Two good orchestra calls

Two good orchestra calls


norman lebrecht

March 02, 2011

Roxanna Panufnik has been named associate composer of the London Mozart Players and Michael Seal is the new associate conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Both are local appointments, both promising.

Rox, daughter my late friend Andrzej Panufnik, is working on a choral score derived from my novel, The Song of Names. Kater this month, the American choir Chanticleer will premiere Let Me In, with words by Jessica Duchen. Her music is hard-worked, always agreeable.

Seal has impressed the CBSO in several concerts. Judging by his Twitter moniker – batonflipper – he has kept the fun side alive.

                                                                   Photo: Catholic Herald
Press releases follow.


prepares for three world premieres as she is appointed
London Mozart Players
‘ first Associate Composer

Panufnik is one of the country’s best known and loved composers, and is widely
celebrated for both her choral writing and for her distinctive catalogue of
orchestral pieces.

On 26 March, the American choir Chanticleer will give
the world premiere of ‘Let Me In‘, a work about Jesus’s childhood with
words by Jessica Duchen. Matthew Oltman conducts at the Cathedral of Christ in
the Light, Oakland, California with further performances in the San Francisco
area on 27 and 31 March, and 1 April.

The National Youth Choirs of Great
Britain will perform their commission ‘We are the Music-Makers‘ on 17
April, conducted by Mike Brewer at Symphony Hall, Birmingham. For this work,
Roxanna will be working once again with Duchen, who has updated Alfred
Shaughnessy’s well-known text.

Roxanna will travel to Tallinn on 30 June
for the premiere of her ‘Tallinn Mass: Dance of Life‘, cantata for
soprano (Patricia Rozario), narrator and multiple choirs (Estonian TV &
Radio Girls Choir, Tallinn University Choir, Tallinn Secondary Music School
Choir) and orchestra (Tallinn Philharmonic Orchestra), conducted by Eri Klas.
This mass was commissioned by the Tallinn Philharmonic Orchestra to celebrate
the city’s tenure as European Capital of Culture. An hour long, it uses the
Latin Mass (composed with the church bells of Tallinn and Estonian folksong)
framing and exploring its meaning with 19 poems.

Roxanna also has three
local premieres in March and April: the Scottish premiere of ‘Schola Missa de
‘ in a new version with string orchestra (London Oratory School
Schola, conducted by Lee Ward); the Polish premiere of ‘All Shall be
‘ and the London premiere of ‘The Audience.’

2012 will
mark the beginning of Roxanna’s three-year tenure as The London Mozart Players’
inaugural Associate Composer where works from her catalogue will be performed
throughout their season as well as at least one new commission each year. New
pieces to be performed include the fourth of her new Four Seasons for violinist
Tasmin Little (with the London premiere of all four Seasons in 2012) and a large
scale choral-orchestral work.

LMP Managing Director Simon Funnell says:
The LMP has a tradition of commissioning and performing new music. Roxanna
has written a wide range of pieces including opera, ballet, music theatre,
choral and chamber works which are regularly performed all over the world. Her
music is popular yet profound, theatrical and emotional, and we are very excited
about working with her

Roxanna Panufnik says: “This is a
fantastic opportunity for me to work more in the instrumental and orchestral
field with one of the UK’s finest orchestras. I look forward hugely to
collaborating with conductor Gérard Korsten and LMP on a far-reaching range of
projects – especially at such an exciting time of rebirth for the

CBSO appoints Michael Seal
as Associate Conductor

Michael Seal has
been appointed Associate Conductor of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra
in recognition of his successful relationship with the CBSO as Assistant
Conductor since 2005, including
numerous highly acclaimed projects.

These include a
performance of Lutoslawski’s ‘Chain I’ at the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, world
premieres of music by Richard Causton and Jonathan Girling, and appearing with
the CBSO at the Aldeburgh and Malvern Festivals, as well as at venues in London,
Manchester and the Midlands.

Chief Executive of the CBSO, Stephen
Maddock said, “We are really pleased to be recognising Mike’s dedication and
commitment to the CBSO in this way. This new position is a deserved reflection
of how well Mike is respected by his peers and by members of the Orchestra. As
well as his involvement with the CBSO, Mike is also dedicated to developing new
talent through the CBSO Youth Orchestra and Birmingham Conservatoire, work which
is at the heart of the CBSO family.”

acclaimed Music Director of the CBSO, Andris Nelsons said, “Mike is establishing
a reputation as one of the UK’s most versatile, wonderful conductors and I am
delighted that he has been appointed Associate Conductor. I have worked closely
with him over the last three years and believe he has a valuable role to play in
maintaining the artistic excellence of the CBSO for many years to

On his appointment, Mike
“I am
honoured and delighted to be appointed Associate Conductor of the CBSO. It makes
me proud to think that the Orchestra has continued faith in our relationship; a
relationship that I feel has grown from strength to strength over the last few

“I would also like to
take this opportunity to thank the members of the Orchestra who have supported
me so strongly and are a constant source of inspiration to us all. To be
recognised in this way, at a time when the CBSO under Andris Nelsons is flying
high, makes this appointment even more exciting for me.”

Michael’s forthcoming concerts with
the CBSO i
nclude ‘Telling Tales’ on 24
March, featuring music by Strauss, Liszt, Dvo?ák and Janá?ek, and two concerts
in the recently announced CBSO Film Music Festival in July. This
Anthony Hopkins – In Concert
on Saturday 23
July 2011 in Symphony Hall, in which one of the world’s greatest living screen
actors joins the CBSO on stage for a very special performance of his own

BBC Radio 3 broadcast
his first subscription concert with the CBSO in March 2007, with a programme
including Hugh Wood’s Piano Concerto, with Joanna MacGregor as soloist, and
Walton’s Symphony No.1. Michael has also collaborated with Saregama and the CBSO
in projects featuring Rahat Fateh Ali Khan and Sonu Niigaam, culminating in the
release of the ground-breaking CD, Rafi Resurrected.

Forging a special
relationship with the CBSO Youth Orchestra, he has conducted them on numerous
occasions and is also Artistic Advisor and Conductor for the CBSO Youth
Orchestra Academy, a chamber orchestra formed in 2007.