The audience will decide the result of the Bath Phil’s latest composition competition this weekend, with the winning piece to be decided by a post-performance ballot and subsequently published by Schott Music.
The three finalists ‒ Alberto Schiavo and Nicola Staffolini of Italy and British Bertie Baigent ‒ have been selected by a panel of three composers: Oliver Knussen, Colin Matthews and Joe Duddell. Their 7-minute orchestral pieces will be performed alongside a programme of Mozart’s piano concertos 12 & 13 and Britten’s Young Apollo, with piano soloist Leon McCawley (Bath Abbey, 12 October, 7.30pm).
The concert opens the Bath Phil’s new season and is part of the Young Apollo festival, which runs throughout the weekend. On 11 October, cellist Tim Hugh gives a masterclass and Bruno Schrecker gives a pre-performance talk before Hugh performs the first cello suites of Bach and Britten (Bath Spa University, 7.30pm).
During the day on 12 October, composer and academic George Odam gives a pre-concert talk on Britten’s music for young people before the Bath Abbey Melody Makers perform Britten’s Friday Afternoons, directed by Shean Bower (Bath Spa University, 3pm).
Events on 13 October begin with a masterclass by bass-baritone John Shirley-Quirk with five conservatoire students from across the country (Bath Spa University, 2.30pm), followed by a screening of Tony Palmer’s Britten and his Festival (Bath Spa University, 5pm). Shirley-Quirk will take part in a Q&A on the subject of his working relationship with Britten (Bath Spa University, 6.30pm) before a closing concert with members of the Bath Phil and tenor soloist Adam Sullivan of Britten’s Serenade and Saint Nicolas (Bath Spa University, 7.30pm).
Jason Thornton, music director of Bath Phil, said: ‘We are delighted to host this festival in the Britten centenary year, drawing together performers with such a rich experience of the composer and his music. Britten said that “a musical experience needs three human beings… It requires a composer, a performer and a listener”. Our composition competition is designed to deepen those connections; we are very proud to have the opportunity to do so.’
Soloists in Bath Phil’s forthcoming season include Peter Donohoe, Raphael Wallfisch and Stephen Hough.
Events free-£28. Box office 01225 463362. For festival details click here (pdf).