King's celebrates Harrison Birtwistle's 80th year

Harrison Birtwistle

King's Fellow Richard Causton has organised a three-day festival to celebrate the 80th year of composer Harrison Birtwistle.

Secret Theatres: the Music of Harrison Birtwistle will take place 6 - 8 November 2014 and bring some of the world's finest performers to Cambridge. These include The Arditti String Quartet, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Oliver Knussen, Anssi Karttunen and Nicolas Hodges as well as the University of Cambridge’s New Music Ensemble, the Choir of King’s College and The King’s Men.

The programme has the works of Birtwistle at its core, but it will also include world premières by Cambridge postgraduates Joy Lisney, David Roche, Jae-Moon Lee and Patrick Brennan, and third year undergraduate Alex Tay. Works by Alexander Goehr, John Hopkins and Richard Causton will also be premièred.

Birtwistle himself will be in residence for three days. He will be interviewed by Richard Causton in the West Road Concert Hall on the first day of the festival (Thursday 6 November). Download the programme or browse the listing below.


  • Robin Orr Lecture: Sir Harrison Birtwistle in interview with Richard Causton

    Thursday 6 November, 5.30pm
    West Road Concert Hall
    Admission free

  • Arditti String Quartet

    Thursday 6 November, 7.30pm
    West Road Concert Hall
    Tickets £24, £18, £12, Students £5

    Beethoven: Grosse Fuge op.133
    Joy Lisney: Apparitions (world première)
    Alban Berg: Quartet op.3
    Stravinsky: Three pieces
    Harrison Birtwistle: Tree of Strings

  • DVD Screening of Birtwistle’s The Minotaur

    Friday 7 November, 2pm – 5pm
    Recital Room, Faculty of Music, 11 West Road
    Admission free

  • Cambridge University New Music Ensemble & The King’s Men

    Friday 7 November, 7.30pm
    West Road Concert Hall
    Tickets £18, £12, £6 Students £5

    Guillaume de Machaut: Hoquetus David
    Harrison Birtwistle: Hoquetus David
    Johannes Ockeghem: Ut Heremita Solus
    Harrison Birtwistle: Ut Heremita Solus
    Guillaume Dufay: Se la face ay pale
    John Hopkins: Se la face ay pale
    David Roche: Chapters (world première)
    Alex Tay (Joint CUMS Composer in Residence 2014): On Skipton Moor (world première)
    Harrison Birtwistle: Secret Theatre

    Patrick Bailey, Ben Glassberg conductors

  • Lunchtime Concert in King’s College Chapel

    Saturday 8 November, 12.30pm – 1.30pm
    King’s College Chapel
    Tickets prices £18, £12, £6 Students £5

    Richard Causton: De Profundis (world première)
    Harrison Birtwistle: Bogenstrich
    Jae-Moon Lee: Tangram (world première)
    Beethoven: Cello Sonata op. 102

    Anssi Karttunen cello
    Nicolas Hodges piano

  • Evensong in King's College Chapel

    Saturday 8 November 2014, 5.30pm
    Choir of King's College, Cambridge
    Stephen Cleobury Director of Music
    Music by Fayrfax and Birtwistle

  • Birmingham Contemporary Music Group

    Saturday 8 November, 7.30pm
    King’s College Chapel
    Tickets £24, £18, £12, Students £5

    Harrison Birtwistle: Carmen Arcadiae Mechanicae Perpetuum
    Harrison Birtwistle: Fantasia on All the Notes
    Alexander Goehr: ….between the Lines (Chamber Symphony) (UK première)
    Patrick Brennan: Polly Roe (world première)
    Richard Causton: Chamber Symphony
    Harrison Birtwistle: Silbury Air

    Oliver Knussen conductor

Booking Information

ADC box office
Tel: 01223 300085
ADC Theatre, Park Street, Cambridge CB5 8AS
Monday - Saturday 1pm–7pm

13 October 2014