Music Preview: London Ear Festival

The first ever London Ear Festival of Contemporary Music will take place this month in Waterloo, featuring music of a classical bent from across Europe.

Celebrating modern instrumental, vocal and electronic music, the festival hosts daily concerts by undiscovered as well as established composers, including instrumental ensembles, a string quartet, percussion ensembles and pieces utilising electronics and video. The programme includes 15 world premieres (five of which are festival commissions) and numerous UK premieres from world class performers such as the Sonar String Quartet from Berlin and the Uroboros Ensemble from London.

If you’re an advanced instrumentalist there are also several workshops led by prominent performers to sink your teeth into, including master classes for flautists, pianists and string ensembles, as well as daily pre-concert talks designed to enhance the audience’s appreciation, where composers chat to each other about their own work and discuss such topics as contemporary music in Norway.

The festival also boasts appearances from Stephen Upshaw and Tom Bayman (celebrated viola and cello players respectively) as its Featured Young Performers, and will climax with performances of the finalist’s pieces for the Composer’s Competition, the winners of which will be announced at the end of each concert.

Accessible, diverse and cheap, this is a definite must for any classical music lover keen to stay in tune with the contemporary music scene.

Tickets are £5 – £10. The event is split between two venues; The Warehouse and The Cello Factory. For more information please visit http://www.londonearfestival.co.uk/

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