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Modern Period


Operation Desert Storm: US-led coalition expels Iraqi forces from Kuwait • Apartheid is officially abolished in South Africa • Yugoslavia disintegrates; civil war ensues • Soviet parliament votes to dissolve USSR; Gorbachev resigns at end of year; Boris Yeltsin becomes president of independent Russia • Ben Okri (Nigeria): The Famished Road

War in former Yugoslavia continues; ‘ethnic cleansing’ carried out by Serbs, but atrocities committed on all sides • Conservatives win general election, returning John Major as Prime Minister • Maastricht (Neth) Treaty signed, establishing the European Union • El Salvador’s 12-year civil war ends • Jeff Koons (US) creates 12-metre-high floral sculpture Puppy Street Crossing by George Segal

Czechoslovakia divides into independent Czech Republic and Slovakia • William J. Clinton takes office as 42nd president of the USA • Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk receive Nobel Peace Prize • Israel and Palestine sign peace accord: Palestinians given limited autonomy in Gaza Strip and West Bank • Sebastian Faulks (Eng): Birdsong    Hawking pursued his work in physics: in 1993 he co-edited a book on Euclidean quantum gravity with Gary Gibbons and published a collected edition of his own articles on black holes and the Big Bang.

Zapatista rebellion in Chiapas, Mexico • Civil war breaks out in Rwanda between Tutsis and Hutus • Nelson Mandela elected first black President of South Africa • Russia mounts attacks in breakaway republic of Chechnya, beginning a 20-month war • The Channel Tunnel opens • Church of England ordains its first woman priests

World Trade Organisation established • Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin assassinated by Jewish student • Jaques Chirac elected French President • Nick Leeson bankrupts Barings Bank • Damien Hirst wins the Turner Prize for Mother and Child Divided (cow and calf cut in two, preserved in formaldehyde)


Stephen William Hawking CH CBE FRS FRSA (8 January 1942 – 14 March 2018) was an English theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author, who was director of research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology at the University of Cambridge at the time of his death. He was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.

His scientific works included a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often called Hawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He was a vigorous supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

Hawking achieved commercial success with several works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general. His book A Brief History of Time appeared on the British Sunday Times best-seller list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking was a fellow of the Royal Society (FRS), a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. In 2002, Hawking was ranked number 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease (also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis "ALS" or Lou Gehrig's disease) that gradually paralysed him over the decades. Even after the loss of his speech, he was still able to communicate through a speech-generating device, initially through use of a hand-held switch, and eventually by using a single cheek muscle. He died on 14 March 2018 at the age of 76.



Karlheinz StockhausenElufa, for flute and basset horn, with electronic music ad lib., 9. ex Nr. 64;
Freia, for flute ex 9½ Nr. 64

Karlheinz Stockhausen - ELUFA
for Flute & Bassetthorn 
Flute - Kazuko Ihara 
Bassetthorn - Rumi Sota 
Sound & Light Projection by Bryan Wolf, in Kürten Germany in 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen -  FREIA
Presented by Music on Main

as part of Emerge on Main: Spotlight on Rising Musicians
A Month of Tuesdays, April 24 2018
The Fox Cabaret | Vancouver, BC

Featuring Liam Hockley, basset horn
Liam Hockley is a 2017/2018 Emerge on Main artist

John Adams - Choruses from 'The Death of Klinghoffer' 
John Adams' controversial second opera "The Death of Klinghoffer" is about the 1986 hijacking of the passenger liner Achille Lauro by Palestinian terrorists. Librettist Alice Goodman attempted to depict both the terrorists and passengers as complex and fully human characters and display both Jewish and Palestinian perspectives in her writing - nowhere is this more apparent than in the seven choruses scattered throughout the opera. Given the difficulties associated with putting on a production of the full work, the choruses are often performed separately in concert form. 

Chorus of Exiled Palestinians 0:00
Chorus of Exiled Jews 8:40
Hagar Chorus 17:36
Ocean Chorus 23:01
Desert Chorus 29:14
Day Chorus 34:16
Night Chorus 38:54

Recorded live on February 25th 1995 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. Performed by the Het Groot Omroepkoor and the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest  as conducted by Edo de Waart.

19 March
John Adams’s second opera, The Death of Klinghoffer, based on the PLO hijacking of the Achille Lauro cruise ship in 1986, opens in Brussels. Accusations of anti-Semitism dog productions over ensuing years.

30 May
Harrison Birtwistle’s densely threaded Arthurian opera Gawain opens at Covent Garden, London. Some of the audience boo, but most applaud.

Gawain is an opera with music by Harrison Birtwistle to a libretto by David Harsent. The story is based on the Middle English romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. The opera was a commission from the Royal Opera House, London, where it was first performed on 30 May 1991. Rhian Samuel has published a detailed analysis of the opera. Birtwistle revised it in 1994, and the premiere of the revised version was given at the Royal Opera House on 20 April 1994.

