New Music Biennial Performances Announced

NYX electronic drone choir, Vessel and Rakhi Singh

PRS Foundation and the Southbank Centre today announced pieces of new music to be performed at their critically acclaimed free festival, New Music Biennial 2022. Presented in partnership with Coventry UK City of Culture, BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings with support from Arts Council of England, Arts Council of Northern Ireland and Paul Hamlyn Foundation, New Music Biennial 2022 will comprise 20 new pieces of music: ten brand new works selected from an open call and ten pre-existing New Music Biennial works from across the last 10 years to mark its launch back in 2012.

Brand new pieces such as Yazz Ahmed’s “The Moon Has Become” and a new work for vocal ensemble, electronics & violin by Rakhi Singh, Vessel & NYX Electronic Drone Choir, alongside previous works “She Who” by Jessica Curry and “The Power of Glory” by Gazelle Twin will make up two festival weekends of exceptional music. (See more info below)

With pieces from across all genres: from classical and chamber opera to jazz, folk and electronic, each work is no longer than 15 minutes in duration to create a pop-up, interactive way for audiences to discover new music by some of the most exciting composers and music creators in the UK today including: Yazz Ahmed, Paul Purgas, AFRODEUTSCHE, Martin Green, Rakhi Singh /  Vessel, Keeley Forsyth, Coby Sey, Roopa Panesar, Dr Toby Young, Philip Herbert, Anna Meredith, Brian Irvine and Jennifer Walshe, Daniel Elms, Errollyn Wallen, Philip Venables and David Hoyle Aidan O’Rourke and Kit Downes, Jason Yarde, Jessica Curry, Arlene Sierra and Gazelle Twin.

The festival weekends will take place both in Coventry in various venues as part of the UK City of Culture celebrations and London’s Southbank Centre on:

●      Friday 22 – Sunday 24 April, Coventry (Free tickets released on 25 January 2022)

●      Friday 1 – Sunday 3 July, Southbank Centre (Free tickets released on 23 April 2022)

In addition to the performances the New Music Biennial will be broadcast across BBC Radio 3 and pieces will be available through NMC Recordings following the festivals. To ensure the New Music Biennial can be experienced by all, the Southbank Centre will also be hosting a range of free-to-attend public events which will be announced closer to the summer.

Music and the arts have never been more important with so many universal challenges facing individuals, communities and the world. This year’s New Music Biennial invited composers and commissioning organisations to create a response – exploring the fantastical, imaginative and transformational shift music can affect in confronting these threats and challenges whilst bringing joy and excitement.

2022 will mark the tenth anniversary of the New Music Biennial since its launch as New Music 20×12 as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.  Since 2012 the initiative has seen critically acclaimed pieces by composers and music creators including Anna Meredith, Mica Levi, Hannah Peel, Errollyn Wallen, GoGo Penguin, Jessica Curry, Shingai Shoniwa, David Okumu, Mark Simpson, Eliza Carthy, Gavin Bryars, Mark Anthony Turnage, Shiva Feshareki and Sam Lee with many pieces receiving award nominations.

Elizabeth Sills, Grants & Programmes Manager at PRS Foundation said “We’re delighted to be announcing the composers, music creators and commissioning organisations to be taking part in this year’s New Music Biennial festival which will take place in Coventry as well as its spiritual home of the Southbank Centre.  The incredible music that has been given a platform at this festival over the last decade has been fantastic and the line-up for our 10th Anniversary celebration will showcase some of those pieces alongside ten brand new pieces of excellent music. We’re very much looking forward for festival weekends to start and for audiences to join this celebration and experience as many of the pieces as possible.

Gillian Moore CBE, Director of Music and Performing Arts, Southbank CentreIt’s a privilege to have been involved in the New Music Biennial since its beginnings in 2012, seeking out and celebrating the most inventive, surprising and brilliant musical creativity from all corners of the UK. The Biennial has become a joyful feature of the Southbank Centre’s Summer, making it buzz with people and sounds as the free weekend festival connects the banks of the Thames to new musical ideas being created by artists from the Hebrides to Cornwall, from Belfast to Rural Wales, from Hull to South London. It’s a special joy to team up this year with Coventry UK City of Culture as well as our regular partners the PRS Foundation, BBC Radio 3 and NMC Recordings, making sure that as many people as possible get to hear what these musicians have to tell us.”

Chenine Bhathena, Creative Director at Coventry City of Culture Trust added “Coventry is a music city, a longstanding pioneer of new music, so vital to our city’s identity. The New Music Biennial will allow us to showcase local and regional talent – Armonico Consort and Capsule – throw a spotlight onto female talent helping deliver our commitment to PRS Foundation’s Keychange Pledge, as well as show off some of the handful of newly opened music venues in the city. With Coventry Music Board we are keen to see more high-profile music festival collaborations in years to come, to help inspire a strong pipeline of emerging talent, reinforcing our status as a hotbed of music innovation. Covering many musical and cultural genres I know that this festival will offer great experiences for all of many communities and visitors.”