CrossCurrents festival

CrossCurrents festival

New classical music, folk, and jazz converge in a brand new nine-day festival at the University of Birmingham.

The CrossCurrents festival brings together internationally acclaimed musicians and student performers, as well as some of the UK’s most respected composers over nine days in Birmingham’s Barber Institute of Fine Arts and The Bramall.

CrossCurrents runs from 12 – 20 February and presents concerts, talks and workshops, culminating in a performance by Birmingham Contemporary Music Group of a newly commissioned song cycle featuring the works of no fewer than eleven composers.

CrossCurrents Artistic Director and Professor of Composition, Michael Zev Gordon says: ‘I’m really delighted to be announcing a new contemporary music festival for Birmingham - a festival whose aim above all is to be inclusive. We want to reflect something of the extraordinary range of what is happening in music today, and to inject - through brand new work and vivid contrasts of style - our own dynamism into it.’

CrossCurrents Producer and Head of University Music and Concerts, Jo Sweet says: ‘It is an exciting time for Music-making at the University and this festival reflects the Department of Music’s heritage - taking initial inspiration for the now forgotten Barber Contemporary Music Festival - whilst highlighting the diversity of the ever-expanding Music activity on campus.’

A collaborative festival, CrossCurrents 2016 fosters emerging talent, merges genres, and celebrates the work of leading composers. We welcome artists and ensembles including the Hermes Ensemble (Belgium), Joel Sachs (USA), Sarah Nicolls (UK), Fidelio Trio (UK), BCMG (UK), David Ogborn (Canada) and Percy Pursglove (UK), alongside the University’s New Music Ensemble, Jazz Collective, Gamelan Ensemble, and BEAST (BirminghamElectroAcouticSoundTheatre). Featured composers include Judith Weir, Cage, Feldman and Berio.

Festival finale

The UK’s leading contemporary music ensemble BCMG close the inaugural CrossCurrents festival with a multifaceted programme featuring no fewer than twelve world premieres. As the University’s New Music Ensemble present Berio’s Folksongs on the first day of CrossCurrents, BCMG close the festival with the performance of a new set of specially commissioned songs by eleven composers, including compositional staff at the University of Birmingham and Birmingham Conservatoire. Along with Charlotte Bray, Judith Weir, Richard Baker and post-graduates from each organisation, these composers have been invited to write their own folk songs inspired by Berio’s 1964 original. The programme also includes BCMG Sound Investments commission Seize the Day, and the music of Tansy Davies, Judith Weir and Morton Feldman.