising the Standards', (Inside Story, 6 April). Other topics covered include Boulez & Bowie, and interpreting and being interpreted, and Elena Kats-Chernin's opera The Divorce.

A full list of recent articles on my website.