BARD MUSIC FESTIVAL, 'BERLIOZ AND HIS WORLD', AUGUST 2024

The 34th Bard Music Festival, held in New York State, focusses on Berlioz at this summer's event. 

Berlioz & His World - Two weekends in August, 9-11 and 15-18.

For further information, please click here.

FESTIVAL BERLIOZ 2024

This year's festival at Berlioz's birthplace La Côte-Saint-André in the Isère near Grenoble focuses on young musicians - and youth orchestras - une jeunesse européenne - and presents some 32 concerts in the local château and other venues - during the period August 17-September 1.

The orchestras include  the Orchestre Français  des Jeunes who play the Symphonie fantastique under the Danish conductor Michael Schønwandt on August 18, followed by the Jeune Orchestre Hector Berlioz-Isère with François-Xavier Roth and the Ukrainian Youth Orchestra, and chamber ensembles such as the Paris Mozart, Bâle and Lausanne Chamber Orchestras, the latter with Renaud Capuçon, violin. Regular symphony bands include the Wroclaw Orchestra under Paul McCreesh, the Croatian Radio-TV Orchestra, the Orchestre de l'Opéra national de Lyon with Daniele Rustioni (Roméo et Juliette Symphony extracts) and last but absolutely not least on September 1, the London Symphony Orchestra under Antonio Pappano in Berlioz's Carnaval romain and works by Richard Strauss and Holst. For full programme and tickets please click here

 

SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE AT BBC PROMS

On September 3 at 7.30pm, the Orchestre de Paris under its new chief conductor Finn Klaus Mäkelä visits the BBC Proms at the Royal Albert Hall to perform Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique (and works by Debussy & Stravinsky).

Proms run from July 19-September 14, booking opens on May 18. Tickets can be obtained after then from: royalalberthall.com - telephone 02075898212  - see www.bbc.co.uk/proms/event.

LSO STARTS 2024/2025 SEASON WITH BERLIOZ

On September 15 at 7.00pm in the Barbican Hall, the LSO under its new chief conductor Antonio Pappano are to open the new season with a concert starting with Berlioz's Le Carnaval romain overture (also works by Rachmaninoff & Saint-Saëns). For more information and tickets please click here.

BBCSO TO PERFORM L'ENFANCE DU CHRIST AT THE BARBICAN, 13 DECEMBER 2024

The BBC Symphony Orchestra will perform Berlioz's oratorio "L'Enfance du Christ" at the Barbican Concert Hall on December 13 at 7.30pm. For more details please click here.

LSO TO DELIVER SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE AT HALF SIX FIX AT BARBICAN, 21 MAY 2025

Antonio Pappano and LSO will perform Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique at the Barbican at an early evening Half Six Fix concert with presentation by conductor at the Barbican on May 21 at 6.30pm. For tickets and details please click here.

PAPPANO/LSO TO PLAY SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE & LE CORSAIRE OVERTURE AT THE BARBICAN, 22 MAY 2025

Antonio Pappano and the London Symphony Orchestra will play on a (largely) Berlioz programme at the Barbican on May 22 2025 at 7pm, featuring the overture Le Corsaire and the Symphonie fantastique. For more details please click here.

TE DEUM AT THE ROYAL ALBERT HALL, 13 JULY 2025

The Vivace Chorus and others will sing Berlioz's Te Deum under the baton of Jeremy Backhouse at the Royal Albert Hall, 7.30pm on July 13 2025, Further details will be made available nearer the time.

RICHARD MACNUTT

We report with sadness the death of Richard Macnutt, on 30 April, at the age of 88. He had been unwell for some time and was much missed at the Society’s meetings in the last few years. Richard was passionate about Berlioz, and unostentatiously contributed a very great amount to modern research. Hugh Macdonald reminds us his energy and determination were instrumental in setting up and administering the New Berlioz Edition; Hugh said that without him it might never have been launched. Richard prepared a thorough revision of Cecil Hopkinson’s definitive Bibliography of Hector Berlioz and published it himself (Tunbridge Wells: Richard Macnutt Ltd, 1980); he contributed to the Society’s Bulletin; and he published an article on the vexed question of the Berlioz forgeries, identifying no fewer than 155. He traded in second-hand books and music, and was himself a collector; he donated several rare items to the Bibliothèque nationale.

