BBC mount major Hillborg festival at Barbican

Anders Hillborg (c) Mats Lundqvist.jpg

On 22 February the BBC will celebrate the music of Anders Hillborg in one of its flagship Total Immersion Days. The most-prestigious platform of its kind in the UK, the event will feature three concerts, a documentary screening, and talks, and will culminate in an all-Hillborg orchestral concert by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Sakari Oramo.

 

The other concerts feature musicians from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and the BBC Singers under Ragnar Rasmussen. The latter will place Hillborg’s rich body of choral music alongside works by Messiaen, Sanström, Stucky and Salonen before presenting the UK premiere a new work for choir and saxophone. The day will culminate in an orchestral concert conducted by Sakari Oramo which will include the UK premieres of a new orchestral work, entitled Through Lost Landscapes, and the Violin Concerto No.1 with Carolin Widmann.

 

Hillborg’s new choral work is entitled The Breathing of the World. The 10-minute piece was commissioned by conductor Gary Graden who will conducted its premiere in Stockholm on 12 October 2019 with soloists Theo Hillborg (saxophone) and Filip Graden (cello). The text for the work is Hillborg’s own: a lyrical celebration of nature with melancholic undertones reflecting on the state of our planet. A score of the work can be viewed here

 

Composed in the early 90s, Hillborg’s Violin Concerto No.1 is a pivotal work in his development as a composer. Written in the wake of his highly experimental Clang & Fury and Celestial Mechanics – both of which employ complex and unconventional tuning systems – the concerto displays a more pragmatic approach, though the drama it sets up is far from conventional, with a very fluid soloist-orchestra relationship. Esa-Pekka Salonen, who recorded it with Anna Lindal and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra for Ondine, has described it as one of Hillborg’s best pieces.

 

Full details of the BBC Total Immersion day can be found here