Hidéki Nagano studied at Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music and the Paris Conservatoire, where he was awarded the Premier Prix for piano and vocal accompaniment. He also won fifth prize in the Montreal International Competition as well as the Samson François Special Prize in the first International Competition for Twentieth Century Piano Music in Orléans. In 1995, he was chosen as the pianist for Pierre Boulez's world renowned Ensemble Intercontemporain.
His solo recordings include a recital of twentieth-century French music on Fontec, George Antheil's piano works on Agon, and Prokofiev, Messiaen, Murail and Ravel for Denon. Nagano has performed virtuoso repertoire from classical to contemporary music, and has been awarded many prizes for his outstanding achievement. He currently resides in Paris.
The London Sinfonietta's mission is to place the best contemporary classical music at the heart of today's culture; engaging and challenging the public through inspiring performances of the highest standard, and taking risks to develop new work and talent.
The ensemble is Resident Orchestra at Southbank Centre with headquarters at Kings Place, and continues to take the best contemporary music to venues and festivals across the UK and worldwide with a busy touring schedule. Since its inaugural concert in 1968 - giving the world premiere of Sir John Tavener's The Whale - the London Sinfonietta's commitment to making new music has seen it commission over 300 works, and premiere many hundreds more.
The core of the London Sinfonietta is 18 Principal Players, representing some of the best solo and ensemble musicians in the world. The ensemble has just launched its Emerging Artists Programme, which will give professional musicians at the start of promising and brilliant careers the opportunity to work alongside those Principal Players on stage across the season.
The London Sinfonietta's recordings present a catalogue of 20th-century classics, on numerous prestigious labels as well as the ensemble's own London Sinfonietta Label. Most recently, a performance of Philip Cashian's Piano Concerto was released on NMC.
Tim Gill began to play the cello at the age of eight, subsequently studying with Dimitry Markevitch in Paris, Christopher Bunting at Cambridge and David Strange at the Royal Academy. In 1989-90 Tim was resident artist at the Banff Centre, Canada, where, as a result of winning the Banff concerto competition, he was invited to play the Elgar concerto with the Calgary Philharmonic and later to tour Canada as a recitalist.
His Purcell Room debut in 1990 was met with critical acclaim and resulted in an invitation from the Park Lane Group to give the Priaulx Rainier recital the following year. Tim has since given recitals and played concertos throughout the UK, Europe and India. In 1995 he recorded Beethoven's complete works for cello and piano for Dutch radio with Marietta Petkova, and in 1996 he gave his Wigmore Hall debut and released two CDs on the Guild label with pianist Fali Pavri.
Tim is currently principal cellist with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Sinfonietta. He is also much in demand as a soloist and chamber musician.
Paul's principal positions have included the London Sinfonietta, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orchestra of St John's, Britten Sinfonia, London Mozart Players and Philip Jones Brass Ensemble. He now performs chamber music with Trio D'Art, Carnyx Brass, and Fibonacci Sequence, with particular focus on his group English Brass and its associated English Brass Academy. Paul maintains a great interest in folk music and is a member of Brass Monkey and rock-folk band Home Service. He is a prize winner of the Toulon Prix de Concours.
He is Artistic Director of Brass Classics, his own recording label, and his discography includes Joie de Vivre, Divertissement, Proclamation, Hodie Gloriosa Peter Maxwell Davies' Trumpet Sonata. His recording of the Shostakovich Concerto No 1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings with Alain Lefèvre (piano) and the London Mozart Players was awarded Canada's prestigious JUNO award for best Classical Album in 2010. In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, London.
Gareth Hulse read music at Cambridge University, and continued his studies on the oboe with Janet Craxton and Heinz Holliger. He was subsequently appointed principal oboe with the Northern Sinfonia, a position he has since also held with English National Opera and the London Philharmonic.
