Nicolas Hodges and Colin Currie announce Birtwistle premiere

16 February 2018
Nicolas-Hodges-34547.jpg Nicolas Hodges
To mark the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall this spring, Nicolas Hodges and Colin Currie will give the UK premiere of Intrada for piano and percussion

To mark the reopening of the Queen Elizabeth Hall this spring, Nicolas Hodges and Colin Currie will give the UK premiere of Intrada for piano and percussion:  a specially commissioned work by Sir Harrison Birtwistle. This announcement comes during an important season for Hodges, in which he also gives three world premiere performances in Germany with Trio Accanto, and revisits Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto, which he premiered with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra in Munich, and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra in Birmingham and Aldeburgh, in 2013.


Born in London and now based in Germany, where he is a professor at the Musikhochschule Stuttgart, Nicolas Hodges is known for his superior prowess in the contemporary music repertoire. As Tempo magazine has written: “Hodges is a refreshing artist; he plays the classics as if they were written yesterday, and what was written yesterday as if it were already a classic.” This approach has made Hodges a firm favourite amongst many of the world’s leading contemporary music figures, and has secured long-lasting and fruitful relationships with composers such as Thomas Adès, George Aperghis, Elliott Carter, James Clarke, Francisco Coll, Hugues Dufourt, Pascal Dusapin, Luca Francesconi, Isabel Mundry, Brice Pauset, Rolf Riehm, Wolfgang Rihm, Rebecca Saunders, and Salvatore Sciarrino.


Hodges’ collaborative relationship with Sir Harrison Birtwistle has been particularly rewarding with the composer recently commenting, “Nic Hodges is becoming like my Peter Pears” during his acceptance speech at the British Composer Awards. Hodges has long been a muse figure for Birtwistle and Intrada for piano and percussion, which receives its UK premiere on 19 April, following the world premiere at LOC Washington on 24 March, is the most recent in a long line of commissions written for, and dedicated to, Hodges by the composer.

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Following the QEH reopening performance, Hodges travels to Germany with Trio Accanto to give world premieres of works by prominent Austrian composers Beat Furrer and Georg Friedrich Haas at Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik (27 April). The Trio then return to Germany the following month, to premiere Marco Momi’s Vuo Che Perduti at the Insel Hombroich Festival (20 May). Also in April, Trio Accanto will release a new disc, on Wergo, entitled “Songs and Poems”, featuring music by Rihm, Zimmermannn and Clementi.


In May 2018, Nicolas Hodges returns to the Britten Sinfonia to reprise Gerald Barry’s Piano Concerto, under the baton of Thomas Adès. Performances of this work, which is dedicated to Hodges, will take place at Saffron Hall (19 May), the Barbican Hall (22 May), the Concertgebouw, Amsterdam (26 May) and Theatre Royal, Norwich (27 May). 

Image: Nicolas Hodges 2014 credit Eric Richmond