King's 500 Contemporary Music Festival: Epiphany Through Music

Chapel 500 logo

2015 marks the quincentenary of King’s College Chapel and 500 years of music in that wonderful space. Throughout this time, generations of King’s musicians have sustained the quality of music-making at the highest possible level, and have also maintained a strong commitment to the music of their time.

It is fitting then that some of the most active proponents of new music to have been associated with the college in recent years have come together to create a once-in-a-generation festival celebrating the last fifty years of contemporary music to have come out of King’s.

The festival features world-class performances from artists including The Philharmonia Orchestra, great works that have defined British contemporary music over the last 50 years, and a range of educational events designed to maximise the impact and reach of the festival.

A promotional video is available to view.

We gratefully acknowledge the kind support of all our sponsors:

RVW Trust logo
Girton Town Charity logo

Stockhausen: Stimmung

Friday 9 October 2015, 8.00pm
The Chapel
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Karlheinz Stockhausen

A rare opportunity to hear Stockhausen’s Stimmung – an iconic work of contemporary music. Ben Parry (King’s College Assistant Director of Music) directs the London Voices through this fascinating work in which six singers intone one perpetual chord, inserting words, names and poems amongst the intonation.

The piece is structured on 51 repeatable models, with each new model bringing on a different mood, according to its meaning and character. The unique placement of the voices allows for the audience to be completely enveloped by the vocal echoes amplified by the chapel walls that have resounded to so much inspiring music over the centuries.

  • Stockhausen: Stimmung

London Voices
Directed by Ben Parry (King’s College Assistant Director of Music)

Tickets: £15 (students free), available from The Visitor Centre, King's Parade, Cambridge (01223 769340) or the online shop.

Massed Choirs Matinee

Saturday 10 October 2015, 2.00pm
The Chapel

John Wallace

John Wallace

A jubilant concert of music for choirs and brass featuring The New Wallace Collection (dir. John Wallace) alongside works by Causton, Chilcott, Ledger, Parry, Willcocks and many more. Performed by a wealth of fine choirs from King’s and its environs:

  • The Cambridge University Trumpet Ensemble (CUTE)
  • Mark Gotham: Opus Trinitatis for 3 tpts
  • King's Voices (with CUTE)
  • Ben Parry: Prayer for choir, organ, 3 tpts
  • Sir Philip Ledger: I will lift up mine eyes
  • The Cambridge University Chamber Choir (CUCC)
  • Arvo Pärt: Bogoróditse Djévo
  • Richard Causton: Jesu sweetë sonë dear (first performance of revised version, 2015).
  • The King's Men
  • Henry VIII: Pastime with good company
  • American Spiritual arr. Keith Roberts: Steal Away
  • Beach Boys arr. Keith Roberts: Get Around
  • Wallace Collection
  • Alex Tay: Travelling Light (first performance of festival commission)
  • Concanenda
  • Orlando Gibbons: Drop, drop slow tears
  • Mark Gotham: Drop, drop slow tears for choir, organ, and trumpet (first performance of festival commission)
  • The Robins from King'Junior Voices
  • Chilcott: A Child, Streetseller, and London Bells
  • All (dir. Cleobury)
  • Widor arr. Willcocks: Sing.

Tickets: £10 (students free), available from The Visitor Centre, King's Parade, Cambridge (01223 769340) or the online shop.

 

Choral Evensong service (contemporary music)

Saturday 10 October 2015, 5.30pm
The Chapel

The Choir singing by candlelight

No celebration of contemporary music in the Chapel could possibly overlook the pioneering work of the Choir and its directors in commissioning and performing music from a dizzying array of composers.

In the weekend’s two evensongs, Stephen Cleobury directs the Choir in some favourites from this rich repertoire.

  • Introit: Mark Gotham – Utrumne est Ornatum
  • Responses: Philip Radcliffe
  • Magnificat & Nunc dimittis: Herbert Howells – Collegium Regale
  • Anthem: George Benjamin – Twas in the year that King Uzziah died

Services in the chapel are open to the general public. Doors open at 5.15pm.

There will be a retiring collection.

John Butt Organ Recital

Saturday 10 October 2015, 6.30pm
The Chapel
John Butt
John Butt

Another corner stone of music in chapel is the organ recital series and we could not hope for a more suitable performer for the occasion than John Butt.

John is an artist of the very highest quality who has been closely associated with King’s College throughout his career, ever since serving as Organ Scholar.