Gareth now pursues his interest in contemporary music as principal oboe with the London Sinfonietta, and in chamber music with London Winds and the Nash Ensemble, with whom he has toured widely and recorded extensively for Sony, Decca and Hyperion. Gareth has given many concerto performances, in music ranging from Bach and Vivaldi to Berio and Lutoslawski, and is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television. He teaches at the Royal College of Music.
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RELEASED 24 OCTOBER 2011
Bird Concerto - Harvey's hommage to Messiaen - is a celebration of the kind of technical advances in electroacoustics which the creator of Oiseaux exotiques and the Catalogue d’oiseaux was never able to explore. Harvey started writing the piece when he was in California and says that 'indigo bunting, orchard oriole, golden crowned sparrow ... are some of the forty colourful Californian birds whose songs and cries sparked the ignition of this work'. The bird sounds have been innovatively transformed to create a mesmeric dialogue between nature and art. Harvey sets the piano soloist the challenge of combining piano playing and triggering a sampler/synthesizer so that the live electronics can be realised in real-time performance.
Other works on this disc are Other Presences, for trumpet and multi-loop effects, and two versions of the canonic Ricercare una melodia (1984) originally written for trumpet and quadraphonic tape-delay system, here performed on oboe and cello, with live electronics from Sound Intermedia
BBC RADIO 3 - CD OF THE WEEK
WQXR (New York Radio) - ALBUM OF THE WEEK
BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE - CD CHOICE OF THE MONTH
'Both these excellent, highly musical performances are in the six-minute range, and engrossing.' Paul Griffiths
'Harvey’s is an enchanted forest that can turn on a dime from bucolic, like something out of a D.H. Lawrence novel, to foreboding and Grimm. In a 30-minute work, we see the culmination of centuries of music designed to either mirror or absorb birdsong, starting from cuckoo calls in Medieval British folk tunes to Per Norgard’s D’Monstrantz Voogeli, layered in a similar way to Harvey’s own work. Composer’s eyes, as we hear in Harvey’s multitude of sampled styles, have long been on the sparrow' WQXR
'Bird Concerto with Pianosong is a work of remarkable, beguiling beauty ... a wonderfully fresh, post-Messiaen masterpiece ... A marvellous recording. Strongly recommended' BBC Music Magazine
'Harvey has been known for subtle handling of technology and the electroacoustic Bird Concerto with Pianosong takes the fusion of media into new expressive realms. Actual Californian birdsong opens the half-hour movement; the work proceeds as an ever-alert, rippling inventive dialogue between raw nature and musical modernism. Hideki Nagano's performance is scintillating' The Sunday Times
'The wonderfully evocative Other Presences surrounds the solo trumpet with much more complex textures, sounds suggested by Tibetan ritual horns, while the duets between the piano and the sampled birdsongs in the concerto are full of wonderful ideas, with seamless transformations of natural and musical sounds between the soloist and the ensemble of 17 instrumentalists. The duets between piano and the sampled birdsongs in the concerto are full of wonderful ideas ... a beguiling piece.' The Guardian
'this intriguing work offers Harvey’s trademark deftness and acoustic stimulation in equal measures’ Gramophone
'It's a tour de force, showing what is possible with electoacoustic music...' Fanfare Magazine
Bird Concerto with Pianosong was recorded at the Warsaw Autumn Festival on 19 September 2009,
by Polskie Radio.
Sound Projection EWA GUZIOLEK-TUBELEWICZ
Editors JONATHAN HARVEY, IAN DEARDEN for Sound Intermedia
Other Presences and Ricercare una melodia for oboe and for cello were recorded in Hall One, Kings Place on 3 October 2009, by BBC Radio 3.
Producer PETER MEANWELL
Digital editing IAN DEARDEN for Sound Intermedia
Mastering RICK CAMPION
Executive Producer for NMC COLIN MATTHEWS
Cover image & graphic design FRANCOIS HALL
Bird Concerto with Pianosong (P) 2011 Polskie Radio
Ricercare una Melodia for oboe, Ricercare una Melodia for cello, and Other Presences (P) 2011 BBC.
© 2011 NMC Recordings Ltd
Produced in association with BBC Radio 3