"Ride north" Harrison Birtwistle - Gawain.
Act 1 scenes 17 & 18
Elgar Howarth: Conductor.  Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Royal Opera Chorus.
François le Roux (baritone): Gawain
John Tomlinson (bass baritone): The Green Knight

Harrison Birtwistle - Gawain.
Act 2. The three Morgan le Fay's Lullabies (scenes 14, 18, 22)
00:00 The First Lullaby: 'Lie down without fear of the dark'
02:35 The Second Lullaby: 'Lie down without fear of the dark'
05:02 The Third Lullaby: 'Lie down without fear of the dark'

Elgar Howarth: Conductor.  Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Royal Opera Chorus.
Marie Angel (soprano): Morgan le Fay

"And that was all — three kisses?" Harrison Birtwistle - Gawain.
Act 2 scenes 23-26
Elgar Howarth: Conductor.  Orchestra of the Royal Opera House. Royal Opera Chorus.
Marie Angel (soprano): Morgan le Fay
Anne Howells (mezzo soprano): Lady de Hautdesert
François le Roux (baritone): Gawain
John Tomlinson (bass baritone): Bertilak de Hautdesert



Krzysztof Penderecki – Symphony No. 5 Korean.

Penderecki : Symphony No. 5 "Korean"

National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra (Katowice), conducted by Antoni Wit.
Recorded at Grzegorz Fitelberg Concert Hall, 1999.

28 April
Influential composer Olivier Messiaen dies in Paris, aged 83.


Philip Glass – Symphony No. 1 Low.

Philip Glass - Symphony No. 1 (Low Symphony)
II.Some Are 15:12
III.Warszawa 26:30

The Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra
Dennis Russell Davies, conductor

Iannis XenakisLa Déesse Athéna (Oresteïa III) (1992), for baritone solo and mixed ensemble of 11 instruments.

Iannis Xenakis - "La Deesse Athena"
for baritone, percussion and instrumental ansamble
Maciej Bogumił Nerkowski - baritone
Leszek Lorent - percussion
Instrumental ansamble Camerata Res XXI
Recording supervision - Aleksandra Ciepłoch

Olivier Messiaen  completed his hour-long, Revelation-inspired Eclairs sur l'Au-dela (Illuminations on the Beyond...) for 128-piece orchestra.

Olivier Messiaen - Éclairs sur l'au-delà... 
[Illuminations of the Beyond...] 

I. Apparition du Christ glorieux ("Apparition of Christ in glory") [0:00]
II. La Constellation du Sagittaire ("Constellation of Sagittarius") [7:23]
III. L'Oiseau-lyre et la Ville-fiancée ("The lyre bird and the bridal city") [14:08]
IV. Les Élus marqués du sceau ("The elect marked with the seal") [18:20]
V. Demeurer dans l'Amour... ("Abiding in love") [20:28]
VI. Les Sept Anges aux sept trompettes ("The seven angels with the seven trumpets") [35:23]
VII. Et Dieu essuiera tout larme de leurs yeux... ("And God will wipe every tear from their eyes") [41:58]
VIII. Les Étoiles et la Gloire ("The stars and the glory") [46:22]
IX. Plusieurs Oiseaux des arbres de Vie ("Some birds in the trees of Life") [58:10]
X. Le Chemin de l'Invisible ("The way of the Invisible") [1:01:24]
XI. Le Christ, lumière du Paradis ("Christ, light of paradise") [1:04:43]

Strings - 16 first violins, 16 second violins, 14 violas, 12 cellos, 10 five-stringed double basses

Woodwinds - 3 piccolos, 6 flutes, alto flute, 3 oboes, English horn, 2 E-flat clarinets, 6 clarinets in B-flat, bass clarinet, contrabass clarinet, 3 bassoons, contrabassoon

Brass - 2 trumpets in D, 3 trumpets in C, 6 horns (in F and B-flat; horns 1, 3, 5: high, horns 2, 4, 6: low), 3 trombones (tenor-bass), 2 tubas in C, contrabass tuba in C

Keyboard percussion - crotales, glockenspiel, xylophone, xylorimba, marimba

Percussion (10 percussionists) - 3 sets of tubular bells, 3 triangles, wind machine, bass drum, wood block, 6 temple blocks, réco-réco, 3 large gongs, 3 high gongs, whip, small suspended cymbal, suspended cymbal, large suspended cymbal, small tamtam, regular tamtam, very large tamtam
Conductor: Sylvain Cambreling
SWR Sinfonieorchester Baden-Baden und Freiburg

12 August
Pioneering American composer
John Cage dies in New York, aged 79.


8 October
György Ligeti
 presents a late-career masterpiece with his Violin Concerto, introduced by its dedicatee, Saschko Gawriloff, in Cologne. 
Gawriloff creates a final movement cadenza from the concerto’s discarded material.