EXCELLENT BERLIOZ CONDUCTOR ANDREW DAVIS DIES IN CHICAGO AGED 80

Andrew Davis was one of Britain's leading conductors, remembered as longtime chief of the Toronto, BBC  and Melbourne symphony orchestras, music director of the Glyndebourne Festival from 1988-2000, famous for conducting the Last Night of the BBC Proms. Davis was known for his fine performances of Berlioz, notably the Symphonie fantastique and the Overtures, his recent Chandos recording of which with the Bergen Philharmonic received accolades; he had been scheduled to perform the Christmas cantata L'Enfance du Christ with the BBC S.O. in London in December.

FESTIVAL BERLIOZ 2023 - MYTHIQUE!

Please click on the box below to read Christopher Follett's review of this year's Festival.

NEW HANDBOOK ON SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE BY JULIAN RUSHTON

Julian Rushton, editor of the Society Bulletin and author of the excellent Cambridge Music Handbook on Roméo et Juliette, has written a handbook on the Symphonie fantastique. This book was published in November 2023 and as an introductory offer will be offered with a 20% discount. Details are given below. 

THE TROJANS IN NOTTINGHAM

Nottingham Music Hub have just released a performance of the Act 1 finale to Berlioz’s epic 5 act opera The Trojans.

This dramatic scene of the famous wooden horse being brought into Troy was recorded live last week at Nottingham Music Hub’s Great Orchestra Experiment and performed by the Robin Hood Youth Orchestra with hundreds of year 4 city children and featuring Helena Payne as Cassandra. 

We are sharing this performance to celebrate the energy, commitment and sense of drama our young musicians have brought to this masterpiece.

NEW PUBLISHER FOR MEMOIRS AUDIOBOOK

The audiobook of the complete and unexpurgated Memoirs of Berlioz, using the classic translation by our President, David Cairns and read by the esteemed actor Malcolm Sinclair, is now available for just £15 from exciting new online publisher Spiracle: please click here for more details, and to purchase. The audiobook is available through many other outlets but Spiracle offer the Society the best royalties, so you would be helping both of us by purchasing through this channel.

This is a splendid chance to treat a fellow Berliozian, or to make new converts!

"DISCOVERING BERLIOZ" BY DAVID CAIRNS OUT ON TOCCATA PRESS

"Discovering Berlioz - Essays, Reviews, Talks" - the new, 400-page book on Berlioz by Society President David Cairns is now out and available (price £39.50) on Toccata Press, London.

For further details please click here.


PETER BLOOM'S NEW ANNOTATIONS FOR BERLIOZ MÉMOIRES PUBLISHED

French publisher Vrin has announced the publication of U.S. Professor Emeritus Peter Bloom's fresh annotations to Berlioz's Mémoires, a major 900-page project supported in part by the Berlioz Society. A compendious work by a leading Berliozian scholar, casting fascinating new light on the Memoirs. In French.

MÉMOIRES D'HECTOR BERLIOZ DE 1803 À 1865, ET SES VOYAGES EN ITALIE, EN ALLEMAGNE, EN RUSSIE ET EN ANGLETERRE  ÉCRIT PAR LUI-MÊME

Price 49€ - For more information please click here.

CONCERT MONSTRE - PERFORMANCE FILMED

24 June 2019 saw five hundred artists on stage at the Philharmonie de Paris, performing the Funeral and Triumphal Symphony under the direction of François-Xavier Roth.

To watch, please click here.  Thanks to Jim Hart for sending the link.

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).

 

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