NEW CD RELEASES
The following CDs have all been released during 2014
Morton Feldman Two Pianos and other pieces 1953-1969, a double-CD set of music by Feldman for two or more pianos with ensemble, featuring Philip performing with John Tilbury. Andrew Clements, in his 5 star review of the release in the Guardian, describes the music as 'transcendentally beautiful'. For more information see another timbre or click here, or read my recent blog entries about the project.
Christopher Fox Works for piano
Four solo works by English composer Christopher Fox, three of which were composed for Philip: L'ascenseur, at the edge of time, Thermogenesis and Republican Bagatelles
A new CD of music by Lithuanian fluxus composer George Maciunas Musical Scoring Systems is out now, featuring Apartment House
Featuring popular classics such as Piece for 3 mouths (Homage to Toshi Ichiyanagi), Music for Everyman and Homage to Philip Corner
Pianist: Pieces, a triple-CD set of solo piano music by Christian Wolff, on sub rosa.
Includes all the works from the 1950s alongside major works composed since 2000, including the extended work Long Piano (Peace March 11), and a number of works recorded for the first time.
"Thomas is the perfect, committed guide" (Andrew Clements, The Guardian)
Read more about Philip's approach to Wolff's music in Sound American
Laurence Crane - Chamber Works 1992-2009, a double-CD set of solo and chamber works by Crane featuring Apartment House, on another timbre
Includes the first recording of Piano Piece No.23 - Ethiopian Distance Runners, composed for Philip Thomas. Included in The Wire's top 50 recordings of 2014.
Wolff's 80th and Finnissy's Beats
Philip premiered three new works specially commissioned in honour of Christian Wolff's 80th birthday at the 2014 Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. The new works were:
Howard Skempton Oculus
Christian Wolff Sailing By
and Michael Finnissy Beat Generation Ballads, an extraordinary 50-minute work, taking in Bill Evans, Allen Ginsberg, Bach, Beethoven, Irish protest songs, Webern and music by a 16-year old Michael Finnissy.
Philip performed Beat Generation Ballads at the University of Southampton on December 8th 2014, and is giving further performances of the new works in 2015 at the University of Hull (20th February), Birmingham Conservatoire (10th March), University of Manchester (12th March),Cornell University, USA (24th March) and Buffalo, USA (26th March).
Other concerts at hcmf 2014 included:
EEEEE, a performance given by the edges ensemble featuring works by English experimental composers, including Gavin Bryars, Brian Dennis, Bryn Harris, Chris Hobbs and Hugh Shrapnel
Feldman's Pianos, featuring Philip with Mark Knoop, Catherine Laws and John Tilbury performing works for multiple pianos be Feldman and Wolff, including the UK premiere of Wolff's Sonata for 3 pianos
Time With People, an opera, the world premiere performance of Tim Parkinson's extraordinary non-opera, performed by the edges ensemble
Philip performed solo and with Apartment house at this year's L'Auditori festival in Barcelona, in a new association with hcmf. Philip performed Bryn Harrison's Vessels, subsequently broadcast on Catalan National Radio.
Apartment House gave a concert of music by Tom Phillips, Anthony Braxton and Ben Patterson.
MONDAYS IN MAY
Philip gave three London concerts in May:
Monday May 5th, Cafe OTO.
The first London performance of the extended version of Bryn Harrison's Vessels
Monday May 12th, Insitute of Music Research, London, Senate Hall, University of London.
Music by Christian Wolff, with Apartment House, following a talk by Wolff.
Monday May 26th, London Contemporary Music Festival, London, Second Home, Britannia House, 68-80 Hanbury Street
Philip played two solo works - James Clarke Island and the world premiere of Tim Parkinson Untitled 2004b - as well as playing with Gavin Bryars, Chris Hobbs and John Tilbury in Hobbs' McCrimmon Will Never Return and Aran
Recent CD releases
See above for latest releases featuring music by Laurence Crane, Morton Feldman, Christopher Fox, George Maciunas and Christian Wolff
Vessels by Bryn Harrison is an extended, 76-minute version of the work premiered by Philip in 2012. Hear an extract here
Philip features as soloist and ensemble player in Logical Harmonies, a portrait disc of music by Richard Glover
Wandelweiser und so weiter, is an extraordinary 6-CD box set of recordings on 'another timbre', exploring music from composers and others associated with the Wandelweiser movement. Philip features on many of the performances, and the edges ensemble features also.
The Music Department at the University of Huddersfield, where Philip is a Reader and Head of Performance - and in particular theCentre for Research in New Music CeReNeM, of which Philip is a director - has had a successful year. 85% of its research has been rated as internationally excellent (41% 3*) and world-leading (44% 4*) in the recent Research Excellence Framework exercise with its ‘real world’ impact awarded 90% 4* and research environment given 80% 4*. Amongst music departments submitted, Huddersfield was rated 8th nationally by ‘research power’.
I have taken the plunge and started an occasional blog. You can read why here.
Initial posts include discussions of performance issues concerning the music of Bryn Harrison, Tim Parkinson and Morton Feldman. You can navigate back to the main website via the blog menu.
An extensive interview with Philip about his new Christian Wolff CD release can be found at Sound American
An article by Philip exploring performance issues within John Cage's Solo for piano (from the Concert for piano and orchestra) has just been published in Twentieth Century Music.
Entitled 'Understanding Indeterminate Music through Performance: Cage's Solo for piano', it draws upon Philip's experiences of performing the work as a solo, and with Apartment House and the Merce Cunningham Dance Company.
Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards 2012
Apartment House, with whom Philip has been a regular performer since 2001, have been awarded the prestigous Royal Philharmonic Society Award for Chamber Music and Song. "Their performances are always revelatory, and the concert of John Cage's music at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in September 2011 was an epiphany, confirming the status of Apartment House as one of the most innovative and exciting chamber ensembles in Europe."
OUT NOW: Changing the System: The Music of Christian Wolff, to be published by Ashgate Publishing in July 2010.
The first major study of Wolff's music, co-edited by Philip with Stephen Chase. Philip has contributed two chapters relating to the piano music and performing Wolff's music. The book is available for order on-line. Click here for full details