Irish composers feature in the Frontiers Festival at Birmingham Conservatoire

Andrew Hamilton

Frontiers Festival is Birmingham Conservatoire’s annual celebration of new music. Taking place from 22 March to 5 April, and 2–8 June the festival showcases the composition and performance produced by the conservatoire as well as spotlighting many international figures in contemporary music.

Dedicated to Robert Ashley, who passed away on 3 March, this year’s festival focuses on the DIY, collaborative traditions of the downtown movement. The programme also includes music from a range of US artists including Elliott Sharp, Carl Stone, Pauline Oliveros, David Lang, Rhys Chatham, Warren Smith, Henry Hills, Object Collection, and John O’Gallagher.

Irish composers Ed Bennett, Seán Clancy, Andrew Hamilton and Damien Harron feature in concerts taking place on 4 April.

At 3pm in the Recital Hall at Birmingham Conservatoire, Seán Clancy’s new work 30 minutes of Music on the Subject of Soap Operas, described as an ‘artistic intervention on EastEnders: Episode 4787 – 16 January 2014’ will be premiered by the composer. Clancy’s accordion work for Howard Skempton One Minute & Thirty Seconds of Music for Howard Skempton will also be performed along with Andrew Hamilton’s Friendly Place, which will be performed by the composer.

Hamilton’s work also features in a concert given by new music group Decibel at 7:30pm at the Adrian Boult Hall. The concert, which is a tribute to Robert Ashley and which marks the posthumous awarding of an Honorary Doctorate of Music to the composer, includes Hamilton’s 2009 work Product No.1. Violinist Barbara Lüneburg is the soloist in Decibel artistic director Ed Bennett’s work for solo violin and ensemble Heavy Western, with Decibel percussionist Damien Harron’s So Macho finishing the programme.

Further details on the Frontiers Festival is available from

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