Many organisations are planning memorial events for Jonathan Harvey, not least among these is the Aldeburgh Festival which will pay tribute to Harvey in a series of concerts and events on 15 June. The day begins with an afternoon performance of Harvey’s second and fourth String Quartets given by seasoned Harvey-performers the Arditti Quartet. These profound quartets explore Harvey’s unique string writing, introducing sounds and techniques which at the time they were written were unimaginable. This will be followed by a discussion event where contributors, including Julian Anderson, Ilan Volkov and Barrie Gavin, share their appreciation of Harvey’s life and music, as a prelude to a performance of his iconic electronic work, Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco.
The day finishes with the UK premiere of Harvey’s Zen-inspired orchestral work 80 Breaths from Tokyo, which, Harvey explains, ‘is partly the result of the practice of Zen breathing, and partly the result of listening to slow music and enjoying its power over the mind and body.’ The performance will be given by the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and conductor Ilan Volkov, a great champion of Harvey’s music.