Ligeti - Concerto for Violin and Orchestra
Wiener Philharmoniker, 
Dirigent: Sir Simon Rattle; 
Frank Peter Zimmermann, Violine.
 I. Vivacissimo luminoso
II. Aria, Hoquetus, Choral
III. Intermezzo
IV. Passacaglia
V. Appassionato

12 October
Philip Glass’s opera Voyage premieres at the Metropolitan Opera House, New York. Commissioned by the Met in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of Columbus’s arrival in the New World, it entertains the public far more than the critics.

Philip Glass - Voyage au bout de la Nuit



 Philip GlassIn the Summer House, incidental music.

Philip Glass - In the Summer House: XIV. The Lobster Bowl - XV. Back to Sad Things - XVI. I Knew You Would Come Back (Excerpt) - XI. Vivian's Death [Beginning]
Performed by Angela Chun & Jennifer Chun

"Summer House"
Choreography by Lydia Johnson, 2011

Karlheinz StockhausenHelikopter-Streichquartett.

Helikopter-Streichquartett (Helicopter Quartet) - Karlheinz Stockhausen
The Helicopter Quartet, composed in 1993 by Karlheinz Stockhausen. First performance was in 1995. This performance is the Elysian Quartet performing in 2012 in Birmingham, UK. 

Stockhausen: Helikopter-Streichquartett
Arditti String Quartet

Luciano Berio The String Quartets

Luciano Berio - Arditti String Quartet ‎– The String Quartets

1 Notturno    
2 Sincronie    
3 Glosse    
4 Quatuor No 1 

Cello – Rohan de Saram 
Composed By – Luciano Berio 
Ensemble [String Quartet] – Arditti String Quartet
Viola – Dov Scheindlin 
Violin – Graeme Jennings, Irvine Arditti 
Recorded February 2002 at All Saints Church,
East Finchley, England

5 February
Witold Lutostawski, aged 80, conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the first performance of his Fourth Symphony.

Witold Lutoslawski - Symphony Nº4
Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France - Esa-Pekka Salonen (cond.) Recorded in live concert on XII.II.2011 at the Théâtre du Châtelet

24 February
Hans Henze
's Requiem is given its first complete performance in Cologne.

Hans Werner Henze - Requiem (Part 1)
Marco Blaauw (trumpet) and Ulrich Löffler (piano), with musikFabrik (directed by Emilio Pomarico). Performed at the Cologne Cathedral, 2009.

Hans Werner Henze - Requiem (Part 2)

16 May
Steve Reich and his wife, the video-artist Beryl Korot, present their 'documentary video opera The Cave, in Vienna. Featuring video images, recorded interviews and a live ensemble, the work reflects the attitudes and feelings of Jews, Palestinian Muslims and a cross-section of Americans (including Christians) towards the biblical story of Abraham Sarah, Hagar, Ishmael and Isaac.

Steve Reich and Beryl Korot - The Cave (crop 1/4) - Musica Strasbourg
music by Steve Reich, video by Beryl Korot
Performed by l'Ensemble Modern and Synergy Vocals
Lead by Jonathan Stockhammer
Palais de la Musique et des Congrès - Strasbourg - 23/09/2011

Italo Montemezzi: L'amore dei tre re. Atto 2

Steve Reich and Beryl Korot - The Cave (crop 3/4)

Steve Reich and Beryl Korot - The Cave (crop 4/4) 

28 May
Karlheinz Stockhausen's Dienstag (Tuesday) receives its first staged performance at the Leipzig Opernhaus. Depicting the day of war between Michael and Lucifer, it is the fourth opera of the composer’s Licht (Light) cycle.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Dienstag aus Licht - Invasion-Explosion mit Abschied

Act 2

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Dienstag aus Licht - Jahreslauf

Act 1 



Andrew Lloyd Webber - Sunset Boulevard  – Broadway production opened at the Minskoff Theatre. 

Andrew Lloyd Webber - Sunset Boulevard 
Glenn Close - Broadway 2017 Sunset Boulevard.

Andrew Lloyd Webber - Sunset Boulevard 
Glenn Close
Alan Campbell
Alice Ripley
Alan Oppenheimer
George Hearn

9 February
Polish composer Witold Lutostawski dies in Warsaw, aged 81.


9 June
Iannis XenakisSea Nymphs;
Ergma, for string quartet 

Iannis Xenakis - Sea Nymphs (1994)
Written by Xenakis for The BBC Singers
Performed by The BBC Singers (conductor Stephen Betteridge) in october 2005

Iannis Xenakis - Ergma, for string quartet

John Adams: Concerto for Violin
New England Conservatory's Calderwood Director of Orchestras Hugh Wolff leads the NEC Philharmonia and Artist Diploma violinist Alexi Kenney in a performance of John Adams' Concerto for Violin in Boston's historic Symphony Hall. 2016.

