New Works

Featured Composer at Presteigne Festival 2014

March 23rd, 2014  |  Published in New Works, News

Andrew Burn, head of projects at the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and writer on 20/21st Cenury music, writes:

Stephen McNeff: Composer in Residence

Clare McCaldin and Chris Hopkins rehearsing Madrigali Dell’Estate at Presteigne

Clare McCaldin and Chris Hopkins rehearsing Madrigali Dell’Estate at Presteigne

“Residencies as one focal point of a festival provide valuable opportunities for the creative artist and audiences alike. For the latter there’s the chance to hear a range of work within a concentrated span of time, as well as to meet and engage with the creator, in this instance a composer, and to gleam what makes them ‘tick’. From the artist’s perspective, it provides a moment to take stock, and invariably the exciting invitation to create something new, because no residency would be complete without a premiere! Read the rest of this entry »

Vivienne – new chamber opera

September 21st, 2013  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


mcneffA new one act opera for mezzo soprano and piano about T S Eliot’s ‘mad’ wife, Vivienne

 

Reviews

Evening Standard *****
McNeff delivers an unpredictable yet instantly appealing score. The story unwraps in songs that always hint at popular idiom — crunchy bebop infuses her late-Forties mourning, Berlin-style cabaret hints at Eliot’s possible Fascist sympathies — but their structure is elastic and mutable. You enjoy the tune but never quite catch it. Kieron Quirke

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The Chalk Legends

March 5th, 2012  |  Published in New Works

Stephen is working with Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra on their ambitious  2012 cultural olympiad project, The Chalk Legends.

chalkclifsThe Chalk Legends is the largest Dorset community-based music and dance project inspired by London 2012. With the Olympic Sailing Events to be held in Weymouth and Portland in 2012, the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and Partners wanted to find a way of also making the year memorable in music and dance. We have devised The Chalk Legends, a large scale music, dance and multi-media event culminating in a spectacular presentation at the National Sailing Academy in Portland – just days before the WPNSA becomes the focus of world-wide attention during the 2012 Olympic Sailing Competition. Read the rest of this entry »

Daughters of the elements

August 31st, 2011  |  Published in New Works, Reviews


Tête à Tête Opera Festival highlights this year included performances of Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements.

“Far more conventional but no less effective, Stephen McNeff’s Daughters of the Elements (simply but touchingly staged by Bankes-Jones) depicts Marie Curie and her two daughters reminiscing about Curie’s laboratory breakthroughs, her marriage, and her brief affair with a married scientist that scandalised Paris. With McNeff’s delicate instrumentation evocatively realised by the Chroma Ensemble under Robin Newton, and every word made crystal clear by Mary Plazas, Katherine Bond and especially Lucy Schaufer as Marie, the work emerges as an autumnal but lyrical song-cycle counterpointing the certainties of science against the unfathomable and often painful complexities of human behaviour.” The Times Read the rest of this entry »

Seven for a Secret

July 15th, 2011  |  Published in New Works

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Autumn 2011 sees a major UK tour of Mcneff’s new score for the Rambert Dance Company, Seven for a Secret, never to be told.

The score is a reworking of Ravel’s music from l’enfant et les sortilèges.  

Follow a child through a world of boxers, dragonflies and frogs as he springs, jumps, mimics and dances his quick-witted heart out, in 15 glorious musical movements and one action-packed day. Come out to play with this fresh and enchanting take on a rarely-performed story.
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ConcertO Duo

May 26th, 2011  |  Published in New Works


McNeff’s latest large scale work for orchestra, ConcertO Duo, received its premiere in October 2010 at The Barbican Hall, London.

A special joint BBC Radio 3 and Borletti-Buitoni Trust commission for O Duo, the dynamic percussion partnership of Owen Gunnell and Ollie Cox.  The BBC Symphony Orchestra was conducted by David Robertson. Read the rest of this entry »

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