Over the weekend of 15th and 16th February 2014, three major musical institutions in Manchester will come together to celebrate the 75th birthday year, life and work of composer-pianist John McCabe, who studied in Manchester, first at Manchester University, and later at the Royal Manchester College of Music, now the Royal Northern College of Music. Events will be held at the Carole Nash Recital Room in the RNCM, and students participating in this tremendous Piano Marathon will come from Chethams School of Music, Manchester University, and the RNCM. There will also be performances of a selection of chamber works, and the weekend will culminate in a chamber concert by the Kreutzer Quartet, with Linda Merrick (cl) and Aaron Schorr (pno). One of the works, The Woman by the Sea, for piano quintet performed in this concert, will be preceded the previous evening by a showing of the film which inspired it, Sansho Dayu, directed by the renowned Kenji Mizoguchi (8pm RNCM Studio Theatre: Free admission).
All concerts will be introduced by Prof. George Odam, author of the book on John McCabe, Landscapes of the Mind, and hopefully the concerts will take place in the presence of the composer. Admission is free for most events. Tickets for the final chamber concert cost £17, and are available via the RNCM.
John McCabe’s music is described by the three musical institutions as a ‘musical journey which is vibrant, optimistic, explosive; his orchestrations a vivid and vast palette of colours and timbres; his rhythms exciting, restless and striking. His paintbrush then portrays beautiful broad melodies, lyricism and a distinct harmonic language.'