SOCIETY EVENTS IN 2017

You may wish to note these dates in your diary. Fuller details will follow.

Sunday 11 June 2017, 11am
Members' Meeting, London
The focus of the day will be the new Cambridge Berlioz Encyclopedia, with a talk by the Editor, Professor Julian Rushton, and other contributors.

Friday 18 August to Sunday 3 September 2017
Festival Berlioz – La Côte-Saint-André
So British: Berlioz à Londres au temps des expositions universelles
(Berlioz in London at the time of the Universal Exhibitions)

Highlights of the 15-day festival include John Eliot Gardiner and his Orchestre Révolutionnaire
et Romantique in "La Damnation de Faust", a Concert shakespearien featuring music by Berlioz inspired by the bard, conducted by François-Xavier Roth, Handel's Water and Royal Fireworks Music performed by Hervé Niquet's Concert Spirituel; performances by National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain, Orchestre national de Lyon (Paul Daniel), Orchestre de Chambre de Paris (Douglas Boyd), Aurora Orchestra, The King's Consort, London, London Haydn Quartet and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France under the direction of Roger Norrington in Berlioz's "Nuits d'été" (mezzo-soprano Christine Rice) & "Symphonie fantastique".

Full programme: www.festivalberlioz.com/-Programme-2017-

Bookings open April 7.

Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 December 2017
Berlioz Society Weekend, LondonBerlioz in Italy


BERLIOZ AT THE BBC PROMS 2017

PROM 7 July 19 : Symphonie fantastique / BBCSO / Joshua Weilerstein.

PROM 13 July 24 : Le carnaval romain Overture (Malcolm Sargent's 500th Prom) / BBCSO / Andrew Davis

PROM 31 August 8 : La Damnation de Faust / Monteverdi Choir / National Youth Choir of Scotland / Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique/John Eliot Gardiner.

All above concerts start at 7.30pm in the Royal Albert Hall, London.

Proms website here.

JOHN NELSON RECORDS NEW TROJANS IN STRASBOURG

American conductor and Berlioz specialist John Nelson and a cast of some 250 musicians performed Berlioz's "Les Troyens" opera in Strasbourg over the Easter Weekend at two well-attended concerts which Erato/Warner Classics recorded for release in November 2017.

Leading the cast in a towering interpretation were French-Canadian contralto Marie-Nicole Lemieux (Cassandre), Americans MIchael Spyres (tenor/ Énée) and Joyce DiDonato (mezzo-soprano/Didon) with Nelson conducting the Strasbourg Philharmonic Orchestra.

Click here to download press release

BERLIOZ AT SUMMER SONG RECITAL, WIGMORE HALL, 5 JUNE 2017

Nahuel di Pierro, the Argentine operatic bass, accompanied by Alphonse Cemin (piano), will perform Sérénade de Méphistophélès from La Damnation de Faust along with songs by Debussy, Rossini, Donizetti etc on June 5 at 7.30pm. For information and to buy tickets please click on Rosenblatt Recitals.

SYMPHONIE FUNEBRE AT YORK MINSTER, 14 JUNE 2017

Berlioz's Grande Symphonie funèbre et triomphale, including the final movement with choir (along with works by Walton) will be performed by the University of York Choir and Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Peter Seymour at York Minster on Wednesday 14 June 2017.

Tickets 01904 322439 and http://www.york.ac.uk/concerts/booking/

"DAMNATION DE FAUST" WITH SIMON RATTLE, 17 & 19 SEPTEMBER 2017

Simon Rattle will open his first concert season with the London Symphony Orchestra as its new Music Director on September 17and 19 2017 with two performances of Berlioz's "Damnation de Faust" in London's Barbican Hall. Karen Cargill will perform the role of Marguerite, with Bryan Hymel as Faust, Gerald Finlay as Mephistopheles and Florian Boesch as Brander. The London Symphony Chorus directed by chorus director Simon Halsey will also participate. On Sunday September 17 at 6pm, Tuesday September 19 at 7pm. On Saturday September 16, an LSO Discovery Day (10am-3.30pm) will focus on the work, with morning discussion on the Faust legend and access to rehearsal.

GARDINER TO CONDUCT LES NUITS D'ÉTÉ AT THE BARBICAN, MARCH 11 2018

John Eliot Gardiner will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in Berlioz's Les Nuits d'été song cycle with mezzo-soprano soloist Ann Hallenberg (along with works by Schumann) at London's Barbican Hall at 7 pm on March 11 2018.

For details please click here.

SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE VOTED SEVENTH GREATEST SYMPHONY IN BBC SURVEY

BBC Music Magazine surveyed 151 conductors working across the world to come up with a list of the 20 great symphonies with Berlioz's Fantastic Symphony in seventh place. Each conductor was asked to name his or her top three symphonies in any order before the magazine processed that into a top 20. Among the conductors polled was Simon Rattle (Beethoven's Third, Bruckner's Eighth, Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde), Marin Alsop (Barber's First, Brahms's Third, Mahler's Second) and Sakari Oramo (Beethoven's Third, Mahler's Third, Sibelius's Fifth). Berlioz and Tchaikovsky were the only two non-German-Austrian composers listed in the Top Ten.

The BBC Music Magazine top 10

1. Beethoven Symphony No 3 (1803)
2. Beethoven Symphony No 9 (1824)
3. Mozart Symphony No 41 (1788)
4. Mahler Symphony No 9 (1909)
5. Mahler Symphony No 2 (1894 rev 1903)
6. Brahms Symphony No 4 (1885)
7. Berlioz Symphonie fantastique (1830)
8. Brahms Symphony No 1 (1876)
9. Tchaikovsky Symphony No 6 (1893)
10. Mahler Symphony No 3 (1896)

• The top 20 is in the September issue of BBC Music Magazine.

BERLIOZ LETTERS PUBLISHED BY ACTES SUD

The long-awaited ninth volume of the Correspondance générale - entitled "New Letters by Berlioz, his family and contemporaries" - has appeared - with some 300 hitherto unpublished letters - as a continuation of the initial eight volumes published by Flammarion under the editorial supervision of the late Pierre Citron. This latest volume is published by Actes Sud and the Palazzetto Bru Zane, with support from the Association nationale Hector Berlioz, the Musée Hector Berlioz, the Festival Berlioz, Smith College USA and the Fondation d'entreprise La Poste.

This collection is available in French only.

Nouvelles lettres de Berlioz, de sa famille, de ses contemporains
Peter Bloom, Joël-Marie Fauquet, Hugh J. Macdonald, Cécile Reynaud (Editors)

Published by Actes Sud / Palazzetto Bru Zane, 792 pages, price 30 € (available from Musée Hector Berlioz - price includes postage and packing).

FESTIVAL BERLIOZ 2016 - LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ, SOUTH-EAST FRANCE AUGUST 19-30

Chris Follett attended the Festival Berlioz last month and his report is below - click on the blue button to read it in full.