PIERRE BOULEZ: 1925 – 2016
New London Chamber Choir wishes to join the international musical community in paying tribute to Pierre Boulez, who was NLCC’s patron from 1984 until his death on 5 January 2016.
Only three years after its foundation NLCC was invited to Paris, at the request of Iannis Xenakis, to perform a programme of Xenakis’ works together with the Ensemble InterContemporain. Despite his well-known distaste for the music of Xenakis, Boulez was present in the packed Théâtre de la Ville to witness a thrilling concert conducted by Michel Tabachnik; he also witnessed the sensational standing ovation which the choir received from a couple of thousand spectators. But it was Boulez’ subsequent acceptance of my invitation to become NLCC’s patron which was to prove to be the choir’s greatest accolade of all.
Boulez’ patronage of NLCC was typical of his support and encouragement of young musicians’ engagement in uncompromising contemporary music, even if that music was not always to his taste. As is well-known, Boulez went on to found the world-famous Lucerne Festival Academy, and has fostered and supported the work of many young ensembles dedicated to achieving the highest professional standards of contemporary music programming and performance.
It is my hope and belief that NLCC will continue to cherish the patronage of one of the very greatest musicians and composers of our time, and to carry the torch forward into the next generation of musical endeavour.
NLCC Founder and Musical Director from 1981-2007
For nearly 30 years, NLCC has been one of the outstanding groups at festivals across Europe. Specialising in contemporary works, we perform uncompromisingly avant garde music of all periods and have a unique record of commissioning and premièring new works for mixed chorus.
Our next confirmed public project is on 28 May 2016, when we return to Colourscape when it visits Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.
Then, on Saturday 11 June at 7pm, NLCC appears at St Leonard’s, Shoreditch, in the 2016 Spitalfields Festival. We’ll première The Fatal Fire, a new a cappella work by Iain Bell that commemorates the 250th anniversary of the Great Fire of London. The programme will also include Berio’s Cries of London and Gabriel Jackson’s A Choral Symphony.
In what would have been Knut Nystedt’s 100th birthday year, on 10 October 2015 New London Chamber Choir (musical director: Matthew Hamilton) and Norway’s Ensemble 96 (musical director: Nina Therese Karlsen) collaborated in choral virtuosity to perform music by Nystedt, Torbjørn Dyrud, Anders Hillborg, Per Nørgård and Kaija Saariaho. The programme ended with Nystedt’s iconic IMMORTAL BACH.
CALL TO SINGERS If you are a strong choral singer interested in joining our enthusiastic membership, please get in touch.
DONATE TO NLCC If you have ever enjoyed an NLCC concert or recording and wish to help us continue our unique mission, do please consider donating.
‘NLCC were great – very incisive and expressive’ – Jonathan Harvey
‘… a riveting collage of stark choral outbursts, like some long-forgotten tribal chant, set against percussion music that was all thudding beats in intricate patterns … and the New London Chamber Choir showed sensitivity as well as fierce energy.’ – Daily Telegraph