Harlequin has very ambitious plans for 2018 including a concert of purely contemporary music. We are currently preparing a world premiere by local composer Ian Assersohn—Verses from Panthea, based on poems by Oscar Wilde. Alongside this we have some glorious music by Cambridgeshire-based Janet Wheeler from a recent composition Time Becomes a Song. We investigate contemporary compositional techniques with a selection of pieces by the University of Surrey’s professor of composition Steve Goss from his set, Cottleston Pie, based on lyrics contained within the Winnie the Pooh stories. Further afield, of course where would a contemporary composers concert be without Eric Whitacre! We haven’t forgotten him. And who could fail to fall in love with Norwegian composer Ola Gjeilo’s Northern Lights; it is sublime. The difficulty with Only in Sleep by Latvian Eriks Esenvalds is singing whilst trying not to cry; this nostalgic look at childhood friendship takes us into our lighter section of music, such as the arrangement of Underneath the Stars by Kate Rusby, as recently put on the map by Voces8.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, this repertoire is taking rather a long time to prepare to our usual exacting standards and therefore we have taken the decision to postpone our concert until we are ready. We’ll let you know when our new date is set.