Birmingham Contemporary Music Group
Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG) is a British chamber ensemble based in Birmingham, England specialising in the performance of new and contemporary music. BCMG performs regularly at the CBSO Centre and Symphony Hall in Birmingham, tours nationally and worldwide and has appeared several times at the Proms in London.
Musicians from the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra formed the ensemble in 1987, with Simon Rattle as its founding patron. Since then BCMG has premiered over 150 new works and won numerous awards, including the 2004 Royal Philharmonic Society Audience Development Award, the 1995 Gramophone Award for Best Orchestral Recording, the 1993 Royal Philharmonic Society Chamber Ensemble Award, the 1993 Prudential Award for Music, and The Arts Ball 2002 Outstanding Achievement Award.
Thomas Adès was the first music director of BCMG, from 1998 to 2000. The current artistic director of BCMG is Stephan Meier, who succeeded Stephen Newbould (artistic director 2001-2016). John Woolrich and Oliver Knussen are the current artists-in-association with BCMG.
The Sound Investment scheme is a partnership between BCMG, the composers whom it commissions to write new pieces and BCMG's audience. Members of the public are invited to "invest" in a new commission by paying a sum of money, currently £150, to purchase Sound Investment Units in the new work and so contribute to the costs involved in commissioning new pieces. For each commissioned piece, a certain number of Units are available, typically 30-50. Sound Investors are kept informed about "their" work's progress and are invited to attend rehearsals, as well as the first public performance. They are also able to purchase either a signed copy of the score or receive a signed copy of the score's title page. Composer Colin Matthews, who has had four works commissioned by BCMG, has called the Sound Investors "a remarkable group...although the only return on their investment is a signed copy of the score.
Composers and works commissioned
(The year shown is the year of first performance)
1990: Simon Holt: "Lilith"
1992: Geoffrey Poole: The Magnification of the Virgin
1992: David Lang: My Evil Twin
1993: Elena Firsova: Distance
1993: David Sawer: The Memory of Water
1994: Detlev Muller-Siemens: Phoenix
1994: Errollyn Wallen: Are you worried...?
1994: Colin Matthews: ...through the glass
1995: Philip Cashian: Chamber Concerto
1995: Aaron Jay Kernis: Goblin Market
1995: Judith Weir: Musicians Wrestle Everywhere
1996: Sally Beamish: A Book of Seasons
1996: Osvaldo Golijov: Last Round
1996: Howard Skempton: Delicate
1997: Thomas Adès: Concerto Conciso
1997: Peter-Paul Nash: Symphony No. 2
1997: Gerard McBurney: Desire
1998: Simon Bainbridge: Guitar Concerto
1998: David Lang: The Passing Measures
1999: Alastair Greig: Play
1999: Bent Sørensen: Sinful Songs
1999: Stuart MacRae: Portrait
1999: Kenneth Hesketh: The Circling Canopy of Night
2000: Gerald Barry: Wiener Blut
2000: Colin Matthews: Continuum
2000: Thea Musgrave: Lamenting with Ariadne
2000: John Woolrich: Bitter Fruit
2001: Poul Ruders: ABYSM
2001: Edward Rushton: Palace
2002: Gerald Barry: Dead March
2002: Marc-André Dalbavie: Palimpseste
2002: Mark-Anthony Turnage: The Torn Fields
2002: Simon Holt: Boots of Lead
2003: Param Vir: The Theatre of Magical Beings
2004: Philip Cashian: Three Pieces
2004: Michael Wolters: Neighbours for a Night
2005: Julian Anderson: Book of Hours
2005: Huw Watkins: Rondo
2005: Judith Weir: Psyche and Manimekelai
2005: Howard Skempton: Ben Somewhen
2006: Philip Cashian: Skein
2006: Morgan Hayes: Violin Concerto
2006: Dave Douglas: Blue Latitudes
2007: John Woolrich: Going a Journey
2007: Tansy Davies: Falling Angel
2007: Elvind Buene: Garland (for Matthew Locke)
2007: Brett Dean: Wolf-Lieder
2007: Johannes Maria Staud: One Movement and Five Miniatures
2007: Nicholas Sackman: Concerto in Black
2008: Gerald Barry: Beethoven
2008: Luke Bedford: Good Dream She Has
2008: Kevin Volans: The Partenheimer Project
2009: Francesco Antonioni: Ballata
2009: Helen Grime: A Cold Spring
2009: Simon Holt: Capriccio Spettrale
2009: Richard Causton: Chamber Symphony
2009: Vic Hoyland: Hey Presto!... moon - flower - bat
2009: David Sawer: Rumpelstiltskin
2010: Charlie Usher: Slow Pan
2010: Michael Wolters: I see with my eyes closed
2011: Jo Kondo: Three Songs Tennyson Sung
2011: Dominic Muldowney: Six Cabaret Songs
2012: Tansy Davies: Nature
2012: Alexander Goehr: To These Dark Steps / The Fathers are Watching
2012: John Woolrich: The Mustering Drum
2013: Richard Baker: The Tyranny of Fun
2013: David Sawer: Rumpelstiltskin Suite
2013: David Sawer: The Lighthouse Keepers
2014: David Lang: Crowd Out
2014: Param Vir: Raga Fields
2015: Ivo Nilsson: Rapidità
2015: Gerald Barry: The Importance of Being Earnest
2015: Melinda Maxwell: FRACTURES: Monk Unpacked
2016: Edmund Finnis: Parallel Colour
2016: Michael Zev Gordon: Seize the Day
2016: Benedict Mason: Horns Strings and Harmony
2016: Richard Baker: Hwyl fawr ffrindiau
2016: John Woolrich: Swansong
2016: Luke Bedford: In Black Bright Ink
2016: Zoë Martlew: Broad St. Burlesque
- Rian Evans (18 March 2008). "BCMG/Adès(CBSO Centre, Birmingham)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Rian Evans (25 October 2006). "BCMG/Knussen (CBSO Centre, Birmingham)". The Guardian. Retrieved 2008-04-17.
- Stacey Barnfield (2015-05-06). "Birmingham Contemporary Music Group chair Stephen Saltaire to retire after 15 years". Birmingham Post. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
- "Christoph Trestler appointed Chair of Birmingham Contemporary Music Group" (PDF) (Press release). Birmingham Contemporary Music Group. 2015-12-02. Retrieved 2016-03-12.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-07-16. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
- Colin Matthews, "Diary of a Composition", Areté, Winter 2000, pp. 71-80.
- BCMG Silvina Milstein page Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine.