Who Wrote the Book of Love?
Chamber 1 February, 2017
Written as a birthday present for a friend, Jonathan Dove’s Who Wrote the Book of Love? receives its public premiere on 12 February at Kings Place, London. The work, which sets seventeen lyrics by Alasdair Middleton exploring the theme of love, will be performed by bass-baritone Philippe Sly and the Dante Quartet. These lyrics each resonate with difference poetic modes – Greek Love, Persian Love Gallant Love, Cold Love… Prior to the concert, Dove discusses his work in an interview with Peter Fribbins. Visit the Kings Place website for tickets and more information, and peer into the Book of Love two days before Valentine’s Day.
Monster in the Maze at the BASCA Awards
Stage Works 7 December, 2016
On 6 December, the BASCA British Composer Awards highlighted some of the best compositions premiered in the UK in the 12 months leading up to April 2016, across jazz, choral, sonic art, orchestral and beyond. The event, hosted by BBC Radio 3 presenters Sarah Walker and Andrew McGregor, took place at the British Film Institute in London with a speech given by British composer and broadcaster Gerard McBurney, who presented each of the main category winners with their awards. Jonathan Dove’s The Monster in the Maze continued its ongoing success by winning the award in the amateur and young performers category which also included the shortlisted composers Kate Whitley and John Pickard. Most recently, Monster in the Maze was performed in Taichung where a new Chinese/Taiwanese translation was premiered in October 2016. Jonathan could not be at the awards as Melvyn Tan was performing his new solo piano piece Catching Fire across London at Spitalfields Festival, but Andra East of the London Symphony Orchestra was at the ceremony to collect the award in Jonathan’s absence. The awards will be broadcast on BBC Radio 3’s ‘Hear and Now’ programme on Saturday 10 December at 10pm.
Monster and Flight
Stage Works 1 November, 2016
A new translation of Dove’s Monster in the Maze premiered at Taiwan’s National Taichung Theater for two performances over the weekend (29/30 October 2016). The Chinese-Taiwanese version (titled 迷宮魔獸) represents the fourth translation of the work, with more on the way. The opera continues to storm on and has recently been shortlisted for a BASCA British Composer Awards at this year’s ceremony in the Amateur or Young Performer category. Flight, Dove’s breakthrough opera, will be produced in New York on 16/18/20 November 2016. Julliard Opera opens their season with the modern-day operatic comedy that tells the story of a refugee living in the airport and his interactions with different characters who find themselves delayed in the terminal. Inspired by the true-life story of an Iranian refugee who lived at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris for 18 years. Tickets are available on the Julliard website.
Our Revels Now Are Ended at the Last Night of the Proms
Choral Orchestra & Large Ensemble 8 September, 2016
A new enlarged version of Jonathan Dove’s Our Revels Now Are Ended will receive its world premiere at the Last Night of the Proms on Saturday 10 September, closing the first half of the concert. This setting of Prospero’s words from Shakespeare’s The Tempest was originally written in 2004 to mark the final performance of Musica Nel Chiostro, an opera festival that ran for thirty years in a mediaeval Tuscan monastery. Every summer, invited by impresario Adam Pollock, companies of mainly British singers would flock to the Convento di Santa Croce in Batignano to sing in Italian to a largely Italian-speaking audience, in repertoire ranging from early Baroque to specially-commissioned new works by Stephen Oliver and Jonathan Dove. At the Last Night of the Proms, there will be many more voices than in the first performance, and the orchestra has been somewhat enlarged by the composer. For more information, visit the BBC website
Catching Fire at Cheltenham Festival
General 7 July, 2016
Catching Fire, a new piano solo, will be premiered on Saturday 9 July 2016 by Melvyn Tan at Cheltenham Festival. Jonathan first wrote for Melvyn Tan in 1993 when his New Mozart Ensemble commissioned An Airmail Letter From Mozart – a set of concertante variations on a theme from Divertimento K287, and was delighted to have the opportunity to write a new composition for Melvyn’s 60th birthday. In his mind’s eye, Jonathan suggests that there often seemed to be flames within this new piece – sometimes the small, clear flame of a match or a candle; at other times, bigger flames licking along the edge of something combustible, or consuming it altogether. Three times the listener stares at a still flame, but each time it comes near to something else, and catches fire. The world premiere of Catching Fire takes place at Cheltenham’s Pittville Pump Room on 9 July 2016. Visit the festival website for tickets.