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Trinity Laban presents a spectacle of contemporary and improvised music for piano and chamber ensemble.

Each day (Monday 20 and Tuesday 21 June) will feature four separate programmes and the festival will culminate with Scenes of Childhood, an immersive improvised performance in multiple spaces.

For the fifth New Lights Festival curated and hosted by Trinity Laban’s Keyboard Department, there will be explorations of how the old interacts with the new, how dialogues form across artistic eras and art forms, and how the creative act of improvisation unfolds in real time.

Founded by pianist Peter Tuite, the mission of the festival is to explore ideas of newness both in approaches to interpretation and repertoire, as well as in presentation. This broad scope allows for exciting and challenging ideas and events to be presented in fresh and often startling ways.

Collaboration with a range of art forms lies at the heart of the festival. From film and photography to dance and theatrical presentations, New Lights presents works that capture the synergies arising from such collaborations. Innovative and diverse repertoire from the 20th century onwards also provides for a central part of the programming. And so, for each event, there will be works that range from the experimental and collaborative to works engaged in a dialogue with past traditions.


Douglas Finch, artistic director

Howard Felton, project manager

Roxanna Albayati, improvisation tutor


This short documentary, produced and directed by Anthony Cheng, explores the idea of musical improvisation with Trinity Laban’s professor of piano and composition, Douglas Finch.

Mon 20 June

Performance 1 | Peacock Room, 14:00

Ludwig’s Alptraum

Roxanna Shini Mehrahzadeh and Kyle Nash-Baker, piano

Joy Peter, viola

New Lights’ opening recital pairs Shostakovich with Russian/American composer Lera Auerbach. About her piece Ludwig’s Alptraum, Auerbach writes: “Every art arises out of dreams, and it is perhaps only in dreams that fate can show us its hidden threads which connect each passing day with the next.”


Lera Auerbach, Ludwig’s Alptraum

Roxanna Shini Mehrabzadeh, piano


Shostakovich/Auerbach, Preludes 19, 20 and 21

Roxanna Shini Mehrabzadeh, piano

Joy Peter, viola


Lera Auerbach, Preludes 19, 20 and 21

Roxanna Shini Mehrabzadeh, piano


Douglas Finch, Preludes and Afterthoughts – fantasy-transcriptions on Chopin’s Preludes Op. 28

I. Premonition (Prelude in E Minor)

II.  Memory 1 (Prelude in A Major)

III. Dream (Prelude in A Major)

IV. Whirlwinds and Sighs (Preludes in B Flat Minor and E Minor)

V. Memory 2 (Prelude in A Flat Major)

VI. Dirge-Canon (Prelude in C Minor)

VII. Rounds (Preludes in A Flat Major, A Major and E Minor)

Milda Vitartaite, piano


Performance 2 | Peacock Room, 15:30


Carolina Cury and Giordano Buondonno, piano

Konstantinos Damianakis, electric guitar and electronics

Olivia Bell, voice

A programme of contrast, flux and social commentary led by pianist, singer and composer Carolina Cury. Frederic Rzewski’s seminal protest piece Winnsboro Cotton Mills Blues will be featured in its rarely heard two-piano version – a tribute to this influential and much loved composer who passed away last year.


Sofia Gubaidulina,  Chaconne

Carolina Cury, piano


Fazil Say, Black Earth (Kara Toprak)

Giordano Buondonno, piano


Carolina Cury, Awakening of a numb creature

Olivia Bell, voice

Giordano Buondonno, piano


Hypereyess, Flux

Hypereyess – Konstantinos Damianakis and Carolina Cury, electroacoustic duo


Frederic Rzewski, Winnsboro Cotton Mills Blues (for two pianos)

Giordano Buondonno and Carolina Cury, piano


Performance 3 | Peacock Room, 17:15

Dreaming and Remembering

Jinah Shim and Raymond Wui Man Yiu, piano

Pianists Jinah Shim and Raymond Wui Man Yiu offer a programme of classic 20th Century works for two pianos interspersed with colourful solo pieces, including two world premières by Allan Moore and Raymond’s own Fugues on popular themes.


Igor Stravinsky, Three Movements from “Petrushka” for 2 Pianos

Jinah Shim and Raymond Wui Man Yiu, piano


Allan Moore, Dreaming Faure – Remembering Johannes Ilyich

Jinah Shim, piano

Graham Fitkin, The Cone Gatherers

Jinah Shim, piano


Steve Reich, Piano Phase for 2 Pianos

Jinah Shim and Raymond Wui Man Yiu, piano


Raymond Wui Man Yiu, Two Fugues on Two Popular Themes

Raymond Wui Man Yiu, piano


Lepo Sumera, Piece from the Year 1981

Jinah Shim, piano


Witold Lutoslawski, Variations on a Theme of Paganini

Jinah Shim and Raymond Wui Man Yiu, piano


Performance 4 | Peacock Room, 19:00

In Memoriam Messiaen

Christos Fountos, piano

Pianist Christos Fountos explores Messiaen’s influential legacy through the lens of pieces dedicated to him by renowned composers, alongside two solo piano movements from one of Messiaen’s most adventurous orchestral works: Des Canyons aux étoiles…


