19 April 2010

World New Music Days 2010 is being held in the Southern Hemisphere for the first time in the International Society of Contemporary Music's 88 year history, which is significant both for ISCM and Australia. The world's most prestigious contemporary music festival, it will be one of the largest events of its kind ever held in this country.

A total of 24 concerts will be held across Sydney from 30 April to 9 May. In the opening concert at The Con, the SCM Modern Music Ensemble will perform new works from Sweden, Germany and Serbia.

In the words of John Davis, ISCM President, delegates from 37 countries will hear, "the latest in compositional and performing talent alongside established composers and performers". ISCM festival performances have been significant in the career development of many composers. They have included the world premieres of works by a diverse range of important composers, many of which have become standard repertoire, for example Alban Berg's Violin Concerto, and Ravel's Piano Concerto for Left Hand. Australian works have regularly featured in the festival since 1938 in London, when Peggy Glanville Hicks' Choral Suite was performed on a program which included Britten's Variations on a theme of Frank Bridge, and Bartók's Sonata for Two Pianos, Percussion and Celesta.

Matthew Hindson AM is the artistic director of the festival: "At the dawn of the 21st Century, the range of music that we have access to is greater than it has ever been, through the enormous technological advances of the 20th Century. This means that a definition of what 'contemporary music' is might be difficult, as composers are being influenced by more kinds of sounds - musical and other - than ever before."

Chair of the Music Board of the Australia Council and the Arts Music unit at the conservatorium, Matthew is also a driving force behind The Con's 101 Compositions for 100 Years project. Dean and Principal, Professor Kim Walker said: 'Matthew's leading profile in the international arena is a tribute to his creative inclusiveness, which he demonstrates as composer, administrator, teacher, friend and colleague."

More than 700 works from 52 countries were assessed for this year's festival, with over 82 works selected for inclusion. These reflect a broad spectrum of innovative musical practice, covering traditional chamber groups and choirs to cutting edge multimedia and sound installations. Music has been sourced from Australasia and Asia; Western and Eastern Europe; North, South and Central America and South Africa.

Hosted annually by one of ISCM's members, the World New Music Days festival also provides an opportunity for members to meet in their annual congress, to discuss issues affecting contemporary music and matters of mutual concern.

World New Music Days 2010 is presented by the Aurora Festival, Sydney Conservatorium of Music, Campbelltown Arts Centre, Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre, Blacktown Arts Centre and ABC Classic FM in collaboration with the Australian Music Centre and supported by Australia Council for the Arts, Arts NSW, Ars Musica Australis and the New Music Network.

Visit the ISCM World New Music Days website for fulldetails of concerts at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music

Contact: Mick Le Moignan

Phone: 02 9351 1385

Email: 422a200a655d245e0a2b05385536331728315b2711050d0d42593246