ANNUAL MEMBERS' WEEKEND, 23 & 24 NOVEMBER 2019

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of Berlioz in Paris in 1869, “Berlioz 150” is the title of the Berlioz Society’s 17th Annual Study Weekend.  It will be held at the Art Workers Guild, Queen Square, London WC1 on the weekend of November 23 & 24.

On his deathbed Berlioz, who had struggled throughout his life to gain acceptance for his music, predicted that his work would now be played.  The Weekend  – open to all -  will trace the growing appreciation of Berlioz since his demise on the behalf of musicians and the public at large as one of the great composers.

Speakers at the event include music critic Tim Ashley, conductor Adrian Brown and a bevy of leading Berliozian specialists including Society President David Cairns,  author of the acclaimed two-volume biography of the composer,  Hugh Macdonald, musicologist and general editor of Bärenreiter’s New Berlioz Edition, Emeritus Professor Julian Rushton, editor of the recently published Cambridge Berlioz Encyclopedia and U.S. Humanities Professor Peter Bloom, who has just published a fresh edition of Berlioz’s Mémoires with new annotations.

Further information will be sent to members nearer the event - otherwise please contact Weekend Coordinator Helen Petchey (helenpetchey.berlioz@gmail.com) tel 020 850 40295.

FESTIVAL BERLIOZ, LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ 2019

Please click the button below to read Chris Follett's report on this year's Festival.

BOLTON SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA TO PLAY BERLIOZ, 21 SEPTEMBER 2019

On Saturday 21st September at 7.30pm, Victoria Hall, 37 Knowsley Street, Bolton BL1 2AS.

Programme will be:  Roman Carnival Overture, Reverie and Caprice for Violin, Les Francs- Juges Overture; Symphonie Fantastique, conductor Andrew Berryman.

Tickets £12, under 19s completely free. Tickets available from Victoria Hall Box Office 01204 522569, Booths Music Shop, 17 Churchgate, Bolton, BL1 1HU, www.boltonsymphony.org.uk and www.boltonmethodistmission.org...

GERGIEV MARKS BERLIOZ 150 AT CADOGAN HALL, 7 & 8 OCTOBER 2019

Russian conductor Valery Gergiev & his Mariinsky/St. Petersburg Orchestra are to perform Berlioz at London's Cadogan Hall in concerts to mark the 150th anniversary of the composer's death.

October 7 at 7.30pm: Berlioz - Symphonie fantastique

October 8 at 7.30pm: Berlioz - Roméo et Juliette Symphony - Excerpts

For further information, including ticket details, please click here.

"BERLIOZ & NICE" EXHIBITION, TO 8 NOVEMBER 2019

Exhibition relating to the three stays of the composer in Nice on the French Riviera. At Terrace Tour Bellanda (Bellanda Tower), Parc du Château - Escalier Lesage - 06300 NICE

Berlioz visited Nice three times - in 1831, 1844 and 1868 - composing several of his best overtures there and staying in 1844 in the Bellanda Tour with its stunning views over the Mediterranean.

"Ô Nice ! Je n’ai rien trouvé de plus beau que cette colline inspirée, j’ai trouvé ma ville, c’est Nice."

ADRIAN BROWN TO CONDUCT BERLIOZ 150 CONCERTS

Our regular speaker, international conductor and Society Medal holder Adrian Brown will be celebrating Berlioz's work in 2019 with several concerts.

15 September - Requiem (Grande Messe des Morts). At Pigott's Music Camp, North Dean, High Wycombe, Bucks. On  at 3pm. Free - no tickets required.

9 November - Le Corsaire Overture.  Bromley Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Brown. 7.30pm at Langley Park Centre for Performing Arts, Langley Park School, South Eden Park Road, Beckenham. Details will be posted on the Orchestra's website.

23 November - Roman Carnival Overture, Love Scene from Romeo & Juliet Symphony, Hungarian March. Southgate Symphony Symphony Orchestra, Adrian Brown. 7.30pm at St Stephen,s Church, Enfield. More details here.

FANTASTIQUE WITH SPECIAL SET OF OFF-STAGE BELLS, LIVERPOOL, 19 & 22 SEPTEMBER 2019

The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra will play Berlioz's Symphonie fantastique, under its chief conductor Vasily Petrenko, at its opening concerts of the new season on September 19 & 22 in the Royal Philharmonic Hall, Liverpool. The performances will feature a new set of off-stage bells (used in the fifth movement) specially cast for the RLPO in the Netherlands at the Eijsbouts Foundry.

