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60 minutes (no interval)
Live Performance: Friday 14 May, 7pm
Available to book and watch until Saturday 15 May, 7pm
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JS Bach Selections from the Art of Fugue (3 fugues, 3 canons)
Gorecki Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings, Op.40
Laurence Osborn New Work – Coin Op Automata – for String Quartet and Harpsichord.
Manchester Collective and Mahan Esfahani are known for challenging perceptions and conventions around classical music: here, they present a truly international programme built around a thrilling work by a musical outsider.
Joseph Horovitz has never been an artist who fits neatly into the musical status quo. As a Jewish composer, born in Vienna and living in the UK, his musical influences are wide-ranging. His sensational Jazz Concerto for harpsichord, strings, and jazz kit defies easy description, much like harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani himself. Mahan has built a career around the unlikely and the virtuosic, bringing sparkling performances and a unique musicianship to a far broader repertoire than one might usually associate with his instrument.
Alongside the world premiere of a new work by British rising star Laurence Osborn, the ensemble will also present a rendition of Górecki's breakneck Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings, and a set of canons and fugues by Bach, arranged by Esfahani.
- About the artists (click to expand)
Known for their experimental programming and daring collaborations, Manchester Collective have expanded at speed since 2016 performing in 18 cities across Europe and the UK. Manchester Collective is a new kind of arts organisation with an aim to create intimate and intense human experiences built around live music. From concert halls to factories, recital halls to mills, Manchester Collective perform in diverse venues allowing audiences to open their ears and listen to their fresh, contemporary and classical music.
Image: Co-founders Rakhi Singh (L) and Adam Szabo (R); Image credit: Robin Clewley
Since making his London debut in 2009 Mahan Esfahani has established himself as the first harpsichordist in a generation whose work spans virtually all the areas of classical music-making from critically-acclaimed performances and recordings of the standard repertoire to working with the leading composers of the day to pioneering concerto appearances with major symphony orchestras on four continents. He was the first and only harpsichordist to be a BBC New Generation Artist (2008-2010), a Borletti-Buitoni prize winner (2009), a nominee for Gramophone’s Artist of the Year (2014, 2015, 2017), and on the shortlist as Instrumentalist of the Year for the Royal Philharmonic Society Awards (2013, 2019).
As a concerto soloist his partners at the podium have included leading conductors such as Leif Segerstam, François Xavier-Roth, Ilan Volkov, Riccardo Minasi, Ludovic Morlot, Alexander Liebreich, Martyn Brabbins, Thomas Dausgaard, Antoni Wit, Thierry Fischer, Jiří Bělohlávek, and Ed Gardner with major symphony and chamber orchestras and contemporary music ensembles. He also varies his solo engagements with meaningful chamber music partnerships.
Esfahani’s work with new and modern music is particularly acclaimed, with high-profile solo and concertante commissions. His commitment to exploring the contemporary voice for the harpsichord is reflected in his 2020 Hyperion release Musique? – a compilation of electronic and acoustic works including the modern revival of Luc Ferrari’s 1974 Programme commun for harpsichord and tape.
His richly-varied discography for Hyperion and Deutsch Grammophon – including an ongoing series of the complete works of Bach for the former – has been acclaimed in the English- and foreign-language press and has garnered one Gramophone award, two BBC Music Magazine Awards, a Diapason d’Or and ‘Choc de Classica’ in France, and an ICMA as well as numerous Editor’s Choices in a variety of publications.
He can be frequently heard as a commentator on BBC Radio 3 and Radio 4. For the BBC’s Sunday Feature he is currently at work on his fourth radio documentary following popular programmes on such subjects as the early history of African-American composers in the classical sphere and the development of orchestral music in Azerbaijan.
PART OF CONCERT SERIES IN PARTNERSHIP WITH UCAN UK SERIES
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This performance has been made possible through a grant from the Cultural Recovery Fund from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.