The BBC Symphony Orchestra concludes its 2015-16 Total Immersion series with a day celebrating the centenary of the birth of Henri Dutilleux who died in 2013.

The music of Dutilleux provides a vital link between the worlds of Debussy, Bartók and Stravinsky. Often inspired by art and poetry, his music transports us to other worlds. Highlights of the day include a performance of Dutilleux’s favourite work his cello concerto ’Tout un monde lointain…’, his devastating The Shadows of Time as well as performances by Musicians from the Guildhall School, talks, film and much more.

Jean Grémillon’s film L’amour d’une femme opens the day at 1.30pm. With Dutilleux’s brilliant score, the film follows a young doctor, who relocates to the island of Ouessant to replace a retiring practitioner. An introduction to Henri Dutilleux by Dr. Caroline Potter of Kingston University precedes the film.

At Milton Court Musicians from the Guildhall School present some of Dutilleux’s intricate chamber works, including the string quartet ‘Ainsi la nuit’, considered by many to be one of the finest quartets of the post-war period. The Sonatine for Flute takes a very French tradition into enigmatic new realms while Les citations pays homage to composer and organist Jehan Alain, who died fighting in the Second World War.

Audiences will have the opportunity to find out more about Dutilleux’s music as Dr. Caroline Potter presents an introduction to the music in the evening concert at 6.30pm. To complete the day Pascal Rophé conducts the BBC Symphony Orchestra in a concert of some of Dutilleux’s greatest orchestra works. It includes Dutilleux’s First Symphony which the composer described as ‘a little like birth and the unfolding of a dream’ as well as his ‘concerto for orchestra’ Métaboles. Virtuoso cellist Alban Gerhardt joins the BBC SO for the Baudelairean world of dreams in ‘Tout un monde lointain…’, while The Shadows of Time is a powerful response to the diaries of Anne Frank, in which three boy soloists intone, ‘Why us?’.

There will be further exploration of Dutilleux’s work at the 2016 BBC Proms. For full details: The BBC Symphony Orchestra continues its Total Immersion series in 2016-17 with days dedicated to Richard Rodney Bennett (27 November 2016), Philip Glass (28-29 January 2017) and Edgard Varèse (6 May).


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