2014 Festival

festival of contemporary music

An international event involving world-class musicians from five countries

Following the remarkable success of the 1st  London Ear festival in March 2013, the 2nd  edition ran from the 27 to 30 March, 2014. Taking place once again at The Warehouse and The Cello Factory in Waterloo, the festival featured recent instrumental, vocal, and electronic music by artists from the UK, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland. Download the 2014 programme

Over the festival’s four days there were nine concerts which include a wide spectrum of contemporary music from twenty countries: fifty-one works, three festival commissions, eight world and several UK premieres. Well known composers include Xenakis, Kagel, Harvey, Holliger, Jarrell, Hosokawa, Oehring and Finnissy, but the festival also offered a unique opportunity to hear numerous works by less familiar names, some of them younger or emerging composers, others well known in their home countries but less so in the UK.

British artists at London Ear 2014 include the world famous contemporary music ensemble The London Sinfonietta, Uroboros Ensemble, which includes some of the UK’s leading instrumentalists specialising in new music, and three young musicians at the start of their careers: Jenni Hogan (flute), Stephen Upshaw (viola) and Tom Bayman (‘cello). They performed in the 1st  London Ear’s ‘Featured Young Performers’ project in 2013 and were invited to return in 2014.

Performers from abroad included the highly unusual trio 7090  from Amsterdam, Swiss percussionists Serge Vuille and We Spoke , violinist Victoria Johnson from Norway, and from Germany two accordionists, Eva Zöllner and Franka Herwig, soprano Antje Marta Schäffer and the eccentric double bassist Matthias Bauer. The programmes present works which bring together players from different countries for the first time, and to this end a new work has been commissioned from Berlin based composer Helmut Zapf.

Many of the concerts were preceded by talks and discussions in the Festival Club, a meeting place for audiences, composers and performers, with scores and CDs on display and refreshments available. London Ear Festival’s Educational Programme includes two workshops on contemporary techniques: one for harp led by Uroboros harpist Gabriella dall’Olio, and one for voice led by the celebrated Linda Hirst; there were also workshops for younger children to prepare a piece for performance as a preface to a festival concert.

Tickets were priced very reasonably, ranging from £40 for a full Festival Pass to as little as £5 for some events, with concession rates available for younger people, students and jobseekers.

London Ear’s Artistic Directors are composers Gwyn Pritchard and Andrea Cavallari, who are also the directors of the two promoting organisation: Uroboros Ensemble and Accademia San Felice. The festival is supported financially by a variety of government sponsored agencies from the participating countries, and by some British and international foundations.