For its 37th year the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, an event that puts the town at the centre of cutting edge sounds, is hosting 37 world premieres - and 79 UK premieres.
With more than 50 events, the festival (from Friday, November 21, until Sunday, November 30) attracts composers, performers and audience members from all over the world.
Founded by Professor Emeritus Richard Steinitz, a musicologist who retired from the full-time staff of the University of Huddersfield back in 2004, the festival now has an international reputation and lays claim to having featured virtually all major living composers and key members of the music profession. It attracts up to 10,000 attenders annually.
This year’s festival, which has received Arts Council funding of £252,000 and is supported by a number of bodies, including Kirklees Council, will feature two Huddersfield lecturers: Philip Thomas, who will perform a solo piano concert; and Australian composer Liza Lim, whose major new work Winding Bodies: 3 Knots will be premiered. Both Philip and Liza are directors of the Centre for Research in New Music at the university.
Some of Britain’s leading ensembles are making their way to Huddersfield – including the London Sinfonietta, BBC Singers, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and the Arditti Quartet, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary - and while the festival showcases many contemporary classical works, it is also featuring everything from progressive rock to improvised, electronic and multi-media music.
As well as music and sound, many different languages will be heard at the festival as musicians from as far afield as Germany, Chile, Canada, Norway, the Czech Republic, Spain and Denmark will converge on Huddersfield.
A partnership between the university and Radio 3 means that many festival concerts will be recorded, some for live transmission.
As well as eight venues in Huddersfield, the festival is using, for the first time, The Hepworth gallery in Wakefield, which will host the world premiere of Twelve for Twelve Musicians, a work by saxophonist Evan Parker who is celebrating his 70th birthday.
Among the many notable and unusual performances will be a new take on Brian Eno’s Another Green World by Tom Phillips and Apartment House, and a complete performance - using Greek Simantras, a wooden percussion instrument - of Timber by Michael Gordon.
To see the entire festival programme visit www.hcmf.co.uk . Bookings for concerts, some of which are free, can be made on 01484 430528.