Trinity Laban staff and alumni receive New Music Biennial commissions

Stephen _montague2A number of Trinity Laban graduates and teaching staff have been selected from over 130 applicants to take part in the PRS for Music Foundation's new music commissions for its UK New Music Biennial in 2014.

Composers Stephen Montague (pictured left) and Luke Styles have both been commissioned to write new works for the festival, whilst the Elysian Quartet and Juice vocal ensemble (pictured below) will be taking part as performers.

The New Music Biennial 2014 is an exciting new initiative intended as an "international celebration to showcase the talent of the UK's music sector, raise the profile of composers and performers, and present a snapshot of new music across all genres" (PRS for Music Foundation).

Formed in 1999 by four Trinity Laban students, the Elysian Quartet has gone on to shake the traditional string quartet concept, focusing on contemporary and experimental music. For the Biennial Commissions, they will join with the experimental Scottish folk trio Lau to perform 15 minutes of new music.

Dr Stephen Montague, acclaimed composer, pianist, conductor and Professor of Composition at Trinity Laban, has been commissioned by sound festival, Red Note Ensemble and Woodend Barn to write a new children's work for six musicians and a narrator. It will be based on tales sent in by children from different countries across the Commonwealth and rewritten by award-winning playwright Zinnie Harris.

Juice2Composer Luke Styles has been commissioned by experimental vocal trio Juice to create a theatrical new work featuring Juice and Trish Clowes' jazz/classical ensemble Tangent, performing alongside three live dancers. The evocative piece will fuse contemporary music and jazz to retell a Native Canadian folk tale in a playful, highly dynamic way. Luke and two members of Juice (pictured), Sarah Dacey and Kerry Andrew, all teach at Trinity Laban's Junior Trinity.

On being selected, Luke said:

"I'm thrilled to have the chance to create a new work for such dynamic forces as Juice, Tangent and dancers. The exposure and performance platform for this new work as part of the Biennial only increases the excitement I have to compose something virtuosic, lyric, energised and with a touch of improvisation."

The 20 commissioned works will be performed individually at locations throughout the UK during 2014, and at two showcase weekends at the Southbank Centre in London (4-6 July) and in Glasgow (2-3 August), coinciding with the Commonwealth Games. BBC Radio 3 will broadcast performances of all 20 works, and NMC Recordings will be releasing them via digital download.


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