Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour: The Doll Behind the Curtain

The Doll Behind the Curtain is the first Iranian opera with an English libretto. A haunting story of an Iranian student’s all-consuming obsession with a beautiful shop mannequin, it explores the dissonance, both musical and cultural, between East and West and tradition and modernity. Brunel PhD composition student, Amir Mahyar Tafreshipour, has written an innovative, psychological work of musical theatre.


Tête à Tête Opera Festival 2015

Thursday 6 & Friday 7 August, 2015 – 19:50-21.00
Kings Place Hall 1, 90 York Way, London, N1 9AG.

Female composers and “the new complexity”


The Rambler discusses female composers and “the new complexity”… Follow the Storify link for the thread…

Originally posted on The Rambler:

Yesterday I had an interesting conversation on Twitter about the representation of female composers under the banner of “new complexity”. Or, rather, why it’s hard to think of any and who decides these things anyway.

This is not, I should add, a conversation about the artistic merits of complexism, or about its usefulness as a historical category. Those are valid arguments, but they can be had elsewhere. It starts from the premise that “new complexity” is a term that music historians use – for good or bad – and notes that it seems to intersect quite dramatically with gender.

The conversation threw up some interesting ideas, so I compiled the whole thing into a Storify thread. doesn’t allow Storify embedding, but you can read the whole thing here. Further contributions are welcome, either on Twitter or in the comments below.

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Matt London from Cheltenham to Strasbourg

Brunel PhD composition student and tenor saxophonist extraordinaire, Matt London, is currently at the Cheltenham Festival as part of the Composers Academy. Then he’s off to France to take part in the SaxOpen Festival in Strasbourg. He is a member of The Tenor Saxophone Collective – The Strasbourg Project, and has been active in promoting through commissions and performances this lesser exploited instrument. He will be premiering new works by Peter Wiegold, Christopher Fox as well as one of his own compositions.

A Random Random Roundup

A small selection of our (many and varied) extracurricular activities…

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Nicholas Attfield has been busy writing programme notes for this year’s  Salzburger Festspiele.

John Croft recently premiered a new work for orchestra, …che notturno canta insonne, performed by Ilan Volkov and the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the Tectonics Festival Glasgow 2015 (for those outside of the UK, follow this link and go to the bottom of the page for an excerpt). He also had an article published in the April issue of Tempo (the last one with our late, great Bob Gilmore as editor). You can find the article by following this link Composition is not research, and you can go here to get an idea of the reaction his postulate provoked.

Carl Faia, while continuing his collaborations with Art Zoyd Studios and composing a new work for  ondiste
Nadia Ratsimandresy, he finished a collaboration with composer Carol Robinson and guitarist Serge Teyssot-Gay recently premiered at Césaré in Reims. A crazy extract of the piece, Nacarat, is here.

Christopher Fox wrote a moving tribute to Bob Gilmore in the April issue of Tempo. He has also been selected as the new editor of the journal. He recently changed his mind about writing for orchestra. Find out why here. As well as a composing desk full of new things for voices, he also had Headlong performed at The Forge in April. The video with Heather Roche performing is below.


Frank Griffith has a new CD, The Frank Griffith Big Band, you can find (and order) by clicking on the image. There are musical excerpts as well to be found on the same page.

Harald Muenz recently had a world premier performance of a multimedia extravaganza at the Alte Kirche St Martinus in Pulheim-Stommeln. The work, I Fiffari for mechanical bird calls and ensemble with electronics, was commissioned by Raumklänge 2015. Ian Pace has been performing his work, schönes klavierstück, all over Europe, as well…

Sarah Nicolls, while constantly organizing concerts or festivals, also finds time for a premier of her large scale unique piece, Moments of Weightlessness, premiered at Brighton Dome Corn Exchange. Here is a video teaser to give you an idea of the work.

Colin Riley has, among many other activities, been awarded an ‘Individuals’ fund from the PRS for Music Foundation to start work on Made 2 Resonate Project (pieces for solo instruments with resonating objects). You can watch a short documentary on Hanging in The Balance (a precursor of Made 2 Resonate), below.

Jennifer Walshe has been busy in the past, present and future of Irish experimental music, (real and otherwise): A Droning In The Eire: Jennifer Walshe On The Irish Avant-Garde. She was also the subject in a series of interviews on composers and their rooms. You can see hers below (click on the photo to go to the BBC Radio 3 page).


Peter Wiegold will have a premier of his work, Scare-Fire, at the Cheltenham Festival in July. He has also been fine tuning the activities of club inégales. You can read more about the latest series, Original Voices, by clicking on the photo below.