For more information and to book tickets, please click here

TILSON THOMAS CONDUCTS ROMÉO ET JULIETTE AT THE BARBICAN, 10 NOVEMBER 2019

Leading American conductor Michael Tilson Thomas will conduct the London Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Berlioz's Roméo et Juliette at the Barbican on Sunday November 10 at 7pm. Soloists: Alice Coote (mezzo-soprano), Nicholas Phan (tenor), Nicolas Courjal (bass), London Symphony Chorus. Tickets: Barbican.

For further details please click here.

"THE MUSICAL OUTSIDER", 14 NOVEMBER 2019

A performance of songs of Hector Berlioz to mark the 150th anniversary of his death.

Hinde Street Methodist Church, Hinde Street London W1U 2QJ, 7 pm.

Berlioz never conformed to any of the musical stereotypes of his day.  He was always larger than life, writing music that is often impractical [their words not ours], and always startling, even today. This concert includes the solo songs from his rarely heard but outstanding Neuf Melodies Irlandaises for tenor, settings of translations of Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies, including Elegie, written to commemorate the execution of the Irish revolutionary Robert Emmet. The concert also includes the complete Nuits d’Ete, in their original version for piano and voice (not the versions generally heard, which are the piano reductions of the later orchestral versions). Also Zaide (with castanets) and La Mort d’Ophelie.

The concert will feature readings from Berlioz’s Memoirs, which shed light on his character, his passionate relationship with the great Shakespearean actress Harriet Smithson, and his struggles to get his music accepted by the musical establishment of his day.

Nadine Benjamin - Soprano ENO Porgy and Bess (Clara) and La Boheme (Musetta)

Thomas Elwin – tenor - English National Opera, Opera Köln, Opera Stuttgart, Oxford Lieder Festival

Nigel Foster – piano – recitals at Wigmore Hall, Southbank, BBC Radio 3    

Gabriel Woolf - speaker - Sir Percival (Knights of the Round Table); Sutekh (Doctor Who)

Tickets £20, £15 concessions - details here.

LECTURE RECITAL ON BERLIOZ'S VOCAL MUSIC AT CADOGAN HALL, 26 NOVEMBER 2019

Professor Melinda O'Neal presents a lecture recital entitled Melodies Fantastique - Mystique and Narrative in Berlioz's Vocal Music at Cadogan Hall, London on November 26 at 10.30am. For more information, please click here

SIR MARK ELDER CONDUCTS BERLIOZ AT RAM, 29 NOVEMBER 2019

On Friday November 29 at 1.05pm, Sir Mark Elder and the Academy Symphony Orchestra  perform Berlioz's Francs-Juges Overture; March to the Scaffold from Symphonie fantastique; Pilgrims' March from Harold in Italy; and King Lear Overture. The venue will be Duke's Hall, Royal Academy of Music, 1-5 York Gate, London, NW1 4QG .

Tickets: Bookings online (please click here for details) or by telephone (after Sept 16) 020 7837 7300.

PENNY LECTURE "BERLIOZ 150 YEARS LATER", 29 NOVEMBER 2019

Morley College has a tradition dating all the way back to when it was first founded. Listen to a lecture on an interesting and unusual topic, delivered by an expert, for just a penny.

The subject on 9 November is "150 years later - Getting Berlioz to happen, then and now". The direction of the lecture will be an appraisal of where Berlioz has come in the 150 years since his death; how knowledge of his music has grown (or not) among musicians and the public and what factors have contributed to this; a performance history of his works and the rewards and problems of his music.

The lecture will be held in the Holst Room, Morley College London, 61 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE1 7HT, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm.

For further details please click here.


NEW YEAR WITH BERLIOZ, 8 JANUARY 2020

The London Schools Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Sian Edwards, will play extracts from Berlioz's Damnation de Faust, along with  other devilish pieces by Liszt, Mendelssohn and Schnittke.

At the Barbican, 7.30pm on January 8. More details will follow.

CONCERT MONSTRE - PERFORMANCE FILMED

Monday 24 June 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.

ALASTAIR ABERDARE AND DAVID CAIRNS AWARDED MEDALS OF HONOUR BY LA CÔTE SAINT-ANDRÉ

At a ceremony in the Town Hall in early September during the Festival Berlioz 2017, Berlioz Society President David Cairns and Chairman Alastair Aberdare were presented with medals of honour by La
Côte Saint-André Mayor Joël Gullon.

Photograph below by kind permission of Festival Berlioz.

BERLIOZ SESQUICENTENARY 2019

2019 marks the sesquicentenary - or 150th anniversary - of the death of Berlioz in 1869 and plans are already afoot in France and Britain to celebrate this event. The Berlioz Society's Chairman Alastair Aberdare is heading initiatives in Britain to stage major concerts of the composer's works, while in France, an International Conference is to take place in August 2019 at La Côte Saint-André, Berlioz's birthplace, in cooperarion with the Festival Berlioz and the Musée Hector Berlioz.

Please click the button below for more details (in French and English).

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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