19 January
John Adams’s modal Violin Concerto, scored with orchestra and two keyboard samplers, is introduced at the Ordway Music Theater, St Paul, Minnesota. Set in a traditional three-movement format with cadenza, the fantasia-like work enjoys widespread success.

9 August
Peter Maxwell Davies derives inspiration from Sibelius in his Fifth Symphony, introduced under his own direction at the London Proms.

Peter Maxwell Davies: Sinfonia n.5 op.166 Philharmonia Orchestra diretta da Sir Peter Maxwell Davies 



Luciano BerioSequenza XII.

Luciano Berio - Sequenza XII, per fagotto.
Dedicata a Pascal Gallois.

Pascal Gallois, fagotto.

Elliott Carter – String Quartet No.5

Elliott Carter - String Quartet No.5
Performed by Pacifica Quartet at Dai-Ichi Seimei Hall in Japan, 2004

Philip Glass: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra;
Symphony No 3 for Strings.  

Philip Glass: Concerto for Saxophone Quartet and Orchestra.

The Mana Saxophone Quartet performs Philip Glass's Concerto for Saxophone Quartet with the National Music Festival Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Marzena Diakun. June 9th, 2012.

Michael Hernandez, soprano saxophone
Michael Mortarotti, alto saxophone
Eric Barreto, tenor saxophone
Dannel Espinoza, baritone saxophone

Philip Glass - Symphony No 3 for Strings.  
Movements III and IV. 
David Felberg, conductor.
Violin I:  Megan Holland, Kathie Jarrett, Debry Terry, Steven Ognacevic & Barbara Morris.  
Violin II:  Carol Swift-Matton, Justin Pollak, Valerie Turner, & Renee Hemsing.  
Viola:  Kim Fredenburgh, Ikuko Kanda, Cherokee Randolph and Lisa DiCarlo.  
Cello: Dana Winograd, James Holland & Lisa Collins. Bass:  Jean-Luc Matton & Terry Pruitt.

Philip Glass - Symphony No 3 for Strings.  
Movements I and II.  
David Felberg, conductor.
Violin I:  Megan Holland, Kathie Jarrett, Debry Terry, Steven Ognacevic & Barbara Morris.  
Violin II:  Carol Swift-Matton, Justin Pollak, Valerie Turner, & Renee Hemsing.  
Viola:  Kim Fredenburgh, Ikuko Kanda, Cherokee Randolph and Lisa DiCarlo.  
Cello: Dana Winograd, James Holland & Lisa Collins. Bass:  Jean-Luc Matton & Terry Pruitt.

7 March
The Ensemble InterContemperain premieres
Steve Reich’s City Life for 18 musicians (with sampled city sounds and speech), in Metz, France.

Steve Reich - City Life
Thursday, February 9, 2017.
Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University, Evanston Ill.
NU Contemporary Music Ensemble & NU Percussion Ensemble.

24 June
Dedicatee Anne-Sophie Mutter performs as soloist in Krzysztof ​Penderecki’s Violin Concerto No. 2, introduced in Leipzig.

Penderecki - Violin Concerto No.2 'Metamorphosen'
K. Penderecki(con.) and Juyoung Baek(violin) perform with Korean Chamber Orchestra at Concert hall, Seoul Art Center, 18th December, 2013 under Seoul International Music Festival.

26 June
Four helicopters circle over Amsterdam, each with a member of the Arditti Quartet and a sound engineer, in the premiere of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s dream-inspired Helicopter String Quartet (see 1993). Sounds from the helicopters, together with the performed parts (coordinated by click tracks), are transmitted down to the Westergasfabriek Theatre, together with live video links. The work forms part of Mittwoch (Wednesday) from his Licht opera cycle.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Mittwoch aus Licht - Mittwochs-Gruß

The greeting of the opera WEDNESDAY from LIGHT. The Wednesday Greeting consists of the electronic music from the fourth scene, Michaelion, and is played in the foyer amidst flues, winds, blowers, kites, balloons, and flying doves

16 September
Harrison Birtwistle’s atonal Panic, for saxophone, percussion and orchestra, is unleashed at the televised Last Night of the Proms in London. Thousands of affronted traditionalists do as the title suggests, jamming the BBC phone lines with complaints.

Harrisson Birtwistle - PANIC

Ties Mellema - Saxophone
Ramon Lormans - Percussion

Bas Wiegers - Conductor
Philharmonie Zuid Nederland

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