Peter Michael Hamel, In Memoriam Olivier Messiaen

No. Vlll from Von Klang des Lebens


Olivier Messiaen, Des Canyons aux étoiles… Part I

No. IV Le Cossyphe d’Heuglin


Michael Finnissy, A Solis Ortus Cardine


Tristan Murail, Cloches d’adieu, et un sourire…, In memoriam Messiaen


Olivier Messiaen, Des Canyons aux étoiles… Part III

No. IX Le Moqueur polyglotte


Jonathan Harvey, Tombeau de Messiaen

For piano and tape


Toru Takemitsu, Rain Tree Sketch II, In memoriam Messiaen


Tue 21 June

Performance 5 | Peacock Room, 14:00

Daedalus Reached

Milda Vitartaite and Christina Koti, piano

Alex Lyon, clarinet and bass clarinet

Rebecca Burden, cello

Megan Strachan, soprano

Hester Dart, mezzo soprano

Pianist and composer Milda Vitartaite and friends perform a dramatic programme of new and recently composed chamber pieces, including Milda’s own when the grasshopper sings.


Ján Števuliak, Heuristic Studies for piano and delay

Milda Vitartaite, piano


Harry Wier, A Place Inside The Blizzard

Christina Koti and Milda Vitartaite, piano (four hands)


Hanna Kulenty, Van

Christina Koti and Milda Vitartaite, two pianos


KC Cheng, Le cosmicomiche       

Christina Koti, piano


Sylvia Glickman, Black Cake – A Recipe by Emily Dickinson

Megan Strachan, soprano

Milda Vitartaite, piano


Paweł Mykietyn, ‘…Although Daedalus Reached…’

Terra Invisus: Milda Vitartaite, piano, Alex Lyon, clarinet, Rebecca Burden, cello


Milda Vitartaite, when the grasshopper sings

Hester Dart, mezzo soprano

Terra Invisus: Milda Vitartaite, piano, Alex Lyon, clarinet, Rebecca Burden, cello


Performance 6 | Peacock Room, 15:30

Wondrous Minds

A programme of new pieces arising from collaborations between Trinity Laban composers and pianists.


Alex Man-Wai Cho – Prelude in G Minor

Calum Ward, piano


Kornélia Nemcová, Dust

Milda Vitartaite, piano


David Balica, Recent Venture into Wondrous Minds

Stefan Weidner, piano


Nikita Faie, The Winter Hour

Louisa Grantz, piano


Nathan Durasamy, Confabulation

Milda Vitartaite, piano


Ján Števuliak, Variations and Theme on Invisible Cities

Carolina Cury, piano and interactive electronics


Performance 7 | Mackerras Room, 16:45

…the bones in my hands

Roxanna Albayati, cello and voice Mahsa Salali, piano, voice and pre-recorded electronics

Experimental duo Mahsa Salali and Roxanna Albayati present a programme of semi-improvised works.


Ed Cooper, …the bones in my hands disintegrate only to grow...

“Always disintegrating but totally focussed; in great conflict with itself; clarity is perceivable but in the future.”


Roxanna Albayati and Mahsa Salali, Here are Girls

Extract from the Here are Girls project, a physical and musical exploration of the expectations and constraints that weigh on women through traditional and modern-day struggles. This work used elements of Iranian Dastãh as well as the poem “Here Are Girls” by Elisabeth Hewer.


Performance 8 | In multiple spaces, East Wing of King Charles Court, 18:30

Scenes of Childhood

Improvisational Performances


Roxanna Albayati, improvisation tutor


Faculty of Music:

Dominic Bentham, Rebecca Burden, Arthur Tak-Hon Chan, Alex Man-Wai Cho, Carolina Cury, Polina Pancheva, Nefeli Erma, Nikita Faie  Daniel Greenwich, Ali Hancorn, Ashley Solano Hernandez, Alex Lyon, Franklin Oliver, Isaac Tobenna Onyirioha, Xinyu Liu, Miriam Pancheva, Jân Stevuliac, Milda Vitartaite, Jessica Yui Wu, Yan Yan, Raymond Wui Man Yiu

Faculty of Dance:

Elisa Ansaldo, Maria Vittoria Bortolotti, Ifigenia Christodoulou, Chander van Daatselaar, Hannah George, Alessia Tomassi, Lilli O’Reilly Wagner Hansen

Lullabies, hidden rooms, streams of consciousness, hide and seek, a moving choir, audience participation and much more will be part of this theatrical performance. Scenes of Childhood will move between different spaces in the East Wing of Trinity Laban, King Charles Court.


All admissions are free and no booking is required.