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UPROAR – new music ensemble performs in Son of Chamber Symphony tour

UPROAR – Wales New Music Ensemble performs exciting voices in Welsh classical music alongside acclaimed international composers in Son of Chamber Symphony tour.

UPROAR – Wales’ New Music Ensemble returns with its latest project, championing some of the most exciting voices in Welsh classical music today alongside multi-award-winning international composers.
Son of a Chamber Symphony will open at Bangor Music Festival (17 February); Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff (22 February); Aberystwyth Arts Centre (7 March) Theatr Soar, Merthyr Tydfil (22 March) and Rhosygilwen Mansion in Cilgerran (23 March).

Son of Chamber Symphony will include three new bold pieces of classical music that will take audiences on a journey inspired by, and responding to, contemporary life in Wales.

UPROAR will also perform music from well-known international composers: ‘Symphonie Diagonale’ by Olga Neuwirth, where a dynamic soundtrack complements the playful abstract film of Viking Eggeling, and ‘Son of Chamber Symphony’ by John Adams, the world’s most popular living composer.

UPROAR is committed to investing in contemporary classical music, developing talent, and bringing opportunities for audiences across the whole of Wales to experience new music.

Since its inception five year ago, UPROAR has supported the creation of 36 new works by Welsh composers and given opportunities for composers and instrumentalists at all stages of their careers to work with the ensemble.

The Son of a Chamber Symphony programme includes brand new compositions from Welsh composers Richard Baker, Nathan James Dearden and Lynne Plowman.

Richard Baker’s piece, ‘Motet IV – Accidental Activists’, is inspired by archival recordings from the early 1980s of the Reagan White House’s inadequate response to the AIDS epidemic in the US, contemporary with the earliest Welsh and Welsh-language manifestations of the crisis.

Award-winning Welsh composer of concert music and mixed media, conductor, and educator, Nathan James Dearden has worked with City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Welsh National Opera, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Berkeley Ensemble and BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

His new piece, ‘The day following’ is a reflection on lost communities in Wales and how losing one’s community has a broader social and cultural impact. The work focuses primarily on the drowning of Capel Celyn, and will feature archival footage of the Capel Celyn alongside how it looks below the waterline now.

Lynne Plowman, particularly known for her operas for Welsh National Opera, Glyndebourne and Music Theatre Wales, gets her second UPROAR commission. Her new piece, ‘The Wind Sweepers’, is full of energy and contrasts, based on the movement of wind turbines. This will be her third in a series of ‘musical environmental activism’ pieces.

Artistic Director, Michael Rafferty said, “People should have the opportunity to hear this music wherever they live in Wales. We want to create more opportunities for people in Wales, to hear top quality performances of classical music written by living composers from Wales and internationally.

Contemporary music has a unique role in articulating contemporary stories. Environmental issues concern us all and form the inspiration for Lynne Plowman’s commission. Nathan James Deardon piece reflects on lost communities in Wales focussing of the drowning of Capel Celyn to form a reservoir, and Ricard Baker’s piece is a response to some of the supressed Welsh voices during the AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

We also want more communities in Wales to hear live performances from recognised international composers. John Adams is the world’s most performed contemporary composer, and his ‘Son of Chamber Symphony’ was last heard in Cardiff in 2012. We are thrilled to perform this to audiences throughout Wales.

Olga Neuwirth came to prominence in the UK through her opera Lost Highway which won a South Bank Show Award. We want Welsh audiences to be able to hear her music and our performances of ‘Symphonie Diagonale’, which accompanies the film by Viking Eggelin, will be the first time this piece has been heard in the UK.”

Each performance features a pre-show discussion with the commissioned composers.