He performs a richly varied programme including works by Olivier Messiaen and the ever-thrilling King’s alumna Errollyn Wallen.

  • J.S. Bach: Prelude and Fugue in G major, BWV 541
  • César Franck: Prélude, Fugue, Variation, Op. 18
  • Mark Gotham: Isomorphic Fantasy (first performance of solo version)
  • Olivier Messiaen: Offertoire (Les choses visibles et invisibles), from from Messe de la Pentecôte
  • Errollyn Wallen: Tiger Suite: Tiger, Slow and noble, Nimble and muscular, Slow, deep Blues, Tiger

Free entry (retiring collection)

"Within Those Radiances…"

Saturday 10 October 2015, 9.30pm
The Chapel
Tim Souster
Tim Souster

Reserved for their characteristic late-evening slot, ‘The 68’ers’ take over with a concert of revolutionary music by important proponents of the electronic avant-garde including Tim Souster and Roger Smalley (composers-in-residence at King’s in ’68 and ’69 respectively).

During their tenures at King’s, Smalley and Souster worked closely with King’s students, including notably the electronic artist Andrew Powell and the trumpet player John Wallace who have devised this concert together.

Souster, Smalley, and Powell especially would also go on to work closely together, re-defining the field of live electronics in the UK by their activities, including giving UK premieres of such seminal figures as Karlheinz Stockhausen (featured earlier in this festival).

We are delighted that Andrew and John will be returning to King’s with this specially-devised programme which explores the rich repertoire and possibilities of live electronic music. They are joined by Kirsten Powell, the Wallace Collection, current students of the Cambridge University Trumpet Ensemble, and a very special guest, Markus Stockhausen.

Once again the chapel itself will play an essential role with sound – and indeed players – dispersed throughout the building.

Andrew and Kirsten Powell
The Wallace Collection
The Cambridge University Trumpet Ensemble
and special guest, Markus Stockhausen

  • Roger Smalley: Echo III
  • Tim Souster: The Transistor Radio of St Narcissus
  • Andrew Powell: "Within Those Radiances ..."
  • Markus Stockhausen: ... the tenth of October 2015

Tickets: £10 (students free), available from The Visitor Centre, King's Parade, Cambridge (01223 769340) or the online shop.

This concert is dedicated to the memory of Roger Smalley, 1943-2015.

Matins

Sunday 11 October 2015, 10.30am
The Chapel
The Choir singing by candlelight

King's College Choir, directed by Stephen Cleobury

  • Britten: Te Deum in C
  • Britten: Jubilate Deo in C
  • Causton: Out of your sleep

Services in the chapel are open to the general public. Doors open at 10.15am.

There will be a retiring collection.

Choral Evensong service (contemporary music)

Sunday 11 October 2015, 3.30pm
The Chapel
The Choir singing by candlelight

No celebration of contemporary music in the Chapel could possibly overlook the pioneering work of the Choir and its directors in commissioning and performing music from a dizzying array of composers.

In the weekend’s two evensongs, Stephen Cleobury directs the Choir in some favourites from this rich repertoire.

  • Responses: Philip Radcliffe
  • Magnificat & Nunc dimittis: John Tavener – Collegium Regale
  • Anthem: Judith Weir – Praised be the God of love

Services in the chapel are open to the general public. Doors open at 3.15pm.

There will be a retiring collection.

Philharmonia Orchestra feat. George Benjamin

Sunday 11 October 2015, 8.00pm
The Chapel
George Benjamin
George Benjamin

The festival culminates with a treasury of contemporary classics by King’s composers that have become synonymous with the British contemporary music scene.

Thomas Adès' career-defining Chamber Symphony (written during his time at King’s) features alongside favourites by George Benjamin and the Master of the Queen's Music, Judith Weir.

This exacting music will be performed by contemporary-music expert members of the Philharmonia Orchestra, joined by a few of the finest student musicians in the university, and will be conducted by Stephen Cleobury, Mark Gotham, and our very special guest, George Benjamin.

  • Robin Holloway: Fanfare and Double Helix for two trumpets
  • Thomas Adès: Chamber Symphony
  • Judith Weir: Heroic Strokes of the Bow
  • ~ Interval ~
  • Richard Causton: Sleep for solo flute
  • George Benjamin: At First Light

Conducted by Stephen Cleobury, Mark Gotham, and special guest, George Benajmin.

Tickets: £15 (students free), available from The Visitor Centre, King's Parade, Cambridge (01223 769340) or the online shop.