Entries in bcmg (15)


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group marks the centenary of Debussy’s death with the world premiere of four new works

Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy – 21st

Julian Anderson, Jung-eun Park, Frédéric Pattar and Sinta Wullur write new works in response to Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy, the 1920 collection of musical tributes to Debussy by composers including Satie, Ravel and Bartók

(Sunday 25 March at 4pm, Symphony Hall Birmingham)


The Legacy

BCMG explores Debussy’s influence on Pierre Boulez and Tristan Murail

 (Sunday 18 March at 4pm, Symphony Hall Birmingham)


Birmingham Contemporary Music Group offers 20th and 21st century reflections on Debussy, with two programmes at Symphony Hall, Birmingham in March as part of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra’s Debussy Festival, a major celebration of the composer’s work across two weekends to mark the centenary of his death.


In 1918, immediately following Debussy’s death, ten leading composers put pencil to paper for a moving homage to the composer; their musical tributes were published as a collection two years later. Debussy died on 25 March 1918. BCMG marks the anniversary with a concert which features five tributes from Le Tombeau de Claude Debussy by Goossens, Dukas, Satie, Bartók and Ravel, interwoven with the world premiere of four special BCMG Sound Investment commissioned works by British composer Julian Anderson (b.1967), and making their BCMG debuts, Korean composer Jung-eun Park (b.1986), French composer Frédéric Pattar (b.1969) and Indonesian/Dutch composer Sinta Wullur (b.1958). The new works, like those written at the time of Debussy’s death, offer personal reflections on differing aspects of Debussy’s work and life: Park reflects on the sadness that his death came during a wartime of “noise and chaos”; Wullur on the importance of nature; Anderson on Debussy’s overt and inherent poetry; Pattar focuses on song, and Debussy’s life-long desire to establish higher consciousness of French musical heritage, in particular medieval lai, with a setting of Maurice Maeterlinck’s Fifteen Songs (published six years before Debussy’s death). Mirroring the musical line up of the original tributes, an exceptional BCMG trio Richard Uttley (piano), Alexandra Wood (violin) and Ulrich Heinen (cello) perform Le Tombeau works – old and new - with soprano Ruby Hughes the soloist in premieres by Pattar, Wullur and Anderson, and in Satie’s song (Le Tombeau de Debussy - Sunday 25 March. (see notes below for composers reflections on their new works).


In Debussy’s Legacy (Sunday 18 March), BCMG explores how Debussy’s influence resonates in the music of two seminal 20th century French composers, Pierre Boulez and Tristan Murail. Boulez, speaking in 1972, cited Debussy alongside Beethoven, Wagner and Berlioz as composers he admired for not following “tradition but to have been able to force tradition to follow them. We need to restore the spirit of irreverence in music.” Featured works include Boulez’s Dérive I and Murail’s Feuilles à travers les cloches, which makes reference to the opening work in Debussy’s second volume of Images for Piano; the other works allude to titles of Debussy himself. Julien Leroy conducts.


Full details at