Arthur Keegan-Bole

Arthur is a composer currently focusing on opera. His desire to promote contemporary music led him to set up and co-edit The Octogenarian, a light-hearted classical music review pamphlet distributed in Bristol and to curate the annual CMV series of concerts.
Prom 54: Vasily Petrenko, Tasmin Little and the Liverpool Philharmonic
I can’t work out if it was surprising or to be expected that Maxwell Davies, part of the New Music Manchester group that included Birtwistle and Goehr, should have become Master of the Queen’s Music. The earlier output of all of these composers now dates in its avant-garde leanings but this extraordinarily talented group of composers have all matured to become rather different to each other and their younger selves. Symphony no. 9, performed here at its London premiere, is an unusual piece; it’s score
Saturday 25th August 2012 Read more...
Prom 29: The National Youth Orchestra take on Messiaen's Turangalîla-symphonie

This varied Prom from the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and conductor Vasily Petrenko featured two new works: Nico Muhly's Gait and Anna Meredith's HandsFree. Also on the programme were Edgard Varèse's Tuning Up, and Olivier Messiaen's massive Turangalîla-symphonie with soloists Joanna MacGregor and Cynthia Millar.

Tuesday 7th August 2012 Read more...
Quartet for the End of Time: Mercury Quartet at the French Institute

This was the last in a series of concerts focusing on French music, moving chronologically toward contemporary/modern composers over the course of the series. It featured a programme of music by Pierre Boulez, Gérard Grisey and Olivier Messiaen by the Mercury Quartet.

Friday 1st June 2012 Read more...
Caligula Slain in the Coliseum: A Triumph for ENO

English National Opera are performing Detlev Glanert's opera Caligula at the Coliseum, in a production directed by Benedict Andrews and conducted by Ryan Wigglesworth. With strong performances from Peter Coleman-Wright in the title role and the rest of the cast too, this is a great account of an intriguing contemporary opera.

Monday 28th May 2012 Read more...
Gerald Barry's The Importance of Being Earnest at the Barbican

The Importance of Being Earnest is Gerald Barry’s fourth full-length opera, and it was given its European première in a concert performance at the Barbican on Friday night. This eccentric take on the play involved plate-smashings and loudhailers, and drew great performances from the singers and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group under Thomas Adès.

Monday 30th April 2012 Read more...
Impossible Brilliance: An Ambitious Celebration of Conlon Nancarrow

This weekend saw the Southbank Centre embark on an ambitious festival programme of rarely performed composer Conlon Nancarrow, performing all 51 of his studies for player piano. The series was delightfully presented and a terrific way to contextualise the listening experience.

Tuesday 24th April 2012 Read more...
London Sinfonietta Perform Conlon Nancarrow

This was an impressively performed, well conceived, and well curated concert that mixed the curiosities, interest and pure beauty of Nancarrow’s music with a surrounding programme to place it in context. This Southbank festival allowed Nancarrow dorks a good dose of what is rarely performed, and introduced those new to Nancarrow to music unlike any other.

Tuesday 24th April 2012 Read more...
Rihm's Jakob Lenz at Hampstead Theatre: a Testament to Modern Opera

In the cosy confines of a packed Hampstead Theatre, ENO’s adaptation of Jacob Lenz produced an exciting, entertaining and emotionally draining 70 minutes of opera. Premiered in 1979 this is Rihm’s account of writer Jakob Lenz’s descent into madness. Friends with Goethe, Lenz was part of the romantic ‘set’ whose decline into madness is documented in Georg Büchner’s novella.

Friday 20th April 2012 Read more...
Movements and Expressions: Alda Dizdari at the Southbank
Violinist Alda Dizdari may just have taken a while to settle in to the performance, but the opening Debussy Sonata did not come across particularly well. Piano and violin didn’t quite lock in together and the Debussy ‘wash’ of sound, akin to an impressionist watercolour, was not apparent – the tone was harsh and rhythms angular. It was a style of playing that fitted Schoenberg’s Phantasy much better. This was a great improvement, as the violin began to express tonal colouring to enrich the twelve-
Friday 13th April 2012 Read more...
Morsels and Miniatures at Oliver Coates' Harmonic Series

The Southbank Centre is riddled with cubby-holes, and it was in a particularly tucked-away corner – the “Spirit Level” bar – that a small audience of dedicated sound-lovers heard this exciting concert of morsels and miniatures, presented by cellist Oliver Coates.

Wednesday 28th March 2012 Read more...
The Elias Quartet perform Haydn, Sibelius and Dvořák

After a full ‘daily grind’, arriving at Wigmore Hall felt like a real treat. Here was a chance to sink into some cosy chamber music to wash over the listener – or maybe not. The popular Elias Quartet provided some intense but beautiful chamber music from Haydn and Sibelius, and were joined by Jonathan Biss for Dvořák’s Piano Quintet in A.

Monday 5th March 2012 Read more...
Micachu, Adès and Lucier: Oliver Coates' Harmonic Series at the Southbank Centre

This enterprising concert featured Oliver Coates, cellist and curator of the whole 'Harmonic Series' concert series, and trendy performer and composer Micachu: both musicians benefiting from the Artist-in-Residence scheme that is producing some fantastic events for the Southbank Centre.

Wednesday 29th February 2012 Read more...
Kronos Quartet at the Hackney Empire

Cool venue – cool ensemble – cool concert! The Kronos quartet are successful where so many fail in bringing the often-too-distinct worlds of pop/rock and classical together. This concert highlighted their commitment to forging their own performance aesthetic by only programming music that has been written specifically for them.

Friday 27th January 2012 Read more...
Oliver Knussen and the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a fascinating programme

Oliver Knussen has a reputation for presenting interesting and unusual programmes, and this evening in the sumptuous Barbican Hall was no exception, featuring new and rarely-performed music. This concert was fascinating; a typically exciting Knussen programme that in the end was perhaps more interesting than it was uplifting.

Tuesday 17th January 2012 Read more...


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